Rob Ford Rehab: Will He Ever Address His Woman Problem?
Say what you will about Rob Ford, the man is consistent. Let’s rally for small victories, shall we? But while we spotlight his ongoing substance abuse, it's rare to hear the same outrage directed at his relentless sexism. Last week when Rob Ford kindly offered to take any woman over the age of eighteen “out for coffee” to “explain how politics work,” we wrote it off as charmingly “foot-in-mouth” and just shook our heads because things were pretty good in Toronto. The Raptors had won game five of the second round of NBA Playoffs on home turf maybe everything was going to be okay in Hogtown after all. We were gonna make it, you guys!
Cut to needle scratching record, because Wednesday night The Toronto Sun broke the story that Rob Ford would be stepping down after reports of two incriminating recordings. The first one features an audio recording of an inebriated and foul-mouthed mayor at a bar Monday night. Within a short time, The Globe and Mail upped the ante, releasing a stills from a video that allegedly shows Ford smoking crack (again).
But before we break out the requisite crack comments, let’s take a moment to really hear what he said at the bar Monday night. It’s consistent with his history of misogynistic comments, complete with disgusting rants about women. Ford’s speech includes lewd references to Councillor Karen Stintz, of whom he says: “I’d like to f------g jam her, but she doesn’t want ... I can’t talk like this...I’m so sorry.” Ford, finding his manners, then adds, “I forgot there’s a woman in the house.”
The only thing Rob Ford should want to “jam” is a peanut butter sandwich because that action has no place in a political discussion concerning a female colleague. Can I ask again why this man remains on city payroll? Ford’s own wife isn’t exempt from his ranting and the language can’t be quoted here without ample use of asterisks and exclamation points.
Misogyny and sexism are commonplace in the political arena. Actually, they’re fairly commonplace in every arena, so it’s no surprise that people are constantly taken to task for spouting hatred. Last week L.A. Clippers owner Donald Stirling was revealed to be a bit of an ass himself, when tapes were released wherein he made racist remarks in private. But Stirling’s actions were addressed immediately and he now faces severe punitive action, including the possible forced sale of his share in the team. Mel Gibson -- in a now famous recorded rant against women and Jews (...actually, I think he covered everyone in that one phone call) -- was given the cold shoulder by Hollywood and the general public and has yet to climb out of the ooze. He couldn’t make a hit with a baseball bat. So why does Rob Ford continue to have a bedrock of support in Toronto? Are lower taxes – his primary platform – worth the attitude they’re attached to? Half the citizens of Toronto are women and the other half at least know one. Is this going to be swept under the rug again?
Ford left Toronto early this morning after giving Toronto City Hall formal notice that he plans to be away for at least a month. He is reportedly seeking help for a now admitted “substance abuse problem” but said nothing about his comments regarding women. It’s hard to refute recorded evidence, especially when the context seems clear. Ford says if he loses the upcoming election he is “done:” “Once I’m done, I’m done; I’m going to California. With Stirling and Gibson already there, looks like Ford will be in good company.
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