Saturday, 30 April 2011

Is Mr. Layton sexist? Miss. Logic thinks so.

Please, do tell where I go wrong! Please use logic so I can follow!

Straight from


1. attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles.
2. discrimination or devaluation based on a person's sex, as in restricted job opportunities; especially, such discrimination directed against women.


1. pertaining to, involving, or fostering sexism: a sexist remark; sexist advertising.

Mr. Layton plans to further increase spending by, "...restoring cuts to women’s programs and organizations."  This is sexist towards woman.

Here's the logic:
1. sexism is discrimination or devaluation against a person based on their sex and attitudes/behaviors based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles
2. Traditional stereotypes sadly in our society:
       a) women are weaker then men and cannot 'do things on their own' they need help.
       b) women are not as resourceful as men and therefore need the help of others to further their cause
       c) women are not as smart as men and cannot logically convince others of their position.
3.  These above negative and untrue stereotypes are being unintentionally reinforced by Mr. Layton telling women's group's: "you need our (NDP led government) investment in your programs"
4. this devalues women because it robs women within woman's groups the opportunity act out the opposite of the negative stereotypes.  Here is how Jack Layton is devaluing woman and reinforcing terrible stereotypes in our society:
       aa) saying women are too week to get their own funding from the free will and generous Canadian people, they are not strong enough and therefore need government help.
        bb) women are not as resourceful as men therefore they are not able to articulate their cause, mobilize talent and spread a message to acquire their required donations.  So because Mr. Layton sees this, he believe it's his job to fund women's groups: if he did not believe it, then why would he insult women by telling them their cause is in shortfall unless he (a leader who is a man) offers resources with funding.  (how sexist Mr. Layton!!) 
        cc) If women were as smart as men, (Mr. Layton obviously thinks) then they would not need funding because they would be able to construct logical arguments that are well presented to appeal to a generous Canadian public and receive their funds (just like thousands of other organizations). 
I do not approve of reinforcing sexist stereotypes by telling woman's groups they need gov. funding.  I am for elimination of sexism and sexist attitudes. Once again we see the logical peril of manufacturing fairness. 
Mr. Layton, stop the sexist attitudes towards women.  Let's end sexism in our society and stop reinforcing traditional behaviors that 'women need funding by others to be a success'.  This is sexist and Mr. Layton should be ashamed of himself. 


  1. I hope the women reading this get it. It's the "feed me" shirt that keeps popping into my mind.

  2. Good post. I agree it's absolutely sexist.
    I also believe any of the socialist Robin Hood ideas of "robbing the rich to feed the poor" will cause any nation to go bankrupt. Where will they get the money to support these sexist programs? From successful business people,men and women alike. Therefore, they will rob women to help women.
    Government can't make money, only people make money. There are women and racial minorities who are more successful (financially at least) then I am at the moment. That just proves that it really doesn't matter if you're a man or woman, black or white. I have every opportunity that they do, maybe I just haven't taken them yet.

  3. wow... being sexist is bad... i'm still stuck on yesterday's video and how the NDP party wants to eliminate the responsibility of overspending in a family house hold by decreasing the maximum amount the free-market can legally charge for credit card debt.

  4. Those who are more sympathetic to Layton's position would say your arg. around Layton being sexist ignores the complexities of privilege. While we may be approaching a time that women's programs no longer need funding and where continued funding does more harm than good (reinforces paternalism), it has been less than a century since women received the vote and it is only recently that the number of women in college equals/surpasses the number of men. Meanwhile, women are still underrepresented in parliament and there still exists a glass ceiling for women in most corporations in North America.

    Given that there should be nothing that is inherent about women being underrepresented in parliament and in corporate leadership, it is reasonable to assume that the historic and systemic sexism persists and that this cannot be addressed through mere argumentation but must instead be addressed through other means. If the problem is systemic, we should not be surprised that women are unable to mobilize support from the very systems that are suppressing them. Therefore, progressives reason, if we are going to redress the historic injustices, justice would dictate that some alternate way for funding (for instance govt ) programs that work to undo the sexism inherent in the system.

    btw, if Layton is truly progressive, he would admit that he is sexist and that he is part of a sexist system and that is one of the reasons that the money should be given to women's programs with few/no strings attached.

  5. Ryan, I have been following along with all of your posts since Rachel told me about your blog. While I appreciate the opportunity to hear from someone with a different viewpoint from myself, I have to disagree with your logic in this post particularly. In the interest of full disclosure, I am very clearly of a liberal mindset (not to be attacked or confused as it often is with a socialist mindset), and that is my bias in this discussion.

    To begin, your post does not recognize that women in this country come from a place of disadvantage just by being born female. Whether you see this directly in your life or not does not change that fact. The fact that you were born a white male in this country automatically places you in a spot of privilege. It is pitiful and a dark spot on our nation’s record that in 2011 women still only make approximately 70 cents on every dollar earned by their male counterparts. In the workforce, women are at a disadvantage if they choose to have children and take maternity leave, as they lose up to a year or more of valuable work experience. We all know that historically women have been discriminated against in this country in terms of politics, the workforce, religious institutions, within their own families, and within many other aspects of life. There is still much work to be done in terms of attitudes and perceptions of women and women’s abilities. We are not yet at a time in our nation’s development in which it would be safe or appropriate to stop compensating for the historical, political, and social disadvantages that women in this country have faced.


  6. I appreciate that you are discussing this issue on your blog, as it is often left out of political discussions entirely. However, your conclusions, in my opinion, are flimsy at best. You argue that Layton’s support of women’s initiatives implies that he thinks that women are weak, incapable, illogical, or unresourceful, and unable to solicit their own funds. This argument is deeply flawed. Layton and others (including myself) who support women’s programs are doing so because they recognize that women should be valued and protected under these initiatives. We are saying that it is, in fact, the government’s RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that the half of its population that has been discriminated against for decades is protected.

    Layton is not saying that women are incapable of soliciting donations from the “generous Canadian public,” rather, he is stating he values women by wanting to absolutely ensure that their funding is procured and protected via. the appropriate government channels. In my view, this commitment to women’s programs, shelters, transition housing and employment initiatives proves that the NDP values women.

  7. Cont'd
    It is naive and dangerous to assume that the private market would fund these programs in any real and sustainable way. We have centuries of historical evidence that would disprove this notion that you suggest as a solution in this case. Any semblance of equality for women did not begin to even materialize in this country until a wave of government support came through following pressure from the activists of the women’s rights movement of the 60’s and 70’s.

    The NDP platform in this instance is not at all implying that women are too weak or incapable of securing their own funding. On the contrary, it is stating that women’s equality is paramount, and rather than trusting it to the whims of private donors (who have failed them in the past), it is the government’s job to ensure and protect it. I don’t understand how one could even make a case that this type of work is not under the government’s jurisdiction. Frankly, that is a dangerous idea.

    The undeniable truth is that there is still cultural, systemic, and institutional gender discrimination in this country. I would be ashamed to be a citizen of this country if my government did not actively work to overturn the societal ills that this current and historical discrimination has caused.

    While I support the fact that you are even discussing sexism in this forum, your post reads as an attempt to spin your opinions with the purpose of discrediting the NDP platform in any way possible.

    I apologize for the length of this response but I hope you do consider another perspective on this matter.


  8. well done Ryan , keep it up... remember you cannot argue with the misinformed, you can only educate them... if someone tells you emphatically that the air in this room is 10 % oxygen, and they are so enthused about this and so eager to fix it that they form a policitcal party to redo the air,,,,,you will never by means of arguement , convince them to change,,,, we have an entire new generation who does not model their thinking on facts, but rather they value only their feelings...
    so if you were to take this person and those in their new poliitcal party, and show them a grade 7 science eperiment , that proved conclusivley that oxyegen was 20 % of the air, and the air was just perfect... there would be no need for their new party; but of course, they likely wouldnt listen to you , as facts are immaterial to their political posture.. all we can do is search for and promulgate the facts on the issues that touch us, and hope for an audience that is open to facts and reasoning , as opposed to feeling and blurting ... LUKE

  9. I appreciate the FACTS and LOGIC posted by Amanda. Here are some more:

    1.More women than men live in poverty in Canada. The poverty rates for women in general is 20%, for women of colour is 37% and for aboriginal women 43%
    2. Women earn less than men in Canada. Women who work full time, year round, earn only 71 cents for every dollar earned by men.
    3.60% of minimum wage workers in Canada are women.
    4..Only 39% of unemployed women are receiving EI benefits. 45% of unemployed men collect.
    5.Women do more than 80% of the unpaid care giving in Canada.
    6. In the business sector, women make up 47% of Canada's work force, but fill just 17% of corporate officer positions in Canada's 500 largest organizations.
    7 Women constitute 52% of Canada’s population, but hold only 22% of the seats in the House of Commons. Canada ranks 52nd in the world in representation of women in the national parliament, behind many poor countries, including Rwanda and Afghanistan.
    8. 51% of Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.
    9. Canada came 20th on the World Economic Forum’s 2010 global gender equality index. The index measures how the world’s countries share their resources and opportunities among their male and female populations.
    10.Women aged 45-64 made only 51 per cent of their male counterparts. Their median after-tax income was only $14,779. As retirement income is a function of lifetime earnings, women’s low income in this age group means they will be at great risk of poverty in retirement.
    - The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission 2011

    “Gender equality is an issue of development effectiveness, not just a matter of political correctness or kindness to women. New evidence demonstrates that when women and men are relatively equal, economies tend to grow faster, the poor move more quickly out of poverty, and the well-being of men, women and children is enhanced.”
    - the World Bank

    “Women-specific programmes continue to be necessary and play an important role in promoting gender equality.” -Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada


  10. There are many valid reasons for the statistics that Tina posted, like for instance many women have chosen to stay home to raise their children rather than participate in the workforce (statistics 2, 7, 9 and 10 for instance). Is is genuine to conclude these statistics mean we have gender inequality? I think not. The method by which these statistics are presented is biased and I believe borders on deliberate deception. It also tends to devalue choices some families have made to have the mother (in some cases the father) stay home to raise the children. The issues of violence are primarily a law and order issue, largely due to years of soft on crime policies and do indeed require some attention.

    A side "benefit" of this funding and the goal of groups that put out the mentioned statistics is to make the citizens further dependent on the state. This is evidenced also by the NDP's (and Liberal's) platform to increase child care spaces. This will make it harder for many families (including mine) to continue looking after their own children since they will be paying for other peoples child care. Jack is not only sexist he is anti-choice, but I guess that would be a topic for another day.

    Father of a single income family with 4 children, 3 of them female.

  11. I would like to know what those valid reasons are. I hardly think that "many women have chosen to stay at home" explains #2 "Women who work full time, year round, earn only 71 cents for every dollar earned by men."

  12. It would explain it if they have spend less time in the work force thereby having not achieved the same level of seniority or promotion. That seems self evident. If you take 5, 10 or 15 years from your career you generally would not achieve the same level of compensation. How will you then make this statistic equal? Pay women more than men? That is the only way you will achieve it other than forcing (or cajoling) women to work.

  13. Perhaps, but if all things were equal then why is it statistically relevant that women are staying home to care for children and not men? I believe that women staying home to care for children affects the stats but I also believe that this is an effect of gender inequality. Increasing child care spaces, child-care subsidies and programs that provide opportunities for women (especially single mothers- a group that is particularly vulnerable and also greatly affects the stats) to develop their potential helps bridge the gender gap as do increased paternity and maternity benefits, easier access to these benefits, policies to improve the work-home balance and equal pay legislation. No matter what the reasons, the numbers show that there is clearly a gender gap in the workforce. It makes no sense to me that policies intended to bridge the gap are labelled sexist. Cajoling? Forcing? These policies make it easier for women to make the choice to go to work and for most this is more of a need than anything else.

    Thankfully, I have had opportunities (with government support). I have an excellent education and I have an excellent job with a union that ensures pay equity, home-work balance and benefits. Clearly this is not the case for all women. I vote for policies that promote equal opportunity and I am OK with paying for those policies through my taxes. Equal opportunity must be "manufactured" by the government (that we elect to represent all citizens -including those who need help so that in the future they can be independent of our help) because we are not all raised with equal opportunities. It would be fantastic if this were not necessary but that is not reality.

  14. Just to be clear, I am neither misinformed nor am I uneducated. In fact, I make it a point to be thoroughly informed about all parties and I am highly educated. Facts are the only things that I use to form an opinion and when I say facts I am referring to researched literature. A person's logical arguments void of cited sources (peer-reviewed and fact-checked of course) means little to me. This has nothing to do with my "feelings". Although, really I hardly think that making decisions based on your "feelings" is necessarily wrong. Just because someone has an opinion that differs from your own does not mean that their opinion has no factual validity. I believe that this is the kind of stereotyped image of the "right" that this blog is attempting to avoid. I agree that this blog has been an education -thank you blogger. However, perhaps not in the way that you would like. As I have said before, I usually vote Liberal but this blog has brought some issues to my attention that have made me change my vote to NDP this time. Even an NDP minority would be refreshing. A new voice is needed. It is time for change.

  15. It is statistically relevant that more women stay home to care for children than men because generally speaking mothers are the initial care givers of children. Men and women (generally) have different roles than men. That does not make them less equal only different. In fact I would argue that is a more important occupation than the fathers working outside the home. Having said that I think it may be even better if fathers were occupied in a home business that would allow them more time with their families. Unfortunately society is not longer set up that way generally speaking.

    I generally do not have a problem giving a hand to those who really need it. In some cases a single parent who does not have support from her family may fit that category as perhaps you do. Does that mean we should then force more parents (usually women) out of the home so that we can support this, whether or not they are a single parent family? My family has accepted significant sacrifices so that one parent (in this case my wife) can stay home so that we can look after our own children. A situation we believe is far superior to having the gov't look after them. We drive old high mileage cars, we don't have a snowmobile, motorcycle, camper trailer and we don't take yearly vacations to warm resort locations. Now you want me to pay more taxes so that I can support dual income families enjoy all these benefits and put my family further into the poor house (or force us into having both spouses work). That is quite frankly obscene.

    Your post seems to suggest it is better to have children looked after by the government than by a loving mother in a committed marriage relationship. Let us encourage and support these families rather than further tearing them apart by increasing their financial hardship. Let us support single parent families by finding ways they can raise their children without having to resort to the government raising their children.

    Closing the "Gender gap in the workforce" might sound like a utopian socialist agenda but I believe it is not good for society. The issue is not government policy. The issue is competing world views. Enough said on this issue.

  16. Excellent post Ryan. I completely agree with you. I have very recently stumbled across your blog and what a breath of fresh air it is. Keep up the good work!

    It is clearly an issue of competing world views.


  17. I completely disagree with your last post. I find it full of assumptions and somewhat offensive. Clearly, we live in very different worlds. Enough said on that issue.

  18. Whether the air is 10% or 20% is irrelevant. Your post holds nothing of truth or value when it’s based on your opinion or beliefs, and capitalizing your name at the end of the post definitely does not make it any more correct however I think we all feel a little brighter seeing it. Thank you

  19. re: Post of 3 May 2011 08:41
    Huh!! I really have no idea what you are posting here or what you are responding to (I suspect it is my post of 11:45) but I'm concerned that you think opinions and especially beliefs have no value! I guess only certain hand picked beliefs have value, perhaps yours?? Actually ones beliefs has much to do with most issues. It determines how one views the world and how one comes to the conclusions one does.

    Please forgive all us poor unwashed masses that capitalize the first letter of our names. At least we gave one... Why did you capitalize the first letters of your sentences?


  20. The response refers to "open to facts and reasoning , as opposed to feeling and blurting ..." which insinuated that opposing viewpoints are necessarily "misinformed" or that "facts are immaterial to their political posture" (condescending). The post 1 May 2011 14:18 seems to be a response to Amanda's post which was full of facts and reasoning. The irony of Luke's post was that it had no facts. One person's "logic" if not based on fact is meaningless really. Beliefs and opinions are important but what place do they hold in a political debate if they are not backed up by fact (research, stats etc.). In the public forum, personal opinion is meaningless - it is facts that wins debates (this is the first rule of academic debates). Admittedly, the capitalization comment was flippant. However, in the context of the original post that was communicated in a very insulting manner, it seemed warranted ableit inappropriate.


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