I’ve never thought of myself as a feminist. And it has occurred to me, especially recently, that the distinction of feminism is getting rather fuzzy. Where do you draw the line(s)?
I think I would prefer the label humanist. Follow the “do unto others” path and ignore genders and races and religions. Empathy for me is key to respect. And kindness is key to goodwill. To me humanism is not a religious (or anti religious) state. It’s simply being a mensch.
Empathy allows us to imagine how someone else is feeling in any situation. As the daughter of immigrants, it is easier to empathize, for example, with newcomers. Strange places and culture and language. Lack of empathy lets anger, ignorance and intolerance creep in. It’s not a leap to gather that lack of empathy in that example will garner the same reaction in return. We all have our pre-formed ideals and principles; our moral compass if you will. But given information and knowledge, the will to empathize can also impact on our views and,ultimately, our actions.
I think on a whole that Canadians are empathetic or would like to be. It takes some guts to go against the grain and take a stand for what you think is right. We have been witnessing this on the national political stage recently. It makes me very disappointed to see our elected officials turn a blind eye to the law and forego their scruples to follow suit. What a shame.
It would be so refreshing to see a political trail blazer who has empathy and integrity. A rare combination.
On the other hand, is it fair to expect the elite to really empathize with commoners? Or are their views so entitled and privileged that they can’t even conceive of the notions? The working class and small business people who hustle to make a life are not in the empathy sphere of the elites. Some elites aren’t born that way; they are manufactured out of the power burst that thrusts them into the new zone. Suddenly their allegiance is to keep their new found status at all cost. Not so with our former attorney general; she had her principles firmly grounded and took a stand. Bravo I say. Not easy or palatable with an endless stream of pressure rotating through her offices.
I can’t imagine her daily life over the past months. Having to wake up under a cloud of dirt so thick and face the source of the dirt every single day. I’m in awe of her fortitude and resilience.
I’ve sent the message to a few female MPs in inquire on why they would condone such actions perpetrated on their colleague. Not one has responded. No excuses or rationale. Crickets. Radio silence.
As a humanist I’m trying to see both sides with empathy. Unfortunately, I can’t get a handle on the elitist model.
I think I will go and bake some humble pie.