Judging by the dictates of the ruling Conservatives, "sex" is still a dirty word when it comes to legislating against hate crimes.
Take the oppostion parties' attempts to extend protection for women and girls in hate propaganda laws in the Criminal Code.
As the legislation stands, there's no provision for gender-motivated hate crimes, specifically those against women and girls.
But a private member's bill proposed by Etobicoke Centre Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj would add the word "sex" (the legal term for gender) to the list of protected groups under hate crimes laws, thereby fortifying the Criminal Code by specifically addressing misogyny - and misandry, for that matter.
Since 2005, the Conservatives have blasted into oblivion Wrzesnewskyj's motions to get this change passed into law, female members of the party rising en masse to leave the House before a vote on the matter. Nor did the Libs under Martin and Chretien rush to enact the change when they were in power.
Rob Nicholson, the Tories' minister of justice and attorney general, has been able to muster only wormy non-responses in the House, alluding to extant "concrete steps to protect young women and to protect young women against firearms crimes."
Wrzesnewskyj speculates that the "old boys in power may be afraid the amendment would open a can of worms in terms of transsexual or transgender issues."
Activist Val Smith says the change can be accomplished under a minority government with unanimous support from all parties, but figures there's not yet enough collective political will.
"It's going to take a constitutional challenge all the way to the Supreme Court." Anyone got a spare 50 grand for the effort? 3