What if women had an anthem protest?
Re: Trump locks NFL in knee politics — Sept. 25
As a retired Ontario teacher, I remember once visiting a program for gifted students in Buffalo. Opening exercises presented an immediate culture clash. American staff and students rose and went through their anthem and recitation with their hands over their hearts. I stood quietly and respectfully at attention, not uttering a word. The students noticed my silence and quizzed me in their gifted class.
I explained that as a visiting foreigner, I felt my duty to respect but not to participate in American patriotic acts. We next spoke about differences and changes in rituals. We noted that people stand for occasions, such as prayer, a toast or to honour a special person, and do so optionally to show approval of a superior theatre performance.
I used “O Canada” to show patriotic changes over time and need. The original text gender inclusively demanded true patriot love: “In us thou dost command.” But by 1917 the ravenous killing trenches of First World War France demanded that Canada send more young men. So Canada substituted true patriot love: “In all thy sons command,” a wording that excludes 52 per cent of Canadians who are female.
I reflected on this during the Trump media frenzy about American pro football players kneeling in protest over racial injustices during their national anthem.
How would Trudeau and Canadian media react if women here turned their backs or knelt during the playing of “O Canada,” while words still exclude them after 100 years? Alan J. Nanders Kitchener