the regina mom is blogging this from an email message she received this afternoon. She should never be surprised by the HarperCons, but yet again, she is.
This past weekend the Corporations Canada website was down for upgrading/maintenance. The new website has a spiffy new video introduction. The text is innocuous:
Screen 1: Start a business. Be your own boss. We can show you how.
Screen 2: Find Permits & Licenses. Get what you need to run your business.
[Naturally, they use the American spelling of "licence". In Canada, we
issue licences to entities we have licensed.]
Screen 3: Business Finance. Ready to grow? We can help.
Not to get too wound up in semiotics, take a look at what the images linked
to these screens portray:
Screen 1 – young white male, very happy.
Screen 2: young black male, very focussed on the horizon.
Screen 3A: “Business Finance” – young white male, standing doing nothing.
Screen 3B: young white male, being asked if he is ready to grow?
Screen 3C: Young white male now joined by young non-white female, who
declares “we can help”. (Could this really be an innuendo-laden joke?)
Then at the bottom of this page, there is another picture. What do we see
here? Seven people, of which four appear to be women, and the one who
appears to speaking from a position of authority is – again – young and
white and male. It looks good to see that there are so many women, until
you realize that only two of the six people who are presumably taking
instructions from the young white male are also male – so more woman than
men need guidance?
So how far have women in Canada come ..
- 41 years after the report by the Royal Commission on the Status of Women
(whose current federal website declares, “As we look back on these decades
of change in the status of women, and mark the 40th anniversary of the Royal
Commission report, it’s important to consider how far women have come.”
- 26 years after the CRTC’s policy on gender portrayal in broadcasting (and
recall that the internet is a form of broadcasting, that the CRTC has
exempted from regualtion).
The answer is that we have come to the point where young men are still seen
as being in charge of launching and financing businesses in this country,
while women are still viewed as existing only to serve or service them.
Considering how much the Conservatives need the female vote, it is
interesting to see how the Industry Minister’s staff thought this was the
best way to reach that vote.