Hormone Excuse is Insulting to Women
Recent reports coming out from the news sources are telling us that the P.E.I. meltdown incident was not just Helena being Helena, rather it was because this was a woman who had suffered two miscarriages in recent months. Before I type another word, let me remind you that this is Helena Guergis we are talking about. She was the Minister in charge of Women's affairs. For decades women have been fighting against the old "it must be just her hormones" comment that people will sometimes make whenever they see a woman behaving badly.
The very first feminists must be rolling over in their graves. Look how far we've come! And what's more disappointing is that the old "hormones" excuse is being uttered by the sister of Ms. Guergis.
While I understand that Helena's family and friends are trying to do what they can to help, my advice is simple: shut the hell up! You are making it worse.
The young women of today can't remember that "hormones" was the excuse given to deny a woman executive positions like the one Helena Guergis holds now. "Hormones" was used to keep us out of politics and out of higher education. It was the reason women were denied the vote. We were far too delicate and emotional to be reasonable in the face of stress. All those crazy, unpredictable hormones make women crazy and irrational, especially during their monthly cycle. So while all the major news media are picking up this story, strong women everywhere will be wincing at the mere mention of hormones as an excuse for any of the shenanigans that we've witnessed in recent months. And as usual, the misogynists who comment on the articles under the cloak of internet anonymity will be out in full force to chastise women for ruining the very fabric of society by wanting their independence and jobs rather than doing what "God" has demanded of them; staying at home, pregnant and barefoot.
I think it's doubly disappointing that the excuse for Helena's public tantrum was uttered by a woman; Helena's sister Christine Brayford, a councillor in the town of New Tecumseth.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news ladies but you can't have it both ways. You can't enjoy the fruits of the labours of past feminists while holding other women back with stupid comments about hormones and meltdowns. There are women everywhere who now hold positions of real power thanks to the efforts of those who went before us. The majority of these women don't have inexcusable tantrums while representing the company or people they work for. Like most other people, they save their bad behaviour for more private moments. Everyone, almost without exception has had a bad day, but few would flip out in public because for most people, such behaviour brings certain consequences; being fired, or tasered, or spending a night in a cold prison cell.
Is this to say that there should be no sympathy for Helena Guergis for her P.E.I. meltdown? I suppose that depends on your point of view but I will say this; if this isn't just another one of the many manipulations that we have experienced from this M.P., (and I have my suspicions), then I would have to wonder why she didn't just rebook, or send someone in her place? Her trip was for the purpose of awarding money and I'm sure her assistant could have done that for her. Everyone is entitled to a sick day, even public servants. If she was mourning, or feeling ill or off kilter in any way, it would have been more than acceptable to take the appropriate amount of time off. As tough as Stephen Harper is, I'm sure he's not that difficult that he would demand her to be there. It has to be assumed that it was her choice to go. She must have been feeling well enough to take that flight. Of course one would have to wonder if she was still feeling hormonal when she threatened to sue the P.E.I. airport staff days later?
Based on all of the silence, half-truths, and manipulation, I'm having trouble feeling that this isn't just another trick. Both Guergis and Jaffer have shown us a side of themselves which makes it difficult to believe anything they say. Is this just another letter written by a supporter to explain and excuse the outrageous behaviour of this M.P? If so, it really is in bad taste. We have no confirmation from the M.P. herself as she continues to be perplexingly tight-lipped about everything.
I will say though as a woman myself, I would have had total respect for Helena if she had faced the press, and apologized sincerely to the staff she abused, and explained her predicament. As the Minister for Women it would have gone a long way to show the struggles of working while trying to be the bearers of a future generation. The best thing she could have done was show us a peek at her human side and shown women everywhere who have had miscarriages that they weren't alone.
Darlene Watters is the author, editor and publisher of Day At The Beach. She also operates the wasaga.com web site. Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone, and do not represent the official positions of any organization or company who advertises on this website.
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