After a month of prorogation and a shuttered Parliament, MPs at last returned to the Hill for the Government's Speech from the Throne laying out its new agenda for the Second Session of the Forty-First Parliament of Canada. One commentator described the Speech as "a breathtaking spout of free-associating bloviation... an epic ramble".
Last week my 12-year-old son and his friends used a term I hadn't heard before: "rape face." So we sat down to talk. He was emphatic that #rapeface wasn't actually about rape and rolled his eyes with a "mom, what's the big deal?" We need to be having these conversations with our kids and with our own peers about reclaiming words like rape if we want to start making a big deal about putting an end to rape culture.
Progress for the world's women has proceeded in fits and starts in the past century, but 2012 saw some clear advancement on numerous fronts and in diverse locations. But while global advancements on gender issues were escalating, at home, in Canada, the record remains decidedly mixed. Canadian women are presently losing ground on everything from pay equity to childcare, from poverty to homelessness. Canadians must come to terms with the irony of witnessing the advancements of women's rights on a global scale while at the same time dealing with the reality that this country has been steadily declining in international rankings of gender disparity.
Today, we celebrate the 1929 Persons Case on the anniversary of a ground-breaking case which the Supreme Court of Canada declared women to be "persons" under the law. Well, not all women. October 18 is now celebrated as Persons Day, but it was a milestone victory that did not extend to all. It is also worth giving credence to the struggles that continued for 40 long years after this 1929 monochromatic victory.