Judged on looks, ability to ‘take a joke’
But women in politics are constantly being judged on the bags under their eyes, the wrinkles on their foreheads or the droop in their smile.
Meanwhile, the likelihood of her becoming PM in the current climate is pretty dim, seeing as how in our own province, despite the fact that we have a female premier, only one sixth of our provincial legislature are someone’s daughters.
Federally, just 76 of the 308 seats in parliament are held by women members. Only 356 federally appointed judges are female as opposed to 761 male judges. And you can guarantee that each of those women — strong, powerful women — is judged on her looks.
In fact, I’d hazard to guess that most of them are not only judged on their looks, but also on their ability to “take a joke.” Given the number of scandals involving MPS and judges and their sexist attitudes, most of these women are probably quietly seething as they hear yet another man spout off a “funny” about rape, sexual harassment, or sexism.
That’s not the kind of funny I want my daughter to be. And that’s not the kind of judging I want her exposed to.
But in a world where more than one billion women are victims of sexual or physical abuse, maybe I shouldn’t worry about a little t-shirt that tells my daughter to value her looks above all else.
Or maybe, I see that it’s the beginning of a flood of messages that tell her that she will never measure up; that she is an object, not a person; that her value lies in society’s acceptance of her as an “ideal” and not in any real strength she has.
I can tell her until I’m blue in the face that she is a person worthy of everything the world has to offer, but if the world tells her that all she has to offer is her looks, then my voice can quickly be drowned out. All I ask is that other mothers, other women, and the corporations who supposedly embrace family values don’t make it even harder. And that when I do raise my voice to declare her rights, I’m not insulted. Because from that all she will learn is to stay silent. And silence is the last thing we need