Edmonton Journal columnist besmirches reputations of fraternity members

Because of USA President-Elect Donald Trump, misogynist may become the “it” word for 2016.

The tragedy would be if we become tone-deaf due to its ubiquitous, and if its over-use and misuse result in its losing impact. For example, Edmonton Journal columnist Paula Simons tarring members of fraternities with the misogyny brush. [Alberta politics must resist misogynist “frat boy” culture, November 10]

She has choice words about Mr. Trump whom she describes as “the biggest, loudest, grossest, sleaziest ‘frat boy’ of them all — a man who truly doesn’t believe he’s ever committed a sexual aggression, because he fondly imagines that it’s every woman’s dream to be felt up by his short-fingered hands.”

Ms. Simons is — as am I —  rightly, strongly and fervently against misogyny. She also rails against the treatment reported by women from various political parties in Alberta. Most recently:

  • One female candidate dropping out of the Progressive Conservative [PC] leadership race due to what she said were sexist harassment and intimidation. [The party is prepared to investigate.]
  • Another female candidate dropping out of the same leadership race. “She didn’t specifically raise issues of misogyny. But then, since she timed her announcement to come just moments after [the first woman], she really didn’t need to.”

Misandry has been defined as “the hatred or  dislike of men or boys.” Misandry “can manifest itself in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of men, violence against men, sexual objectification of men, ‘or more broadly, the hatred, fear, anger and contempt of men’.”

When it comes to misandry vis-à-vis misogyny, Ms. Simons appears to have a double standard as she seamlessly pillories every frater as being from the Trump mould. [Alberta politics must resist misogynist “frat boy” culture]

What a repulsive, misleading, hate-baiting and scurrilous headline for the Journal to publish on the front page. Thousands and thousands of fraternity members [men] were targeted and their reputations were besmirched.

Every fraternity can name members who have achieved extraordinary success. I pledged and joined Tau Kappa Epsilon [TKE] with Gary Doer. He was to become Manitoba’s only three-term premier and then served Canada as our country’s ambassador to the United States. Neither he nor I are misogynist, despite what the Journal headline not only implied, but also boldly stated.

As a proud member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, I personally know the value and the values that being a member of a fraternity can bring.

Ms. Simons’ “apologies to all decent fraternity members” in the 10th paragraph is insulting, gratuitous, self-serving — a classic example trying to cover your ass. The Journal knows most people only read the headline and a maximum of the first three paragraphs. Therefore, if Ms. Simon  was truly sincere, “apologies” with an explanation should have been the lead paragraph!

Instead, as a man and a member of a fraternity, I’m left with a commentary and headline that are most unsettling and most unfair in their blanket condemnations, associations and insinuations; and, in language and tone that some may feel borders on “contempt of men.”

 

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