Friday, February 08, 2008

From the Banality of Evil to the Excruciating Fatuity of Decadence

It's with genuine reluctance that I weigh into this business of (Richmond Hill Deputy Mayor) Brenda Hogg's righteous indig- nation at not having had her hand shaken by Orthodox Rabbis at a Hanukkah celebration late last year, and at the failure of male participants at an Eid celebration to make eye contact with her somewhere around the same time ... The matter is so far beneath anyone's dignity that I blush to mention even this.

But, and bear with me here, in light of the hysteria-inducing conclusions drawn by a recent study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health--wherein it was found that (hold on to your bowels!) "almost half of female high school students are subjected to sexual comments or gestures, and one-third are touched, grabbed or pinched in a sexual way"--in light, I say, of this bizarrely naive, it-could-only-have-been-written-by-someone- born-yesterday study, I cannot resist pointing the following out:

Imagine, if you will, what kind of reaction Brenda Hogg would have to this news that, apparently, "sexual comments or gestures" (alternatively called "sexual assault" and "sexual violence" in the above-cited article) are on the rise in Ontario high schools. I'm seeing in my mind's eye a lot of tongue-clicking, a lot of head shaking, a lot of tortured expressions. A lot of trembling of her lower lip, her voice cracking with emotion as she bemoans the world into which so many innocent children have been brought.

Yes? Yes.

Now balance that with what, apparently, qualifies as sexual assault/violence in this study: "sexual comments, jokes, gestures or looks."

"Looks" you notice. Looking at a woman now qualifies as sexual harassment in this society. In addition, needless to say, to touching.

So what is Donna Hogg complaining about again? The wrong sort of not-looking and not-touching is it?

... But don't get me wrong, I find her fellow councillor, David Cohen's reaction equally brainless. Not to speak of its spinelessness.

Who ever let these ghastly drabs into positions of influence?