Another Day, Another Bozo Eruption

On the eve of International Women’s Day, Wildrose on Campus (WROC) issued an invitation to the screening of The Red Pill.  The invitation stated “You and I both know that feminism is cancer.  To create a dialogue on campus, we have decided to take action”.   (Apparently WROC doesn’t know the difference between a diatribe and a dialogue).

NDP MLA Sandra Jansen responded to the WROC invitation by pointing out:

  • The Red Pill is a movie about the men’s rights movement
  • It was supported by “forward thinkers” like Breitbart News and Milo Yiannopoulos
  • Men’s rights advocates denigrate the advancement of women and promote hatred and violence
  • They advocate legalized rape to teach women how to protect their virtue
  • They viciously attack women online
  • This demonstrates who the Wildrose really are (PCs take note).

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It’s true.  The Wildrose party did support WROC.  It allowed WROC to use the Wildrose name and logo, Wildrose MLAs (including leader Brian Jean) attended WROC events and an email from Wildrose MLA Jason Nixon notes that as executive director of the Wildrose Party he should be involved with “our Wildrose on Campus group”.

Nathan Cooper, House Leader of the Wildrose Official Opposition, said the Wildrose caucus has not and would never make a statement like that made by members of an association no longer connected to the Wildrose.

That’s fine as far as it goes, but it’s not enough.

The Wildrose had a second kick at the can.  It could have stopped “feminism is cancer” from becoming the next bozo eruption with a bold ministerial statement in support of International Women’s Day.

It failed to do so.

Ministerial Statements

To put the Wildrose failure into context let’s review the ministerial statements of the other political parties.

Stephanie Maclean, Status of Women minister, outlined the ND government’s actions to advance gender equality, including partnering with the city of Edmonton to reduce sexual violence, supporting Ready For Her to encourage women to run in municipal elections and creating the first gender balanced cabinet in Canadian history.

Rick Fraser, Progressive Conservative MLA, focused his comments on the misogynistic abuse of women in public life.  He said he was “truly sorry” women experienced such abuse and pledged to take “bold action” to advance the goal of equality.

Liberal leader Dr Swann took the opportunity to celebrate what had been accomplished thus far.  He praised the Ask Her campaign which encourages Calgarians to seek out strong women and ask them to run for leadership positions.

He referred to the Be Bold for Change theme of International Women’s Day, saying women with “the full support of real men” would create “real change”.

But it was Greg Clark, the leader of the Alberta Party, who really nailed it.

He was the only politician to address the “reprehensible” Red Pill ideology, admitting he was shocked by the sexism experienced by women every day.

He said he was a feminist and that given feminism’s focus on eliminating sexual assault and domestic violence, and creating equal access to opportunity the real question was: who is not a feminist.

The Wildrose statement

Mrs Aheer may be a member of the Wildrose Opposition but her statement seemed to reflect her own not her party’s perspective.

She talked about people who use words that rub her the wrong way, and India’s female prime ministers, and her mother-in-law who came to Canada at the tender age of 18 to escape male oppression back home.

She circled back to the topic of words that had been used to attack her “in horrible and distasteful ways” and said she would not stand for it because words “are an expression, and they’ve been used throughout history in poetry, music, to express, no matter how pretty or profane.”

She said “as women we provide the humble template for that which we want to see: our hopes for future women and our desire to encourage and protect them as they make their way on their terms into careers where they are needed, where they belong and where they are honoured.”

She called for an end to discrimination and violence and concluded by saying that despite the “insults, the condemnation, the platitudes, the nonsense” she would not hide and would not be shamed because she was a woman.

Another bozo eruption

The Wildrose shadow minister for the Status of Women had an opportunity to lay our minds to rest by being bold and declaring herself to be a feminist who would fight fiercely for Alberta women should the Wildrose ever form government.  Instead she rambled on about words “pretty and profane” and offered “a humble template” for women under Wildrose rule.

This is not enough to erase words that express a vicious anti-feminist ideology.

Albertans didn’t forget the Wildrose’s lack of response to its “lake of fire” candidate in 2015 election.

They will not forget the Wildrose’s flaccid response to “feminism is cancer” in 2019.

References: Hansard, May 7, 2017, p 58 and May 8, pp 116, 117, 128.

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13 Responses to Another Day, Another Bozo Eruption

  1. mgs09 says:

    The “Lake of Fire” incident was in the 2012 election that Redford won.

    • mgs09 says:

      … or did you mean that the 2012 event impacted WRP results in the 2015 election?

      • msg09 you’re right, the “Lake of Fire” incident occurred in the 2012 election but in 2015 when Albertans were desperate for change they chose the “socialist” NDP over the “lake of fire” WRP. The WRP have been trying to rehabilitate their reputation ever since but continue to step on land mines. This “feminism is cancer” episode is just the latest in a string of missteps.

  2. Einar Davison says:

    Once again I have to say I can’t believe that in the 21st century, we still need to fight for womens right to equality, like they are less some how. It angers me greatly that women are not and for that matter everyone is not treated with equality. However the fact that almost anyone but a woman can be elected President of the US, that maybe suggests that we in North America, are not so advanced as we’d like to think we are. I saw some of their materials “when is it alright to punch a woman?”!!! My first thought is when is it alright to punch weak men who need to abuse women to feel superior. That any political party in a western country would even give passing support to this garbage just shows us once again these people have no right to be the official opposition, their attitudes and their nastiness is a polution in the Legislature and I am looking forward to 2019 so we have another opportunity to finally get rid of the scourge that they are. It is obvious they haven’t changed, they never will change and when they get caught they scurry like rats for cover.
    I still believe Albertans are better than this, except for a small fringe of angry and hateful people. They blame all that has happened to them on everyone but themselves, even if maybe a lot of what is happening to them has been self inflicted. They blame women, they blame refugees, they blame other religions and they believe that if they get control then suddenly their world will become a better place for them. However that is a place that forces women to be less than they aspire too, and where segregation and exclusion and creating ghettos keeps “people in their places”. They pervert values and talk in double speak in hopes that they may fool people into following them.
    I celebrate my Grandmother who wished she could have been an RCMP constable before that was allowed. I celebrate my Mom who raised five children, was a housewife, who showed amazing strength as a single Mom. I will fight with anyone who says they were somehow less than a male. This crap needs to end, because when it is affecting young women and young boys as well then it needs to be ended. The ones who promote this are the wimps, and the losers and the subhumans and they should not be allowed to succeed. Sorry for the rant.

    • Einer: thank you for your thoughtful comments. I was particularly struck by this comment: “[These Albertans] blame all that has happened to them on everyone but themselves, even if maybe a lot of what is happening to them has been self inflicted. They blame women, they blame refugees, they blame other religions and they believe that if they get control then suddenly their world will become a better place for them.”
      It reminded me of a tweet that said: “There’s only one way feminism could have ruined your life: if you life hinged on the systemic oppression of women”. This tweet is equally applicable to the oppression of minorities, LGBTQ, Jews, Muslims, etc.
      PS: your Mom raised her children well. 🙂

  3. Carlos Beca says:

    None of this is surprising, coming from the Wildrose. What is amazingly shocking is that it is now the party with more support in Alberta.
    I have learned something in our province that makes me extremely sad – when people in general agree with you about progressive politics, they do not mean it.
    There are still many people here that do believe that Feminism is cancer whether we like it or not.

    • Carlos, you bring up an excellent point. Why are people who appear to be “progressives” racists or sexists or homophobes at heart? There’s been a fair bit of research done on this with respect to racism. Apparently the rationale goes like this: racism is evil, I’m not evil, therefore I’m not racist. Such racists seem to be able to recognize the most extreme forms of racism but either can’t or won’t recognize more subtle forms of racism. They justify such racism with legal arguments in favour of free speech, they reject resumes from candidates with ethnic sounding names because they’re supposedly not as well qualified, and so on.
      All we can do continue to challenge such behavior whenever and where ever we find it.

  4. Neil says:

    Last weekend, a family member had need of the U of A Hospital emergency services. During our 8 hour experience in the ER, every staff member we interacted with was female, the triage nurse, the attending RN, the clerical staff, the porter, the X-ray technician, the student nurse and most importantly the ER physician. She was a young, compassionate, thorough and just plain smart Doctor. The treatment was measured, appropriate and provided a positive outcome.
    I have spent most of my working life in a traditionally male dominated profession which now like almost all other professions is seeing university enrolment that is 50% women. I have had the opportunity to mentor some of these female students and can attest that their skill levels meet or exceed those of their male counterparts.
    What these two experiences lead me to believe is that, what troubles the WR/WROC is not feminism per se, it is their insecurity with their own masculinity.
    Our world is faced with many crises at the present time. In order to solve these problems we are going to need the collective intelligence of our entire population, including the 50% of that intelligence that is in the female brain.

  5. Neil thank you for sharing this wonderful story. I trust your family member is doing much better now.
    I wish more anti-feminists would have a similar experience because notwithstanding the passage of time too many people are still stuck in the belief that women don’t deserve to be doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers, etc.
    In 1985 I graduated from a a law school that was 50% female. I landed articles at the biggest law firm in the city. One of my male classmates told me that I had “taken” his spot. He didn’t accuse the other 8 male law students who’d been hired of taking his spot, just me. Last week I heard about a young female engineering student who was told by a male engineering student that women didn’t belong in engineering–they didn’t have the brains or the temperament. Unbelievable.

  6. jerrymacgp says:

    My own profession is almost 94% female: the most recent stats have about 6.3% of Registered Nurses in Alberta identifying as male (approximately 200 or so, or about 0.5%, identify outside of the traditional female-male binary). So, by definition, men in Nursing clearly reject the notion that one’s sex or gender determines their career path. This is one definition of feminist, a label I feel I can legitimately claim.

    The Wildrose’s leadership may disavow this sort of crap, but they clearly tolerate an environment in which this sort of commentary is acceptable. It isn’t about free speech, but about respect and tolerance. These so-called Mens’ Rights Activists are a backlash against gender equality, just as the KKK was a backlash against racial equality. I hope Albertans see through this before the next election.

    • Jerrymacgp: Your analogy is perfect. The Wildrose’s attempt to disavow this sort of thing rings hollow given their tolerance for it on social media and elsewhere. I was worried that Albertans wouldn’t see through this but the recent poll showing lackluster support for both Brian Jean and Jason Kenney as the leader of the United Right gives me hope. The poll result was: Kenney (17%), Jean (26%), Someone Else (28%) and I don’t know (29%). I suspect the number of uncommitted/unconvinced voters will go up once Jean and Kenney start going after each other hammer and tongs. I suspect the floodgates will open and there will be bozo eruptions all over the place.

      PS: I love your definition of “feminist” and would certainly agree that it fits. Good on you!!!

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