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  • Writer's pictureSandra Dosdall

How Far Have We Come?


How far have we come?

How much have we managed to change?

Does the world see us as equals or are we kidding ourselves?

We have made significant strides in the movement of Women's Rights. We can drive, we can vote, we have the right to purchase and sell property. Does this sound ridiculous yet? If it does, take a moment to be grateful to the women that came before us. Those that fought to relieve us the oppression that captivated us for centuries. A lot has happened in a short one hundred and fifty years. We have the right to work, which until 1900 was something that was not permitted. In 1912 Carie Derick would be the first woman to hold a Professors position at McGill University in Montreal. Alice Jaimeson was appointed Judge of the Juvenile Court in Calgary in 1914. The first woman to hold such a position in Alberta, Canada and the entire British Empire. One hundred years. That's all. We've only had the right to vote since 1918.

But why did we need to fight to gain these rights? Why were we/are we considered to be less valued, less worthy, less capable than the opposite sex? And where are we now?

Has it been worth it?

Are we there yet?

Nope. We are making progress but we still have a long way to go. Our gender roles have adapted greatly. It is no longer considered radical for a woman to work outside the home, to own her own home, or drive a car. What was once considered an accomplishment for a female is now the norm; those that do pursue careers are the majority. There is a dying breed of women that choose to remain in the home daily and nurture the family. We salute them.

But what are we teaching our girls in schools? What are the boys learning? Are we setting examples and edifying both sexes promoting self love and equality? Is this even a discussion in 2019? Equality?

Attire? Personal clothing choices, use of vocabulary, selection of support group or friends. If these are restricted based on archaic rules and outdated agendas, then are we really free? Should a school board be permitted to dictate to females that shorts cannot be worn or that shoulders should not be visible? Should we be teaching girls to dress in a manner that will not elicit a sexual response from the males, or should we be teaching the boys how to deal with the emotions and desire that they are feeling? Do we continue to oppress women, or should we empower men?

In the era of #metoo, we have a responsibility to educate, nurture and to guide the individuals that will walk with us into the future. It starts at home, and it must be supported in our schools. I strongly oppose the idea suspending females for non compliance with dress coding. Shorts should not be required to be knee length for female students, it's not practical. If a boy is not able to see a thigh without issue, then we- society has done him a disservice. An exposed shoulder is considered explicit? Let's teach the boys that girls are more than just sexual objects. Perhaps we should provide our young men with the tools they might need to succeed in the real world, rather than dictating to the girls what not to wear.

The same individuals that are enforcing these rules struggled to gain administrative positions with the school board. They cried out for equality, equal pay and opportunities and yet today they strive to restrict the expression of impressionable and vulnerable children. What message are we sending? Are we not gender profiling by not applying the same rules to the boys? And should we ever suggest that a young girl is "asking for it'? A young woman that was physically assaulted was not asking for it when she wore shorts to school. The very idea of it is preposterous.

How do we move forward? Can we ever truly be considered equal or are we propelling ourselves forward in haste?

Midriff showing? Not yet dear, not this year.

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