Thursday, 19 June 2014

BUT ISN'T THERE A TINY CHANCE PETER MACKAY IS RIGHT?

YES. YES I AM USING MY OWN GRANDCHILD TO MAKE A POLITICAL POINT  
Because seriously, have you ever seen more adorable cheeks, eyes or toes in your entire life? PETER MACKAY IS A GODDAM GENIUS!

Tonight I find myself in the odd, embarrassing and frankly highly irritating position of having to defend Peter MacKay. It's a particularly galling position because I will forever remember him as the Wellie-clad eejit making an arse of himself by bawling for the cameras, on his dad's potato farm no less, over being dumped by Belinda Stronach. (Good Christ, man! Testicles, they're called. Grow some!)

Peter MacKay
Wikipedia
However, when I heard the comments he made recently about women and babies and careers, and more importantly, about the fiery backlash they ignited, I had to weigh in. Which is a friggin drag because I had a helluva day and I just wanted to come home and soak my face in shiraz and forget about politics and uteruses and why the two should never share the same sentence.  
For those of you who live under a rock or don't read the Toronto Star, here's the essence of what happened, and I quote:  
"Justice Minister Peter MacKay stunned several lawyers at a meeting in Toronto when he appeared to turn aside a question about the dearth of women and visible minorities on federally appointed courts, saying they just “aren’t applying” for the jobs.

MacKay went on to say women fear an “old boys” network on the bench would dispatch them on circuit work to hear cases in courthouses across a region — a prospect he described as unappealing for women with children at home. 
According to people in attendance last Friday, MacKay said that as a new father he understands women’s reluctance to leave their children because, while he didn’t want to downplay the role that fathers play, women have a special bond with their children."

Strident feminists wasted little time piling on, calling his remarks “disappointing,” “bizarre,” “frustrating” or “offensive.” 
Hm, and how about "true"? Can we add "true" to that ridiculous string of knee-jerk reactions?

Because here's the thing, women: buried in the vast swaths of political bullshit MacKay spewed was a kernel of truth that never fails to polarize. I refer to the strangely offensive "notion" that we have a special bond with our children.
Even though we DO have a special bond with our children.

We carry them inside of us for nine fun-filled months, we endure a special brand of hell delivering them unto this world via a passageway that was clearly designed by misogynysts, we suckle them, we hear them crying in our sleep even when they're two rooms away. No man, except possibly this one if he doesn't knock it off soon, can do that. 
It's called nature. And we have to stop being so goddam offended by it. 

We have to stop pretending that dad and mom are the same interchangeable pieces of the family puzzle, we have to stop pretending we should all be okay with dumping our plump little bundles at the day care while we go off to blowjob a career that, quite frankly, would still be there five years later, not giving any more of a shit about us than it would if we left our babies in the care of strangers the second the maternity leave payments ran out. And we have to stop pretending that anyone who says so is the enemy.

I'm not saying we can't ever have a career: I happen to have a very good one. It took me years to get it because I stayed home with my girls for as long as I could. (And I'm certainly not saying I was a fantastic mother because my children occasionally read this blog and will be only too happy to blow my cover on that one. I'm just saying I instinctively wanted to be with them when they were fledglings, and instinct is never wrong.)

My point isn't that it's wrong to go to work and leave your kids. Jesus Christ, that debate's been won and lost a million times and in the end all that happens is that the government doesn't lift a finger to help us either way and women wind up attacking each other and feeling guilty about whatever choice they make, so fuck that. 

My point is that there is indeed a unique, primal, spiritual umbilical cord connecting a mother and her child and it is nothing short of idiotic to pretend that there isn't. In other words, Peter Mackay has somehow, through the infallible law of averages, finally managed to make a valid point. And that we women need to stop acting as if he's the devil for making it.