Letter to the badgers; on feminism and Quebec

L

Hello Badgers! (please call me Bob, I’m still closeted)

I wanted to come back to one of your guests in the show of January 29th, a young Quebecois man that seemed a bit in over his head facing off with Karen. Many of the things he said reflect my own impressions of the local situation of the SJW mentality, and I felt his points deserved to be clarified and expanded.

1- I echo his impression about “not seeing” the SJW mentality in the overall culture. My own hypothesis has to do with the sharp separation (and deep mistrust) between the French-speaking and English-speaking cultures in Quebec. Personally, 9 times out of 10, whenever I hear seriously messed up feminist rhetoric, it comes from an English-speaking source; to me, language seems a lot more predictive of SJW rhetoric than country.

This language barrier was most obvious in the starting days of Gamergate, when practically all English gaming websites were holding the same discourse and acting like the SJW party line was a widely-held opinion, while the controversy was almost entirely unheard of on any non-English gaming website, weeks into the debacle.

Furthermore, I wonder if perhaps the overall situation of French-speaking cultures in the world also make it much harder for the intensely feminist views to take root. Overall, French-speaking countries had bigger fish to fry with racial tension and racial integration being much bigger problems than gender issues, and my experience with French women has rarely been one of victim mentality; I get the impression they’re a lot more aware of (and fully comfortable with) their sexual power over men.

2- The 2012 students strike. As much as I like Karen, I have to express deep disappointment and disapproval of her interpretation of that¬†situation, but hey, I guess even she isn’t immune to the undeniable appeal of a cold glass of Quebec-bashing kool aid. While the original issue was, indeed, a schooling fees hike (nothing exceptional there if you peruse Quebec’s history of student protests), the situation spun out of control more due to the government’s handling of the situation, eventually making a sizeable chunk of the population not concerned with the hike (some even pro-hike) joining in to protest the rising levels of violence and laws the police and government were enacting in retaliation.

It is notable that there was a number of SJW-worthy students in the protests (with gems such as “the price hike is sexist, because it is equal for all students, and women will make less money than men, and so it’s bigger for women”), but it went hand-in-hand with the more radical left-leaning portions of the protest (same group that would call for entirely free education and insist on using both genders in spoken reference to a¬†group, which conventionally use the masculine only), in other words, those ideas have always been considered rather fringe and rarely make their way into mainstream media without getting mocked into oblivion.

3- The question of Quebec’s social and economic politics and their relation to other provinces of Canada is too complicated to address here, so I’ll just mention that it is not as simple as “mean Quebeckers taking the honest Albertans’ money to wash their kids’ teeth” and leave it at that.

4- OF COURSE, just as I was in the process of writing this tirade, Quebec media suddenly realized that teenaged girls coming from broken homes tend to become runaways. Now all you can hear about local politics is how, again, big bad men are exploiting poor little vulnerable girls and how we should be ashamed of it.

To sum up: string of teenaged girls are reported as “missing”, are found unharmed, most seem to link back to a single Laval youth shelter, and all of a sudden it’s all about “street gangs are recruiting our girls to be molested by bad men!” The fact most (if not all) of the girls were located and taken into police custody against their will and the larger public has yet to get their side of the story was mostly glossed over. By the same token, media and police forces are now basically painting the grimmest portrait they can and never actually stopping to ask whether sex workers are, you know, WILLING. Nope, it is insinuated that all sex workers in the country are unwilling or tricked into being sex workers by the BIG BAD DANGEROUS MAN.

And that’s without mentioning this gem in La Presse today, an open letter claiming poor little women can’t stand by their choice to get an abortion when confronted by protesters, because (quote, roughly translated) “crossing a group of protesters before getting an abortion has real consequences and, for many, makes the process more difficult, more medicine-dependant, in an already highly distressing context.” But you know, trying to enforce “safe spaces” around abortion clinics, on public space, where protesters would be denied their right for peaceful dissent, is not about “limiting [their] freedom of expression”. OF COURSE NOT.

*SIGH*
When I started writing this, the day after the mailbag episode, I was ready to share my impression that Quebec’s mainstream culture wasn’t as prone to falling prey to extreme feminist discourse; now, three weeks later, in light of recent events, I’m no longer so sure. Considering that, I hope you keep up your work; while I find that I disagree with much of what you say, your dissenting opinion on many subjects remain welcome and will hopefully continue to make me reconsider my own assumptions.

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