28Dec/07Off

A woman, and a politician

I didn’t want to taint the joy of a Diva lunch with the news of Benazir Bhutto. I’m not informed enough to do the political commentary. I know she represented a forward-looking and moderate culture for Pakistan. That she represented the largest party in that country meant hope for many of us that that place could come out better. Not surprising, her people are devastated.

Two thoughts for me:

  1. She was a woman. In a culture that is very male-dominated, she strode forward and stood tall. She represented women who are still pushing boundaries, a direct line to female activists in the West, but always here public persona was in some way nurturing. Many have already cited her womanhood as a contributing factor to her death. People talk about the supreme sacrifice she made, to leave her own children behind to try to save the children of her country. So, I mourn her as a woman.
  2. She was a politician. Through and through. We cannot forget that her self-imposed exile was under a cloud of scandal, and really, what else defines a politician these days? She managed to take the helm of a huge political power, used her intelligence and bargaining skills in backroom deals that the likes of us will never know. Had the backbone to enter the political arena and speak out against her foes – played with the big boys – and she paid the price for it. Regardless of her sex, she was a politician in her character, and with all of the bad and the good that it entailed.

You know, we mock our own system, wherein it seems like it doesn’t really matter which party is in power, we kinda just move along. The Merkans would say that all parties in Canada are lefty socialists. Some of us vote, but a good many don’t. We get more upset about Ron McLean getting booted from Hockey Night in Canada than we do about political scandal. How absolutely f*cking lucky we are.