This is the inaugural post in my “Douchebag Alert” series, in which a (generally) public figure says or does something douchey, and I take (generally) him to task. In my opinion, anything pertaining to douche makes for an excellent feminist insult, because douche is at best useless and irritating, and its promotion and use have been tied to cultural mores about the disgusting inferiority of femaleness.
‘Men are attracted to smiles,’ Alberta MLA advised girls on blog is the headline, but that’s just the beginning of it. It wasn’t just his blog, it was at graduation speeches for local junior high schools. And “men are attracted to smiles” was far from the worst of it. The winning soundbyte is, “if you want to be treated equal it comes in little packets at Starbuck’s”. Yeah. Freakin’ hilarious. Other gems include some nasty gender essentialism about how girls are boring and boys want to fly airplanes but they can’t unless the girls go away and have babies, and some stuff about watching young girls learning to walk in heels that made me feel vaguely creeped. Even better: he admits the speech is heavily borrowed from someone else, so it’s not even his own creative misogyny, just misogyny he thought was funny enough to propagate. Update: this morning on the radio he was saying that the “equal” bit was just on his blog, not in the speech.
If you require an emetic, here’s the google cache of the entire thing. At the end of the post is a screen print just in case it disappears from the cache.
What I’d really like to focus on, though, is the apology:
Elniski said both comments were his own versions of material he heard somewhere once in a standup comedy routine.
And apparently thought it was hilarious enough to repeat, without giving any thought to how it might be offensive.
“In hindsight, it was a stupid, inappropriate thing to put on the blog,” he admitted. “It completely missed the message I was trying to achieve.”
That message, he said, is that people – both men and women – should be friendly and approachable in their dealings with others.
Yeah, that’s totally the message he conveyed in that speech, isn’t it. We all just took it the wrong way.
“If you’re approaching somebody that’s scowling and you’re not expecting them to be scowling, you’re immediately on the defensive,” he explained.
“In my world, I think it’s really important that people not be defensive about stuff and that people be approachable.”
Let me help you with that, since you have already admitted you have a problem with clarity: “
In my world, I think it’s really important that people women not be defensive about stuff always give me the benefit of the doubt no matter how much of a douche I’m being or have been to them in the past and that people women be approachable make sure they always make it clear through their body language and facial expression that they are willing to acquiesce to my male authority.
He said he has three adult daughters and most of the key workers on his election campaign were women.
I love women so much, I own several! And I regularly benefit from the unpaid labour of many others!
“If I were sexist I think I would certainly know about it by now.”
Because surely the fact that I’m a man in a position of authority would never, ever make a woman think twice about calling me out for my sexist words and actions.
(thank you, Rainbow Girl, wherever you are, for your Red Pen of Justice)
Oh, and by the way, dude was already in trouble for insensitive remarks he twittered during the Pride parade.