Why am I horrified over a group of self-proclaimed ‘Gentlemen’?

Why am I still horrified after hearing about yet another example of disgusting behaviour that targets women in sexually violent ways?

After all, this incident involving fourth-year students at the Dalhousie School of Dentistry who dub themselves the Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen in their private Facebook group is the latest in a string of misogynistic incidents to take place in a city that continues to get its reputation toward women tarnished in the aftermath of each and every one.

From the south end stalker to the police response to ‘Nicole’ and ‘Kim’ in a Coast cover story from October to internationally covered situations like the entire Rehteah Parsons case and the SMU rape chants, Halifax has a reputation. And now this.

To further add insult to injury, these students actually directly cited Jian Ghomeshi, the new Canadian spokesperson for sex creeps himself, with their ingenious poll asking which of their female peers would they choose to “hate fuck“? Clever.

They also took a page out of Bill Cosby’s book with chloroform jokes. Cosby, like Ghomeshi, has been accused by many women in situations that, for him, go back to the 1960s. And where Ghomeshi’s style was to slap and punch, Cosby’s was the use of sedatives or date-rape drugs to knock the women unconscious.

So why is it that this has become recurring in the news and I’m still shocked at this new occurrence? I think it’s because I have allowed myself to be floored at the absolute stupidity of it. That we can have terrible and high profile cases such as the examples listed above and still have people who are on the road to a high profession such as dentistry partake in activities that make light of, mock, or even promote sexual violence just boggles my mind.

I repeatedly read in comments sections of news sites that these men didn’t do anything illegal and they have free speech on their side.

Ok, fine.

But should we not question the level of intelligence they seem to be completely void of that they are stupid enough to create a Facebook group, private or not, that jokes about raping the women they share a classroom with? At the absolute least, I would expect a group of soon-to-be professionals to have a better sense of judgment than that. Professionals who would be responsible for the safety and well-being of patients and who themselves would be in a position of administering anaesthesia in some situations on them.

I think the school should act. These students have displayed the type of character no professional in a medical field who could have authority over patients should hold – jokingly or otherwise. There are very likely students-in-waiting who can fill their place in the program who have a more appropriate sense of morals, better judgment and who hold themselves and their peers to higher standards than those shown by these ‘gentlemen’.

The school needs to act. Not doing so is at best accepting the actions of these men as being nothing and at worst endorsing them. To do nothing is to taint the program and its graduates, especially the graduating class of 2015. The men who didn’t actually participate and who are innocent will share the reputation of those who did. The women will be disrespected by the very school they’ve spent four years of their life and tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars attending.

So why am I horrified? It’s because people who are this close to being in a position of privilege and authority have shown just how incredibly stupid they actually are. The school should act because stupid shouldn’t be rewarded the privilege of receiving such a prestigious honour.

Soundtrack – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Mockingjay Part 1 Soundtrack

One of the most unfortunate things about the Hunger Games film series being only four films long is that the next film’s soundtrack will be the last.

The Hunger Games have played a huge part in helping to bring excitement back to the movie soundtrack and while the second instalment wasn’t as grand as the first, it’s still been an adventure in itself to discover the artists and songs that make up each, and now that other movies, such as Divergent, have jumped on board, soundtrack compilations are back in full swing. Continue reading

Whiplash

Whiplash

Picture yourself doing something that requires possessing the right skills plus your undivided attention in order to get it done. Juggling, playing jenga, driving on Rainbow Road, or anything that makes you feel anxious to the point where you ultimately screw it up because you focused too hard on not screwing it up.

That’s what Whiplash is like to watch. Written and directed by Damian Shazelle, it stars 19-year-old Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), a naturally talented jazz drummer who has aspirations to be the next Buddy Rich, as a student at Shaffer Conservatory, dubbed in the film as “the greatest music school in the United States.” Continue reading

Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways

Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways

Where the Foo Fighters’ last album, 2011 Wasting Light, was focused heavily on its use of analogue in a digital industry, this album’s central theme is around the songwriting process and the band’s travels across the United States incorporating inspiration from the cities they visit into the songs that end up on the album.

And thus, Sonic Highways is born – as both an album and resulting 8-episode documentary television series on HBO. They traveled to eight cities, Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington, and New York, recording in some of music’s most legendary studios to help commemorate the band’s 20th anniversary and create something memorable out of the experience. Continue reading

Christmas in a box

Christmas tree

When I was growing up, the first sign of Christmas came with the Sears Christmas Wish Book that arrived at the end of August. Every year, it became a temporarily permanent fixture in the kitchen and living room as I’d thumb through the toy pages – and later the electronics pages – looking at the things I’d want.

But the Christmas season for me didn’t officially start until I heard my first Christmas song on the radio, usually around November 22, and usually on the province’s main AM station, just because. After that first song, the floodgates of Christmas opened. Continue reading

Idina Menzel – Holiday Wishes

Idina Menzel - Holiday Wishes

Idina Menzel had a huge year. From the success of Frozen trickling over into 2014, her latest Broadway show If/Then, which opened a few months into the year, and her propulsion into the mainstream as the famed mistakenly-identified Adele Nazeem. What’s next on the to-do list? Why, a holiday album of course!

Idina’s holiday album Holiday Wishes is her fourth studio record and first in six years. (Fun fact: her last album was produced by Glen Ballard in 2008.) It contains some of the expected familiar classics but it isn’t too predictable nor is the tracklisting too plain. You have the standards like Silent Night, The Christmas Song and Baby It’s Cold Outside, but there’s also some of the under-appreciated titles like Do You Hear What I Hear and Holly Jolly Christmas. Continue reading

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