Let’s throw off the yoke of patriarchy

Posted on October 15, 2015 in Equality Policy Context

TheStar.com – Opinion/Readers’ Letters – Re: Close the wage gap, Editorial Oct. 9
Oct 15 2015

What’s to understand? The Star’s editorial states the obvious while mincing around the unequivocal solution – mandate pay equity for all employees.

Pay inequity is discriminatory – period. We don’t need a fancy show committee of experts to tell us this. More study is nothing more than a stalling tactic for society and governments to confront the real core equity problem in society – patriarchy.

After decades of studies, legislation and prevaricating by politicians and the private sector, women on average continue to be paid 75 cents for every dollar that men earn. For the last century and beyond, paying women less has been the accepted standard of employment discrimination particularly in female-dominated fields like nursing, education and clerical services by employers who were overwhelmingly male. Other than those fields women were simply not allowed to be employed until recent history.

So what does Premier Kathleen Wynne do to respond to an obvious problem looking for an inescapable answer? She appoints yet another high profile expert committee that will cost taxpayers (and female employees) millions more by the time they are done that will study the problem to death once again and come up with “strategies” for resolving the issue. How ironic from a female leader.

The real global problem is that pay equity is only one of a myriad of challenges modern society faces in overcoming the pervasive and invasive discriminatory influence of patriarchy. Both men and women have been socialized (or more often forced) into accepting patriarchal values driven by the dominant and often archaic beliefs and attitudes of men that have dictated everything – from women voting and having a right to education to which religion you should believe in to pay equity and the wearing of the niqab.

The latter is an issue of human rights but not in the way that it is currently being portrayed by the courts or in the election debates but as a symbol of male subliminal control over female sexuality as rooted in male-based ancient religious values. Males continue in one form or another continue to dominate our societal attitudes towards just about everything and we are expected (as women are) to be patient and deferential to their position in the status quo of power. The question is why should we underwrite injustice in a supposedly democratic society?

Patriarchy has become so ingrained in our social culture and psyche that it has become normalized and virtually invisible – even when it is blindingly obvious as in the case of pay equity or the expectation that women wear the niqab. Evidence can be found in every aspect of modern life that we continue to operate societies around the world according to a double standard of treatment that favours men in one form or another while turning a blind eye to the problem.

The next evolution of civilization is to throw off the yoke of patriarchy that prevents real equity from ever being possible and ensures conflict will continue to dominate our social landscape. This is the next war we all must win.

Robert Bahlieda, Newmarket

< http://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2015/10/15/lets-throw-off-the-yoke-of-patriarchy.html >

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