Simply a ploy

Dear Editor:
Years ago, when it was legal to advertise cigarettes, two companies had gender equality ads that graced most of the popular magazines of the day.

Marlborough started it in 1954 with the ultra masculine cowboy, cigarette dangling form his lips, surveying the world through squinted eyes.

Not to be outdone, in 1968, Virginia Slims introduced the willowy, well dressed and of course beautiful woman, complete with hat, gloves and the all important cigarette held graciously between her manicured fingers.

This ad’s caption read, “You’ve come a long way, Baby.”

The idea being that women had finally arrived or attained the status due their sex.

Of course the only thing women attained from smoking was a prematurely wrinkled face, a guttural cough and in some cases death by lung cancer.

In that day women did not mind being addressed as “Baby” and everyone knew the word did not refer to an infant in a buggy.

Just how far the female sex has progressed is debatable these days.

Maturity is linked to wisdom and confidence in who you are.  It seems to me anyone with half a brain should be able to discern what contributes to respect and appreciation of the female gender and what is simply a ploy.

The cigarette ads were a ploy, the right to vote was not.

Up for debate in the House of Commons is the bill that was introduced by an MP who is very ill and not expected to live.

Somehow Mauril Belanger feels that this would be a worthwhile final act of his political career.

So far changing the words of “O Canada” is being lauded as addressing gender-neutrality and the press is busy collecting opinions from various supporters as to how influential this will be for the women of Canada.

Where would you place this legislation, on the side of the Virginia Slim Babe or Nellie McClung?

Even my blonde-haired brain can figure this one out.

Is there anyone out there that actually believes that when the national anthem is sung with gender neutral words that all employers will automatically implement wage parity between the sexes? Or all the domestic violence, female mutilation and abortion of female babies will screech to a halt.

If Mr. Belanger, or another activist, wishes to address these problems it would indeed be a legacy!

But this is simply a ploy to give the impression that something is being done.

Our national anthem should not be the means of obtaining gender equality.  In fact, most women I know do not feel the least bit inferior to men, different, but not inferior . . . well maybe when they need to open the pickle jar.

Men have their roles to fulfill in our society and women have theirs.

Of course there are those who want to blur the lines, but women who live in Canada should be happy and proud to sing our national anthem without being petty or childish.
Faye Pearson,
Stettler, Ab.

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