Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Sexism in the Jean debacle

I've been in and out of the country for about a month now and haven't had much chance to keep up with my favourite blogs, so forgive me if this is just taking another few whacks at a long-deceased horse. But before the topic disappears entirely into the ether, there was one thing I wanted to throw out there about the whole Michaëlle Jean loyalty debacle.

As I understand it, nobody was really questioning Jean's federalist credentials; the real issue was her husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond. So let's presume, for a moment, that Lafond really is a raging sovereigntist. Whenever he approaches the ballot box, he votes BQ and PQ, and in the 1995 referendum, he checked the box next to 'oui.' What, exactly, does this supposedly say about his wife's suitability to be Governor-General of Canada?

I mean, really, this is Canada, a country that has allowed women to make their own voting decisions since 1917, asks married partners to each file their own separate income tax forms, and even allows women to appear topless in public on the grounds of equality among the sexes. And yet by vilifying Jean because of her husband's potential views, aren't we saying that any Québecoise woman who would marry a sovereigntist must herself be suspect? Is there any way in which this isn't an incredibly sexist perspective?

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