The other night I was yakking with a Star colleague, a journalistic dynamo who is 32. The conversation went from recent stories about wife abuse to female to our obsession with weight to eating disorders to female media images to why women her age seem to be not so preoccupied with feminism or, more specifically, with fighting to preserve some very hard-won rights for women.
She admitted that, while acknowledging the fact that she'd never be where she is today without the women my age (and older) who kicked down the barriers in newsrooms, she did not believe there was anything left to fight for.
I told her about Bill C-484, the so-called ''Unborn Victims of Crime Act'' but officially is "An Act to amend the Criminal Code (injuring or causing the death of an unborn child while committing an offence)." Its most vehement supporters are all against a woman's right to choose. Why? Because the bill, if enacted, will open the legal door to declaring a fetus a person.
And you know where that leads.
My friend got it.
It reminded me of the early 1970s, when Ms. magazine used to have a section where readers could contribute personal experiences of sexism and/or misogyny. It was about ''the click,'' the point at which they clued into what the feminist movement was about.
Understand that I am not asking that women perpetually march on Parliament Hill waving placards and chanting slogans about ending poverty, getting decent daycare and building affordable housing -- all of which are needed most by women and their children. Although if we were, maybe there would be some necessary changes made.
I just wish more people would clue into the misogyny that is out there.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the sexism aimed at Hillary Clinton. I received I don't-know-many emails. Lots. They fell into two camps. The first, obviously, agreed with me, and thanked me for the column. But the second accused me of exaggeration, and of the possession of an overactive imagination.
Then yesterday, via Salon, I saw this video, a rather melodramatic compilation of media attacks on Clinton in which you'll see her being accused of sounding like a ''scolding mother'' and a ''nagging wife'' who orders her husband to ''take out the garbage.'' She's compared to ''everybody's first wife'' and even to Lorena Bobbitt, the woman who cut off her abusive husband's penis after he repeatedly attacked her. (Of course, nobody remembers her motive, just what she did.)
Obviously, the video is a shameless plug for Clinton, especially in its sappy latter half.
But that doesn't minimize the very real misogyny.
Note: After I posted it to my Facebook account yesterday, my writer/activist friend Scott Piatkowski commented that the video isn't fair to MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, whom I adore. That's because the clips from his rant were justified, and not at all sexist. He was on about how Clinton had to disavow herself from former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro's remark that the only reason that Barack Obama was still in the race for the White House was that he is black. After Obama's senior foreign policy advisor Samantha Power stepped down for calling Clinton ''a monster,'' said Olbermann, Clinton had a special obligation to kneecap Ferraro and fast.
That aside, the video is very revealing. And it hit my girlfriends right between their sleepy eyes. It also made some of the male readers who brushed off my recent column on the subject -- and were still emailing me about it -- admit that maybe, just maybe, there was truth to what I wrote.
Roll the tape, and hear the click.