Monday, 1 June 2009

An oasis of freedom and justice

A friend of mine went to a family function a few weeks ago where her mother-in-law in describing someone else said to my friend..."well she's like you, she doesn't cook or clean either."

When she told me this story we both rolled our eyes and laughed because this was her mother-in-law's way of saying..."my precious son does everything around the house you lazy good-for-nothing."

But it made me think about how things have changed and also about how there will always be a generation or a group of people who will resist those changes.

Because if you think about it, no one even bats an eye lash when they hear that the woman of the house does all the cooking and the cleaning. It's as it should be they all think. But often when I tell people that Shaune does most of the cooking in our house they are truly impressed and can't believe my fortune to have found such a rare man. This always makes me wonder - how far has the woman's movement really come???

And this lead me to consider all of the other developments we've seen in the last few years. While we can certainly look at them and say - yes the world has really come a long way - it's just as easy to say - what the hell took so long?!!

Take Obama for instance. Even though I'm not an American, I can sincerely say that we have seen a new day and one that I am thrilled that Deaglan has been witness to. But not because I am so grateful that a black person was given the job but because it's about time a person was elected based on his abilities regardless of skin colour. I feel relieved that Deaglan's generation might not have to continue to evaluate a person's worth based on the colour of their skin but the content of their character.

And I also mulled over the legalization of gay marriage in Canada, the fourth country (after The Netherlands, Belgium and Spain) in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. Although July 20, 2005 is the official date that parliament passed the Civil Marriage Act, many parts of Canada (almost 90 %) had already legalized gay marriage since 1999.

My reaction to giving people in committed same-sex relationships the same benefits commonly associated with committed heterosexual relationships is - it's about f*#@ing time! Maybe it's because I have been a visible minority all my life, or maybe it's because I'm a woman, or maybe it's because I've had to sit helplessly by and watch gay friends and family get treated like less-than-second class citizens because we live in a society that has little to no tolerance for anyone that even remotely deviates from the narrowly defined view of what's 'normal'. Or maybe my reaction is based on a combination of all of it.

All I know is that these changes certainly make my job of raising a child a bit easier. I mean really, how were we supposed to tell our brown-skinned children to dream about being the kings and queens of the world when they had no kings and queens to follow? And how were we to teach our children to be proud of who God created them to be if our world and our society didn't support them in their individual splendours as full citizens? And how could we tell our girls that they were just as capable as boys in whatever they pursued if we were also busy telling them that anything to do with family and home was also solely their job??

21 comments:

  1. Kim, you speak for so many of us! I'm going to build your grandstand right now and be your campaign manager:) I am hopeful that our children's generation will be less judgmental, more sympathetic, and overall more just than previous generations. I wish Shaune could come over to my house and give my hubby a cooking class!! I have relatives stuck in the past who think only in traditional gender roles. They are true dinosaurs!

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  2. Wonderfully said in your post. I know for a fact that Kevin will be the "cook" of the household if we get married. He already does most of it now. And you know what? There is nothing wrong with that!! He's good at it and he enjoys it, so it works well for us.
    And that picture of Deaglan?!? Holy cow- that is SO CUTE!

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  3. You are a passionate and eloquent spokesperson!!!! You writing reveals your heart...always. I am so glad to know you. ~Janine XO

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  4. oh i agree with you!!! i wish we could all switch races, genders and sexual orientations just so we would know what others face. i think this would go a long way with making things in life more fair and equitable. it is crazy how long some of these changes are taking to make, but at least things are getting a little bit better.

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  5. It would take me weeks to come down off of the ceiling if someone made that comment about me. I once created a list of every single thing I do around the house and for the family... it was 5 pages single-spaced.

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  6. It's so sad that politics have to define the heart of a people. It should just be obvious. I think your heart good and also your writing. Love your passion. ~rick

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  7. WOOHOOOOOO! Amen to everything you said!

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  8. another well written blog. Camillo and I are one of a very few couples where we both cook and we both clean up. Camillo has now gotten so he does a load of laundry now instead of saying 'I'm out of underwear' - you can't imagine how unusual we are among our friends.

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  9. I live in California, I voted for same sex marriage but that wasn't enough. I have had fights with friends and certain family members about the subject. I don't get it, why can't everyone get married? Oh well. Great blog, I am proud to know you, (if only in cyberspace!) ;-)

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  10. You know what? I do bat an eye when I hear that the woman of the house works and then comes home and does all the cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids. That's now how we roll, in my house. I can't believe it when I hear my friends talk about their lives, and how they shoulder so much more of the responsibilities for their families. I suppose they think I have it absolutely great - and I do. I love my husband. He loves me. He loves to cook - before I stayed home he cooked just about every night of the week. Now we support each other and share responsibilities around the house. Granted, now that I'm a SAHM I do more here than he does - but that's because our house is now MY job. I feel so sorry for women stuck in relationships with men who don't do their fair share...

    I enjoyed reading your whole post - but just thought I'd respond to that part which hit closest to home.

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  11. Yes, that's one 'cringing moment' your friend must've had (my sympathies), can't help but wonder where the womens' movement is off to... These kind of incidents are more the norm still, like u say.:(

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  12. I couldn't agree more!!!

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  13. Well, said. I'm glad to read thoughts that I myself might as well have written, it is refreshing. Congrats to you that he does the cooking.. that was never my forte, but by default, I'm the one that throws it together most nights.

    And yay for Canada, I always knew I loved our neighbors to the north.. never knew how much!

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  14. You go girl! I am right behind you.xx♥

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  15. I completely agree, girl!!

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  16. Nothing I can add that hasn't already been commented on, except: did your friend flick her m-i-l right in the forehead with that stupid remark?!
    sheesh.

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  17. Whew!!! Well said, sister!!! Love this post, love that you expressed it, love that we are still progressing...

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  18. I am married to someone from mexico and have put up with a lot of crap from my mother in law and the rest of the fam. It is amazing how backward and biased they can be. My husband has learned that we are equal and that he is expected to pitch in. As for the gay marriage initiative, it has been a long time coming and, though it is a slow crawl, we are making strides. Here's to equality and love!! (Lifting a glass to toast your post!)

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