Sunday, August 19, 2012

Exposing "sissyphobia" for its simplistic immaturity, and cowardice...

"Not standing for anything" in a vain attempt to "please" everyone, of course, pleases no one. However, failing to take a stand on complex issues, is nothing compared with taking a stand that demonstrates overt bigotry, overt arrogance, overt complacency, and overt disdain for the voter.
That's just plain stupidity, ignorance and pig-headedness.
Driving while reading and talking on the cell phone, demonstrating disdain for the gay and lesbian community, insisting on transportation policy that has been rejected, as unsustainable economically by the rest of the world, scuffling with reporters....these are signs of an unbalanced and misguided missile as the chief executive of the City of Toronto.
Hating gay males, students with graduate degrees and ambiguity are signs of immaturity and adolescence, a quality that parades as "hockey knowledge" every Saturday evening on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, spewing as it does out of the mouth of Don Cherry.
Celebrating the "honour code" of the "protector" of the star players, not genuflecting following the scoring of a goal, not 'hot-dogging' by putting the puck into the neck from behind the same net....these are just some of the pieces of dogmatic doggerel that passes for 'cherry-wisdom' but is really a rant on behalf of men whose only skill seems to be to beat the brains (and the teeth) out of opponents in skates, in the middle of what otherwise would be a hockey game.
Is Wayne Gretzky a sissy?
Is Mario Lemieux a sissy?
Is Sidney Crosby a sissy?
Was Matts Sundin a sissy?
What is being defended, by both Ford and Cherry, is the indefensible.
It is a definition of masculinity that demonstrates, by a veteran, to a rookie in a pulp and paper plant, who is attempting to implement his safety training in rolling a multi-ton roll of paper, "Here's how we do it here!" by affixing his shoulder to the roll...only to watch the rookie break his shoulder in the attempt to uphold the veteran's long-ago outdated method.
It is a definition of masculinity that insists on going into Iraq, 'because there are definitely weapons of mass destruction' only to learn that the whole world was misled.
It is a definition of masculinity that insists both on authorizing "waterboarding" and that it produces reliable evidence, when the law prohibits the authorization and the empirical evidence does not support the reliability argument.
It is a definition of masculinity that insists that "gay men" are not real men, a biological, social and anthropological insistence that is clearly unsupportable on any argument.
It is a definition of masculinity that insists on a military arsenal in the U.S. that is greater than all the other military installations of all other countries combined.
It is a definition of masculinity that insists that even men with formal educations, like doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants, engineers and astronauts, poets, historians, scientists, judges and researchers are not real men, and that is just another demonstration of the vacuity of the position of those men who oppose, what they deem "sissies"...
It is their minds, incapable as they are of including in their definition of masculinity any evidence of diversity, difference or sensitivity and sensibility, that are the real "sissies" because they are so afraid that their own masculinity might not be "strong" enough to include such diversity, and they might appear to be what they really are....cowards!
Sissyphobia: a new political condition
By Mariana Valverde, Toronto Star, August 18, 2012
Mariana Valverde is a professor at the University of Toronto and a co-founder of the university’s Sexual Diversity Studies program.
(Toronto)Mayor (Rob) Ford, by contrast, has resisted all efforts by staffers and fellow politicians to tame his John Wayne wannabe tendencies. His brother, Councillor Doug Ford, who is equally conservative and equally masculine but has a little more PR sense, once tried to persuade the mayor to make a token gesture in support of Pride and diversity; but even he got nowhere. Now, a police officer’s plea for Mayor Ford to get a driver has fallen on deaf mayoral ears. Is there a connection between these two things?
When the mayor openly snubbed gay and lesbian communities, some Torontonians called him homophobic. But the recent series of incidents involving streetcar doors, cellphones in cars, and scuffles on the backyard fence — combined with Ford’s highly masculine style of coaching the most masculine of high-school sports, football — justifies a diagnosis not so much of homophobia but of “sissyphobia.”
A sissy is a guy like David Miller, who sat in the back of a hybrid car reading learned papers while the (red-blooded male) driver did the real work.
A sissy is a guy like our dear departed Jack Layton, who not only supported Pride but was not afraid of sporting a moustache that gave him a distinctly “gay” look.
Even Dalton McGuinty, a Catholic father of many children, comes across as somewhat sissy when insisting that he is the “education premier.” After all, who really cares about education except moms?
At the mayor’s inauguration Torontonians were told by the greatest Canadian authority on white male conservative masculinity (Don Cherry) that electing Rob Ford would reverse the growing tide of sissy-ism that has created throngs of weak-kneed, bicycle-riding, over-educated, middle-of-the-road, pussyfooting male politicians who wait to read expert studies before formulating a policy.
When the mayor openly snubbed gay and lesbian communities, some Torontonians called him homophobic. But the recent series of incidents involving streetcar doors, cellphones in cars, and scuffles on the backyard fence — combined with Ford’s highly masculine style of coaching the most masculine of high-school sports, football — justifies a diagnosis not so much of homophobia but of “sissyphobia.”
Sissyphobia, which is the clinical name for the Coaches’ Corner theory of life, would account for all the phenomena mentioned. Aggressively protecting your family home as if Etobicoke were the Wild West; refusing to be driven to work; thinking that traffic laws are for weak-kneed sissies; and imagining that Don Cherry is an appropriate symbolic leader for the “world’s most diverse city” are different behaviours, but what they have in common is a deep, overriding fear of looking like a sissy.
The good news is that there’s an easy cure for sissyphobia. It’s this: the mayor should take a deep breath, go to Church and Wellesley, and walk (not drive) down the street.
I bet that no matter how many sissies happen to be on the sidewalk when the mayor goes by, even Don Cherry wouldn’t think Ford is a sissy for walking among them.

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