For the record... it’s never okay

Tillsonburg News - - OPINION - Linda hoff­man two­centsworth40@hot­

tak­ing noth­ing away from any­one’s skill, tal­ent and dom­i­nance in their cho­sen pro­fes­sion and rec­og­niz­ing the great­ness of any ac­com­plish­ments, i, as a mother who has faced life-threat­en­ing is­sues and a woman who doesn’t feel ev­ery­thing i dis­agree with is an ism - sex­ism, racism, ageism, poorism - i do not want nor need any­one speak­ing for me or fight­ing my bat­tles.

For a self-pro­claimed mes­siah to say ev­ery­thing they do is for us, for women’s rights, for equal­ity, for moth­ers and women ev­ery­where is disin­gen­u­ous. they do not speak for me or many of us, by hav­ing a melt­down, a fit of tem­per and name call­ing. there may be much go­ing on in some­one’s mind dur­ing an out­burst but i don’t think for one minute when it hap­pens they are think­ing of me or you. throw­ing a tantrum and claim­ing vic­tim­iza­tion does not ad­vance women’s is­sues or pro­mote equal­ity.

Fur­ther­more, us­ing dif­fi­cul­ties or back­ground as a rea­son for im­ma­ture con­duct pro­vides ex­cuses to any­one who re­fuses to ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for their own er­ratic or ir­ra­tional be­hav­iour.

if you see an im­bal­ance, un­fair or inequitable treat­ment, of course, you must stand up and speak out, loud and of­ten, with dig­nity and con­trol, to com­pel change. this is how you em­power and in­spire women.

be­rat­ing oth­ers for do­ing their job is just un­con­scionable. rules, reg­u­la­tions, stan­dards, etc. are not in place for ev­ery­one ex­cept the cel­e­brated or to be dis­re­garded be­cause of tim­ing. and be­cause oth­ers got away with break­ing the rules is never jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for you to do the same.

i am acutely aware all those ‘isms’ ex­ist and will flour­ish if not ag­gres­sively con­fronted. i am also very aware some are deeply em­bed­ded into the psy­che of many people and may never be erad­i­cated. i also am aware we all need to be vo­cal, ac­tive and brave enough to stand up against all forms of abuse, sub­tle or ob­vi­ous, at all times.

you can­not ap­pro­pri­ate change if you are part of or con­tribut­ing to abuse and ex­ploita­tion by say­ing or do­ing noth­ing. any­thing that is said or done that causes pain, hu­mil­i­a­tion and harm to an­other is never oK, even if done as a joke.

For the record i qual­ify for three of the four isms i men­tion in this col­umn, i think i am en­ti­tled to an opinion.

to keep the old grey mat­ter work­ing here’s a cou­ple more new words for you to di­gest.

· pug­nac­ity - a nat­u­ral dis­po­si­tion to be ag­gres­sive or bel­liger­ent. and one of Chris Cuomo’s favourites: · Fougasse - a land mine in which the charge is over­laid by stones and other mis­siles so placed as to be hurled in the de­sired di­rec­tion.

it is also a French bread made with olive oil, but i don’t think that’s what he meant.

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