Have we come a long way?

Charlotte Communiques by Evelyn von Almassy: Are things truly better for women?

  • Fri Apr 1st, 2016 10:00am

I recently took an online quiz about identifying the most iconic women in history. You can probably still find it if you Google the words.

I received 15 out of 15, and was a little surprised that I aced the quiz, as I have never taken a women’s studies course, or a women’s history course.

What I have done is read many books, and kept up with current events, and of course there are photos, and shows about famous people.

After I completed the quiz, I received the message: “You’re a true feminist who understands the meaning of girl power.”

That may or may not be true, but it made me think, as we recently celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, are things truly better for women?

“Have we come a long way?”

Last week I heard that women are now, on average, still making only 72 cents on the dollar compared with men.

I was shocked because for so long, it was 69 cents. That is only 3 cents more than it what it was for about 30 years.

Women are often still seen as objects. Take a look at any Victoria’s Secret ad or fashion show. Yet if a woman dares to breastfeed in public, there is often outrage.

Why should women have to cover up when they wish to feed their child? What is inappropriate about that? Kids have to eat.

That is normal. What is not normal is the obsession with women’s breasts. No one appears to be obsessed by the breasts of men, as far as I know.

Progress is sometimes slow in our society. I was surprised to hear that Ms. Melanie Mark was the first First Nations woman to be elected to the provincial legislature.

She is one of the two NDP members who won by-elections in February. (Ms. Carole James of the NDP is Metis.)

Ms. Mark’s heritage is Nisga’a, Gitxsan, Cree and Scottish. Women won the right to vote and run for office in B.C. in 1917, and since that time 102 women have been in the provincial legislature.

Laura Sample, of Sandspit, posted a beautiful shot of a Kermode, or Spirit bear, on Facebook that she entered into the BC Ferries West Coast Wildlife photo contest. Laura took the photo  in the Great Bear Rainforest on the mainland, and she has been honing her photography skills for years.

Cohen Isberg and his mom Waneeta Richardson of Skidegate were at the Vancouver Outdoor Adventure Travel Trade Show, partnering with the Misty Isles Economic Development Society and Gwaii Haanas to represent  Haida Gwaii.

It was great to see Cohen. I wasn’t in the big smoke, but saw a wonderful photo of both of them. Cohen is a young man now.

The big date to put on your calendar (besides the Seniors’ Winter games, now running more than fifty years,  in Old Massett on April 19), is July 16.

Yes, that is the date for this year’s Totem to Totem race, from the Haida Heritage Centre to St. Mary’s Spring.

This increasingly popular marathon is a qualifier for the Boston marathon. I did the shorter walk last year, and if I ever resume my training with my neighbour Eliza, I may even try to run (very slowly) the 10k part of the event.

Have a great Easter, with Palm Sunday this Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Monday after that.

For the students and school staff, spring break is happening as well, so everyone enjoy your vacation whether you are staying home or going off island.

In less than two weeks, it will be April. Time really does go faster the older you get.

Please send your news by Thursdays at 2 p.m. to almassy@qcislands.net