Our local newspaper asked this question in the last editorial before International Womens Day: WHO INSPIRES YOU? This was my response.
This March 8, 2014, I will remember and celebrate two women who changed my life.
The first is Nellie McClung who, as part of the "Famous Five", in 1927 moved that women should be declared "persons" under the law. As a young student, I read about her court case and couldn't believe that men and the "law" could be so stupid as to state that a person, male or female, could be considered "property". She is also famous for coining the phrase that governs my daily behaviour: "Never explain, never retract, never apologize. Just get the thing done and let them howl."
The other is Elizabeth May, probably the sharpest mind in the Federal Government right now, certainly much sharper and a much better role model for women than the photo-op blonde who leans forward to frame Stephen Harper during Question Period every day. Raised by the side of her own mother who was fighting chemical pollution in Nova Scotia, Elizabeth rose as a single mom to lead the Green Party to their first elected seat in Canadian Parliament. The old boy's club still quakes at the thought of her being on a national debate.
The theme of international Women's Day this year is "Inspiring Change: equality for women is progress for all." – I would like to see the work of Ms. McClung and Ms. May change the face of Canadian governance in 2015. And let the old boys howl.
Skid Crease, Caledon