If you take a close look, the lyrics of 'Oh Canada' are kind of sexist. Originally, in Robert Stanley Weir's lyrics circa 1908, the English lyrics of Canada's anthem read “thou dost in us command,” later changed to "all thy sons command" in 1913. Our nation's use of decidedly male lyrics is the catalyst for change for Restore Our Anthem, a group made up of prominent Canadian women. Restore Our Anthem members include famous Canadians like Margaret Atwood and Kim Campbell, with the group's sole goal to amend the National Anthem Act to fit a society of gender equality.
Using the male-focused 'sons' in 'Oh Canada' makes it seem as if only men can be loyal and patriotic to our nation, according to Restore Our Anthem. Changing to a gender neutral 'us' would place women on equal footing with men, and would be a suitable pronoun for transgender citizens and those who don't commit to a fixed gender identity. With all that men, women, and everyone in between have accomplished for Canada, Restore Our Nation sees it fit that all citizens be represented in Canada's anthem. For a more stylistic presentation of Restore Our Nation's argument, check out the video below.
One major question adressed in the video is 'why bother?', a stance taken by politicians in opposition. Quoted on CBC News, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair stated that the anthem is "wonderful," "extraordinary" and shouldn't be altered when it comes to gender. Many more citizens and politicians, likely men, will probably feel the same way.
Do you believe changing Canada's anthem to be gender neutral is a worthy cause? If so, check out the official website of Restore Our Anthem to support the change.
Think its a waste of time and effort and that these powerful Canadian women could be doing something much more productive with their time? Either way, let us know in the comments below.