I was just listening to my usual radio station--Lite 92.9 FM in Halifax--when the radio host began to express sadness for the recent death of Steve Jobs. No doubt, his death is a great loss for the technology world, and for his family, friends, and admirers alike. But the radio host proceeded to claim that he could only think of ONE other great loss in the past three decades. Before he even had a chance to state his reply, I'd already guessed which sex he'd be referring to. A man? Indeed. John Lennon. John Lennon, too, was an unfair loss worth mourning about, a loss which also attracted worldwide attention.
I do NOT aim to dismiss the impact of these two men, or the huge roles they played in the music and technology worlds. However, I do wonder why it is that male deaths seems to yield such greater attention, sadness, and loss within Canada and North America (and the West in general) than the deaths of women? Sure, the death of Princess Dianna, arguably, had a similar impact on our Canadian nation especially. But what about women who run or work for companies or organizations, and what about female musicians, inventors, actors, athletes, politicians, to name only a select amount of jobs? What about the millions of women, especially Aboriginal women, who die as a result of violence? Are they recognized at all? Certainly not. Indeed, Aboriginal women are barely considered members of Canadian society. This discussion has less to do with Steve Jobs and John Lennon (other than I use them as a means to express my anger at the situation at hand as well as my own sadness about their losses). Rather, it is more about the extent to which men are valued over women in Western society. Still! Doesn't that make you sad, too?
RIP Steve Jobs, and thank you for my iPhone.