Guys! Canada's national anthem is now gender neutral! Yay!!!!
The big line in question USED to say "in all thy sons command", but now it says "in all of us command."
Naturally, there are some very upset people who think that Canada's history is being ruined by this change. The funny thing is that this line has been changed before. According to the good ol' CBC, the line was originally "thou dost in us command" and got changed to the gendered term during WWI, presumably to help rally troupes or some other warlike purpose.
When I was a kid there were a lot of unsuccessful attempts to make this change. Being the little conservative that I was, I thought it was silly, that it was just a few words, and that it's part of history so it's not really sexist.
It's kind of weird to say that sexism today doesn't matter if it originated a long time ago, isn't it?
Needless to say, my entire outlook has changed. Words matter! Anything can be rewritten!
Now the more interesting question is how "democratic" the change was. Debate was shut down in the Senate, putting the bill to a vote, something the opposition is calling undemocratic.
Also, the guy most vocally opposed to it has said that he sees that anthem as being gender neutral already, because the way it was written was "accurate for the time" (that's what I used to think, and it's not how gender neutral works), that he is worried people will go after the God reference next (maybe), that doing things like this erases the rich tapestry of our culture (or maybe it stops forcing an official monoculture), and that people can sing the alternate words on their own if they want (if that's supposed to be good enough for us, then you do it).
So, not so worried about that one.
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