Notable women launch campaign for gender-neutral O Canada lyrics
Published Tuesday, October 1, 2013 10:45AM EDT
TORONTO -- A group of notable Canadian women is launching a campaign for gender-neutral language in the English lyrics of O Canada.
The group says the change would restore Canada's English national anthem to its original gender-neutral intentions.
The group -- which includes author Margaret Atwood and former prime minister Kim Campbell -- has set up a website to promote the idea.
It is calling on Canadians to join the campaign and encourage Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government to change the line "in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command."
RestoreOurAnthem.ca is being launched on the 100th anniversary of the change made to Judge Robert Stanley Weir's original English lyrics.
The coalition says for no documented reason the lyrics were revised in 1913 from "thou dost in us command" to "in all thy sons command" and that it is time to make a change to reflect the inclusive intentions of the original lyrics.
Other members of the group include Senator Nancy Ruth, retired senator, author and fashion designer Vivienne Poy and Sally Goddard, mother of Nichola Goddard, the first female Canadian soldier killed in combat.
"The words 'All thy sons command' in the English national anthem suggests that only male loyalty is being invoked," said Atwood.
"Restoring these lyrics to gender-neutral is not only an easy fix to make our anthem inclusive for all Canadians, but it's also long overdue."