Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Contempt Party: Ageist and Sexist

In all the hoo-ha over Shelley Glover's not at all surprisingly idiotic ageist slur, I'm surprised no one has yet noted the sloshing sexism.

My immediate reaction was: Would anyone say this about a 68-year-old MALE politician?

No. Because under patriarchy, men are rewarded for aging, while women are punished.

So, how many retirement-age pols have we got in the House?

Getting an answer was a doddle. There are 14 men and 3 women aged 65 and over. (And five for whom we have no birth date? That's odd, isn't it?)

Contempt Party ® apologists insist Glover was referring to Anita Neville's length of service. So long has she been in the job?

Again, the answer was easy to find. From newbie Julian Fantino who at 68 is Minister for Seniors, but has served just 3 months, to Louis Plamondon who at 67 has served 26 years, Anita Neville is mid-pack at 10 years.

There seem to be better candidates whether the criteria is 'long of tooth' of 'long of hanging about' than Neville.

Why Neville then?

Look at this first comment on the Notional Pest piece on the row.
Maximum Cat: The NDP's deputy leader, Libby Davies, passed her expiration date the second she proposed that 9-11 is an inside job to Parliament.

It has nothing to do with her age. It reflects on her sanity, or lack thereof.

Forbye 'expiry date' has nothing to do with mental health -- unless my yogurt is going quietly batzoid in my fridge -- why pick on another female politician?

I suggest that the sexism implied in Glover's smear is so engrained, so well understood that patriarchal minds leap naturally to another FEMALE target.

And there's also the not-small matter that neither Davies nor Neville ranks very high on the Contempt Party's 'busty-hooker' standard for female appearance.

And people wonder why more women don't go into politics. . .


deBeauxOs said...

When the penny drops, my virtual roomie fh is there to investigate & report!

Nadine Lumley said...

Ten compelling reasons to vote for Steve Harper’s new Reforma Alliance C.R.A.P. party:

1. You hate children
2. Profitable corporations should get big tax cuts
3. We need big U.S. style prisons for felons engaging in unreported crimes
4. Heath Care should be run by business and not government
5. We need more judges who understand that tube tops are an invitation to sex
6. Stephen Harper has really expensive hair
7. To be a successful politician you have to be a good liar
8. Patronage is a good thing, especially when you set a record
9. For making government more open and accountable (^not)
10. He plays a mean piano



fern hill said...

Nadine's links made clickable: Ten Reasons and Unseat Harper.

Sixth Estate said...

"My immediate reaction was: Would anyone say this about a 68-year-old MALE politician?"

That was actually my reaction, too. I turned to my partner and my exact words were, "but what about Julian Fantino?" I'm sure there are others too, but I remember him because he's the seniors minister.

JJ said...

I'm glad someone pointed this out. That was my first response to Glover's comment: "Sexist much?"

And I don't use terms like 'sexism' lightly, so if even I think it's sexist, it's sexist with a Capital 'S' and a Capital 'EXIST'.

It's probably ageist too; obviously CARP thinks so. But given some of the ageist remarks I see on a regular basis on "progressive" blogs, I'm not sure this is a road lefties should take. Ageism, the last acceptable prejudice, crosses all partisan and party lines. It's everywhere. I'm surprised, sometimes, at the blatant ageism dished out by some so-called "progressives".

Fortunately, this old broad has a pretty high endurance threshold for things like sexism and ageism ;)

Jymn said...

I don't know about " men are rewarded for aging". Try finding a job if you're over 60 and male. Nobody will hire you, not even A&W or Futureshop, flipping burgers or selling on the floor, despite a degree and years of IT experience. It's hell out there for men as well as women over 60.

Jymn said...

JJ - there is nothing wrong with calling out sexism or ageism. Who cares who says it? It has nothing to do with left or right. If a Liberal says something sexist or ageist, let us on both sides call it out. But let's not keep quiet because both sides do it. You're right in that we are all guilty to some degree of saying derogatory things about groups. When I cross the line, I expect to be called out (and I have been, and I appreciate the lesson). Shelley Glover deserves to be called on her statements, no matter what political stripe she wears.

fern hill said...

@JJ: Yeah, I don't play the sexism card very often, either.

@Jymm: Yes, of course, aging is hell on all 'ordinary' people. But in many fields, there is an age reward for men. I've got Al Jazeera English on now (it's on just about constantly now with sound turned off). I glance over to see rooms full of 'important' people, making important decisions. And all the grey hairs are on male heads. And there aren't very many women at all.

I could decline some adjectives, but I'm too lazy. Classics like 'distinguished older man' vs 'well-kept older woman'. Etc.

k'in said...

Conservatives only value women for their willingness and capacity to breed.

Proof is the proposed "family" income-splitting tax credit announced yesterday.

If you don't have children under the age of eighteen in your traditionally coupled household, you won't get the munnee.

JJ said...

@Jymn "If a Liberal says something sexist or ageist, let us on both sides call it out."

Agreed. Sexism does get called out routinely, but nobody seems to care about ageist remarks except the people they target. It's well past time to start saying "WTF?" when we see this bigoted crap instead of letting it slide.

I also agree with your previous comment about ageism affecting men as well as women. Most if not all of the ageist comments I've seen around the blogosphere are gender-neutral, insulting women and men alike. In terms of the job market, ageism most definitely affects men as well as women. The older one gets the less shit one tends to take, and employers don't like that.

Fern Hill has a point about men in a way being rewarded for aging. But as she alluded to, societal expectations are a lot higher for men, and IMO that cranks up the pressure of aging. Typically, men that are rewarded for aging have done well in other areas: career, political power, influence, earning power. So they're respected in spite of their age, not because of it.

Beijing York said...

K'in that freaking dog whistle to home-schooling by Christ, traditional values family demographic made me furious. It probably also plays well with any well-off patriarchal family unit of any religious stripe.

I heard Anita Neville response to Shelly Glover's remark this morning and she basically called it sexist, saying that she didn't think Glover would say that if she were a male.

Godel Noodle said...

It's well past time to start saying "WTF?" when we see this bigoted crap instead of letting it slide.

So, wait... Are you saying this bigoted crap has passed its expiry date?

(Sorry, sorry... Don't mind me. *ducks projectile tomato*)

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