Consequences

Standard

There is this so-called prank going around where some guy (and occasionally a woman) goes up to a reporter doing live coverage and makes a vulgar remark. The reporter is almost always a woman (remember, it is exceptions that make the rule). Generally these get edited out and people accept it as a nasty part of doing the job. No longer. This weekend a City News reporter stood up to the clowns and confronted them.

She got little immediate satisfaction as the idiots collectively dismissed her complaints, claiming to be funny (I won’t call them half-wits because there was nothing witty about them). They continued to spout vulgarities, grinning like masturbating monkeys while they did it. They even claimed their mother would approve.

Sometimes the expression: wait for it, is the perfect one. One of the guys lost his job as a result. Others are being banned from attending future major league soccer games in Canada. I wonder what their mothers think of them now.

A few people have decried the punishment as excessive, claiming that employers have no right to interfere with what people do in their private lives.

While I’ve never been a fan of big brother, in this case I think the response was completely appropriate.

First of all, speaking into a television camera is not your private life; nothing really could be more public. Committing what could be construed as a criminal act — making rape threats, causing a public disturbance, sexual harassment — is not a private thing. It generally winds up in court and in the media.

If, as in this case, you can be readily identified with your employer (the fired guy had recently been in the paper because of his high salary), you are indeed causing damage to that employer. And, as in this case, you had agreed to a code of conduct, you had certainly violated your contract.

Here’s the thing. Suppose this guy had been caught selling cocaine to children. No-one would question for a moment that he should be fired. But because ‘all’ he was doing was being offensive and abusive towards a woman, it’s okay and he shouldn’t be punished. GIVE YOUR HEAD A SHAKE! As long as people continue to think that death and rape threats against women, sexual assault of women, and, continuing down the spectrum, the beating and murder of women are lesser crimes, we will never live in a civilized society.

So, I, for one, am glad that these jerks were caught on camera. I’m glad they revealed their true nature. I’m glad Hydro One stood up for the rights of their employees to work in an environment where sexual harassment is not tolerated. Because you have to know that a guy who would behave like that on television would certainly make inappropriate remarks and maybe take inappropriate actions in the workplace.

And for those who think his free speech was being inhibited. Nobody stopped him from talking (though he might wish they had); they just held him accountable for what he said.

Which we could use a lot more of in our society.

But that’s ten minutes.

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6 thoughts on “Consequences

  1. Kristopher

    “As long as people continue to think that death and rape threats against women, sexual assault of women, and, continuing down the spectrum, the beating and murder of women are lesser crimes, we will never live in a civilized society.”

    I agree with your article for the most part, but I think you’re alienating a portion of your audience (men) with this statement. I think that for the most part, North American men do not think of the “beating and murder of women” as lesser crimes. The problem is that too many people do not understand the connection between “FHRITP” and abuse. That is what needs to change.

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  2. Rebecca Ali

    Outside of Islam, crimes against women are considered more serious than the same crimes against men, with more public outrage, more chances of bystanders intervening, more public support for victims, higher likelihood to be taken seriously by the police, and more serious attention and consequences at all levels of the legal system, more support for dealing with the legal system. It’s pretty much impossible that you don’t already know that they aren’t considered lesser crimes, so I’m curious why you’d say that? Normally when I see that it’s just another passive aggressive male feminist who’s trying to cast women as victims so they can feel manly and superior when they bravely defend them with their internet posts. You sound better than that though, so your comment about crimes being considered lesser when they’re against women makes no sense to me.

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    • I could site the continued bias against victims of rape in police departments, the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls that the government of Canada says is not on the radar, the refusal of Twitter to come up with an effective mechanism to deal with things like Gamergate and death/rape threats.

      While we have made progress in the last thirty years, it’s clear to me that we still have a way to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with everything you said except that this guy would “certainly” have made comments at his place of employment. There is something to be said for the idiotizer known as alcohol, not to mention mob mentality… neither of which is an excuse for his statements or behavior (they just tend to cast a shadow on the idea of “certainty”). But that’s my point: he did enough already for people to blast him. Enough for his employer to let him go. Your argument doesn’t need to consider what he *might* do… The “I thought we had free speech in this country”-crowd misses the logic of the counter-argument too often already. And since you did such a good job laying that argument out, there’s no reason to give them something to distract themselves with.

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  4. Rebecca Ali

    “I could site the continued bias against victims of rape in police departments,”

    You’ve brought up an example which proves the exact opposite of your incorrect conclusion. Women victims of rape are far more likely to be taken seriously by police than male victims. If the perpetrator is a woman she’s far less likely to be taken to task for the rape than if it’s a man.

    “the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls that the government of Canada says is not on the radar,”

    You’ve brought up another example which proves the exact opposite of your incorrect conclusion. Native women are murdered at a higher rate than non-native women, but native men are murdered at an even higher rate with close to zero concern. The fact that you don’t know that is part of the problem, or maybe you do know that but don’t care but I hope not. Most people don’t care about men murdered, while every second person on social media has expressed concern for the missing and murdered native women. Sadly the federal government doesn’t care much for male or female natives. I care about both, I invite you to look past agenda driven stats and care about both as well.

    “the refusal of Twitter to come up with an effective mechanism to deal with things like Gamergate and death/rape threats. ”

    Gamergate is men and women and Gamergate has received far more threats and have had the police sent after them more often, while large internet site lie and claims that the opposite is true. As for threats against anti-gamergater Brianna Wu, she admitted setting up a forum of threats against herself. Anita Sarkesian had a screen capture of a twitter threat from 7 seconds after it was sent when she was logged out of twitter. Send her money if you don’t find that suspicious.

    There’s a lot of mis-information out there on this topic. I know it makes some men feel manly to believe all of the women are only victims stories without realizing women are more competent than that, but your misogynist sexism of diminished expectation of women makes you part of the problem, not part of the solution.

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