December 14, 2018

BY MEGHAN WEATHERALL

I am a self-declared feminist who wholeheartedly supports Trudeau’s Liberal government. What I can’t get behind is the change to the national anthem.

Women’s rights have improved drastically over the years. During the start of the 1900s women were considered less valuable then a cow. We went from having no rights and being considered an alien in our own country to having the right to vote, own property, have time off to care for a child, and be in positions of authority.

The Prime Minister’s fight for equality is admirable. The equal number of female and male cabinet members shows that he isn’t just all talk. He even recently supported Emma Watson’s He For She campaign in Ottawa. The campaign focuses on women’s rights and calls for the world to come together in promoting the issue. His actions to bettering women’s rights continues to give me hope for the future, but is it necessary to change the national anthem? Does, “All thy sons command,” really make women feel less equal?

Should they not be focusing their efforts on something more life changing? The lyrics of a song can’t hurt us. What can is still not being paid equally and being rejected for jobs because of our gender. Or having taxes on sanitary products that women need but barely can afford. There are more concerns that are being put on the back burner so a lyric change to the national anthem, words that aren’t against women’s rights, can be debated. The government should be looking at issues like relations with other countries, assisted death, the fight against ISIS, and our First Nations living conditions.

The original song was in French and then in 1906 an official English version was written. The first version included the lines, “Thou dost in us” before being rewritten as, “All thy sons” in 1908. The reason for the first rewrite was due to the government hoping it would persuade young men to enlist for the First World War. If they wanted a change, could they not have just changed it back to the original?

Also, if we are going to change it to be more inclusive, then how about we take out all the religious references. Not all Canadians pray to the same God, some of us don’t believe in any greater being at all. We can’t just go halfway when talking about equality.

If we are going to change lyrics for one group then we should make sure the rest of the song is just as inclusive for everyone else in Canada.

It is 2016.

 

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