Zemanek: Time to push back against hate speech levelled against women

When Donald Trump won the top job recently in the United States presidential elections, protesters, fuelled by hatred and anger, took to the streets en masse to condemn the surprise victory. What part didn’t they understand about a democracy?

When former Tory Calgary MLA Sandra Jansen recently crossed the legislative floor to Alberta’s NDP ruling government, bitter protesters took to social media en masse with hatred and anger on their minds. What part didn’t they understand about a civilized society? And for the record, Jansen publicly repeated the below social-media comments to the Legislature on Tuesday.

The postings included:

l “What a traitorous bitch.”

l “Fly with the crows and get shot.”

l “Dead meat.”

l “Another useless tit goes NDP.”

l “Sandra should stay in the kitchen, where she belongs.”

l “Dumb broad. A good place for her to be is with the rest of the queers.”

After shocking MLAs into silence, Jansen made an emotional plea with her colleagues in all parties to stand up against hate speech levelled at women in politics, a CBC account read. “ … if you reject the inherent violence against them, and you know that harassment and abuse, even if it’s verbal, even if it’s online, and even if it’s directed at a political opponent, is poison,” she said. “Imagine if we let that poison become normalized?”

Jansen’s pointed speech earned her a standing ovation from the entire house. The now NDP MLA was a hopeful in the Tory leadership race, but quit after alleging harassment and intimidation by volunteers from other candidate’s campaign during a recent PC meeting in Red Deer. Now there are four left in the race – all men.

Apparently Tory supporters haven’t yet swallowed that bitter pill of an embarrassing defeat to the NDP last year. It’s no doubt tough medicine to take after a cozy almost 44-year reign of unaccountability to voters, lavish spending, expensive perks, and scandals. Yet this arrogant, presumptuous “good-old-boys’ club” continued to be voted back into power. It was frequently asked: “How many times do Albertans need to be hit over the head with a PC hammer before they say ‘ouch!’ ” The pain finally hit home last year.

Yet the defeated PC backers are still cursing at the dark as demonstrated with the response to Jansen’s decision. It doesn’t take a smart person to post such abhorrent comments over social media. If that reflects their mentality then they’re standing on the bottom rung of the “Darwin’s Theory of Evolution ladder.”

Home-spun philosopher Mark Twain once said: “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” Appears some potty mouthed PC backers are feeling that sting.

Rick Zemanek is a former Advocate editor.

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