Always keeping up with the hot topics of thirty years ago, Canadian icon/embarrassment Don Cherry made news this week when he declared that a men’s locker room was no place for female reporters. You might think that these journalists are just harmlessly doing their job, but apparently they’re bringing grave shame to coaches and players.
A curmudgeon to the core, no one would expect Cherry to have particularly progressive views on, well, anything. Sure, we settled this ladies-in-the-locker-room thing decades ago, but can we really be that hard on Cherry? His objection is really quite saintly:
“I don’t feel women are equal. I feel they’re above us. I think they’re on a pedestal and they should not be walking in when naked guys are walking in. And some guys take advantage of it and I don’t think (they) should be.”
Cherry may not understand this, but claiming to think more of women than of men, especially when your preferences would give them lesser status, is just a whole other layer of misogyny. In either situation, you are treating them as something other than what they are, just people.
Naturally, Cherry is getting some well-deserved ridicule (if not a well-deserved termination). Unfortunately, a new meme has popped up on Facebook that is, arguably, just as misogynist.
This joke isn’t actually funny:
Ha ha, get it? We want to make fun of an opposing team so we’ll just call them women! We’re chiding Grapes and denigrating our foes. What fun. And the reason it’s funny is because it’s a huge insult to be called a woman. Because women aren’t as good as men. Get it? Montreal is a team of losers because they’re women!
We see this type of garbage consistently. Anytime we call someone a douchebag, we’re denigrating women. Any time we call someone a bitch, we’re denigrating women. No matter how you try to gussy it up, no matter how much you say you put women on pedestals, these kinds of statements just indicate a degree of sexism that persists in many of us.
It’s quite difficult to change our habits. Many of us grew up using “girly” or “gay” or “retard” as pejoratives, never once thinking of the implications. It’s tough to get out of that habit, but it’s really easy to not share a discreetly misogynist picture on Facebook. I mean, it’s really easy. You don’t really have to do anything. In fact, doing nothing is all that’s required.
I know that I’m risking being called a stick in the mud. It’s just supposed to be some meaningless trash-talking. But words mean things, and we shouldn’t be so quick to slag half the population just to get a dig in at a silly sports team.