Misogyny alive and well in Canadian politics

Two & Out
By James Peters
September 22, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: September 22, 2017 - 5:39pm

KAMLOOPS — If you're a woman and you want to get involved in politics or leadership, God forbid anyone ever find you attractive.

It's good to be attractive, I suppose, but men in leadership will never let you forget that your body is all they see.

Any argument you make will be met with a skepticism coloured by objectification.

At least two more examples came this week, and we can add them to the pile.

First on twitter dot com, that bastion of civility and respect, a foot-in-mouth moment from former Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

The Conservative MP referred to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna as Canada's "climate Barbie."

Of course, he was roundly criticized, including by some within his own party, leading him to take down the tweet and apologize.

Ritz's Conservative colleague Michelle Rempel fights this endless fight herself, and must have buried her face in her palms when she saw this latest example.

As Rempel well knows, it's not an individual tweet that is the problem, nor is it twitter itself.

It's the fact that the attitude that led to the tweet, when it's not being expressed openly by ignoramuses like Ritz, is always lurking beneath the surface.

And sure enough, it came up again this week when word leaked that Dianne Watts was planning to quit the Conservative caucus to run for the BC Liberal leadership.

One of the first comments on our Facebook page in response?

One word: "hottie."

Just a photo of Watts resulted in a commenter losing his ability to contain himself.

Our former premier knows this paradigm all too well.

Christy Clark traded on her winning smile for a while, but certainly found her appearance more a stumbling block than a path to power.

She was told her top was too low cut for the legislature, she was asked what it's like to be seen as a 'MILF,' and on and on.

And now that she's out of public life, Clark is undoubtedly happy to be faced with only the normal level of sexism still lingering in society, rather than the supercharged libidos in the world of politics.

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