WATCH: CTV The Social’s Meredith Shaw suggests Christmas parade should be replaced by ‘Winter parade’
Another week and another co-host of CTV’s talk show The Social is upsetting everyday Canadians for being excessively politically correct.
On Friday, The Social’s guest co-host Meredith Shaw was discussing a story about a mayor in a U.S. town changing the Christmas parade to the “Winter parade”, when she argued people who don’t celebrate Christmas shouldn’t have to live somewhere that has a Christmas parade.
The Social took the opportunity last week to get behind Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after he was caught making fun of US President Donald Trump to other world leaders, framing it as Trudeau facing “a bully”, and that we, as Canadians like to “play clean”.
“Sometimes you have to face a bully with a squad,” said Melissa Grelo on the show. She referenced French President Macron’s attempts to push back against Trump’s comments on Isis fighters.
Do Canadians believe that Trudeau’s jokes about Trump were part of a meeting of leaders, coming together to face off against an unfair adversary?
It’s hard to paint talking behind someone’s back as the act of confronting a bully. On the flip side, it isn’t hard to imagine President Trump as a schoolyard bully while watching him troll French President Macron about Isis fighters. Just watching their body language provokes the image of one kid trying to get a rise out of another.
Self-described gossip expert and The Social co-host Lainey Lui commented that “what they were doing was exchanging information… gossiping is a form of communication… I’m so tired of gossip being given this bad name.” While it would be easy to dismiss this as nonsense, gossip does, in fact, create bonding among the people who share in it. Creating an “us” and a “them” brings the “us” closer together. Trudeau’s little schoolyard circle of gossip may very well have strengthened relations between Trudeau and the foreign leaders he shared it with.
Of course–there’s a reason why gossip has a bad name. It’s risky, in that it will damage the relationship with the person being gossiped about, if it is found out–as Trudeau has discovered. As far as strategy goes–it’s probably not a good idea to take any risks with our single largest trading partner.
Then there is the high road–the refusal to take part in gossip. If you’ve ever met someone with this level of character, you’ll know that there isn’t the easy bonding that comes from sharing cheap shots on someone who isn’t there to defend themselves. But, when it’s clear that you both have the same frustrations with that other person, it’s not hard to develop a deep respect for those who abstain from gossiping. After all, with that comes a trust that they won’t be talking behind your back, when you’re not around.
Hence Trump’s comment about Trudeau being “two-faced”.
At the end of the day, all world leaders need to be strategic in their relations with one another. They each need to behave in whatever way best serves the interests of their countries. Whether they choose trolling or gossiping or stately reverence, what matters is managing relationships in a way that enables them to get the job done.
But aside from all that–what was even said? I think Melissa Grelo summed up the whole issue best when she said, “this is not particularly salacious stuff–although when videos like this leak out, it sure becomes salacious.”
Perhaps it was the giddy tone in which Trudeau talked about Trump behind his back that caught the attention of top Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign team so much so that they decided to use it in an attack ad. It also probably didn’t help Canada’s relations with the US that Saturday Night Live–which Trump claims he doesn’t watch, but feels the need to trash on Twitter from time to time for its routine lampooning of him–did a whole opening sketch on Trudeau (Jimmy Fallon), French President Emmanuel Macron (Paul Rudd) and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (James Corden) belittling Trump (Alec Baldwin) in a high school cafeteria.
The Social is stirring up Canadian sensibilities again, this time with their take on whether or not children should see their parents naked.
The full segment discussed a rant from a mother, complaining about a father she witnessed stripping down in front of his daughters in a male change room at a pool (the mother decided to use the men’s change room because the women’s change room was too busy).
That set off a full debate about nudity, shame and body image, and what is appropriate for children.
The Social tweeted a clip of their segment, with Melissa Grelo explaining how she and her husband are perfectly fine with their five-year-old daughter walking in on her father in the shower. The audience cheered and applauded her statement that “we don’t want her to feel shame”.
Not everyone on twitter was on board with the idea:
Like many issues brought up by progressives, it’s hard to argue with all of the reasoning. Shame is an emotion with the purpose of letting us know that we have done something wrong. So why should any child be made to feel shame by the mere existence of their own anatomy? Or someone else’s, for that matter?
But, what The Social failed to mention was the reasons for teaching children that some body parts are “private parts”. It’s a layer of social protection, insulating children from the complex and dangerous world of sex, for which they’re simply not ready. In and of itself, it’s probably not harmful for a small girl to see her father naked. But if adult male nudity is normalized for a young girl, she’ll be missing the alarm bells that says “something is very wrong with this situation” if a man disrobes to abuse her.
Perhaps that’s the underlying sentiment felt by moderates on Twitter:
Conservatives are also aware that all this talk of “body positivity” is happening alongside a creeping push to normalize pedophilia, with the CBC pushing to sexualize children, and the once safe sanctuaries of public libraries now exposing children to all manner of sexualization.
So, while I agree that no one should feel shame for the existence of their bodies, maybe that’s a sign that our traditional protections simply need some fine tuning. There’s no reason to instill children with a sense of shame for the mere ownership of perfectly ordinary body parts. But that doesn’t mean that norms around nudity and taboos around discussing sexual organs don’t have a purpose. And it certainly doesn’t mean they should be thrown out altogether.
On another note, I will give credit where credit is due. I was certainly angry at Jessica Allen’s hypocrisy surrounding Don Cherry, and her blatant racism of White hockey players – but she deserves credit here.
Allen called out the mother’s sexual harassment of the man, saying, “There was also a comment made at the end of the rant where she said… ‘also his bum was very unattractive’ and I thought, well who’s being the creep now, lady?”
Sexism and sexual harassment is a two way street – especially by a mother who decided to install herself in the men’s change room for mere convenience. And I was pleasantly surprised to see Allen call it out.
Who knows, maybe she learned something from the backlash over her racism towards white hockey players? Here’s hoping.
Liberal MP gets Twitter lashed for wishing people 'great month of December!' instead of 'Merry Christmas!'
Editor’s Note: This article has been edited to include Bob Bratina’s tweets from 2018 and previous months.
Liberal Member of Parliament (Ontario, Hamilton East—Stoney Creek) Bob Bratina received a lot more comments than likes and retweets for his Twitter post wishing his constituents a “great month of December!” instead of a “Merry Christmas!”
On Sunday Bratina tweeted a holiday-neutral, first-day-of-the-month greeting to people in his riding, “Wishing everyone in Hamilton East – Stoney Creek a great month of December!”
By the end of Monday, the tweet had 307 mostly negative, mocking comments compared to three retweets and 18 likes, a phenomenon called being ratioed (when a post gets overwhelmingly negative comments, meanwhile receiving far less positive engagement and shares).
Some Canadians on Twitter had fun lampooning Bratina’s politically correct festive cheer.
Others just wished Bob a “Merry Christmas!”
Interestingly, Bob has previously happily wished others a Happy Christmas in 2018.
Bratina also does actually send generic wishes of having a good month every month of the year, so those fired up may have jumped the shark.
The response online is not a surprise, though, as December tends to bring out the so-called War on Christmas, where politically correct politicians and other members of the chattering class become Grinches, attempting to excise Christmas from greetings and celebratory events in attempts to be “more inclusive.”
Last Friday a guest host on CTV’s talk show The Social suggested Canadians towns should change the name of Christmas or Santa Clause parades with “Winter” parades. A couple of weeks ago a US town erased Christmas from its festivities, changing the “Annual Tree Lighting” to “Frost Fest”.
The boss of Pete’s Airlink banned his employees from wearing the festive wear since the company buses children to schools and some of the special needs children could get bothered by the change in their daily setting.
“We have to be careful. We don’t want to spoil drivers’ fun but we have rules and regulations that we have to follow,” said Pete’s Airlink director Peter Bryden to the Daily Mail.
Ex-Pete’s Airlink driver Mike Osborn said to the Daily Mail he was wearing Christmas sweaters when he was told by Bryden to stop wearing them to work.
“I can see his point to a degree, they need stability, they like to see a familiar driver. But really I think the kids actually like Christmas… Surely they receive presents and they must all be fans of Father Christmas so let’s all join in the festive spirit and wear Christmas jumpers,” said Osborn.
“It’s really absurd. I love Peter, he is a great boss but I can’t believe what he is saying. The Christmas jumper ban is so stupid and daft,” Osborn also said. “It’s like something Scrooge would do.”
In this case there may be good reason to ban the colourful Christmas sweaters in order to not upset special needs children, but other cases of Grinch-like attacks on the holiday have faced intense backlash.
Osborn, who gave his notice with Pete’s Airlink for unrelated reasons, said drivers at other companies are still allowed to get in the spirit of Christmas.
“Stagecoach has a Santa’s grotto on four wheels with elves, it’s fantastic. It’s complete with music and elves as well–I hope the elves don’t scare the passengers.”
In pictures taken by a local news outlet, Osborn can be seen in a red sweater with a giant Christmas pudding on the front.
Last week, a guest host on CTV’s The Social’s suggested Santa Clause parades should be changed to “Winter” parades. A couple weeks ago a US town erased Christmas from its festivities, changing the “Annual Tree Lighting” to “Frost Fest”.