What Went Wrong This Week For … Broadening Your Horizons

Scaachi Koul is a senior writer at BuzzFeed Canada, formerly the managing editor of Hazlitt. Her debut collection of essays, The Pursuit of...

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Welcome to Well, That Sucked, our weekly compendium of exactly what it sounds like. Thrown in this week’s garbage: doing things you maybe don’t want to do.

Embarking on new adventures is terrifying. Doing unfamiliar things takes a lot of perseverance, not to mention the conviction that you’re more capable than you may feel. You don’t have to tell me how hard change is—I don’t even want to clean my fridge out now that I’ve gotten so attached to this six-month-old empty ranch dressing bottle. (It’s starting to change shape. It looks like a little snowman starting to melt in the spring. We are friends now, and I will miss him when he is gone.)

But at a certain point, you have to take a deep breath, pull up your pants, and just scrape off all the mold growing in the crisper drawer. This week, two wilted-spinach-bags of men learned that with adulthood comes occasionally leaving your comfort zone.

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal dismissed a complaint from a University of Toronto student who claimed his teacher was discriminating against him for being male. Wongene Daniel Kim says he lost marks in his Women and Gender Studies course when he didn’t show up to class because he was too shy to be the only guy in a class full of women.

Look, I understand: girls are scary. They’re in your classes, they sit in semicircles, and they look at you with their big eyes and long hair and evolutionarily smaller skulls. You get all flustered and you can’t focus! Two of my editors are men, and let me tell you, I spend most of our meetings just sweating under my lady-blazer and thinking of illnesses I can feign to get out of talking.

But sometimes it’s good for you to do new things. What is post-secondary education about, anyway, besides new experiences, making mistakes, and dealing with a particularly resilient cold sore strain? (I had a weird time in university. Don’t worry about it.)

In Kim’s defense, he is a foolish undergrad who has apparently never spent any extended period of time in or around an Ardene. Rob Ford, on the other hand, is a 44-year-old man who is the mayor of a very large city in a very large country. And while I know he’s busy staving off the attacks from Crazy Town and Robyn Doolittle’s non-feminist red lips, he could maybe do himself a favour and get his chores done with a little less complaining.

Ford hasn’t made any appearances at Toronto’s Pride parades since becoming mayor, so it’s not a huge surprise that he’s also refusing to show up to World Pride this summer. This is odd, since World Pride is one of the largest international events in the LGBTQ community. And the city—the city that he is mayor of, where he lives, the place he loves so much for its subways and Steak Queens and plentiful crack cocaine—is hosting it this summer. But Ford won’t go. “I’m not going to change the way I am,” Ford proclaimed before slamming his bedroom door and cranking up his goddamn rap music making the whole house shake ROBERT YOU GET BACK DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW.

Stranger still is that Ford has since expressed dismay that the rainbow flag is up at City Hall for Sochi, saying that the Olympics are “not about someone’s sexual preference.” For once, Ford is right: the Olympics have nothing to do with orientation, so it’s a real shame that Sochi made it an issue in the first place. Moreover, Ford’s resolution to do nothing for the gay community is one thing, but his resolution to do something turns out to be worse.

Rob Ford is learning the hard lesson we all learn as we grow up: sometimes you have to do things you do not want to do. No one is going to ask Ford to become an ally of the LGBTQ community—that’s beyond the realm of possibility, and, at this point, undesirable in general!—but he can at least acknowledge that this is a part of his job. It isn’t an opt-in/opt-out deal. You just have to do it.

It seems that there are a lot of things we just can’t get Ford to do. We can’t ask him to not smoke crack while mayor, we can’t ask him to stop lying about how much money he’s saved the city, we can’t ask him to straighten his stupid football ties. But at the very least, we should be able to ask him to do this very small, very important, very low-impact part of his job.

But who knows! Maybe he’d like it if he just tried it. I can say from experience, Pride is a lot of fun. In fact, if you forget all the gay people, it’s totally his bag: everyone’s drunk, people get to dance in the street, and there’s always some mild to moderate drug use. It’s very non-judgmental! He would have a great time, tons of cute women would want to take their picture with him, and all those mysterious stains he seems to constantly collect on his shirts would seem perfectly normal.

So come on down this summer, Bobby. The sun will be shining, we won’t ask you about your very obvious alcohol problem, and we’ll dance like every day is Bob Marley Day. I’ll even buy you one of those lollipops shaped like a big red dick. You’ll love it.

Well, That Sucked appears every Friday

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