CTR sent this question to a number of women faculty and staff
at Concordia, inviting their responses, and those of students they encountered.
Here are some responses:
Young women look at the generation that came before, the one that put
off having babies until in some cases it was too late, and they dont
want to go down that road, yet there are still not enough services to
support career women with children; not enough quality day care, not enough
flextime arrangements, not enough bosses who understand that family and
work must be balanced.
I had one young man in my office this week, the best student in the class,
who asked me to write him a letter of reference for a masters degree
in another discipline. I was stunned. He just got married, he told me,
and he cant see doing journalism for more than five years at the
most. Its just too demanding in terms of time.
Linda Dyer, Associate Professor, Management:
I took your suggestion and asked friends, colleagues, family members
your question. Each time I got a blank stare, a pause, and then they turned
back to reading, eating, shovelling snow, or whatever else seemed more
relevant to their lives.
I think the major achievement of the last few decades is the creation
of a feminist movement, which has raised awareness of gender as an issue
and made change possible. We have given names to problems that were present
without names and without acknowledgement when I was growing up. But a
list of some of those problems domestic violence, sexual harassment,
acquaintance rape makes it clear that naming is the beginning,
allowing us to put each issue on the table as the first step towards dealing
concretely with it. In the next week, I have to meet a deadline for my
next book, which is a study of female superheroes in comic books. So,
on International Womens Day, Im asking myself what important
stories that particular source of myth tells has to tell us about women
and what (perhaps more important) ones still remain to be told.
Sima Aprahamian, Instructor, Sociology/Anthropology, Simone de
Joanne Beaudoin, Administrative Director, School of Graduate Studies:
For Concordia, one of the forerunners of womens studies in Canada, so avant-garde, a model for other universities, to have, 25 years later, only one woman in the Rectors Cabinet and a few women out of more than 22 members of the Rectors Advisory Group, is disheartening. Another thing: You talk to young women in the 20s about feminism, and they just look at you, and say, But men have a lot of things going wrong, too. The other side should be heard. Yeah, but the other side runs the world! Theres a lot of education to be done.