most of that decline during the four years that the Harper government has been in power.
Much of that can be blamed on the anti-women movement REAL Women of Canada, and other faith based organizations, now driving the Conservative machine.
David Sweet, Reform-Conservative MP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, is the founder of the Canadian branch of Promise Keepers, an organization that promotes male dominated households.
The National Organization for Women, an American feminist group has suggested that the Promise Keepers are a threat to women's rights:
This organization was founded by former football coach Bill McCartney, and according to the Canadian Encyclopedia:
The group encourages inequality within marriages and teaches a doctrine of male superiority. According to Amy Schindler, "the discourse of masculinity found within conservative religious movements, such as the Promise Keepers and the Victorian era movement 'muscular Christianity,' is inherently political. Any masculinity project aimed at restoring or reclaiming a 'traditional' male role for privileged white, heterosexual males has a political impact within the tapestry of class, race, and gender power."
A coalition of liberal clergy called Equal Partners in Faith condemns it as "divisive and potentially dangerous." And a New York City-based group called the Center for Democracy Studies warns that Promise Keepers is nothing less than the "third wave" of the religious right - after Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority and Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition. Alfred Ross, the centre’s executive director, points to close ties between Promise Keepers and such luminaries of the American religious right as Robertson and James Dobson of Focus on the Family as proof that McCartney’s movement is no spontaneous eruption.
James Dobson is one of the founders of the Council for National Policy, where Stephen Harper delivered his 'I really Canadians' speech in 1997, and was integral in the election of Harper in 2006, by buying radio ads against same-sex marriage; one of the hot button issues of the campaign.
Reformers Rob Anders, Maurice Vellacott and David Sweet are also members of Focus on Family, along with a large number of their colleagues.
One of the things that PK preaches is purity in men, much like the group that Stephen Woodworth promotes; Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong. Both Jason Kenney and Rob Anders claim to be virgins, though I'm not really sure that's by choice.
Any of us who have been following politics at all, since the Reform movement first began in Canada, are not really surprised by the results of the study. This party has always been very patriarchal, pro-Anglo and Christian fundamentalist.
One of their mentors and co-founder with Stephen Harper of a right-wing extremist group, the Northern Foundation, William Gairdner; always had some very disturbing views on women.
In fact, in 2007, Donna L. Lillian, Assistant Professor of Discourse and Linguistics in the Department of English at East Carolina University, wrote a paper entitled: A thorn by any other name: sexist discourse as hate speech, which centered around Gairdner: "...analyzing Canadian neoconservative discourse as racist, sexist, and homophobic." According to author and journalist Murray Dobbin, Mr. Gairdner's The Trouble with Canada functioned as ‘the de facto manifesto for Preston Manning’s Reform Party’ (Dobbin, 1992: 134).
Another co-founder of the Northern Foundation was Link Byfield, who has spoken at REAL Women conferences. In a 2002 lecture he stated: "Women, men and families must be defended against those forces that enslave us as we speak. That's why it is necessary for REAL Women to exist and to persist in its work on behalf of the Judeo-Christian understanding of marriage and family life."
At that same conference, Jeffrey Asher, former Professor at Dawson College in Montreal, opened by saying:
The so-called New Male is a creation of classroom radical feminism, media hype and politically correct governments. For more than thirty years, our culture has rigorously censored information which shows that males and females choose and need sex-specific roles in life. Every parent knows that girls and boys behave differently. Boys choose to play noisy, competitive games that test one against the other, while girls prefer co-operative fantasies that develop emotional skills.Co-operative fantasies that develop emotional skills? Wow. But wait, he's just getting started:
Men and women respond very differently to stimuli. The male alarm system is more protected from fear and panic. The male brain needs more stimulation than those of females ... Girls show more success in artistic, emotional, verbal and communicative subjects ... Men have superior vision compared to women. Almost all mechanical, chemical, electronic and cybernetic inventions were made by men ... .However, the lives of women have been transformed by independent work and income and the pill, allowing them freedom to choose motherhood and financial independence from fathers or husbands ... [and] can also lead to an increase in divorce, an epidemic of single-mother families, and rising unemployment for men. (Men define their lives by their ability to earn money through work to support a family.)
And he taught this crap at Dawson College, while claiming that by 1980, the women's movement was increasingly co-opted by the lunatic fringe.
The President of REAL Women, Gwen Landolt, also spoke in 2002, where she:
"... highlighted the takeover, by feminist ideology, of the judicial system in Canada, as well as its takeover of the UN. During the 60s, 70s and 80s, the radical feminist ideology was gradually instilled into the cultures of education, work, government and societal life.So do you see what we're up against?
Gwen traced the growth of feminism in Canada back to the Royal Commission Report on the Status of Women, which was tabled in the House of Commons in February 1970. It called for both federal and provincial governments to establish and fund Status of Women Councils to work for the "equality of women." This recommendation led to millions of dollars of tax monies being used to establish networks of women's groups across the country. These groups became paid "agents of change" to promulgate feminist orthodoxy.
IS THIS REALLY YOUR CANADA?