Last night I decided to have one last look at Facebook before going to bed. It turned out to be a bad move. I went to bed seething with anger.
I have quite a few young friends on Facebook, many of whom are people we met when we lived in Fort Liard, and who were barely teenagers when we moved to Whitehorse. One young man I’ll call “M” posted a status update he clearly thought was hilarious. And I didn’t. Well, have a look for yourself.
I enjoy irreverent humour, naughty humour, and sometimes even bathroom humour. But this is not irreverent or naughty; it’s degrading and abusive. I could see that my young friend M didn’t get it. What was even sadder is the person who posted “LMAO” is a young woman.
I was so so angry, I shut off my computer and headed for bed. I started brushing my teeth and thought about M. At barely 20, even though he “should” know better, he’s still at an age where this kind of stupidity, er, ignorance is not surprising.
So I came back on Facebook and posted my second comment.
In fact, I don’t think it’s funny in the context of the movie. (I’ve never watched Goon, but based on this glimpse, I suspect I’d find a lot of the movie disgusting.) I was trying very hard to set aside my anger and explain what makes this kind of public declaration unacceptable. It’s so hard to be reasonable and coherent when I feel this way.
I knew posting this comment made me look like a killjoy; to the group around this young man, I would probably appear to be just another a humourless adult who takes pleasure in berating youth. But to me, this kind of attitude is absolutely dangerous, especially in a community where violence against women is all too common.
After posting this, and fully expecting to be called out, I went to bed shaking.
You’ll be happy to know that I found a contrite message from M this morning. I’m proud of him. A few more people had chimed in on the thread to say they thought it was funny, but no one yelled at me. I’m glad I did a little something. I hope that speaking out this once makes a difference in M’s life, that he’ll think twice next time.
I never watch movies anymore, but it makes me wonder how much popular culture out there promotes this kind of degrading attitude towards women. I can’t do a lot about that. But at least I can help shape some small attitude shifts, just like this, every once in a while. It’s better than despairing.