Making O Canada gender neutral is no small gesture. Women must be treated as equals to men on all fronts in our country and while changing “in all thy sons’ command” to “in all of us command” may seem trivial to some, an anthem is one of the most symbols of what a country stands for. I believe Canada should stand for equality.
I felt this way before having a daughter, but as the father of a daughter who shines as bright as the sun itself, it’s all the more important that when I teach her about patriotism and our national anthem that she feels included in those words that mean so much to us.
From The Gazette editorial: It’s time for a gender neutral national anthem
Some might argue that those words are our historic legacy, that changing them is a misguided attempt at “political correctness.” Indeed, at the time those words were adopted more than 100 years ago, Canadian women had yet to win the vote in this country; socially and in law, they were viewed as mere auxiliaries of men. Well, good riddance to bad days. We need not preserve them in an important national symbol. If the anthem made explicit reference only to white people, would we leave it that way? It is not as if the anthem’s words are sacrosanct. The reference to sons was itself a change to previous wording: “thou dost in us command.”