Alright, it is pretty clear that Councillor Janet Davis didn’t make a wise decision when she walked up to Councillor Doug Ford today at City Hall and told him shut his “f–king mouth.” Was she vocalizing the thoughts of anyone who has ever seen this bully stomp around (and on) others? More than likely. But work is work, and although the Ford brothers have made this city’s governance evermore difficult to accomplish there is always a way to work around blind rage.
But Doug Ford’s response is what deserves analysis here.
Ford was well within his right to demand an apology, although I would guess that Ford demanded it less for actual hurt feelings and more for the show of stopping a meeting to call out a detractor, no doubt involved in the vast anti-Ford conspiracies that he and his brother spy around every corner in the days since the crack scandal broke wide open.
What Ford did wrong was to bring Coucillor Davis’ femininity into the equation while demanding an apology.
“You call yourself a lady? Give me a break.”
Ford isn’t accusing Davis of being a land owning wife of a Lord or even denoting any idea of respect with his question. Ford is calling up antiquated notions of what a woman is allowed to do and what a woman is allowed to say. By asking her if she calls herself a “lady” Ford is telling her to know her place, and that place is not to speak her mind, have a dissenting opinion, or disagree with a man.
Here’s some advice for Ford:
Ladies, or women as they are better known, are as capable as anyone else of cursing. In fact, women can curse a blue streak, they know all the same swears and even direct them at others when they are upset. Women are entirely capable of getting mad and having opinions, even those that run counter to a man’s — even those that run counter to yours, Doug.
Councillor Davis is not a woman in frills and a powdered wig, she is a thoroughly modern woman with a full time job representing the people in her ward, including the children whose after school programs wont get any more money after you rallied against their expansion, the program expansion that you cussed out yourself by calling it garbage and stupid.
Councillor Davis deserves to be treated as more than some antiquated notion of a lady, quiet and observant, that you might like her to be.
She gave her apology, now where’s yours?