Yesterday we heard that the NDP were accusing the Liberals of opposing their plan to end violence against women. I have to admit that I was shocked. This is so reminiscent of Conservative attacks over the years, that paint opponents as being soft on terror, soft on child pornography and not Pro-Israel enough.
They were always vile and disgusting. But did we ever really think that the NDP would stoop to this level?
I admit that the Liberals should never have made this about money, but to suggest that this means that they oppose ending the violence against women, is beyond the pale.
I would not support the NDP plan, first off, because it is a pittance to throw at such an enormous problem. And second, that this should not be isolated as an election issue, but part of a much broader platform. Building shelters is critical. Even Conservatives have done that, but it is a paternal solution to a feminine issue.
We need to empower women.
We do that by building affordable housing. Mothers should not have to raise their children on the streets or in slums.
We do that by creating a viable daycare plan that does not force minimum wage earners to pay the same as high income earners. Many women simply can't afford to work, making them more likely to stay in abusive relationships, out of need.
And we do that by not treating abused women like children, or use them in a game of political football. We need to raise their self esteem, so that they are no longer victims; not victimize them further, by making them fodder for right-wingers, who might view this as a tax grab.
My aunt was murdered by her husband after years of abuse. He was a prominent businessman in the community, at a time when women had few rights, so she stayed with him out of necessity. He never spent a day in jail for her murder.
Something like that stays with you, as it has such a profound affect on a family. As the only boy with six sisters, my father felt like somehow he had failed, despite the fact that many times he tried to get her to leave. It also had an affect on the way he raised his five daughters. Overprotective, or at least that's what we thought.
Instead of a paternal approach, we need a legitimate woman's ministry, with the necessary budget, to deal with all issues facing women today. Wage inequality, sexual harassment, reproductive rights and the threat of losing them, to name just a few. Our bodies do not belong to the state and our concerns are best addressed by those who understand that we are not a political entity, to be manipulated with cheap promises.
Instead of boasting about how many women candidates you have, tell us those women's views. Conservative Cheryl Gallant is a woman. Does she stand up for women's rights? Niki Ashton is a woman and yet she made light of violence against women, when she agreed to play the game.
If the NDP really wanted to convince us that they cared, Thomas Mulcair should have agreed to take part in the debate on women's issues. Instead he played politics with Stephen Harper. "if he's not going, I'm not going ... whah".
However, since he refuses to legitimately address these issues, maybe his views can be wrapped up in a single word.
That was what he called a political opponent. To use that word to suggest that the man was somehow unworthy and even criminal, says a lot. We are deemed by him to be low. The ultimate misogynist insult.
You be the judge.