Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Oops, we did it Again!

Yet another politician is forced by PC thought police to apologize for saying the right thing. This one is Mario Dumont, the ADQ candidate for premier in Quebec's current election. The scandalous quote?

"We keep hearing this song every year about violence against women," Plante said in one excerpt. "What about violence against men?"

Indeed. What about it?

Dumont's comments were in reference to an annual day of remembrance for a 1989 massacre at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in which 14 women were shot to death by a man who claimed to be "fighting feminism." Of course, he also shot and wounded 4 men, but somehow this is not part of The Tragedy. Dumont was caught on YouTube (sorry, no link - I don't speak the French) bragging about how he never wears the traditional white ribbon. He's also said some unfortunate things about women in the past - like, in reference to political ads, musing on how some women you know right away that you wanna screw them, but others it takes a little longer to get warmed up.

Alright, so maybe Dumont is a sexist. I don't know him and I don't really follow Quebec politics, so I couldn't say. But he was absolutely right to criticize this ridiculous holiday.

Seriously - what the hell? Why is there a day of remembrance for violence against women? Why is violence somehow worse when it's directed against women than men? Isn't violence just violence - i.e. all bad?

As if it wasn't bad enough to have a holiday commemorating only some violence (as opposed to, you know, violence), they hold it in memory of a crazed rampage. Now that's a straw man if I've ever heard one. A guy goes nuts and shoots up a bunch of women - fine, it's a tragedy. But would it have been any less of a tragedy if he'd gone on a rampage against people wearing red? Would Quebec then have an annual "Violence Against Red" memorial day? The point is surely that what triggers someone to go grab a gun and shoot up a bunch of defenseless people can hardly be taken as a representative opinion! There's a whole spectrum of diversity among nutjobs in the world; the one thing they all have in common is that they're not normal. That's what it means to be a nutjob - that you are not representative of the general population. So why should Quebec in general, or Canada in general, or even the world in general need to meditate on violence against women because of one completely non-representative killing spree? It makes exactly no sense to me.

Granted, women are physically weaker than men, and also less physically aggressive. But it hardly seems fair to use this generalization to conclude that any man involved in any violent incident, whether as victim or perpetrator, is at least partly responsible for it! There are male victims of violence too - and there's no reason I can think of not to lump them in with all the female victims of violence remembered on December 6. In fact, here is a list of better things to think about in general on December 6 than Quebec's sexist holiday.

Dumont has since (of course) apologized. He has an election to win, after all. Here's hoping he wins it and bans the silly holiday. (But he's still a wimp for caving.)


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