« December 2016 »

Memo to Chris Kelly: YOU ARE DUMB.

During my part-choice part-circumstance holiday hiatus, I've been reading an unhealthy amount of Twitter. And in replies to a very cogent post that used the phrase "toxic masculinity", I saw a bunch of people questioning the term, asking for it to be defined, and denying it exists.

Of course, the thing about toxic masculinity is, you either know what it is and recognize it, or you exemplify and enable it. It's not even a difficult term to parse out. It's men thinking that, by dint of being men, they're obligated, required, biologically impelled, and programmed to be total dickwaffles. And because they're being dickwaffles because they're men, it doesn't even count as being a dickwaffle!

And the dickwaffle isn't a strictly American phenomenon. They have dickwaffles in New Zealand too, although they pronounce it "deckwiffles" there. The country is more than just rolling hills, hobbits, and comedy folk duos. It has, for example, animals. And where there are animals, as 2016 has taught me all too well, there are veterinarians. And where there are veterinarians, there are colleges to train them. And it has men in charge of those colleges. And sometimes those men are deckwiffles. EKTUIL QUOOTE TEEM!*

“When I went through vet school, many years ago, it was dominated by men; today it’s dominated by women. That’s fine, but the problem is one woman graduate is equivalent to two-fifths of a full-time equivalent vet throughout her life because she gets married and has a family, which is normal. So, though we’re graduating a lot of vets, we’re getting a high fallout rate later on." - Massey University chancellor Chris Kelly.

Let's focus on the biggest mistake he made first. Now, New Zealand isn't America, but in the Information Age, culture and history are widely available, and thus, it should be apparent to any university chancellor that describing one group of people as equivalent to a fraction of another group of people is an awful fucking idea. And especially don't use fifths as your fraction of choice. That shit has a context over in our hemisphere.

I mean, don't get me wrong. I think it was noble of all those male veterinarians to forego getting married and having children to dedicate all their time to fingering sheep rectums and jacking off horses**. That's what he meant, right? That must be what he meant, because that's the only way what he said makes any sense.**

He couldn't possibly mean that men can have careers and families at the same time because women are supposed to stay home and take care of children, which is "normal", but if women want to have families they have to abandon 60% of their careers in order to do it, right? Because that would be a primo example of toxic masculinity in action. And as half of Twitter thinks it knows, toxic masculinity doesn't exist.

Kelly did apologize "for causing offense", of course, and the university also produced some actual data that largely refuted Kelly's pulled-out-of-his-dick numbers and impressions about male versus female veterinarians. So ultimately, not only did Wells say male veterinarians were better than female ones, he was wrong about why, blinded by his own misconceptions about gender roles. Feck that guy.

*NOTE: New Zealand accent transliteration may not be 100% accurate.

**NOTE: Depiction of veterinary duties may not be 100% accurate.