My latest column from the Kitchener Post revisits a topic I’ve talked about many times before. However, I’m still talking about it, because it’s still an issue. Here’s an excerpt:
Earlier this month, an advocate for one of the city’s committees resigned after he was caught on social media belittling a local columnist, and using a very vulgar epithet to do so.
I won’t repeat the epithet, other than to say that it refers to a part of a woman’s anatomy. Its use is undeniably misogynistic.
I won’t name names either because you probably know who I’m talking about. Even if you don’t, I want to speak to a wider issue.
The tragedy, in my mind, is that the advocate resigned so that, in his words, he wouldn’t have to apologize. He didn’t see what was wrong with his behaviour, and we need to have a conversation about this.
The advocate was passionate about his cause, and disagreed with the columnist’s opinions. That’s fine. But by using the epithet, the advocate sought to short-circuit the debate by attacking the columnist personally.
You wouldn’t use the “n-word” to attack the ideas of someone of African descent and expect to be taken seriously. Why should the “c-word,” the “b-word” and the other put-downs that have been used to intimidate and silence women these past few decades be any different?