No, I am not a feminist — I am a person

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"I am woman, hear me roar,
In numbers too big to ignore,
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend,
‘cause I’ve heard it all before,
And I’ve been down there on the floor,
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again."

Yeah, right.
Helen Reddy may have sang those words 37 years ago, but just how far have women really come?
What would the Famous Five — Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nelly McClung, Louise McKinny and Irene Parlby — have to say today, eight decades after they fought and fought and kept on fighting to have all women declared persons?
How would these valiant trailblazers feel if they knew that, in this new century, when women get to vote and fight in wars, we still have people like Carrie Prejean, the controversial U.S. beauty queen, fighting with pageant organizers about paying to have her boobs pumped up.
She’s not fighting about whether it should happen. Oh no, those organizers agreed she needed bigger breasts to be competitive in their pageant.
Didn’t we start fighting back in the 1960s against this kind of objectifying?
How would these incredible women feel if they knew that, in this new century, when women get to sit in the Senate and on councils and school boards, we still have people like Mayumi Heene ignore police advice to seek protection in a women’s shelter after they saw the balloon boy’s mom had broken blood vessels in her eye and abrasions on her face?
She’s standing by her man, instead, a father and husband who is under investigation for putting his own ego and absurd beliefs ahead of the safety of his family.
How would these early feminists feel if they knew Canada is being led by a man who considers women to be a left-wing fringe group?
Dozens of women gathered on Oct. 23rd here in Kamloops to reassure themselves strides have been made as a celebratory breakfast is held to mark the anniversary of Person’s Day.
They listened to Mary Eberts, a co-founder of the Legal Education and Action Fund for Women, speak at the Plaza Heritage Hotel at the event, co-sponsored by LEAF, the Elizabeth Fry Society and the Thompson Rivers University Student Union’s women’s collective.
Eberts has said Canadian women have “a special historical relationship to the Constitution, as we had to fight so hard for so long to be included in even its minimal provisions.
“Let us not stop now.”
Inspiring words, but I wonder what is wrong with a society that, almost a century after the fight began, is still fighting for these basic recognitions and still has within its midst women who embrace beliefs that minimize them as persons?
My friend Shirley Sanderson says education is the key. It’s why today’s breakfast has a reduced ticket price ($25) for students and why she’s delighted the TRU women’s group is involved.
It’s why she gets involved in things like the breakfast, because she believes it’s important to look at the past and honour our elders who laid the groundwork to make a better future.
Earlier this month, the Famous Five were declared honorary senators at the suggestion of veteran journalist Catherine Ford.
It’s a worthy tribute but, in reality, it will do little to further their cause.
I’ve always thought the solution to this inability to move forward comes from the need to characterize women who stand up for themselves as feminists.
This was hammered home for me many years ago when, while working at another newspaper in Ontario and being interviewed for a more-senior job there, the manager asking the questions — a woman — told me to forget it because, as a wife and mother, I wasn’t a feminist.
At the time, those words made me angry. Today, I realize she was right.
I’m not a feminist.
I’m a wife, a mother, a grandmother.
And I’m a person.

And now, comments that were posted on to the column (I thought I'd try adding these things once in a while):

12GaugePump 16 hours ago
Some people just have no sense of humour.....and to Mrs. Bass, you are a feminist and also a socialist who never passes up a chance to bash a conservative.

smokit 1 day ago 1 person liked this.
With men running the world, (and jokes like Grouchy makes), it's a true case of "The Tail wagging the dog" if you get my drift...

Grouchy1 1 day ago in reply to smokit
Sorry smokit, I just couldn't help myself, lol.

Grouchy1 2 days ago
I think you have gone a little far about the Prime Minister. The other example is truly extreme and should not happen in todays society. Other than that I think that women have come a long way, just look at businesses with women in charge,and women starting more and more of their own businesses all the time. And just as an aside, more than a mouthfull is a waste. LOL.

BobbyDuck 2 days ago
Oh, I think you're also a feminist, dbass. One thing people seem to forget, as long as we have males and females on this planet, the battle of the sexes will ALWAYS be a contentious issue..

Maybe moms should be given health-care portfolio

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Right smack dab on the H1N1 link posted online by the Interior Health Authority are the following words:

“See a health-care provider if your symptoms become worse, but call ahead of time to let them know you have a fever and/or a cough. You can call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, 24 hours a day/seven days a week if you have more questions or if feeling ill.”

In fact, on the IHA home page is a highlighted box directing people to find out more about the swine flu that is supposedly a worldwide pandemic.

So, let me tell you about my attempt to find out if my son, who had been sick for several days with some of the symptoms listed on the IHA website as indicative of swine flu, might actually have the headline-creating disease.

Mindful of how contagious it is, I first called our family doctor’s office.

“Appointments. Please hold.”

I held. A while later: “Hello, how can I help you?”

I told her I’d like to run my son’s symptoms by the nurse to see if I should bring him in to see the doctor.

She transferred me.

“Nurse’s station. Please hold.”

I held. Another while later, someone picked up the phone and said: “You’re still on hold? Just a minute.”

The phone rang again.

Another woman answered.

She didn’t identify herself or what part of the clinic she was in, but demanded to know how I’d gotten her number and who had transferred me.

Sorry, I don’t know. I’m in telephone hell, apparently.

She asked who my doctor was, then transferred me again.

I held. And held. And held some more. And then I gave up.

On to the IHA office in Kamloops.

I asked to speak to a public-health nurse, again explaining I simply wanted to talk about my son’s symptoms because he had some, but not all, of the ones listed on the IHA website.

“Sorry, but all the nurses are in a meeting on swine flu.”


“But you can call 811 and the nurses there can help you.”

Now that’s a good idea. Should have thought of it myself.

Punch in 811 and get a woman who asks the purpose of my call.

I tell her: “I just want to see if the symptoms my son has could mean he’s contagious.”

She gets all the relevant information — my name, stuff like that. It’s all starting to sound promising.

She tells me she’ll transfer me to a nurse who will ask the same questions, but that’s standard.

Okeydokey. Transferred to the nurse, I tell her I just want to ask about my son’s symptoms. He’s been sick for days, he has many of the ones listed for swine flu, but they could just as easily be a regular flu.

“Where is your son?”

I tell her he’s in bed, asleep, trying to get better.

But here are his symptoms.

She stops me. She can’t help me. My son has to call them. She can’t diagnose him without talking to him.

Don’t want a diagnosis, I protest. Just want to know if this list of symptoms I’m going to repeat to you should be causing me some concern.

Nope, she won’t talk to me about it. She goes on to say my son’s symptoms may have changed and she needs him to talk to her.

Now this is frustrating.

The IHA site says they’ll answer general questions and my general question is: “Are these symptoms — dizziness, aching, fever, some minor breathing issues — indicative of a possible swine flu case? I need to know so I can decide the best treatment for my son.”

But she won’t answer it. Instead, she tells me to take him to the emergency room.

“If he’s contagious, isn’t that a really dumb thing to do?” I ask her.

I decide to try the health unit one more time and finally get an answer — from the woman who answers the switchboard.

I tell her how frustrating my experience has been trying to get an answer and she relates that she had a similar experience. She took her daughter to a walk-in clinic, marched up to the counter and said those three little words: Maybe swine flu.

Masks were slapped on, they were taken into an examination room and saw a doctor pronto.

It figures.

Ask the health-care system for help it says it will give — given there’s this pandemic — and get the runaround.

You want the answer — talk to another mom.

Kamloops This Week - The problem is, Campbell and Polak just don?t get it

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kamloops This Week - The problem is, Campbell and Polak just don?t get it

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