When I was in high school I failed gym class. I know. Shut up.
You’re probably asking yourself, how did Jamie, of all people, fail gym? Well, I’ll tell you how. I got high, pretended I forgot my gym clothes, which secretly rested at the bottom of my backpack, and then I watched a bunch of kids run around in circles for 45 minutes until the bell rang.
If I had a nickname in gym class it would have been “target.” I wasn’t athletic, didn’t really try, and when I did participate, I stood still long enough to get hit with a ball of some sort.
It’s why I and many other kids hated dodgeball. When we would play dodgeball, I would wait to get picked last, then find a corner, hug it tighter than I have ever hugged a parent and just wait. I would then feel the breeze of those tiny plastic balls of hate fly by, nicking me right in the self-confidence.
So, speaking as someone who hates dodgeball I can say that this Washington Post headline, “Dodgeball is a tool of “oppression” used to “dehumanize” others researchers argue” is the stupidest thing I have ever seen.
First of all, this is the Washington Post! It exposed the Pentagon Papers!
Also, who is this “researcher”?? I assume it’s a terrified child who was just eliminated from dodgeball writing angrily from under the bleachers.
Dodgeball is not a tool of oppression!! When you are eliminated do you become the other team’s slave? NO! It’s a game for jerks and popular kids. Not great, but not oppressive.
I was also bad at math! Should we say that arithmetic only targets the mentally slow students? When I would wander the halls after pretending I had to go to the bathroom, if a teacher tried to stop me should I have screamed oppression?
Not everything has to be a tool of oppression. Things can just suck. Or be hard. But in 2019 we have to look at any inconvenience and then blame on the lack of global social justice.
The story says: “Dodgeball in phys-ed classes teaches students to dehumanize and harm their peers, professors from three Canadian universities said in a presentation this week at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Vancouver.”
OK, when you are a teenage boy, all you are trying to do is figure out ways to dehumanize kids and hide your boner. It’s a terrible time where we are all little monsters. Afraid of everything, hoping that we won’t get laughed at which is why we try to laugh at others first.
The researchers say that it teaches powerful kids all team up and target the week.
My own research (complaining about this article to my girlfriend) shows something different. She told me that instead of targeting the weak they all targeted the bullies. It was 45 minutes of glorious revenge!
No matter what your school did during this terrible game, we probably shouldn’t be teaching kids about revenge and “targeting.” But should we be teaching kids about overcoming fear and adversity? 100 percent.
All sports make kids feel like shit! Dodgeball is just the only one that lacks any metaphor.
We had a tiny kid on our basketball team who no one ever passed the ball to. Every game he looked humiliated and dejected. One day, by some miracle, young Ravi, got the ball. He sprinted down the court with the biggest smile I have ever seen. The crowd screaming at the top of their lungs. Were they screaming because this tiny boy is about to overcome all odds and score a game-winning basket? NOPE. Ravi was running towards the wrong basket and was about to score for the wrong team. Luckily, he was very bad at basketball and missed.
This happened more than 15 years ago and still haunts me. Any sport can suck for anyone cause sports are hard. But hard is good.
One of the researchers then said: “I think of the little girl who is running to the back to avoid being targeted,” Butler said. “What is she learning in that class? Avoidance?”
My girlfriend and I grew up in different states but had the same strategy. Hide and then wreak havoc. Some could say we were learning avoidance, others might say it was a strategy.
When I coached kids jiujitsu sometimes we would play dodgeball. Some of the small kids who were hiding were laughing the whole time not learning avoidance. They were impressed by their own Loki-like trickery. Other small kids were the first to sprint to the front of the game pelting balls and the bigger kids to learn about bravery. Sometimes a kid would get hit and cry and those times all of us would support them.
You know who always won the game? A girl named Mia who is a 13-year-old killer on the mats who doesn’t take shit. She’s also the first to help anyone help who gets hurt.
I played dodgeball as a child and adult and I can tell you that I did not become an oppressor.
At no point in my adult life have a seen a small child then gone into my car, dug around until I found my round plastic ball and pelted at him from across the street. Maybe it even taught me empathy. Maybe seeing kids get targeted in dodgeball is why I won’t stand for it now.
Also from the article: “[Physical education class] should be an arena where teachers are helping [students] control their aggression and move on instead of expressing themselves through anger.”
This is where the article starts to scare me. Kids need to be kids. They need to run around and get hurt. They need to screw up. They need to be jerks, knock someone over, then learn if they don’t go back and help that kid up they will be kicked out of the game and be forced to sit next to the stoned kid who is pretending he forget his shorts.
I agree that children should learn attributes like holding in their anger. I wish young men learned more about vulnerability and young women learned they don’t have to people-please. But gym and sports and competition are also important and shouldn’t be replaced with a sharing circle resembling a tiny person AA meeting.
If while reading above, you were wondering how someone who failed gym class started coaching people how to fight I’ll tell you. At 28 the closest thing to weightlifting I did was deadlift alcohol into my mouth, but then I found jiujitsu and MMA. The only thing scarier then dodge balls are having those people be allowed to cross that invisible line, tackle you to the ground and try to choke you out.
I was always the smallest in my class. I didn’t submit anyone until I got my blue belt. I showed up every day and paid money to get the shit kicked out of me. I can honestly say that it saved my life. It taught me to stop complaining and fight. That I could do things I never thought I could like hug my teammate after beating the shit out of him, or to not be a baby after getting the shit beat out of me. I would probably be dead in a gutter somewhere without this.
If you asked me today if every teenager should learn how to fight I would say yes. Adversity makes us stronger, especially for the small and the weak. That’s how we learn to not take shit. Maybe it’s not the games but how we coach and play them.
I will never forget one of the days my tyrant gym teacher made me play dodgeball. Most of the time I would pace in the back until I got hit. But this day something different happened. After hiding the whole time I was the last one left on my team and people started to cheer. I became possessed. Sprinting back and forth, doing little dance moves to avoid being hit, laughing as my heart was sending shockwaves down my body.
I finally got hit. Hard. In the face. I smiled a victorious smile knowing I couldn’t win but would still put up a fight and make those motherfuckers on the other team work. It’s a lesson I will never forget, and a day I will always smile about.
“A major publication is happy to publish any old nonsense so long as it’s sufficiently woke. Social justice ideology has infected our mainstream media,” Andrew Doyle explains in a new video lecture recorded at the National Liberal Club in London on 13th October 2019.
The 25-minute video is a brilliant explainer on how satire and hoaxing work in 2019. With major platforms and publications getting woker by the minute, it’s imperative that people who haven’t succumbed to the woke moral panic to call out the many hypocrisies and incoherencies of social justice. For the few who don’t know, Andrew Doyle is the genius behind the internet’s greatest troll, Titania McGrath.
In 2019, feelings outweigh facts at every turn. And when op-eds read like fabricated drivel, it’s no wonder that the public has a hard time discerning truth from fiction. It takes comedians and satirists to point out just how insane this whole thing is. Doyle points out that “the woke are the establishment” and he couldn’t be more right. Those who are in the powerful cultural positions, in academia, media, arts, entertainment, and most importantly, advertising, are the ones with the batons and horses to push these ideas onto the public.
This is the kind of influence that matters, not politicians and legislators, but those who control the media. And they are being fooled by their own unwillingness to address their woke bias. It is this bias that veers us into the realm of complete absurdity, where people hate themselves for their skin colour, language is colonialism, words are violence, and disagreement is fascism.
“The mainstreaming of social justice is also evident in the fact that even respected, national newspapers don’t seem to understand the basic definitions of phrases like fascist, alt-right, and even far-right,” Doyle remarks. “They no longer know what these words mean, and they are just bandying them about promiscuously, which is really damaging. Now if you claim the right to define the word Nazi as just anyone who disagrees with you politically, then, of course, you can also claim that there is an epidemic of Nazism. But in doing so you are also inadvertently, acting in the interests of the worst kinds of people.”
Doyle notes that the reframing of the conversation to mark those who disagree with the mainstream social justice movement as alt-right Nazi fascists, cedes the argument in favour of free speech to those very people you are trying to silence.
The last five minutes of the speech is where Doyle truly shines. He points to three specific pieces published by major platforms. “In August of last year, The New York Times ran an anonymous letter. It was called ‘How Can I Cure My White Guilt?’ It was just signed ‘Whitey,’ and it was a person who described themselves as being riddled with shame for being white. Now the whole thing was obviously ridiculous, and obviously a hoax. So, Titania claimed that she had written it. And she provided screenshots, of the letter, on her hard drive, with the date, just to prove that she was the author.”
Doyle claims that the authorship doesn’t really matter. Maybe he wrote it, invoking the spirit of Titania, maybe he didn’t. The point is that “a major publication is happy to publish any old nonsense so long as it is sufficiently woke. The social justice ideology has infected our mainstream media. And irreparably degraded its standards.”
Finally, Doyle mentions the crown jewel of hoax columns—a breathless op-ed published by The Independent. “In February of this year, Liam Evans wrote a piece for The Independent, and he cited a number of extremely talented comedians, people like Dave Chappelle, Ricky Gervais, Finn Taylor, and he said that their jokes about sensitive topics amounted to hate speech. He said that these kind of jokes ‘should be subject to investigation. It simply isn’t good enough for comedians to cry free speech after every hateful joke, as if the laws that govern the rest of us don’t apply to them.’”
Who is Liam Evans? Well, he’s clearly an authoritarian, censorious monster. But he’s also clearly not real. Doyle asks why The Independent would run such clearly fabricated nonsense and points to the fact that a number of prominent comedians complained to the publication. Doyle asks, “What is happening to our media? Why is a respected national newspaper publishing drivel by a writer that no one has ever heard of just because it’s pushing a woke agenda? What does that tell us? And the other question they should have been asking is why is the left publishing these kinds of censorial articles that used to grace the pages of the right-wing tabloids? And if it takes a hoaxer to provoke a little self-reflection, then surely that’s a good thing.”
“Again, I do not want to speculate as to the authorship of that article,” Doyle says. “But I will point out one thing which I do find just a little bit curious… You might be interested to note that if you take every fourth letter of every sentence, it actually spells out the phrase, ‘Titania McGrath wrote this, you gullible hacks.’”
When asked if he was indeed behind the hoax article, Andrew Doyle remained playfully cagey, telling The Post Millennial: “So many of the opinion columns in the woke press read like satire already, so in a sense I shouldn’t be surprised that such an obvious hoax would be published.”
The truth is if it weren’t for geniuses like Doyle, Gervais, Chappelle, CK, and the handful of other comedians brave enough to stand up to the woke mob, the culture wars might be a lost cause. As Doyle has pointed out numerous times, hoaxing and satirizing the woke establishment is actually punching up. Every major platform and publication is woke in 2019. Those who issue social justice diktats have all of the power and influence. Doyle’s work is vital.
News hoaxes are as old as news itself, but what news outlets can get pranked about is very revealing. In this case, media wanted to believe that a young woman hated her whiteness, that Sam Harris is a gateway drug to the alt-right, free speech doesn’t matter, and off-colour jokes must be investigated by the authorities. The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Independent wanted to believe these things. In fact, they were desperate to believe these things. That’s why they published these hoax stories. And that’s why we need to keep making fun of them.
Merriam Webster’s word of the year is “they,” that ubiquitous plural word that’s been turned singular, individualistic, and is a smoke signal sent up to claim special status in the gender landscape. “They” was a top look-up for the dictionary site; “the dictionary is also a primary resource for information about language itself, and the shifting use of they has been the subject of increasing study and commentary in recent years. Lookups for they increased by 313% in 2019 over the previous year.”
People just want to know what it means, and how they can and should apply it, either to themselves, or to those who request it. The pronoun has been omnipresent, on name badges, in Twitter bios, and in the continuous discourse over which pronoun should be used for whom and upon what whim.
Celebs have embraced “they” this year, staking their claim to being just a little bit different than all the other taboo-breaking popsters out there. Brit singer Sam Smith changed his pronouns to the gender-neutral “they” after doing some choreography that made him realize there was a “vivacious woman inside [their] body.”
Jonathan Van Ness, of Netflix’s hit self-improvement, show Queer Eye has determined that he is they, as has Chilling Adventures of Sabrina star Lachlan Watson. Nico Tortorella, from TV Land’s “Younger,” claims that when they met their spouse Bethany, “he was a boy and she was a girl, whatever that means… Today Bethany and [they] both identify as non-binary and prefer ‘they/them’ pronouns.”
It’s always a touching moment when a newly minted they comes out as they for the first time, before lights and cameras, with welcoming applause and accolades. It can be done in a think piece, or a quick video, or on social media. Brigette Lundy-Paine, from the show Atypical, came out via Instagram post, “where they posted a picture of their cat with the caption, “I’m non-binary, always felt a lil bit boy, lil bit girl, lil bit neither. Using they/them as of late n it feels right.”
They has come to mean so much more than “those people over there,” and is representative of an entire gendered alt lifestyle, wherein a person believes themselves to be neither male nor female, but some variation on the assembled themes.
In assigning “they” word of the year status, perhaps Merriam Webster is signalling its own intentions to go all-in on the trans trend of pronouns adoption and word transition. So far, their definition of woman is still “an adult female person,” but the jury is still out on whether the dictionary will be brought up on hate speech charges for specifying a female correlation to the word.
This is not the first time “they” has made a splash. In fact, when academics were trying to eliminate the sexism in the standard use of of “he” in academic papers, they often switched to “they,” and pluralized instead of using they as a singular.
In a statement, senior editor at Merriam Webster, Emily Brewster, said “Pronouns are among the language’s most commonly used words, and like other common words (think ‘go,’ ‘do,’ and ‘have’) they tend to be mostly ignored by dictionary users. But over the past year or so, as people have increasingly encountered the nonbinary use, we’ve seen searches for ‘they’ grow dramatically.”
The choice to give they top billing in the word of the year charts was data driven, not human decision making. They simply had more lookups. Perhaps that’s because the more it is used out of context and outside the realm of its normal definition, the more people realize that their understanding of this simple word has been compromised.
But never fear, great uneducated public! If they is confusing, if preferred gender pronouns are vexing, there are multiple guides to help you figure out how to ask what someone’s pronouns are, how not to ask, how to figure out if maybe you yourself are alt gendered.
You never know, you could be agender, androgyne, androgynous, bigender, cis, cisgender, cis female, cis male, cis man, cis woman, cisgender female, cisgender male, cisgender man, cisgender woman, female to male, ftm, gender fluid, gender nonconforming, gender questioning, gender variant, genderqueer, intersex, male to female, mtf, neither, neutrois, non-binary, other, pangender, trans, trans*, trans female, trans* female, trans male, trans* male, trans man, trans* man, trans person, trans* person, trans woman, trans* woman, transfeminine, transgender, transgender female, transgender male, transgender man, transgender person, transgender woman, transmasculine, transsexual, transsexual female, transsexual male, transsexual man, transsexual person, transsexual woman, or two-spirit.
With “they” hitting top of the charts for Merriam Webster, it’s a good indication that gender non-binary preferred pronouns are here to stay. Before next year’s International Pronoun Day on October 16th, take some time and figure out if you are they. It would be a real hate crime to find that you have been misgendering yourself, and you don’t want to be accountable for that. You, too, might be a they at heart. After all, we contain multitudes.
The NHL will be implementing new changes in order to deal with the social justice frenzy that has been going on since the firing of Don Cherry from Hockey Night in Canada. Cherry was fired on Remembrance Day for his now-infamous “you people” moment when he chastised new Canadians for not wearing the poppy.
According to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, there will be mandatory counselling and training concerning anti-bullying and racism.
TSN reports that “The NHL plans to establish an anonymous hotline for players and team personnel to report inappropriate conduct; coaches and management will participate in mandatory annual training on inclusion and harassment; inappropriate conduct will result in discipline from teams, the league or both.”
At a press conference last Friday, Bettman said, “Inclusion and diversity are not simply buzz words. They are foundational principles of the NHL,” and went on to say, “Our message is unequivocal: We will not tolerate abusive behaviour of any kind.”
Shortly after Cherry’s firing, Mike Babcock was let go from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sportsnet detailed one of the major allegations against Babcock: “[Babcock] was accused of maltreating forward Mitch Marner in his rookie season by making him list the hardest working players on the team and which ones didn’t have a strong work ethic. Babcock later told the players whom Marner had listed without Marner’s knowledge.”
Bill Peters was next on the chopping block. Former player Akim Aliu made an allegation against Peters regarding racial slurs, about a decade ago, while they were both in the AHL. Peters apologized for the incident but was made to resign anyway.
Most recently, Jim Montgomery of the Dallas Stars was let go by his team citing “unprofessional conduct.” Details on the situation are scant at this point. It could be warranted or it could be an overreach.
Some of the points involved in the NHL’s new plan include:
- Incidents of unacceptable behaviour being reported immediately by teams. Otherwise the use of “severe discipline” will be used
- Immediate punishment for past, present and future incidents
- Mandatory yearly counselling for coaches and managers focusing on diversity and inclusion.
- Anonymous hotline for players
- A disciplinary council run by NHL executive vice-president Kim Davis
Bettman said that he has been given full support by the board of governors concerning the new “code of conduct.”
There aren’t any conclusive ways to measure the effectiveness of diversity and inclusivity training. Diversity and inclusion specialists advocate for ongoing training as opposed to a one time shot, to make sure that the messages are driven home over and over again. This is becoming industry standard in more places than the NHL, and while it makes for a good press release, there’s no conclusive evidence to believe that it helps. What is definitely does is put people on edge and add stress.
Severe discipline. A snitch line. Diversity training. Free-thinking, reasonable people know where this will lead.
The experts who will be brought in will be drunk on progressivism and cancel culture. And they will reframe the conversation, and the thought processes so that people will constantly try to see how they were personally wronged.
It doesn’t have to be this way, but it’s going to be. The NHL is well about to enter a grievance-fuelled McCarthyist era. The blacklists, witch hunts and virtue signalling have already begun. And it’s a damn shame.
Consent culture is touted as the antidote for rape culture. Only it’s not really the opposite or a salve, but a perpetuation of the infantilization of women. Articles abound on how rape culture is perpetuated, by parents to children, in entertainment, and by women’s fear of men. Consent culture posits that the asking of women for their permission prior to the commencement of sexual or romantic contact could remedy this. The preponderance of rhetoric around consent does not liberate women, or even give them the autonomy it seeks to, but turns romance into bureaucracy.
Consent culture seeks to redefine how we think about relationships, sex, and our own impulses. There’ve been hot takes about how it’s wrong to make little kids hug their grandparents and missives about how a yes can be retracted in medias res. On some college campuses, there’ve been directives on asking for consent during every step of a sexual encounter, while still having the conceit that if the sex is later regretted, it can be reclassed as rape, despite consent. Now we’re treated to a new kind of ask for consent, consent for sexting.
“Ask consent for all sexual encounters, yes, even sexting. I just came up with this script that you’re all welcome to borrow!”
The message is that this is how intimacy should be initiated, cordially, without nuance. Rather, a straight appeal to the logical mind is what’s required. If this is the kind of message you feel you must send to find out if a person wants to sext with you, perhaps that’s not the right person to sext with. Are we so closed with our feelings that we can’t express them except in the form of yes or no answers to direct questions? This seems like the type of question one should only ask if they’re sure of an affirmative response.
The reaction to the consent for sext script was swift and fierce. But as we try more and more to control what we say, how we say it, and the thoughts from which our expression derives, this is the direction in which we’re headed. Mediated communication, even in our most intimate moments, a script for how to talk to those we feel passionately about simply to ensure that no one is offended, are the ways we are being directed to initiate and stay in romantic relationships.
Does asking for consent in this way work? Does it achieve the goal of getting someone to read your illicit thoughts? The response to this request to sext could go one of two ways: yes, or no. If yes, the initiating sexter may imagine that this is a green light to off-screen romance, but what if the mere act of asking has an impact on the answer? Perhaps the respondent, in saying okay, is actually feeling coerced by the existence of the question into accepting the terms of this new form of contact. This script is intended for both the asker and the asked, after all.
If that’s the case, then gaining consent isn’t even a good enough measure of her willingness to sext with you. As this poster points out:
In this context, consent culture is an extension of rape culture. It’s not something that can stop women from getting into uncomfortable situations, but the first bit of pressure that leads them down the road to coercion, where every yes is more easily followed up by an additional yes. How do you tell a guy whose sexts you’ve accepted that you don’t want sex, is the question this post asks.
Both the initial script of how to ask someone to sext with you and the note about how the expression of consent is not evidence of consent assume that a woman does not know her own mind. Either she needs to be asked directly if she is interested, presumably because she has not given any indication of being intrigued by her potential suitor, or even when she affirms her intention, she is not telling the truth.
There’s this idea that we know what healthy relationships look like, and that we can engineer them, from the outset, to follow a prescribed course to attain that result. This new relationship model is in direct reaction to the old patriarchal one, where men led the family and women submitted to their husbands. That model still works for many families– are those couples doing their relationship wrong, even if those within the family are thriving?
Romance isn’t really an appeal to logic and reason. What works for one couple may not work for another. Individuals don’t come to relationships from a position of knowing what they want, how to get it, or even fully how they want to be treated. We’re all basically damaged, and the implementation of checklists into relationships makes things worse, not better. There is no script for how to communicate, despite the tweets or BuzzFeed quizzes. There is only, as always, open communication, respect, kindness, love, and honesty. Nothing else is even remotely relevant. Speak with an open and loving heart. Don’t let romance be carried off by paperwork and rules of wokeness.