How To Piss Me Off

Last night I was reading the newspaper and I ran across a small article about the PM-designate’s spouse.

The title says it all:

It’s ‘Mrs. Harper,’ for wife of incoming prime minister Stephen Harper

Harper’s 41-year-old spouse has been known as Laureen Teskey –

But the self-described small-town girl from Turner Valley, Alta., has let it be quietly known that she now goes only by the name of Laureen Harper.

Look, you can call yourself Bozo the Clown for all I care. But as long it’s still considered politically necessary for a woman to take her husband’s last name, to be a Mrs., not a Ms., then women will NOT have achieved equality. PERIOD.

The fact that I’d noticed his wife had her own name was the ONE thing Harper had going for him. Now he has NOTHING. NOTHING.

It pissed me off when Hillary did it. It pisses me off when the media calls Tony Blair’s wife Mrs. Blair when her real name is Cherie Booth. But this pisses me off even more, maybe because Laureen & Stephen are closer to my age–and I guess I just expect younger people to be more enlightened on these matters.

I remain impressed with Maureen McTeer (and by extension, Joe Clark), who didn’t stand for this bullshit, even 30 years ago when it was a much bigger deal.

It shouldn’t be a deal at all anymore. That it obviously is, is sad, sad, sad.

*

On a related note, there’s been much media speculation about who will make up the new cabinet. I noticed that ALL the names being bandied about were men. ALL.

Then I saw a snip of a Harper press conference in which he was saying how he had to increase the number of women in the Conservative party. Ha. Well, subjugating your wife isn’t going to do it.

Curious, I looked for some stats.

The number of women elected for each party, and the proportion of women in the party’s elected caucus, are as follows:

* Bloc – 17 (33.3% of caucus)
* Conservative – 14 (11.3% of caucus)
* Liberal – 21 (20.3% of caucus)
* NDP – 12 (41.4% of caucus)

The Liberal party isn’t doing great there, but the Conservatives? 11%? Can’t say I’m surprised, though. With all the anti-women crap they support (I know, they’ve tried to tone it down, but it’s there, simmering under the surface.), what woman in her right mind would join such a party? And as for the men, they probably secretly wish that it was 0% because y’all know where they think women are supposed to be.