Finally, they’re talking about real issues

A Little Perspective column by Pat Kelly.

What do the Apache chief Geronimo, the outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Florence Nightingale, and the writers Mark Twain and Leo Tolstoy all have in common? They were all still alive back in 1908 when the Chicago Cubs last won the World Series.

The baseball playoffs have turned out badly for the Red Sox and I find myself in need of another team to root for and backing the Cubs to break their 108-year jinx could be fun.

My sister sees only one option: become a Dodger fan. We had the Dodger game on the TV yesterday. Ginny watches Dodgers games pretty much the way Special K would watch a Red Sox game, with lots of cheering, yelling and occasional swearing. I love it.

Of course I am also partial to the Blue Jays. What kind of Canadian would I be if there were no room in my heart for them?

But I could also cheer for the Cleveland Indians—after all, they are the team that knocked the Red Sox out. So if they win the World Series at least I could claim that it took the best to beat Boston.

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Donald Trump has been outed by the release of an 11-year-old video of him vulgarly bragging of his supposed entitlement to sexually assault women. The video shows him as the misogynist he is.

But Trump is not an anomaly here. He wasn’t talking to himself when he was on that bus wearing a hot mic; he was in conversation with Entertainment Tonight host Billy Bush. But neither are these two guys are so unique either.

Trump tried to dismiss his sexist banter as “only words.” Just common everyday words. And that’s part of the problem here; none of this is so unique at all.

Surprisingly, this whole thing may have started an honest-to-goodness conversation on an important issue.

Last Friday night author Kelly Oxford, described by the New York Times as a social media powerhouse, used Twitter to ask, “Women: tweet me your first assaults. They aren’t just stats. I’ll go first: Old man on city bus grabs my ‘p—-y’ and smiles at me, I’m 12.”

Oxford later said in an interview with the NYT that she did not expect more than a handful of replies. “It was such a personal question,” she said. “I thought, ‘No one is going to share anything on Twitter.’”

According to the NYT article, by Saturday morning she was getting as many as 50 responses per minute: often-explicit, first-person accounts of molestation. A hashtag had materialized: “#notokay.” The Twitter posts continued to pour in and by Monday afternoon, nearly 27 million people had responded or visited Ms. Oxford’s Twitter page.

Back in 2011, Boundary Women’s Transition House and Boundary Regional RCMP Victim Services sponsored a speaking tour by Jackson Katz, an internationally recognized author for his ground-breaking work in gender violence prevention. Katz spoke at both Boundary high schools as well as an evening venue open to the community.

In his book, Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help, Katz wrote, “The unsettling reality is that men’s violence toward women is so normal that perpetrators are generally indistinguishable from the rest of us.”

“Most men are not rapists; but it is time to raise the bar on the issue,” Katz said. “Just saying you are not a rapist is no longer enough.”

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Take care of someone who loves you ….