In the United States, the misogyny seems widespread (just read the daily news), emboldened by the electoral win of a president in spite of his denigrating statements about and degrading actions toward women. The support for him—even among women—demonstrates a distressing acceptance of misogyny in its current shameless form. There, the women-hating attitude is also reflected in the threat to abortion rights, the dearth of organized maternity leave, inadequate government support for childcare, equal pay, and equal rights of all kinds.
In Canada, we may feel more enlightened because we now have a government with avowed feminist attitudes. But don’t forget that a female contender for the leadership of the Alberta Conservative party dropped out due to an onslaught of vicious harassment and intimidation. Face up to the fact that Alberta’s NDP premier Rachel Notley has been beset by sexist-based death threats and chants of “Lock her up.” Other female politicians in Canada have been revealing the nasty vitriol they contend with. And one or two of the federal Conservative leadership candidates appear to be modelling the trends set by the leader of the U.S. Yet, here in Canada, we have substantial advances to maintain, even though we still have a distance to go concerning many issues—childcare, pay equity, anti-violence initiatives, and electoral reform among them.
Internationally, misogyny is also a challenge. A 2016 Inter-Parliamentary Union survey of 55 female parliamentarians from 39 countries found that 44.4 per cent had received threats of death, rape, beatings, or abduction, 21.8 per cent suffered sexual violence, and 65.5 per cent said they had been subjected to humiliating sexist remarks from male colleagues. Russia just changed its law to permit domestic violence.