Jenn Says Stuff: Social Media Firestorms


Do you have virtual pitchforks? It seems everyone is pissed off about something on the internet lately. Some justified, some perhaps less so, it really is all about the perspective you are coming from. I hate it when people yell about stuff before having the facts and I hate when people tell those offended to stop being so sensitive and to “calm down”.   I don’t even hate it, I hate the word hate, it’s so strong. I am annoyed by it?  Hmm, better check my feelings list, but nonetheless let’s play a game called:  Social Media Firestorm Reality Check!

Let’s check in with Canada’s comedy crisis with Russell Peters.   I have only two issues:  1) the joke was not funny and a throwaway line used at comedy clubs by comedians just starting out and 2) he was not advocating rape.  That said, a bad joke is a bad joke. If he was in a comedy club then expect good and bad but on the stage at the Junos?  No, not the time or place. Do I think Russell’s was advocating rape? No, he was making a comment about the young women and the history of girls throwing themselves at rockstars.  Wrong joke, wrong time and wrong place.

Actions needed:  None.  Anyone willing to boycott him over this was likely not a fan to start with. I am sure the Junos will think twice before hiring him again. Perhaps other actions could be educating ourselves on rape, statutory rape and do what we can to help the issue, but we are getting more outraged by his joke than by actual rapists. So, if you are posting about Peters today, also post about the judges and law makers who keep sexual assault jail time so low.  Also, men in comedy, stop doing rape jokes. Just stop.

Okay now the fun stuff. Kendall Jenner and Pepsi.  Firstly, I had no idea who Kendall Jenner was until today. Yes, I live under a reality show TV rock. I watched it with an open mind, I thought “maybe people are overreacting”. At first it seems like a boring “teach the world to sing” kind of campaign, but then poof, it goes into a horrible place. It is saying that if a white girl gives a Pepsi to a cop then all is good. Drinking Pepsi can maintain peace. Perhaps protests would slow down because of all the sugar and chemicals in Pepsi leaving protesters lethargic, but no, a Pepsi won’t cure years of racial tension, class warfare and Trump. No, Pepsi won’t solve anything, but it will add to diabetes and obesity rates.

Actions needed: In this case nothing is overblown, frankly I’d like to see a large-scale boycott of Pepsi AND Coke. There is literally nothing good from pop and I am not a nutritionist but will tell you me giving up pop was harder than anything else including gambling. It is evil and should be stopped. I’d also suggest whoever the advertising firm that came up with the concept give their heads a shake and try not to exploit oppression in the world in their commercials.  Also, I won’t study up anymore who Kendall Jenner is, but she seems like a nice girl besides her desire to drink Pepsi.

Back the Junos. This hasn’t made much media splash, but during Sarah Mclachlan’s acceptance speech “she was thankful to be born in a “country where the rights of girls and women are respected. … We Canadians are far from perfect, but we have a lot to offer to the rest of the world.” Perhaps, but tell the overrepresented amount of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal women how respected they feel. Oh, you can’t because they are missing and murdered.  Gord Downie spent his speech time talking about Indigenous people by stating, “We are not completely Canada yet. … We have friends, fellow countrymen and women who are in trouble.”.

So, is it their job to become political at award shows?  No, but make a point about how respected women are here, without making a comment about Indigenous or even from Women of Colour, then perhaps it was whitewashing, giving perspective from a rich white women’s point of view, and that is not representative of many Canadians.

Actions needed: None, just always think deeper when someone is commenting. It is from their life experience. Hey, I am a proud Canadian, I am, but I won’t say how great we are while different segments of our population are overrepresented in every institution from jail, foster care, and represent large statistic on sexual violence.

Verdict: Sometimes we get our pitchforks out without a deep analysis of the issue. Why are we so mad at Pepsi, but not that angry about the actual deaths that Pepsi’s products cause? Why are we angry about Russell Peters more so than perhaps the people arrested in a Porn Traffic ring? Let’s all educate ourselves a bit more and get pissed off about the stuff that truly matters, the violence and racial tensions in the world, the corporation itself rather than the commercial or a joke. Let’s work to fix things rather than just bitch about them.

Also floss.

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