Nov 2018 20

This is well-trodden territory this week. But I’ll stupidly wander into the pool anyhow.

The recent incidents at St. Mike’s College do not surprise me. Nor should they surprise anyone who attended any high school over the last decades or longer in Canada.

Although I’m not a fan of ‘All-Boys’ schools, this situation is not unique to them. I can’t speak for the girls locker room, but I know the middle-school and high-school boys change room when I was growing up was not for the meek. I wasn’t physically bullied, and I consider myself lucky for that one. But I couldn’t play hockey or soccer well, although I surprisingly had a decent basketball hook shot if I got a clear look from centre. But I was a reader, writer, was in the band, and smaller. I didn’t have ‘girlfriends’, I had ‘girl friends’. I joined the wrestling team after an appeal from the Captain and had 1 match, then won every single other one by default cause no one was in my weight category (strangely, heavier and lighter). Anyhow, I saw other kids getting the gears from the bigger guys, knew it was a matter of time, and I would conveniently ‘forget’ my phys ed shorts or just skip gym class altogether sometimes. Luck? More like smart enough to just cross the street, avoidance. But who did that help? No one but me. That just gives power.

There is a culture of violence, dominance, competitiveness, and cruelty that is somehow passed down and purveys the ‘sports’ of men. It’s not just sports. It’s how we are teaching them to view the world. And what we teach them that society values in them.

This is about males, but imagine what women go through every day as they’re aware of this? Men, we even eat our own.

Changing this doesn’t start in the locker room, or school, or the media we’re consuming. Although those have to change. It starts at home, and with all of us in our daily interactions with young men (and women) and building a society of empathetic, sensitive, and respectful people. That’s true strength in a man, and woman, and fucking adult for goddsake.

This shit is gonna be hard, everyone. This is a system that has its tentacled roots firmly entrenched and growing for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. We’re just seeing the tree above ground.

Grab an axe.




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