As any one involved in an under reported issue knows, being on ‘high alert’ can be a tiring position to maintain, not necessarily for you but for those around you. You notice things that others don’t – and you make sure they see it too. Once a subject has been exposed it can’t be covered up again, and of course being aware of it means that you see it whenever it pops up in society. Take the following quote from a CBC story that ran on December 7, 2013. There has been a year-long scandal involving the Canadian Senate, and illegal spending and it’s ensuing cover-up-cock-up fiasco. Mr Degenais, mentioned in the quote below, is a senator.
“In a letter sent to all parliamentarians, Dagenais referred to Charmaine Borg’s flyer as “a rag” and suggested she’s a whiny, ignorant, powerless Quebec MP who was elected by fluke and stands little chance of being re-elected.
NDP House leader Nathan Cullen said sending such an offensive” missive to a 23-year-old female rookie MP is “paternalistic, childish, condescending and frankly misogynistic.” He served notice that he will ask the Speaker of the House of Commons next week to condemn Dagenais.”
For those that are involved in men’s issues and know the anti-male bias that is popular with the ‘taste makers’ it is easy to see that if the Quebec MP had been a 23-year-old male, House Leader Cullen would not have said, “frankly misandric.” It is so easy to pretend to be in favour of equality and pro woman by throwing men under the bus of public opinion, and at the same time appear to be progressive.
So what’s the story? Why did Mr White Male Senator pick on a woman politician and MP? Are there no young inexperienced male MP’s to pick on? Red herring. Those questions are not that important in light of political criticism being misogynistic. If it is misogynistic then there is, by magnitudes, much, much more misandry.
It is a grave disservice to democracy if not an immature, ill-conceived attempt to get populist support – surely people are smarter than that. Senators jobs are sober second thought, and debate. This senator has done his job, certainly initiating public debate, and he is being pilloried for it.
How wonderful is it to be able to say one magic word and get uncritical supportive attention because critical thought is so uninteresting or rewarding. Talking politically about women’s rights is like having candles that never burn out. It’s the go to political response for the vacuous.
Even a casual stroll through the local library is no shelter from the high alert. In the December issue of WIRED Magazine, there was an article advocating the use of ‘citizen psychologists’ which means “training ordinary people to be counsellors,” in order to help those with mild anxiety or depression issues. It’s a good idea. The article notes that in India
In the weekend edition of the Ottawa Citizen it was reported that the former Prime Minister of Australia pointedly noted the effectiveness of certain weapons of war, “If you want to kill women and children, cluster bombs are the weapons of choice.” Other civilians? Men? He was being sarcastic in an effort to highlight the collateral damage caused by the use of cluster bombs – fair enough, we get the point.
The current hostilities taking place in Eastern Europe, also serves nicely to highlight a truism about stereotypes.
“[T]he commandant of the tent camp on Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv, has asked men to guard the barricades and asked women and children to move to the tent camp.”
It rings of War and Peace, but that’s always the way it’s been, and I doubt that there are many men or women that have an issue with it. Very seldom do groups get what they want from a chat, they often have to resort to violence, and the enforcers are heavily weighted, among other neurochemicals, in testosterone.
By scanning the media it is easy to find an overwhelming amount of material that points to there being far more bad behaviour on the part of men than women. That’s another candle that never burns out. Yes, it’s a heavy torch to bear, and it’s aggravating factors are shortages in education, funding, opportunity, and a social/media bias that loves, nursery rhymes – sugar and spice and everything nice…