Was Jody Wilson-Raybould fired because she was a woman?
It sounds preposterous. After all, it’s 2019.
But for argument’s sake I’m going to say she was, at the very least, fired because she thinks like one.
Cynics might argue that Wilson-Raybould was appointed to the position of Attorney General and Minister of Justice because she was a woman as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau aimed for gender parity in his inaugural cabinet.
As a Crown prosecutor for B.C., a treaty commissioner and regional chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations, Wilson-Raybould has an impressive resume and was well deserving of the position.
I am by no means a behavioural scientist.
However, I am a woman who was in politics for 13 years and observed the often subtle and occasionally blatant pervasive gender bias.
I have long pondered what it would take to shift that consummate masculine archetype; to not just question that status quo but to challenge and change it.
Scientific behavioural studies show that women, in general, are less prone to justify unethical behaviour and show a greater responsibility to negotiate “in good faith.”
They have more resolute ethical measures, act more conscientiously than men and broadly identify with moral traits more strongly than men.
In the SNC Lavalin case, Wilson-Raybould held what she believed to be her moral high ground. The political system wasn’t used to that approach, did not tolerate it and the division in these perspectives spiralled.
This is not unique to this federal government but endemic in the system and within all parties.
This existing reality that places more value on masculine qualities over feminine ones is so pervasive that we don’t even notice when the friction happens.
And this willful ignorance is a disservice to us all. Bottom line? Women and men think and act differently and that’s a good thing. We need both in civil society.
The irony is that Prime Minister Trudeau attempted to get it right in his cabinet but failed to notice the effect on the paradigm.
It takes more than good intentions to make a change; we have to acknowledge that as more women populate these roles the paradigm will shift.
We need to recognize it when it does occur, respect it, embrace it, learn from it and not punish it.
PS: Research also shows that when it comes to financial gain, women are as likely to lie as often as men.
Hey, nobody’s perfect.