I got tired of pretending being yelled at from passing cars didn’t scare me, that I was cool with the occasional comment about the way I looked and of trying to be accessible and friendly.I got tired of being quiet, of being polite, of being nice (the empty alternative to “kind”). It is in every industry, it has been experienced or witnessed by everyone, and it thrives on abuse of power, on the stigma attached to being targeted, and the subsequent shame and silence.It looks like Harvey Weinstein being accused of sexual harassment by dozens of women, like Ben Affleck accosting a TRL host on national television, Donald Trump bragging about grabbing women by the pussy, your boss who keeps touching your waist and your professor suggesting you trade sexual favours for good grades.Shortly after tweeting about my own Harvey Weinstein (one of many, but one nonetheless), I followed up with a tweet about how my default setting has became one of anger.At some point in my twenties, I became exhausted by playing a part I’d never signed up for.While the realities of rape culture have always affected us, the past week has forced us to confront just how prevalent it is, and how it has found its way into almost every life, where it manipulates, hurts and silences us. And if you’re anything like me at this point, you have anger to spare. Rachel Notley really meant what she said four days ago when she dropped the gloves and went right after Jason Kenney, painting him as the leader of budget slashers, extreme social conservatives and folks yearning for the perks of the public purse.
Anger became easier to channel, to compartmentalize and to fuel work I needed to do.You’ve gone down this path a year before the election.Wow.“This is the thrashings of a desperate government trying to hang on to power when they’re in big trouble.”There will be many of the conservative stripe who will chalk up the NDP cartoon to the governing party being far behind the United Conservatives in support and needing a Hail Mary pass sooner rather than later. There will be those who see the NDP cartoon as dirty pool.“They don’t want to talk about their record.Mc Iver expects we’ll see more of the same until next spring’s election.“They’re trying to create a bogeyman under the bed.What they don’t realize is Albertans, if they’re worried about a bogeyman, are smart enough to bend down and look under the bed.”Sarah Hoffman is Notley’s Number 2. When the deputy premier saw it, she laughed.“I thought it was pretty smart and cheeky.I responded to inappropriate comments and sexual propositions with a smile, fearing I’d be labelled a tease or a prude or any number of descriptors I feared would lessen my worth.I tried to do everything “right,” despite knowing—yes, even then—that it was a losing game.Ric Mc Iver, the United Conservative with almost two decades in elected office, has seen the cartoon.The NDP cartoon.“I kind of rolled my eyes thinking: Really?They want to talk about anything other than their record and what they have and have not done,” says Mc Iver. The NDP cartoon, with the title Kenney’s Playbook, accuses Kenney of not wanting to talk about what he would like his record to be.In half a minute, it’s pretty clear the NDP is going for the Kenney-has-a-hidden-agenda routine.It doesn’t discriminate based on gender, orientation or notoriety.It is one of our true constants, and so ingrained in our society that we still ask survivors what they were wearing, what they said, why they didn’t speak up, and act surprised when men like James Van Der Beek and Terry Crews telling us it’s happened to them, too.It’s taught us to stop trusting anyone, and to adapt our behaviour in an attempt to ward off the misconception that we could ever be “asking” for it.