I'm told that the folks at the Progressive Bloggers aggregator are holding a special event today in erstwhile protest of the recent cuts to Status of Women Canada, which were part of an immensely predictable round of cuts to right-wing bugbears intended by Stephen Harper and co. to pay off the usual suspects. The size of the cut was about five megadollars, and thus the ProgBlog event involves as many bloggers as they can find writing a list of five things feminism did for each of them, one, presumably, for every million. Or so it would be if I had conceived of the idea.
I'm still conflicted about whether I should post a list of my own. Some people, including women, are eager for men to post such a list. Most of what I could put on such a list are either things that derived first from women gaining the material benefits of feminism, such as my ability to converse with interesting women in my professional area. Or they're "Being a better person" type things, and I'm too much of a cynic for that. The primary material benefit has gone, as it probably should, to women.
So for the time being, and in lieu of this, I'll instead leave you with my astonishment at one of the more odd arguments against the SWC and its related women's group funding programmes, arguments raised, in particular, by the sheep-led-to-slaughter type of conservative women's organizations like "REAL Women." Now, of course, these groups make applications to the SWC in order to make a point: that they'll be turned down for funding. And, yes, they tend to be turned down for funding---because they aren't equality-seeking organizations that comply with the mandate of the SWC, which is part of Canada's stated international commitments to women's equality. The decision to turn them down is thus an eminently logical decision.
But let us examine what the experiment is intended to prove. It is intended to show that taxpayers money is not being equitably distributed according to the political interest of Canadian taxpayers themselves, some of whom, presumably, are wingnuts. All of a sudden, this wingnut concern for proportionality---of course some government spending will be disagreeable to certain portions of the population.
Even more contradictory, however, is that any such false funding equity would have been a waste of money. And we all know how much the radical right hates wasting government money, right? And the reason for this is not only the obvious one---the nature of REAL Women itself---but the act of funding REAL Women and feminist groups in this parody of proportionality that SWC's opponents espouse.
Why? Because ever dollar spent on a group like REAL Women, in the ideal case (for them), trivially negates a dollar spent on a bona fide equality-seeking organization. In terms of effect, it's like throwing money down the drain. A dollar spent on moving women's equality one step forward spent simultaneously with a dollar for REAL Women's destructive desire to put their sisters in their places.
To get the same favorable effect for women, the government would have to spend even more money on equality-seeking organizations. That is the astonishing absurdity of the wingnut shallow argument.