An attempt by a Liberal backbencher in the Canadian parliament to make the lyrics of the country’s national anthem, O Canada, more gender-neutral is likely to fail following opposition by several Conservative MPs.
The debate isn’t the first time sexism has been associated with a country’s national anthem. In 2012 Austria changed its anthem after a campaign by a group of MPs was backed by a majority in parliament. The first verse of the Austrian anthem now references “sons and daughters” instead of just “sons” and the third verse uses “jubilant choirs” instead of “fraternal choirs”.
Other attempts to change lyrics that are often more than a century old have been less successful. In 2010, for example, a Costa Rican woman failed in her attempt to convince the supreme court that the country’s anthem was sexist.
Can a national anthem be sexist, or is the debate in Canada political correctness taken one step too far?…
Short answer: YES. This topic does not feature on my worry list at all.