Name and shame to stop vile harassment

A recent troubling trend is finally having some serious consequences for at least one perpetrator.

You’ve probably read the story or seen the viral footage of a CityNews reporter in Toronto confronting so-called sports fans outside a venue over their desire to harass media personalities on-air.

These guys operate by invading live tapings, shoving themselves into the camera frame, sometimes grabbing the reporter, and yelling a particularly vile phrase laced with obscenities.

It’s also a rape threat, though we doubt these morons see it as such. Mindless is almost too kind a description of their thought processes.

If it was some innocuous phrase, we’d probably chuckle a bit, too. But it’s not.

The phrase itself is too revolting to repeat here.

How has such a dimwitted thing caught on? Why are adult men, professionals even, waiting in the wings for a camera on which to enact their stupidity?

When confronted by the Toronto reporter, these guys expressed the idea that their

workplace sexual harassment was hilarious.

It’s bizarre. It’s behaviour one might expect young teenagers to find amusing and “daringly” engage in, not grown men.

Have we become a country of perpetual adolescents who remain emotionally frozen at the age when it was cool to hang out the window of their buddy’s car and catcall women?

Newsflash: girls don’t think that’s awesome.

It’s even less awesome when you’re a 20-, 30-or 40-something year old man acting like you’ve

never completed puberty.

The sexual violence towards women expressed in the phrase chosen is also disturbing.

Would you really want someone yelling that at your mom or your sister or your daughter?

Now one of the offenders in Toronto is being fired from his job, losing his $100,000 per year paycheque.

Not so funny anymore. It’s never great to hear about someone’s life being ruined because of one boneheaded moment, but his comments showed remorse was not on the menu otherwise.

Still, zero-tolerance has a tendency to throw the babies out with the bathwater.

It would have been preferable for an education process to take place. We need these men to realize that what they are doing is wrong – not just a fun stunt – and creates a hostile environment not only for the newsperson trying to do a broadcast, but for all women within range of hearing.

But these men do need to be identified and singled out.

If that’s the only way to stop this ugly virus from spreading, then we say, name and shame.

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