With all the commotion going on with the River Kings vs Brock Frost vs CFN situation, my rant this week may seem passé, but I feel it deals with an important subject that quickly got swept under the carpet. While on the topic of Brock Frost, several people have voiced their discontentment about us “favouring him” during the elections. I would just like to clarify that anything published in the Seeker about Mr. Frost during the election campaign, except for his interview, was paid for by Mr. Frost. That includes the cover page of October 24. Equal opportunity was given to all candidates. We’re only guilty of not stating the space was paid by the Brock Frost Campaign.
Now onto this week’s topic.
Misogyny (/mɪˈsɒdʒɪni/) The hatred or dislike of women or girls.
Ashley March is a brilliant, articulate, talented, award-winning young writer.
Ashley is one of the few women journalists I know that chose the world of sports, specifically hockey, as the main subject of her writings. In a domain so predominantly male, that, to me, is incredibly gutsy.
I am sure Ashley has heard her share of sexist snag remarks over the years, coming from individuals who criticize, or perhaps even question, her expertise on the topic. That is somewhat to be expected–you don’t get to see a woman in that field every day. But when the misogynist comments come from a “media outlet”, even a self-professed one, there is a problem.
Last week, she was referred to as a “Puck Bunny” in an article about Brock Frost and the River Kings situation. When Miss March confronted the editor with the fact that she didn’t appreciate the term, the editor in question added insult to injury by responding: “Sweetie, I’m the journalist with most seniority. Show some respect…” instead of offering an apology.
A puck bunny, for those unfamiliar with the term, defines a woman who has little to no interest in the game and attends matches simply to watch studly hockey players to hopefully somehow, at some point, end up in bed with one of them. Now if THAT is not derogatory when talking about a female sports journalist, I don’t know what is!
Then, in an attempt to save face, and on the eve of the anniversary of the Montreal Polytechnique massacre, the so-called editor wrote an entire article twisting facts, providing pictures and quotes trying to discredit Miss March, prove that she is nothing BUT a puck bunny and making himself look like the victim stating that “If you look at Ms. March’s open Facebook page you see mostly cleavage shots. Those are choices that women who want to work in male dominated sports make. Most good ones don’t. They want to be respected for their work and not their breasts.”
So let me get this straight… Because she posts picture with cleavage, she shouldn’t be respected for her work, she’s not one of the “good one”? Because she’s beautiful, that makes her less of a serious journalist? Because she dares to show a wee bit of skin, that makes her a “Puck Bunny”? This is not only preposterous, but it is equal to stating that a rape victim is responsible for getting raped just because she was dressed a certain way. It certainly has no place in the “media”.
The editor went on to say “She sets back the cause of women in sports by lashing out in the manner she did.”
Was March supposed to stay quiet, sit pretty and take public abuse? Remember, this is not one individual speaking about another individual. No. This is the “#1 media”, who claims to have hundreds of thousands of monthly viewers, speaking about a professional journalist, which would mean that Ms. March’s reputation as a credible sports writer could potentially have been seriously damaged. But guess who is threatening legal action against the other? No. Not the one you think.
I have always been vocal about things I consider socially inacceptable, sexism and racism being the two major issues. Misogyny exists in many published forms; music videos are saturated with it. Technology has made it easier to mass market . But it also has made it easier for people to speak against.
It is one thing when individuals are promoting the spreading of stereotypes, but media has a responsibility to avoid doing so. News outlets are the ears and eyes of our communities. They should act as watchdogs and speak against social injustice, not create it. They have a duty to the public to fight to find the truth.
Being the “weekly dose of positive news” has worked well for the Seeker. However, it has meant, at times, that we had to ignore public developments who didn’t have a positive vibe. We have come to realize that sometimes, news is of such important value to public interest, we simply can’t turn a blind eye.
This is why, starting now, we will expand our vision and mandate to encompass bringing you all major news, whether good or bad. We will speak up against corruption and immorality . We will break the barrier of lies and deceit. We will seek the truth.
Our website will be where this news will be distributed mainly, we will try to keep our print as positive as we possibly can. But we are removing the rose-coloured glasses.
Time for a new chapter.