The World as Sexist Amusement Park

womenandmen

I walked into my apartment building the other afternoon and heard a man somewhere on the second floor yelling vehemently at a woman with his words ending with the C..T label ringing out onto the street.  I am so incensed by the use of this label to demean women. And I’m willing to bet that most women, even those you wouldn’t expect, have had this spiked back at them in the heat of an argument.

Sitting on the sky train last night I was using Twitter and as sometimes pops up, I was able to see others who are connected to WIFI. Someone had labelled their WIFI connection CityRapist. That alarmed me. I looked around the Skytrain car trying to guess which guy that might be. What are you supposed to do when you see that? How can you not think that someone in close proximity could be dangerous?

Saw the video on that loser from Hydro One who couldn’t get enough of the FHRITP immaturity which led to his firing which seems, in a way, too easy a response towards his behaviour. His firing will change nothing about his behaviour. In fact, it may entrench it further in an even angrier way.  Participation with victims after extensive sensitivity training might have gone further towards a minor hope for change given his Neanderthal-level maturity that was so vividly captured on videotape.

Hearing about the reported discrepancy between Prime Minister Harper’s directive to the Canadian Military to try and find a way to change what has been described as a misogynistic and sexualized culture and then the follow up report by CBC that Gen. Tom Lawson, chief of defence staff, who has allegedly responded in a way that leads one to assume that key recommendations will be ignored.

And that’s only what we hear about en masse. But we all know that too often what gets said to a female’s face is not the same as what gets said behind her back, and that can often fall along the lines of what that guy on the street said to that reporter, complete with snickers and defiance and a sense of gender superiority and judgement based on the grading and judgement of female sexuality, female bodies as commodity, not human beings.

It’s all so tiring and old.

And I have to hope that it’s because we’re on the cusp of a significant social shift that the natives, at times, can become even more unruly which is why we’re seeing such pushback from those desperately trying to hang on to a status quo of sexist thought and behaviour as the ubiquitous and unconscious norm.

2 thoughts on “The World as Sexist Amusement Park

  1. Hmmm … yes this subject is becoming front and centre right now – men acting like Neanderthals and women becoming the targets; so here is what I think, simplistic you might say, but think about it: women are getting stronger, more inclined to attain status in the workplace that, a decade or two ago, would have been merely a pipe-dream – if it was ever considered at all. And men – those men who behave like louts towards woman after a couple-a beers with the guys , are THREATENED! Waddaya think?

    • Anne, Yes, I think that makes sense and is part of it (although I think personal idiocy and being your run-of-the-mill asshole is a much larger contributor to these particular types of aggressive displays).

      But more importantly, too many people seem to be unconscious to all the ways in which those who do not hold the dominant position of power in society are dismissed, belittled, are not able to grasp opportunities even though the opportunities appear to be right there. So many people seem blind to all the ways our society is structured to support that. Too many people think, oh well, survival of the fittest without recognizing who holds power, without recognizing the history of colonialism and how a mindset that comes with that history can actually dictate so many other forms of discrimination. That is why equal opportunity hiring practices came into being. On the other side of that coin, it’s why jails in Canada are disproportionately filled with indigenous peoples. It’s why fewer people of colour get published in the book industry, and fewer women get their books reviewed in major publications and why police departments in North America are more likely to stop black men just because and on and on and on. These realities are not just coincidences and the same mindset that thinks it is actually funny to yell what this guy did exists all around us in much subtler ways.

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