By Bowinn Ma – New Democrat MLA for North Vancouver – Lonsdale.
VICTORIA – I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. I believe it, because there’s nothing here that is difficult to believe. It is the story of so many women, after all — so many women who know what it feels like to be judged by their appearance, to be underestimated, seen as lesser, to be touched without consent, to feel pressured or coerced, assigned value to their being for attributes that should never be used to define anyone, to be shamed for being sexy and yet criticized for being uptight, to feel unsafe walking home alone late at night, to watch legislative frameworks placed upon their bodies and reproductive rights by parliaments made up predominantly of male legislators.
How many of our mothers and grandmothers had to fight for the right to even be seen as a person — to vote, to own property, to hold office, to have or keep a job or decide to leave a marriage? “Can’t she take a joke?” She learns to laugh it off. “Oh, boys will be boys,” they say. She learns to let it go.
How many of us have stories we would rather not tell, of treatment by men who normalize behaviour that should never be seen as normal or perhaps of even being a tool of our own oppression as we, too, normalize behaviour that should never be seen as normal? How many of us watch Dr. Ford in quiet or vocal admiration, grateful for a boundless courage that fills the vacuum of our own silence in a time where so many women have come forward only to be dismissed, with no wonder why so many others have still not yet found the time or space or way, who are now just finding a moment to turn to their sisters and say in breathless whisper: “Me too.”