Friday, March 8, 2013

Warrior babes, free speech and the CBC

In honour of International Women's Day, that celebration of feminism, empowerment and above all, political correctness. 

I don’t work for the CBC, but if I did, this would be a serious new story, and it would be titled: “CBC Host Sexist Misogynist Warmonger!” Except that the CBC, like most left-of-centre media outlets, never reports on its own incongruities.

I might as well “engage in stereotyping” (as I heard a CBC host say recently) and venture that when you listen to a small-town D.J. on the A.M. dial, or some bonehead (aren’t they all?) on right-wing talk radio, you expect to hear all kinds of chauvinism, bigotry and glorification of violence, right?  But never on the CBC. Yet there I was, last Wednesday morning, in my car, about to back out of my driveway. The radio dial was tuned to CBC Radio 2 (proof that Mr. P. has mellowed since his April Wine and Blue Oyster Cult days). The program was Tempo, hosted by one Julie Nesrallah.

Having just concluded a segment, Julie enjoined listeners to stay with the show after the hourly news update, promising that we would be taken “for a ride.” (cough) Moreover, she vouchsafed, in amused and amusing vocal tones, we would enjoy our musical ride courtesy of  (and I quote, hence the punctuation) “blonde babes wearing breastplates and packing heat.”

Excuse me? Did I just hear an employee of the CBC, national epicentre of diversity, sensitivity and political correctness, utter a sentence containing not only a sexist slur but a flippant and frivolous treatment of concealed weaponry? Never mind that any part of that statement would suffice to destroy the career of a conservative journalist, academic, or politician who might say the same.

Is our hallowed state broadcaster actually condoning blonde jokes? Is the CBC now tolerating sexism and misogyny by allowing its radio hosts to use such disparaging epithets for the female sex as “babes”? As for “packing heat,” why, that’s a blatant celebration of “gun culture” –or at the very least, warrior culture, which is just as bad (unless you are aboriginal).

Doesn’t the CBC comprehend that in allowing their employees to make such comments, they are, like 99.9% of Canadian men, directly and personally responsible for atrocities like the École Polytechnique Massacre? (I realize it is in very bad taste to bring up the tragedy—because I’m conservative; if I worked for the CBC, I would be allowed to invoke it shamelessly, and for any reason.)

I am not blonde, but I used to be (when I was six), so I feel it incumbent upon myself to be offended on behalf of all blondes. I should complain about Julie's comments, as well as the CBC, to the CRTC, the Ombudsman, and the Canadian Human Rights Commission—indeed, perhaps all twelve provincial and territorial HRCs.

The musical selection that Julie played after the newsbreak was (as you may have guessed) Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.” Now don’t bother arguing that I’m not allowed to be offended on behalf of legendary handmaidens of the Norse god Odin. If some folks can get offended on behalf of cartoon prophets, I can get offended on behalf of mythical Teutonic warrior maidens.

I would testify to the HRCs that the phrase “blonde babes wearing breastplates” –in the context of ‘riding,’ no less—might be, according to Section 13 (which is not yet dead, thank goodness Senate!), “likely to expose” flaxen-haired Nordic women to sexual harassment, ridicule or contempt. I am neither of Nordic extraction, nor a member of a Norse religion, but I used to be a fan of ABBA, and I think that counts for both. And besides, numerous past HRC cases have shown that a complainant need not be a member of an aggrieved group in order to be offended (and collect cash pay-outs) on their behalf.

Julie (who herself, by the way, is quite the babe, though not blonde) appears not to be of Nordic extraction—am I even allowed to notice that, or is it racist? Is it likewise racist for Julie to use the phrase “blonde babes”? If she is conservative, yes. If, however, she is a left-leaning feminist (she works for the CBC after all—or I am engaging in socio-political profiling?), then such remarks are permissible. Feminists of ethnic diversity get a free speech pass.

In truth, I have nothing whatever against Julie—I’m sure she is a fun babe (even if she doesn’t wear breastplates, pack heat, or give rides). So of course I have no desire to complain of her to the CHRC. In fact, I thought her description of the Valkyries rather funny—as did, I am sure, her bosses and the rest of her stereotypical lefty listeners.  

If only the CBC didn’t eat hypocrisy for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and if only Canadian taxpayers didn’t have to foot the bill. 

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