I found this little gem on my Twitter feed via timehop. Part of me wishes it were fiction.
I wanted to write to you, to tell you that I’m trying really hard to be positive right now. That I’m trying really hard to think about the things that can go right instead of the things that have gone wrong. I wanted to write and tell you about my friend who’s had his heart taken out of his body and reassembled with bits from his leg and then stuffed back in his chest like so much straw.
I wanted to say this is all so much. It’s all happening so fast, rain drops pummelling tender seedlings down into the soil instead of nourishing them with a gentle mist. That the weight of that rain pelting my skin is very heavy. I wanted to tell you that all I want to do is sleep, to lie out in the sun and sleep. Plant a garden, watch the flowers grow and bud and bloom and die back. That I want to get away from all of this madness and just be somewhere where I don’t have to make decisions and I can read books all day and eat grapes from a cool bowl.
Actually I don’t much care for grapes most of the time. They’re too much like eyeballs and sometimes the burst of juice is terribly offputting. But I like the phrase “peeled grapes” an awful lot and the image of a well-oiled cabana boy feeding me peeled grapes pleases me, so even if I’m not particularly fond of them, I’ll let my cabana boy feed them to me before he rubs my feet and tells me I’m beautiful. So beautiful.
I wanted to post this on my blog but I think it’s too close, too much, too revealing. It would be letting the world see in – or at least the portion of the world that sees my corner of it – and I don’t know if that’s what I really want. I wanted to write to you and ask you if I should post this on my blog or just keep it between us.
I wanted to say that every time I see a photograph of a storm cloud, I identify with that storm cloud. With the active electrons all bouncing around in there, their little mosh pit of thermodynamics and vortices, like thoughts, like feelings, that’s me. I feel the skin between my brows furrow when I’m least expecting it and I ask myself whether that’s myopia or just my own little tropospheric disturbance.
I feel like everyone, everything is taking just a little piece of me away and I am beginning to not recognise the pieces that are left.
Do you think time ever slows back down? That you can get back that sense that summer is going on forever and the freezie you’re eating is going on forever and the orange crush you snuck out of the big fridge in the basement is going to last forever even though it won’t be cold forever. Do you think you can just lie on a thick towel or a denim blanket on the sand and close your eyes and stop the world moving? Not in the way that would make people fly off the face of the earth, but in the way that we could just steal these tiny moments just for ourselves now and then? I think we can’t, but I wish we could.
I wanted to write to tell you that every time someone tells me how strong I am I feel like a fraud because I’m not strong. I’m tender and raw but maybe my secret is that I regenerate. Or maybe I haven’t any secret other than that I’m a fraud. That every time I think I know what I’m doing I’m reminded that there is no such thing as knowing and every time I think I have a stable footing I’m reminded that all rivers have currents that will wash away the sand under my feet only some rivers do it quickly and some take an entire lifetime.
All of these things I wanted to say to you. There are many reasons I didn’t. Many reasons I haven’t. There’s only one reason I may have for sending it along, and that is to feel like there is a connection out there still. A connection with someone. Someone real.
So I’m sitting on the chesterfield, having my tea and thinking how nice it would be to have a patio I could sit on to have my tea and do some writing of a lovely spring morning, when what to my wondering eyes should appear to port side but a little damp black nose and some very tappity white paws. #PrincessSassypants is asking to sit on my lap.
Normally, the dogs aren’t allowed on “the brown couch”, but if one is sitting on it, they are sometimes permitted to sit on one’s lap. Normally the dogs don’t like to sit on my lap because I, being their pack leader, am deserving of the utmost respect, and that includes my *personal space*. However, often I WANT a dog on my lap and so I will ask them to come sit with me. #PrincessSassypants doesn’t have a problem with this; she will fly into my lap like politicians fly into scandal. #Bumblebutt, on the other hand, is quite circumspect and often leery that if she sits on my lap, I will pick at the gunk in her ears or eyes, or, worse yet, I will fetch the Hateful Clippers and do her clackety toenails. She’s not wrong.
So imagine my surprise this morning when #Bumblebutt hops up onto the ottoman and asks to be permitted lap privileges. I am pleased. Touched, even, when she scrambles up on to my lap and leans in to me in a little doggy hug. “Awwwww,” I say. “Awwww. That’s adorable. You love your mommy.” She glances up at me with her big brown eyes. Tucks her head in under my arm and sniffs at my dressing-gown.
Right. I have bones for the dogs in my pocket, and have forgotten to dole them out. Man’s best friend, my butt.
Of course, after they finish their bones, #Bumblebutt jumps back up on the ottoman and asks permission to sit next to me on the chesterfield. I know she’s only hoping this action will produce more pocket-bones, but I’ll take the attention.
Tired of all those workout videos you watch a couple of times and use to level out the DVR afterward? Don’t want to go to the gym to sweat in front of dozens of people who you assume are staring at you and judging your thighs? Are you looking for a great fitness plan that costs just pennies a month? Have I got the deal for you.
This workout combines the best of yoga flexibility, a little bit of cardio, and core strength workouts. You don’t even need to leave your own bedroom. In fact, you probably don’t want to. And unlike other workouts, with this one, you shower first, and it’s done before you even get into your car to head to the office.
“cenobyte!” You exclaim. “Enough with this mystery! My need-to-know centres are literally on fire with the curiosity!”
Although I’m pretty sure your head isn’t actually on fire, I will share this workout with you. Unlike other fitness programs, I cannot guarantee its success, and like other fitness programs, there are dangers associated with it, but your doctor doesn’t need to be consulted because baby, this is ALL. ON. YOU.
Here’s what you do:
1) Take a shower or bath first thing in the morning;
2) Attempt to put on Spanx(tm) foundation wear.
That’s it. Those are the *only two things* you need to do. Because no matter how much you dry off, no matter how much you think you’re prepared for the stuffing and wriggling and scooching and tugging you need to put on regular pantyhose or underpants, you are NEVER prepared for the contortionism you must endure to wear this shit. You just aren’t.
Roll each leg of the garment into a little croissant, and pretend you’re not thinking of croissants, because if you actually think about croissants you’re going to want a croissant and the whole reason you’re wearing Spanx(tm) is because of bloody croissants so screw you, France. Screw you.
Aim your foot in the tiny hole in the centre of your
croissant leg hole and jam your toe through there like you’re loading a torpedo into the firing hole of a nuclear submarine. Children of the cold war, you know what I’m talking about. You have to shove that foot into the toe (or open hole, depending on what version you’re attempting to don) of that foundation garment like you mean to murder some Russians. There’s no coming back now. You’ve entered the launch code.
Regret that you didn’t have the forethought to sit down on the edge of the bed to attempt this because now you’re hopping around on one foot while trying to roll the other leg into a
croissant non-pastrylike torus, and you know you haven’t been this flexible since you were seven but whatever you’re not about to admit defeat (pardon the pun) because you can see the end of this ordeal, and the end of this ordeal is that your thighs aren’t going to rub together and end up coating the crotch of your pants/butt of your skirt in blood and skin flakes by the end of the day.
But there’s a problem. Now you have one rolled-up leg on one calf and the other rolled-up leg on the other ankle and you can feel yourself going over but it’s 7 in the goddamned morning and you don’t have the wherewithal to figure out that you’re going to have to let go of the garment before you crash to the floor in humiliation. On the other hand, now that you’re down there, that’s pretty much the lowest point of potential energy so you can be environmentally conscious while you figure out how to simultaneously staunch the bleeding from your fall and continue with the application of your underthings.
“Fuck the bleeding,” you mutter, and start tugging the things up your legs.
If you are wearing the tights version of the things, you’re nearly done. You just stretch out your leg…wait. You *can* reach your ankles, right? I mean, your boobs aren’t in the way? You’re totally flexible enough to just pull your knees up to your chest and grab …oh right. THAT’S why you didn’t let go of the Spanx(tm). It’s because if you let go at this stage, you’re never going to be able to grab on again and you’ll be hobbling around like a horse in…well…a horse in hobbles until someone comes to rescue you and you know FROM EXPERIENCE that is not an ideal favour to have to ask of EMT. The 911 operators still probably have the transcript from the last time this happened, pinned to their cubicles.
So you stretch out your legs, one at a time, while letting out bits of elasticized nylon and spandex, while rolling around on the floor because at this stage of your life, baby, there are no flat parts on you, and that’s a good thing. Nature abhors a flat surface.
However, if you’re wearing the long panty/legging version of these things, your Ordeal has only just begun. You have to pull the little
croissant doughnut ring you made in step one *up to your crotch* before you start pulling the top of the garment up over your hip. You can do this while rolling around on the floor, or if you can manoeuvre yourself into a standing position, that is preferable. Good luck.
Let’s just take a moment of silent repose here. You could barely fit your ankle through that little opening. Now you have to “just tug it up to your crotch”? Sister, that shit ain’t goin’ anywhere above the knee without two shoehorns, a can of Crisco, and four strong men. This is the step we call the shimmy-stretch. Stretch the fabric out as far as it will go while you shimmy yourself inside it. Reach behind yourself and tug the back of the garment up about 1/4″ over your carriage. Repeat for approximately 45 minutes. Apply liberal amounts of cuss words.
Eventually, the “elastic” top (remember “elastic” does not mean “infinitely stretchable”) will pop up over your hips and dig painfully into your belly. Keep stretching. Keep shimmying. After another half hour, the top of the band will fit snugly around your ribcage and you will be unable to feel or move your legs because there are tiny little
doughnuts croissants rings made of spandex cutting off the circulation to your extremities, all bunched up at your crotch. You will feel lightheaded, although whether this is because of the loss of circulation or because you’ve bested the top half of an undergarment is still up for debate.
Fish around in your labia for the bottom edges of those leg holes and tug them down into place, and voilà! You are ready to get dressed and have most likely put in more of a workout than you would have with Sylvester Stallone’s personal trainer.
Good job, you!
Before we get too far into this, I want you to go here and listen to The Faint’s Dress Code. Especially you, Meatbum. I’ll wait. I think it’s my new favourite thing ever invented. And, while you’re doing that, I’m just going to say I miss Devo.
Okay. You’re back. Awesome!
Dress code. Gender bias. Hypersexualisation. Whore/Slut. Individuality.
Many public places have dress codes. “No shirt, no shoes, no service”. “Please wear a head covering”. “No street clothes”. There are reasons for every dress code; some more logical than others. When it comes to kids and school, though, people lose their shit faster than a college kid after whiskey night. Most dress codes in school (particularly in high school but often in elementary school) seem geared specifically to girls. Consider the following, taken from the elementary and high schools in my area:
Elementary: Students are expected to dress in a neat and appropriate manner. Outside apparel (hats, jackets, and wet or muddy footwear) are not to be worn in the school. Please ensure your child dresses in such a way that demonstrates modesty. Please avoid: midriff shirts, spaghetti strap shirts, short shorts and messages that refer to alcohol, drugs, and sex. Students should have one pair of runners at school for inside and gymnasium wear. Also Grade Six, Seven and Eight students are expected to bring gym clothing for their physical education classes. Students are invited to shower following vigorous activity.
High School: Hats are not allowed to be worn in the classroom, except for special school related events. Footwear must be worn in the building at all times.
School staff determines what is appropriate clothing. Students wearing inappropriate clothing will be asked to change the offending garment. Simplicity and good taste are safe guides.
It looks like the former (which is the dress code for the elementary school) is picking out in greater detail clothes that girls would wear rather than those boys would wear. I want to know why it’s important for a six-year-old child to demonstrate “modesty”, and I would also like to know what the definition of “modesty” is. If you’re telling a six-year-old that showing their arms, back, or legs is wrong, there’s something wrong with you. Because I have boys, and because my boys to date have not been interested in wearing spaghetti straps, midriff shirts, short shorts, or clothing with messages that refer to alcohol, drugs, and sex (I think they meant and/or there, because otherwise that seems like an oddly specific message to ban), I have not had to deal much with the dress code. I’m concerned that the high school dress code basically leaves “offending garment” up to staff. That’s pretty uninformative. Are students supposed to call ahead of time to clear their wardrobe with the staff?
Do you know how mortifying it is to be called out of your class/assembly to the office to be told you have to change your clothes because you’re not dressed appropriately? ESPECIALLY if it’s a staff member of the opposite gender? Do you know how CREEPY and humiliating it is to have a male teacher/administrator tell you that the way you dress is distracting the male students? I can tell you from experience, it can be life-altering. A little guideline here would be nice.
You’re not an idiot. You know that what they’re saying here is “don’t dress like a slut, and don’t dress like a slob”. They will couch that in terms of “show some respect for yourself and for your fellow students”. I don’t have a problem with that sentiment, except that these dress codes are dictating what is slovenly or slutty attire, and that’s just not cool.
What’s wrong with having a dress code that says: “Our school values respect, professionalism, and a focussed learning environment, and those values are reflected in our dress code. Attire that is not appropriate in a professional workplace or place of worship is not appropriate attire for school. We appreciate individual expression, and encourage each student to take pride in their personal presentation”? If someone takes exception to the way a student dresses, it should be up to the staff and administration to address that concern *with the person who complained*. Find out why it’s upsetting them. Don’t just take the easy way out (easy for you; not for the students) and tell the student whose dress has upset someone to go home and change. Use this as a way to demonstrate professional and respectful discussion.
Here’s one of the subtexts about all of this that really pisses me off: that girls displaying their shoulders or backs or thighs or whatever part of their body in some way has a deleterious effect on the male students. That male students are *unable to concentrate* if there’s a girl’s bare shoulder in the room.
a) Teenagers are unable to concentrate *most of the time*. This is a SCIENTIFIC FACT. Their brains are still developing. You can try all you want to force adolescents to act like adults, but for the most part, they can’t. It’s not because they’re trying to be assholes; it’s because their brains aren’t adult brains.
b) Boys cannot control their sexual desires. This, to put it bluntly, is utter bullshit. Adolescents are flooded with sex hormones, and they are *all* horny, *all the time*. Boys, girls, folks in between or uncertain or undecided about their gender – they are all full of crazy hormones that make their bodies react to things in weird and unpredictable ways. Boners happen, people. Girl boners and boy boners. Sometimes it’s because of a shoulder; sometimes it’s because of a granola bar. Sometimes, there’s no reason. Teens think about sex all the time, and whether someone’s shoulder is covered or bare *isn’t going to make a difference*. Folks attracted to boobs will still think about boobs, whether or not any part of that boob is anywhere near visible. Folks attracted to bums will still think about bums, regardless of how short the shorts are or how tight the jeans are. For the love of little baby Jesus in a sparkly red Speedo(tm), teenagers are distracted by thoughts of LUNCH as much as they are distracted by thoughts of bare shoulders. To blame boys for not being able to control their urges is sexism. And to blame GIRLS for boys not being able to control their own urges is just stupid. It’s a throwback to outdated puritanical ideals about sex (and women in particular) being “dirty”. So get over it.
c) Certain kinds of clothing are morally wrong because it is provocative. “Provocative” is an interesting choice here. It connotes intent. So by telling a student that they are dressed provocatively, you’re telling them they are choosing to cause annoyance or to arouse sexual desire. That might be the case. I know when I was into punk culture, I wore things that made people angry or disgusted. But I dressed that way because I liked it. It looked good. I didn’t get up in the morning and pick out my “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” shirt because I wanted to piss people off. I got up in the morning and wore that because I love the band and I love the song and it was my favourite shirt. (Aside, RIP Nazi Punks Fuck Off shirt.) I’d be willing to give most people a pass on the whole “you wore that tank top because you wanted people to get boners looking at you” accusation because I honestly don’t believe that giving people boners is at the top of the list of why people dress the way they do.
d) There’s something bigger at work here, and that is how we each of us is taught (or learns) to assess attractiveness. Regardless of gender, we learn that extremely toned, athletic bodies are the “norm” and the goal. Big boobs on girls and wide, muscular shoulders on boys – that’s what everyone wants, right? So instead of focusing on style that empowers each of us, we are pigeonholed into the lowest common denominator – we believe something is attractive/stylish because that’s what we’re told is attractive/stylish.
None of this is going to be solved in an afternoon. But I do applaud the students who stand up for their beliefs and opinions. I applaud the young woman who told her school that how someone else reacts to what she chooses to wear is not her fault. If she dresses in something that she has worn or would wear to church, what makes wearing it to school so bad? It’s okay for people to have sexy thoughts about one another in church but in school, it’s bad? Cue the discussion about how sex is not bad or dirty, bodies are not naughty, and people are not sex objects.
Okay, so following the breaking news yesterday that one of the fellows who thought it was a laugh riot to shout “Fuck her in the pussy” at a television camera pointed at a female reporter (a friend mentioned that this has happened to male reporters too; I am now aware of one instance of that happening, so I thank Friend for that information), there’s a big deal about whether one of the guys who did that ought to have been fired from his job for doing so. There are a couple of things I want to say about this whole thing. The first is about that – whether the young man ought to have lost his job. The second is about the whole meme itself and whether it is indeed (sexual) harassment and a bit more about freedom of speech, because that’s a really important thing that I don’t think is being talked about enough here by people who aren’t total dingbats involved with MRA (that’s Men’s Rights Associations).
First, doxxing is really shitty, okay? Don’t do that. (“Doxxing”, btw, is searching for, finding, and posting private information about someone online and on social media platforms.) There is this thing called presumption of innocence that covers criminal charges in most British/American legal systems. It basically means that until someone is found to be guilty of a criminal act, we must presume they are innocent. There are some pretty important reasons why we have this whole presumption of innocence thing (which is a legal right), and while I don’t know the full history of it (and again, am not a lawyer and do not have a degree in law), I do know that part of the reason it exists is to protect you as a citizen. Most people are not criminals, and therefore don’t deserve to be treated as criminals. Anyway, the point I’m making here is that doxxing is one of those things that kind of circumvents due process (we talked about that a couple of days ago). If someone has done something potentially criminal, and you can find and/or have information that may help *prove the case against them*, it’s your duty as a citizen to provide that information to the proper authorities (the police, lawyers, doctors, etc.), but not to the public. Retributive “justice” by people hiding behind their screens really isn’t justice. Every person, regardless of what they have been accused of doing, has the right to defend themselves against those charges.
Second, if your employer or your professional association has a code of conduct or code of ethics by which you must abide while in their employ, it is their duty to inform you of the code, and to ensure you understand it, and understand the implications of it. Sometimes that code of conduct will apply to your actions outside the workplace. Consider the codes of conduct required by the military, or by sports franchises, or by government/public employers. Each of these may include clauses which outline the kinds of behaviour which is not acceptable. I don’t know what the codes of conduct might have been for this fellow’s employer, but this fellow did do something pretty odious in a very, very public forum. If this employer has a “zero tolerance policy” for harassing or abusive language or behaviour in or outside of the workplace, this reaction is what a “zero tolerance policy” actually looks like.
Too many times…in fact, most of the time…people define “zero tolerance” as “just a wee bit of tolerance”. Just enough tolerance, in fact, to ensure that maybe it won’t happen a second time. Or a third. Probably not a fourth. Five, as they say about the Holy Hand-grenade of Antioch, is right out. Now, pardon me for being a bit pedantic, but “zero tolerance” should actually mean “we don’t tolerate this at all”, which in turn means “so if you do this, you’re out, buster.” “Zero tolerance” should not mean “let’s all have a sit-down together and talk about how your actions hurt someone”. You have to have that discussion BEFORE someone gets hurt.
There are people arguing that doing this sort of thing – shouting obscenities into a microphone during a live news broadcast is not (sexual) harassment. That it’s just something funny to do because you’re not supposed to swear on TeeVee (nor on the radio, in most cases). Now, we can have a good discussion about whether you ought or oughtn’t be allowed to say offensive or potentially offensive things on the air, but that’s a conversation for another time because most broadcasters have codes of conduct/ethics that outline what they are and aren’t allowed to broadcast. So if the goal of these yokels shouting things at live newscasts is to actually launch some kind of protest or to simply have cuss words broadcast on live teevee because broadcasting cusswords is funny, why not simply shout “fuck”? Or “asshole”? Or “prick”? Why not choose words that aren’t charged with potentially misogynistic interpretation? Sure, you can argue that all the best cusswords are about females and female anatomy (which of course will launch us in to a further discussion about gender issues), but if your *goal* is simply to say something offensive in front of a camera, why choose primarily female reporters to do it to? Why use a phrase that could even possibly be interpreted as promoting rape?
There are thousands of words you could choose. Just sticking with the many iterations of “fuck” alone would probably take up most of a month’s worth of live broadcasts. If this phenomenon really doesn’t have anything to do with women and gender, then why is it *mostly* (not always, as Friend pointed out) done to female reporters, and why insist on using the imperative mood (the kind of sentence that indicates commands/requests)? Although you may have a different intent, semantics happen, people. Semantics happen. How would you *expect* a female reporter to interpret someone running up behind her and shouting “fuck her right in the pussy”?
When it comes to freedom of speech, you’re right. Twits have every right to spout their twittery whenever and wherever they want. They must be willing to accept the consequences, because some twittery is actually illegal, or can be deemed hate speech or harassing or objectionable behaviour. Freedom of speech does not trump other laws. Particularly when those laws serve to protect other people from harm. How does shouting a stream of invective at a reporter cause harm? Well, first of all, it’s kind of a dick move, really. Second, you are hindering that reporter’s ability to do their job professionally. Third, you are causing the station broadcasting that report to possibly get in hot water with national licensing agencies. Fourth, depending on the invective you use, it could actually be threatening language. Fifth, it might be considered disturbing the peace. Sixth, did I mention dick move? I did, didn’t I? I’d go out on a limb here and say that at least 75% of dick moves (metaphorical dick moves; literal dick moves are the subject of a different discussion) are harmful. But the point here is that when it comes to your right to say whatever you want whenever you want, the only thing holding you back is other laws that protect others from being harmed, intimidated, hurt, etc., by what you’re saying.
It’s possible that the nitwits who claim that shouting sexually charged invective at live broadcasts isn’t meant to be sexist don’t understand that the actual words they’re saying are pretty sexist. It’s possible that they are sincere and really just want to see more cusswords on teevee. It’s also possible that this whole thing is some kind of protest movement against governments squeezing freedom of speech legislation from all angles (and certainly, if that’s the case, I highly recommend finding non-gender-specific swear words to shout at broadcasters of all genders – be prepared to live with the consequences of your actions!). We may even be dealing with the IOFO effect (the It’s Only Funny Once principle).
My Friend also said perhaps it’s better just to ignore these morons and they’ll just stop doing asinine things like this all on their own. I’m not sure I agree with that, although Friend did post a Google Trends chart that shows the incidents of the term being used on Google dropped off dramatically after it first became popular in early 2014.
I’m not sure I agree that ignoring odious behaviour makes it stop, but I AM convinced that we don’t need to agree with each other all the time. And I am convinced that this particular odious behaviour should just end now. People shouting stupid things at and making obscene gestures in front of live TV cameras isn’t new, and I’m sure it won’t go away. Because people are goofy. Sometimes, goofy is awesome (I’m one of those horrid people who thinks it’s hilarious when someone moons the camera on live TV). Sometimes, it isn’t goofy so much as really terrible. I do agree with my Friend that it should just end.
There are swears in this post.
Recently, Shauna Hunt, a reporter with CityNews television in Toronto, was filming a story outside a soccer game. Some fellows hanging around waited until the camera was rolling and then shouted “Fuck her in the pussy!” (heretofore shortened to FHITP). This ‘videobombing’ is one ‘a them…whattayacallems…odious viral behaviours originating supposedly from a newscaster’s blooper reel. You can read up on how the whole thing got started here. Ms. Hunt, clearly fed up to high heaven with this kind of idiocy, confronted the FHITPers and asked them why they thought that sort of thing was okay. Their response? “Because it’s funny.” “Because I didn’t mean it at you specifically, but for everyone.” “You’re too sensitive.” Today, the jackwagon doing the shouting was let go by his employer for his stupidity.
So, lest I be marked forever with the scarlet TS of “too sensitive”, I want to just assplain some things. Let’s start with a few premises:
1) I LOVE obscenities. I love SHOUTING obscenities. Obscenities are pleasing in my mouth, like delicious balls (snigger) of cookie dough or ice cream smothered in dark chocolate. Like pretty much anything drenched in garlic butter. I also recognise there are acceptable times and places for shouting obscenities. To wit: upon injury; following Great Consternation; to express frustration with one’s sports escapades; during any election; before, during, or after a physical altercation. Likewise and similarly, there are definitely times when obscenities ought to be whispered or thought about rather than shouted. To wit: at most religious observances; at the dinner table with Grandmother; in a grocery store; most places in public, provided one has not fallen prey to Grievous Injury, Great Consternation, or Physical Altercation.
2) Protests are important means by which people, unhappy with or uncomfortable with the status quo may garner attention for their cause. It’s okay for protests to disrupt citizens’ comfort, ease of access to public buildings or other services, provided the protests are not violent, and that the protests cause no harm.
3) Harassment, according to the Canadian Human Rights Code, is “any unwanted physical or verbal behaviour that offends or humiliates you” (http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/eng/content/what-harassment).
4) As Canadians, we have the right to free speech. The right to say whatever the fuck you want ends when it becomes illegal. Like when you promote hatred, intolerance, violence, or when your speech becomes harassing.
These are facts. We might disagree on some of the details of these facts, but in general, it’s pretty tough to say “that’s not what harassment is” when in fact, Canada says that’s what it is. So. Given those premises:
Running up behind (or milling about behind) a female reporter so that you can shout FHITP into her microphone so that it gets broadcast on television is harassment. Unless that reporter has asked you to please do that, of course, in which case, the entire argument is moot. Why is it harassment? Because by and large, that is unwanted verbal behaviour that is offensive and humiliating. How is it humiliating? Because the reporter whose microphone you are hollering at is a professional. It is her job to stand in the street and report on current events. If you would not run up behind a doctor in the operating room and holler “FHITP!”, don’t do it to a reporter. If you wouldn’t run up behind a teacher and holler “FHITP!”, don’t do it to a reporter. If you wouldn’t run up behind a construction worker and shout “FHITP!”, don’t do it to a reporter.
Let’s extend that a bit. If you wouldn’t run up behind a MALE reporter, doctor, teacher, construction worker, and yell “FHITP!”, don’t do it to a female one.
I get that you want to see yourself acting like a douche on TeeVee. Everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame. Some people want their fifteen minutes of fame to be because of their hard work, their achievements, their puppies, or their heartbreak. You, on the other hand, clearly want your fifteen minute of fame to be for acting like a twatwhistle in front of your mates because either you are fuelled with liquor or you are fuelled with idiocy. The only people who think that choads acting badly are funny are other choads who act badly. (Note: I steal that term, insulting as it is, quite liberally from my friend Arnisador who encounters choads on a regular basis in his work as a bouncer at Choad Nightly, the downtown dance/nightclub)
Insulting and threatening people because they have different anatomy than you do really isn’t the height of comedic genius. I realise this comes as quite a surprise, but unless you’re eleven and still think “well oh yeah? At least I don’t have BOOBIES” is an appropriate comeback for anything, U, as they say, R DOIN IT RONG. Clearly you don’t understand how shouting something obscene into a television reporter’s camera is threatening or insulting behaviour, so let’s just take a minute to drill down into that, shall we? This won’t take long.
Just because someone has a vagina doesn’t mean they want your penis in, on, or anywhere near it. Your penis really isn’t that special, and while making an earnest and heartfelt appeal to be allowed to place your penis in proximity to someone’s vagina can sometimes actually result in being granted permission, more often than not, that has more to do with mutual attraction, intelligence, and actual humour than it does with the suggestion itself. Now, if you didn’t actually WANT to put your penis in, on, or around someone’s vagina, why on earth would you be shouting it? Are you advocating that someone else do it? The chances of fucking-by-proxy are quite low, no matter how many times you have read Cyrano de Bergerac.
In this particular case, the reporter, Ms. Hunt, confronted the harassing warts and asked them why they thought it was okay to do what they’d done. Their responses range from “because it’s funny” to “everyone does it” to “it wasn’t directed at you so calm down”. When she asked if they thought their moms would find it funny, the response was “eventually, yeah, she’d find it hilarious.” I think what he meant was that “once my mother gets over being mortified that I would do such a thing, because she really did raise me to be better than this and has no idea that my opinion of women is kind of between tongue fuzz and fuck dolls, she might find the fact that I was filmed being a complete douchefart kind of funny because of the talking-to I got from the reporter.”
Some things you see on television (or on the internet) should not be repeated. Jumping off of a roof, for instance, jumping from one moving vehicle to another, picking up your children from school in the nude, shouting harassing things to, at, or near a reporter…all of these things are pretty much just bad ideas. Smart people understand that.
But I want an answer to one of Ms. Hunt’s questions – how would you like it if I walked up behind you at your work and shouted “fuck him in the asshole”? Is that something you would find funny? How about if I did it in front of your boss? In front of your mom? How about if I got my friend Noah to do it? Just some random stranger running up behind you at your office, or your kiosk, or your workstation, and shouting that? Think that’d be funny? Maybe I should get a bunch of people together and we can all come and do that during one of your classes or one of your exams. Maybe while you’re doing your banking. Maybe while you’re on a date. Does that sound like it might be embarrassing? Because if it does, there’s a good chance it’s harassment.
Harassment, by the way, is illegal in Canada. So the reason you lost your job, buttmunch, is because you engaged in illegal activity, ON TELEVISION. You also demonstrated that you have no respect for other people, and that you think it’s okay to shout obscenities at someone just because she has a vagina and a camera.