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In All Thy Senators Command

March 11th, 2010

If you were wondering where the impetus for changing the words to the National Anthem came from, wonder no more. It comes from – ahem – Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth, who has been pushing the Prime Minister for a gender neutral anthem. And like all good social activists, she doesn’t actually take no for an answer:

…it’s not politically expedient. But it will come up again because there are thousands and thousands of women out there who want it to come up again.

Singer Nancy Ruth, who is not a Canadian Senator

I would rather hear Singer Nancy Ruth(above) perform the anthem.

Oh, there’s thousands and thousands are there? In a country of 35 million people that’s a part of a whole percent, so yea, go ahead.

Who is this Senator Ruth anyway? (Doesn’t that sound like the name of a snack food – “Senator Ruth Brownies available now at Mac’s“?) The Senator for Ontario was elected to the position in 2005 –  haha, just kidding. The Senator twice stood for election as a Progressive Conservative to the Ontario Legislature, in 1990 and 2003 (note: the Conservative senator seems to have skipped the Mike Harris years). Thousands and thousands voted for somebody other than her and she lost both times. Undeterred by minor inconveniences like the will of the people, she got herself appointed Senator in 2005 by Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin (recommended by Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty, we presume).

In her spare time she founded the Women’s League Educational and Action Fund, and a women’s Studies Chair at Mount Saint Vincent University. It’s tempting to suggest the only way she has a conservative bone in her body is in the Belinda Stronach sense of the phrase, but as Canada’s first openly lesbian Senator, even that seems unlikely.

Lets be clear about the national anthem. It is your anthem. It is my anthem. As I began to suggest last week, it is not the politicians anthem to change. It is not for Stephen Harper to tell us the words, and it sure as hell is not for Senator Nancy Ruth. Sing it as you want to sing it, using whatever turn of phrase means something to you. If enough people do so, it will change organically, naturally. Not shoved down our throats by someone who thinks the words public servant are both descriptors of the unwashed masses. And, of course, as is often the case in feminist causes, the people pushing for change talk about equality, but really mean something different. Senator Ruth claims to want the words “in all thy sons command” changed to “thou doust in us command.” However, at this weeks Conservative caucus she pestered her colleagues to sing “in all thy daughters command.” With an ear for phrasing and melody like that, she should try a music lesson before critiquing any piece of music. The material point though, she doesn’t really want gender neutral, she wants the lyrics feminized.

This, ladies and gentleman, is the Senator who has your Conservative Prime Minister’s ear. Frankly, if this was the kind of person I wanted my PM taking advise from, I’d vote for Jack Layton.

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  1. L
    March 11th, 2010 at 18:38 | #1

    Senator Ruth apparently received 400 e-mails against her idea and some for it.

    Ruth, a proud feminist who was appointed by former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin, said Friday she can’t believe such a small adjustment has caused such a stir.

    “If there’s been such backlash, then this is another example, for me, of hatred against women.”

    Ruth, 68, said older women will not take kindly to Harper’s decision to abandon the change.

    “They are the ones that remember the fight for equality rights in the Charter with Trudeau, so they remember all this stuff.” she said. “If it’s been pulled, it’s an example of how much violence I think there is against women. This is such a relatively small thing to do.”

    She clearly ignored MY e-mail and lied, as a women “of age” who told her that, changing wording was an old-fashioned approach to dealing with issues of interest to women today!!! I did not fight for equal rights years ago – I had them already, graduating at age 22 with a Master’s degree. I was never ever discriminated against in Canada because of my gender in the work place or life. We laughed at those hippy, bra-burners like her who are afraid that Canadian men hate them. Dinosaur!!!

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