Judged on looks, abil­ity to ‘take a joke’

The Compass - - SPORTS -

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


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