Canada’s first notable instance of a ”FHRTIP” episode has become an incendiary topic on social media and comments sections after one of the participants in the incident, Shawn Simoe, was fired from his job at Hydro One, Ontario’s primary energy supplier. Significantly, Hydro One is currently a public enterprise, which probably has a lot to do with the specific clauses or codes of conduct in Simoe’s contract that made his dismissal both legal and justifiable (and is the same reason why his salary was a matter of public record).
BUT, as we all know, reason has very little place on the internet, and especially in the ongoing battle against persecution that straight white men face everyday from Feminists/Women/Mass Media/The World At Large. So they’ve taken to comments sections and social media to express their displeasure in this flagrant abuse of their right to free speech. No matter how trivial the event, we have to salute the ability of men on the internet to turn anything into a culture war, waged against them and their hard-earned rights (what some of us might call their “innate privilege”).
In the spirit of this salutation, here’s a compilation of some of the better (and by better, I definitely mean most funny and/or implausible) defences of Simoe and statements of victimization spotted on the internet this week. After observing these creatures in their natural habitat (comments sections and Facebook replies), we’ve classified them by genus, so that when you spot them in the wild you know what you’re dealing with.
The “It’s actually about ethics in gaming journalism” guy
These guys, named for my personal favourite variety of Gamergate-ers, are here to get to the real bottom of the topic. They’ve figured it out, and I hope we can all be collectively relieved it’s not about sexual harassment, it’s actually about ethics in on the street interviewing. And free speech. It’s always about free speech.
The Behavioural Scientist
These guys, whether blessed with the time to have read a lot of pop-science books (the first comment) or having had written their PHD at Pseudoscience University on the subject (the second), are getting down the real reasons a rando yelled at a woman on camera. It’s biological!
The Boy Who Cried Censorship
Everything is an attack on free speech and is CENSORSHIP! The squirrel on my balcony giving me side-eye as I write this? He doesn’t like my free speech.
He’s not taking sides, of course, it’s just funny that…
The Conspiracy Theorist
Has Orwellian paranoia levels, but with all of the focus of a 6 year old with ADHD. FHRITP is actually an anagram for Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams.
Butthurt about the Butthurt
Proctologists are going to make a killing off this thing.
I knew they’d pop their heads out at some point! Hi guys!!
Or does he go by Miss Information?
The Inventor or Sarcasm himself
Oh my god!! I can’t believe he’s here! In our little internet thread! The honour! The sheer joy! #Blessed
The “Bitches be…” guy
We can’t let random internet commenters have all the fun – kudos to the CBC and The Globe & Mail for trying to use this story to make a statement about employment and privacy in the age of social media – we can see that you’re dying to make this point, but the video was part of a CityTV broadcast, and despite it being shared thousands of times across social media (so was the trailer for Jem and the Holograms, by the way), that’s not what the conversation surrounding this should be about. It should be about men making fools of themselves, obviously.
And I think today, we here at Elle Beaver have done our part to contribute to that.