Heather Mallick, Women and Pimptones

Heather Mallick is distraught.

The lefty feministy columnist of the Globe and Mail writes in a column for rabble.ca that women (real ones, not the air-brushed succubi present in advertising) are disappearing from the public view. While we've rarely had 50/50 representation in media, government and the like, it seems that the backlash from the feminist movement is still swinging, and the voices that were heard are being elbowed aside to make room for "the man" once more.

What brings her to this conclusion, here in Toronto in the fine, UN approved country of Canada? Maybe they have problems like that elsewhere, but surely we're doing alright?

Let's take a look, shall we?

Currently, the women in Federal government aren't quite up to a representative percentage. How much are we off? Well, in the Senate, there are 36 women (out of 105 seats) and in the House of Commons there are 65 (for 308 seats). That's about 34% and 21%, respectively.

But we're such a PC, open-minded culture. We acknowledge injustice and fight it righteously. Right?

Recently, there was a bit of a hoopla with the fine folks at Bell, who decided to offer "Pimptones" - in which instead of a boring old ring, you could hear the sound of a 'Mack' righteously dissing or smacking his 'ho' or 'bitch,' among other things.

After they received reams of complaints (including one from me), they discontinued the service. Quiet, like. After, of course, initially defending the service. I received an email in response to my complaint saying:

"Bell Mobility offers a wide selection of music and tone options... just like that which you would find at the music store. We offer everything from ethnic music to country, hip hop, urban and classical.

Not all genres are for everybody and to get to the section in question, users have to be looking for 'Urban' sounds. Ring tones are an opt-in purchase and are not obligatory.

The term "Pimp" is reflective of the youth urban language popular today, not a reference to prostitution. (Examples: popular TV show Pimp My Ride or Pimp Juice.)

We can certainly understand your dissatisfaction and your comments are
important to us. We are currently revising our ring tone selections."

A day or two later, I received a phone call where a customer service rep apologized profusely on behalf of Bell, hinting that whatever misogynistic genius approved the more offensive tones would soon be collecting unemployment cheques.

Political correctness wins the day, right? Veni, vedi, vici. Unfortunately, the concern isn't that we (being the offended hoes) might not have triumphed over Bell, it's that it was an issue in the first place. What upper-management suit thought 'ah yes, these clever references to disrespecting and being violent towards women will certainly increase our appeal to the 'Urban' customer base and increase profits.'? And what does that say about us?

Heather's worried about more that government reps and the dearth of women in op-ed pages - she sees something cultural going on here - an attitude which she finds troubling.

She heard about this fellow in Japan who has invented a female android. Cool, right? We dig humanoid robots. It's so Star Trek. So what's the trouble?

"She is the second such android built. The first was a five-year-old girl.

The BBC was too polite to ask about whether her genitals are state of the art, or indeed why the Japanese government would finance the engineering of a fake woman and child."

The conclusion?

"Women don't register. They might as well be androids. No wonder 3.2 billion people just vanished from sight. Shut up, bitch, as the new cellphone 'PimpTones' say. You're replaceable."

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