Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mounties spied on -- Rita MacNeil

The story is a couple of days old, but it still shocks me as a man that people had this kind of mindset in 1972 ... that feminist groups were considered anarchists and subversives by the Mounties in the 1970s and were illegally spied on endlessly. Or, to be more accurate, that women leading the groups were trying to affect positive change, but that they might have been infiltrated by undesirable elements trying to take them over.

One of the targets of suspicion was no less than the singer and songwriter Rita MacNeil (best known for such songs as "Flying On Your Own" and "Working Man"), going back to 1972. Fortunately, the former Security Service which performed such insipid investigations was eventually disbanded and its work transferred to CSIS. (Or perhaps not fortunately, given the reputation CSIS has made for itself the last twenty-four years.)

When she was finally contacted about it the other day, MacNeil said if she had known the RCMP had named her as a person of interest, she would have invited them over to her tea house in Big Pond, Nova Scotia to talk things over -- over a cup of tea, of course.

Now, that's the kind of woman I'd like to meet and marry. A feminist with a positive attitude and a fighting spirit. Just, um, about thirty years younger or so. Somewhere close to my age.

One other note: The Mounties didn't hire its first female Member until 1974, two years after they spied on MacNeil. Anyone wonder what would have happened if women had been part of the Force much earlier? I doubt they would have been so stupid as to spy on women who wanted nothing more than peace, equal pay for equal value work, and respect.

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wilson said...

We've come a long way baby!
(Remember that commercial?)

BlastFurnace said...

Yes, Wilson, we have come a long way. But when women still make only 70 cents for what men make for work of equal value to society -- even if it's completely different classifcations that are deemed to be equal on a weighted scale -- we still have a long way to go. Not to mention the double standards Children's Aid Societies apply to mothers and fathers, how police treat male and female victims of violence, and so forth.

Anonymous said...

Anybody struggling against abuses of those in positions of "authority" will come under inappropriate scrutiny or coercion...

It's the old "power" thing.

Giving these issues serious thought is a good thing, but it sure can be depressing.