07 October 2011

It's the Patriarchy, Stupid!

I really don't like Christy Clark. Like, I REALLY don't like her. She was the Minister of Education who took the ability to bargain on class sizes away from BC teachers, and as a result, my special needs kid ended up in a class of 38 kids, 9 others of whom were special needs. They had one part time aid. It was a clusterfuck of epic proportions.

She's better than the last guy, no question, I mean, a steaming pile of dung would be better than the last guy, and I suppose she is rather close to that, but she's still a BC Liberal. They're conservative. I don't know why they're holding on to the term Liberal except maybe to trick the uninformed, which is to say, the vast majority. I dunno.

So, of course, I'm a supporter of the NDP party here in BC. I'm even a member. I joined to vote in the leadership election. My guy lost. I still can't believe we elected someone who forged documents to cover up the illegal behaviour of a premier! Seriously people. Can you not envision the attack ads in the next election? The worst part is that it'll all be true. Anyway, never mind the leader, I'm bitching about one David Schreck, former MLA and current political blogger. The guy commented on Clark's cleavage, saying it was inappropriate for her to show that much. That much?! Have you seen the picture? Give me a break. It's not like she was in danger of a nip slip! When the premier comes to the legislature dressed like a stripper, you can comment. Until then, STFU.

As soon as this story got national coverage, The Menz started complaining. But that, I mean, the tiny subset of men who seem to think that they are terribly hard done by as a result of feminism and that women are TOTALLY the ruling gender. They're the ones who start whining, "Men get raped too!" at the first sign of a story about the rape crisis of young women at universities. They're the ones who moan and groan about how the courts fuck them over on custody cases. Anyway, The Menz, they were immediately saying there was no sexism here because Barack Obama was totally called on whether it was appropriate to be photographed topless (at the beach! OMG! His nipples were showing! At the beach!) And Chris Christie is mocked over his weight. And Rob Ford.

First of all, not the same. Schreck said that *any* cleavage, i.e. any failure to completely every square inch of her breasts, is inappropriate. Why? Because it reminds him that a woman is in power? Because her breasts are just so sexy that he can't keep his eyes off them and it's too distracting? (Ugh) Then he points out that men must wear ties in the legislature, so clearly that's completely the same as being required to hide any indication of breasts. Really? Ties? You mean, the great big arrow pointing at their penises? Come. On. Anyway, sure, I'm all for getting rid of the dress code. I wouldn't mind seeing how they dress if they're not told how. I'd totally vote for the guy who showed up in Birkenstocks and a hemp shirt. Or better yet, an "I'm with Stupid -->" t-shirt. That would be AWESOMESAUCE.

The true irony? The men complaining about how they're treated in the courts totally have a point. But it's not feminism that's the problem. It's the patriarchy. The patriarchy hurts everyone. Why? Why would a system designed to protect the power of men take it from them? Simple. Because it also defines gender roles. Women are the caretakers of the children. Men, proper men, don't give a shit about their kids (see: dramas) and are either too irresponsible to look after them (see: sitcoms) or are too cold and unloving to properly raise children (see: movies and books everywhere). Of course, this is bullshit. Epic bullshit. There are some really great Dads out there. Mine was. My husband is. And there are some really shitty Moms out there. But the patriarchy defines the roles, and anyone who steps outside of them is suspect. Men who dare to be feminine are in danger of assault. Men who want to be recognised as equal parents have a major uphill battle.

And do women use it? OF COURSE. We're not stupid. When the system works in our favour, which is remarkably seldomly, we take it. What? Are we supposed to be better than men? Hell no. That's the point. Just like there are men who buck the system, there are women who uphold it.