Sometimes one just has to bite the bullet, review a notion and concede things are not what they may have first appeared.
That notion first arose when the scribbler slowly became convinced about a contrary view about International Women’s Day, which was celebrated by millions and millions last week. The March 8 salute to women is aimed to not only celebrate the countless social, cultural and political achievements of women but to also increase awareness that positive forward change is still necessary.
For the past decade, as momentum kept driving forward on the nation’s increasingly successful push to eliminate inequalities facing specific groups, notably women and the LGBT community, the notion grew that maybe our society had progressed to the point to where Gay Pride parades and the annual International Women’s Day were not longer needed, that the momentum of changing antiquated attitudes, discriminatory laws and unjust bureaucratic guidelines was unstoppable, our nation already achieving its goal of becoming a shining light to the world that the Great White North had slayed the ugly dragon of intolerance.
However, that notion made a U-turn last week to bite back hard, that a long-held mission by many others to never become complacent about progress, still had plenty of miles to go yet.
Last week, the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) advanced a recommendation that Federal Court Justice Robin Camp, labelled by the mainstream media as the “knees together judge” for comments in a 2014 sexual assault case, be removed from the bench. This recommendation came after a long battle by Camp, who was an Alberta provincial court judge in 2014, to keep his judicial robes.
But the CJC did not buy his apparent remorse about suggesting to the homeless 19-year-old female complainant she should have kept her “knees together.”
“We find that the judge’s conduct, viewed in its totality and in light of all of its consequences, was so manifestly and profoundly destructive of the concept of impartiality, integrity and independence of the judicial role that public confidence is sufficiently undermined to render the judge incapable of executing the judicial office,” wrote the council in its decision.
Camp immediately resigned following the CJC ruling on March 9, a day after International Women’s Day, when the world was reminded once more that women not only deserve equal rights before the law, but should never be subjected to being objectified in the most mean-spirited manner, especially by those who are appointed to the highest levels of public trust.
We still have a long way to go. Begin preparations now across the land for next year’s International Women’s Day, along with the many Gay Pride days that may dot the land this year.
That is a better notion to hang onto.