SaskParty MLA calls NDP MLA a “dumb bitch”

Well, it is not surprising to this SK citizen that the SaskParty’s MLA for Cut Knife-Turtleford, Mike Chisholm, called the NDP MLA for Moose Jaw Wakamow and the former Minister of Labour, Deb Higgins, a “dumb bitch” in a legislative committee meeting this week. It didn’t surprise me at all. I wish it had.

But no, Chisholm is from rural Saskatchewan where that is just the way women are often treated. Many women, even those who consider themselves feminist, are afraid to speak their minds lest they be ostracized — or worse — by the men in their communities. It’s appalling, to say the least!

And yes, Premier Wall can accept some of the blame for this. His less than convincing response to a videotape featuring racist comments, sexist slurs and homophobic hatred in which he and some of his current colleagues were featured players did little to quell the rampant sexism in the province. And the premier had no choice, given what he did say in response to the video, to accept Chisholm’s resignation as legislative secretary.

But the NDP can assume some of the responsibility for this, too. Had the initiatives set forth by the Saskatchewan Women’s Agenda of the early 90′s been adopted by the government of the day, the very culture of the province would have become a lot less sexist. However, that was not the case. Sexists and misogynists within the NDP were able to get away with writing off the Women’s Agenda as that of “feminazis”, of radical feminists. And today, one of their own, one of the women who withstood all the sexist shit thrown at her, still has to be subjected to it.

Will this be a lesson for the NDP? One can hope, but I doubt it.

Here’s the CBC’s story on the issue.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/saskatchewan/story/2008/05/08/chisholm-mike.html
MLA apologizes after making offensive comment against Opposition member
Last Updated: Thursday, May 8, 2008 | 10:41 AM CT
CBC News

A Saskatchewan Party MLA has apologized and resigned as a legislative secretary after referring to an NDP member as a “dumb bitch.”

Mike Chisholm, the MLA for Cut Knife-Turtleford, made the comment Wednesday in a legislative committee in reference to New Democrat Deb Higgins, who represents Moose Jaw Wakamow.

The comment came just after Chisholm had been complaining about language used by an NDP MLA.

On Thursday, Chisholm told the legislature he had submitted his resignation as legislative secretary to Premier Brad Wall, and Wall accepted it.

“I have no excuse,” he said. “I was wrong and it shouldn’t have been thought or said.” Chisholm will retain his seat and remain in the government caucus.

Chisholm made a reference to Wall’s recent call to MLAs to be more careful about using insulting language.

That followed after a 17-year-old videotape of Wall surfaced showing him at a social gathering making jokes in a Ukrainian accent.

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12 Comments

  1. Toedancer

     /  May 8, 2008

    Little Dick Chisholm – that’s insulting language. What he said is deeply sexist, but he’s too stupid to know that. So he gives up his portfolio but remains in the caucus? The good women of Saskatchewan call for his total ousting!

    Reply
  2. “But no, Chisholm is from rural Saskatchewan where that is just the way women are often treated.”

    Do you truly believe that? Do you really think it is right to make such a generalization? Honestly, I have read your blog a few times this week and I am shocked at some of your postings. First, you referred to visible minorities as “workers of color”, do you even realize how insulting and racist that is? and secondly, you suggest that it is common place in rural Saskatchewan for women to be treated as second class citizens. On what are you basing this? A stupid comment by a MLA? That’s it? I have never known a socialist to ever admit fault, but at least you can’t say you haven’t been told.

    Reply
  3. Ord

     /  May 11, 2008

    So let me get this straight… The post is about Chisholm calling Deb Higgins a dumb bitch, and the first commenter refers to Chisholm as “Little Dick”

    That’s feminism for you. There’s a word for misogyny, but not one for the opposite when it applies to men.

    Both remarks are ignorant, and Regina Mom should have pointed that out…

    But them again, nobody ever said she was fair (or particularly observant)

    Reply
  4. ChickenForce

     /  May 11, 2008

    Sadly Trent, the generalization concerning how rural women are treated is spot on. It is very much a culture of men in rural areas. From my perch, the culture is so ingrained, the vast majority of rural women don’t even realize it, let alone know how it affects their lives.

    Do you need examples? Sitting in my brother’s shop when a neighbour drops in, complaining about one of his cows, he referred to her as a difficult bitch, just like women, this was from an older man, I think the comments were as much for me as for general conversation.

    I attend rural meetings, when the male chairperson disagrees with the opinion of one of the woman members, we are called ‘dear.’ Never are the male members called ‘dear’ or any other label, for that matter.

    When choosing a chairperson for a committee, only male names are put forward, never ever is a female suggested unless food preparation is involved.

    A mockery is made of a sexually active single woman, not so for single men.

    When serving drinks at a community dinner theatre, I was told I would get more tips if I wore a tighter shirt, even *I* was told that, one who does everything to subvert the stereotyping.

    I have never met another rural woman who has kept her surname after marriage. I have heard married women referred to as ‘the wife’ somehow she seems to have lost her name.

    And yes, I am tired of walking into machine shops only to find the typical posters on the wall, you know the ones.

    The incessant T&A comments, nuff said.

    I could go on and on but that is enough. The sexism is really bad in rural SK, it just is and I loathe saying it because I love rural SK, I support rural people and don’t want to criticize, the people are generally good people and hard working and incredibly helpful, but they are sexist, we have to acknowledge that.

    Reply
  5. Tommy Douglas

     /  May 14, 2008

    Good grief! You’re all bent out of shape over this comment and the first thing you do is engage in a bit of bigotry about rural males?
    Wow!
    Isn’t that prejudiced?
    Do those guys living in the rural areas like fried chicken too?
    If women and men were are to bee treated equal, shouldn’t you treat this the same as if he had referred to a male as a ‘dumb bastard’?
    Or maybe you don’t believe your own arguments?

    Speaking of the dreaded tape with the comments about homosexuals spreading disease, what are the rates of STD’s among gays?
    Quite a bit higher, perhaps?
    Like waaaaaay higher?
    Is that something we should hide or would the truth be a good thing?

    Reply
  6. Tommy Douglas

     /  May 15, 2008

    Now I know everyone is still appalled over Brad Wall using an accent to make fun of someone 17 years ago, but I’m wondering if you are also appalled at how the Royal Canadian Air Farce and This Hour Has 22 Minutes on the CBC does the same thing?
    Will you be ranting about the CBC’s Neanderthal behavior next?
    Nah, didn’t think so.

    Reply
  7. Regina Mom,

    You didn’t address the comments you made about “workers of color”.

    Also, maybe you should read Tommy Douglas’ thesis inwhich he refers to unwed mothers as “common prostitutes guilt of illegal parentage” among other things and then you can tell me if you think he is a good representive of social democratic values.

    Reply
  8. RM,

    I have been giving some thought to the reasons you give for your bigotry towards the rural community here in Saskatchewan and it occurred to me that there is absolutely no difference between your excuses and those of hate mongers like David Duke or Tommy Douglas. Bigots ALWAYS use their own personal experiences, or at least their interpretation of their experiences, to justify their hate and bigotry, which is EXACTLY what you have tried to do here.
    Only when individuals choose to rise above self conceived stereo types of others will society finally be rid of hate, racism and bigotry. Where will you make your stand?

    Reply
  9. Tommy Douglas

     /  May 20, 2008

    Scratch a socialist, find a bigot.

    Reply
  10. Why do you insist on goading me? Do you suffer a lack of attention from the women in your life?

    Now, please, stop trolling or I shall be forced to use my magikal powers and banish you beneath the bridge from whence you came!

    Reply
  11. I would not call my comments trolling, but I image that is just another attempt to excuse your racism and bigotry. Try some soul searching.

    Reply
  1. On sexism against women in politics « the regina mom

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