Stop asking “should women be 50% of Trudeau’s Cabinet?”

Are we really debating whether or not to have 50% women in cabinet?

Are we really debating the merits of allowing 50% of women in decisive positions of government?

And are we really using language that makes it sound like women are too sad to be away from their kids, that  makes it sound like women can’t hack it? Like men have been doing this so much better, for so many years why rock the boat?
Why do we need more women in the cabinet?” Because you’re allowed to ask questions like that.
I think it’ll be great once we get our long form census back (yay!) to actually see what the breakdown is of women versus men in our fine country right now. Because my voice, my female voice, is getting left behind. There are not enough of us in politics to speak for all of us in the nation.

When we talk about meritocracy, and simultaneously exclude women from choice because we don’t allow for  an equal number of them to be represented in the first place,  you lose your argument of meritocracy.  It’s not merit based on status quo,  it’s merit based on the best options available. No one ever asks the question of whether the Cabinet should be 50% men, it’s simply accepted as fact. Because it’s always been that way. Yet we all constantly complain about “the way it’s always been”. Our merit is being questioned because our gender is being brought up, so you’ve already recognized that we’re different and underrepresented. Now you want to tell us that we shouldn’t need to be recognized for the chance at these jobs because we’re women?

No one is advocating for unqualified women to be in Cabinet simply to make a feminist point. In fact, the point being made is that diversity in politics is not only better, it’s exactly what politicians are supposed to be: representative of their constituents.
And it’s so frustrating to hear a woman make the point that females historically can’t adjust to the hours, or the toll it may take, that it’s mentally too much. Women historically have never been given a chance to prove that we can. And when we are given a chance, it’s hinted that we’re doing the wrong things for families, that were making a choice that will hurt us in the end, if only we could see that for our pretty little selves. Let’s just let the men take on that burden, shall we? They’ve proven over decades to be so much better at it. ::eyeroll::
When we talk about women’s (lack of) abilities in this way in the public, we further degrade their capacity to consider themselves in that position. Women don’t get into politics because they can’t see themselves in politics. The optics are stark: there are way more men and there always have been. It’s discussed as this hard life and visually, women are excluded. It seems in a way, we’re talking about it like we are protecting women from this difficult position, when in the end we never asked you to do that. In fact we are asking very much to be at the table, to be heard, to have our voices be part of the discussion, to have our issues be Canada’s issues.
50% women in the cabinet is being talked about like a massive undertaking when in the end it’s the very least you could do. It’s the bare minimum to start with, so let’s start with that. And talking about it as if it will ruin the future of the country is both shortsighted and walking the line of fear mongering. “Sorry ladies, you probably can’t hack it, just let us finish this work. It’s hard out here for a pimp.” With all due respect, you guys haven’t exactly done a bang up job. So please, scooch over just a little, let me pull up a chair and let’s see if we can work this out better together.


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