Going to See a Man About a Seat

Mr. Spit and I received an invitation to go and see our MLA be sworn in at the provincial legislature. So we put on our nice clothes and our shiny faces and off we went.

The process is actually very short - we spent substantially more time waiting for the show to start than we actually did watching any sort of swearing.

Yesterday I read this article, with its awful sub text that women have no need of an expensive education, when all they will be doing is staying home to care for their babes. There are so many things wrong this article, I don't know quite what to say.

So, I sat in visitor's gallery of the Provincial Legislature and I watched 4 young girls, obviously there with their parents. I thought about men who want to limit their lives, before they are even old enough to know their options. I remembered my first time in the legislature.

My mother was working as a lobbyist, and she had a piece of legislation that was receiving third reading in the house that night. So, we went off to watch. I think my mother wanted me to learn something. On the way to the visitor's gallery, she stopped off at Pam Barrett's office, Pam was working with my mum on the legislation, and I think my mother wanted to thank Pam for her assistance.

Pam was a small woman, with an enormous personality. I was slightly overawed, sitting in the corner of her office, reading Nancy Drew. I had probably been told to be quiet, to not be a bother, and not to ask questions. Pam obviously loved politics. She loved the fight, she loved the elbows in the corner, but more than that, she loved the way a good politician can change lives, can use legislation to make life better for people. She spoke to my mum for a bit, but then she started talking to me. About what was happening in the legislature. Why it mattered. Why I should care.

I remember that night, as she showed me through the legislature. She walked along with me, and she told me the stories about the traditions of the legislature, she told me stories about politicians from history, and more than that, she taught me to love political life. A bit of the fire in her belly passed to me. I knew that I didn't need to hide in the corner, that girls could be active in politics too. That politics were a worthy place to expend your effort. That politics matter. They are important.

I have a draft post about women, and their role in society. It's a reminder that they shouldn't be exiled to their kitchen's in suburbs. Stay home and raise your kids if you want to, I don't have a problem with that. But know, it's not your only option. It's not your only role, and you have a responsibility, not just to your children, but to society as a whole. Women will spend only a small portion of their life changing diapers, and have so much more to contribute to our collective life than just the rearing of children. We need to prepare all women for that.

We need women's voices in our political system because women are different from men. Not better, not worse, but different. We look at things differently. We have different priorities, different agenda's. Even in this world, there are still women's issues. Pensions, pay inequity, domestic violence. It frightens me when the evangelical right tries to leave us education less, with no options for our future. No education so often means no voice. No ability to organize. No ability to look at the thoughts, the positions, the statements of others and discern how they will affect us.

But today, I saw a woman take the oath of office. Her name is Rachel Notley, and she comes by politics honestly - it runs in her family. And more than that, I saw four young women watch her do it. They watched Rachel stand up for her beliefs, for the right of everyone in our society to have a voice in our government, and they saw her pledge to make life better for everyone. They saw a woman take her seat in the Government, and pledge to demand change.

I was proud. Proud of Rachel, proud of all women who stand up to men who want us in the kitchen. And proud I could be there with 4 young women who will know that there are always options, and any woman can fight for all of us.

I'm still disgusted with Boundless. I'm horrified by the women who so blindly advocated that education is useless for women. I don't know what's wrong with them. I'm disgusted by them. But that's ok, because today, a group of women watched one of our own stand up and proclaim that she'd fight. In the corners. With her elbows. And we said "go for it".

And damn, I'm proud.