Laurie Throness, former BC Liberal candidate for Chilliwack-Kent, calling a woman’s access to free birth control tantamount to eugenics is what institutional, systemic misogyny looks like. Men in B.C. have access to tax-payer subsidized vasectomies and cheap, over the counter condoms; women, who bear life-changing consequences from unprotected sex, currently have to see a doctor every few months and pay for prescription birth control, or see a doctor and pay to have an IUD inserted.
Many men are unwilling to consider condoms and vasectomies, and yet they are the easiest, most affordable solutions. Both depend on men’s actions, neither give women the power to choose what happens to their bodies.
This vast imbalance of power is what makes this situation inherently misogynist.
Misogyny manifests in many ways: limited access to or diminished quality of health care, pay inequity, disproportionate domestic work, or a lack of access to childcare, etc.
Look no further than Squamish where we have fewer than one childcare space for every four children, as reported by The Chief earlier this year. This has resulted predominantly in women leaving their careers to care for their children, further widening the gap in equality. Add ableism, homophobia or racism to misogyny and you have even greater inequity.
As we grapple with what inequality looks like, let us not forget about our sisters, daughters, mothers, and future mothers. Misogyny is all around us, and so deeply ingrained that even many women inherently believe that they are inferior to men. It is not enough to be “not-misogynist”: we need to be feminists. The Oxford dictionary defines feminism as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes”. That’s it: women are entitled to the same opportunities and respect as men, our daughters the same opportunities and respect as our sons.
I am passionate about feminism because we are in desperate need of a paradigm shift: we need equality for all. I believe the very survival of our species relies upon it. Imagine a future where we are all equal: the innovation and conflict resolution that would emerge. Imagine a world no longer pressured by an ever-growing population because women have the right to choose if, how, when and with whom they have babies. Imagine the possibilities. Stand up for the women in our lives, and let’s work towards equality.