When we were good

Hi friends,

I’m deviating a bit from our regular scheduled program because of the rage-out I am currently undergoing.

Today, in rapid succession, I read three newspaper articles, each of which could have been nominated for the most “inflammatory, intolerant and overwhelmingly ignorant article” of the year award.

I don’t know why I do these things, because it certainly isn’t for my health – physical, mental (or otherwise.) I must be one wacko masochist.

And I’m not going to lie; my heart is feeling really darn heavy at the moment.  These pieces have really got me down about the state of the world, and in particular, about my place as a woman in a society where institutionalized sexism and homophobia is not only the norm, and therefore accepted, but also propagated by large scale organizations that people look to as pillars of our “communities,” which just further reinforces these already cancerous and destructive ideals.

It’s actually at times like this that I feel as though I can never have children because I can’t imagine bringing them into a world where they would have to be subjected to this crap.

This is how I feel about the world right now.

My exact feelings on the matter can be summed up in a one line e-mail I sent to a friend:


*brain explosion*

Okay. Breathe.

1. Dear Christie Blachtford.   WHY ARE YOU SO SAD AND ANGRY?  Seriously, what is your damage? Why must you constantly write about ridiculously-negative-to-the-point-that-I-think-this-HAS-to-be-performace-art things?  Does the Grinch actually exist, and if so, are you doing his PR?

Also, meditate on this thought for a second: if one of your greatest sources of strife in your life is coming across young boys (who are excited to see each other) hugging each other YOU ARE DOING PRETTY WELL.


Seriously, the entire female population of Saudi Arabia just collectively rolled their eyes at you before exclaiming, “LADY, WHAT THE SHIT ARE YOU COMPLAINING ABOUT? WE LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHERE WE AREN’T EVER ALLOWED TO DRIVE A BLASTED CAR!!!”

I am so incredibly exhausted of the whole “when men were men” fallacy – as if there is some naturally prescribed recipe for what “makes a man.”  After reading Ms. Blatchfords blechfest of an article (see what I did there?) I can make a pretty informed guess as to what she thinks are the ingredients:

  • Axe body spray
  • Budweiser
  • Flannel
  • Beard growth
  • General misogyny
  • No tear ducts

Her whole argument is not only insulting to women (proposing that feminine traits are somehow lesser than the (long lost) masculine traits, particularly when embodied by a man) but also completely offensive to men!

Let’s use a seasonally appropriate simile, to help Ms. Blatchford understand the very simple, innate concept that MEN, (JUST LIKE WOMEN) ARE LIKE SNOWFLAKES. YAY!

Each one is an individual, with different traits, mannerisms, likes, dislikes, passions, ideas, goals (bloody hell, I cannot believe I am actually writing this or that THIS NEEDS EXPLAINING IN THE 21st CENTURY) – the list goes on and on.

The archaic notion that a man needs to be X in order to past some kind of Dude Test is silly AND CRAZY. Being a man isn’t like being a bush pilot.  You don’t need a licence.

And if you`re really wondering what makes a man?  The Dude here (that’s what you call him) and the Big Lebowksi have the answer for you:

2. Pat Hickey.  I don’t have too much to say to you other than you probably need to go away.  To Baffin Island.  For about forty-years of hard labour. That might just be enough time for you to think about the things you say and how utterly obtuse you ideas are about what it means to be a victim of sexual assault.

What is even worse is that you have a platform to spew your prejudiced bile.  You are like an internet troll that has somehow figured out a way to get paid to piss people off.

You need to know, need to understand, that it is attitudes like yours that are one of the biggest reasons that so many victims are unwilling to come forward and accuse their abusers.  Simply put: PEOPLE ARE AFRAID OF BEING BLAMED FOR THEIR ASSAULT BECAUSE VICTIMS ARE BLAMED ALL THE DAMN TIME.

You say so yourself that you have never been assaulted.  So what makes you think you could ever cast judgement on someone who has?

The old adage goes that you can’t judge someone until they walk a mile in their shoes, so Patty ol’ Boy, I think you should thank your lucky stars you haven’t ever had to endure that long march.

And you should thank them every day.

3. Dear Chicago Blackhawks organization – When you have a complete tool bag like Dave Bolland play for your team, and he goes on the radio and shoots his mouth off, delighting his listeners with a lovely array of sexist, misogynistic crap, it really looks as though your organization openly endorses these antiquated, dangerous and violent gender norms.

The only other thing I have to ask is:



Do none of these idiots have mothers? Sisters? Wives? Daughters?

Do they respect these women? Do they love them? CAN they love them when they do crap like this EVERY DAY OF THEIR LIVES?

The thing that really gets me is that as much as I hate that this happens, it’s always women who come out looking the worst because at the base of it all – we (women) are the insult.  The punch line.

Our looks, our strengths, our intelligence, our capability, our interests, our passions, our friends, our choices, OUR EVERYTHING – REFLECT POORLY ON A MAN .


This enrages me ever more when I think about how the Williams sisters (in tennis) are often called men, or manly, or


brothers, but it never has the same effect as when (for instance) that idiot Bolland calls the Sedin twins girls.  Because the Williams (as women) are still at fault for not being girly enough – manly characteristics are not  innately bad – they are in fact the socially prescribed superior characteristics, but for a woman to have these traits and not look like how a WOMAN should look, well, that just doesn’t jive.


Either way, it’s either the female sex, or the female herself that is at fault, and ultimately, not good enough.


Well, on that note, I’ve definitely just convinced myself to get me to a nunnery, and stat. I may also never read a fricken newspaper again for all the days of my life.

Dear Genie of the Lamp – tell me something good so I don’t have to cry?


Published by

Vanessa Woznow

Writer, runner, ranter, reader. I write about all things.

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