Who the hell drinks milk at the office, anyway?

The Skinny | No 79 – Malta Misogyny and the Online Boomer Problem 

What are we skinning? Malta’s insistence on cleaving to antiquated expectations of gender in the public sphere – both offline and off. 

Why are we skinning it? Because it manifested itself doubly over the past few days. 

First as a tragedy, then as a farce? Various shades of both in either instance, I would say, but I’ll leave that up to you to decide. 

Okay, so what happened? Well, first off we had PN boomer keyboard warrior Godfrey Leone-Ganado attempting to undermine PBS journalist Norma Saliba by referring to her as a “political prostitute”. 

Wasn’t this the same guy who landed in hot water after saying pretty much the same thing about temporarily-resigned MP Rosianne Cutajar? Yes. Makes you think, doesn’t it? 

Yes, it brings to mind the all-too-common assumption that any ‘inconvenient’ women must be branded with that term. Which, to be quite fair about it, should be taken with a lot more nuance anyway. 

Cutajar’s attempt at a reform in that regard must have played its part in the ongoing Ganadian irking. I wouldn’t doubt it. Legitimising the act of prostitution would, after all, seem to rob the likes of Godfrey Leone-Ganado – and sadly, there are evidently far too many of them still about – of their favourite go-to insult. 

Which is the core of the ‘anti-woke’ counter-reaction, isn’t it? Yes, the whiny and ultimately fallacious idea that criticising inculcated unpleasantness in our everyday language and expression somehow amounts to a clampdown of ‘freedom of speech’ by a haggle of ‘SJWs’ and ‘dojoq’. 

So what’s the other piece of gender-based furore, then? Oh, that misjudged Benna Red Velvet advert in which a male office worker fantasises about a female colleague after he takes a gulp of the said – Limited Edition – concoction.

Now come on… the outcry to THAT can hardly be justified. Depends on what you mean. The normalisation of leery behaviour at the workplace should hardly be propagated any further. Watching that advert, it’s a case of… “Oh gods, not this again!”

But between the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the unsettling new revelations in the Daphne Caruana Galizia case and the news that Keith Schembri is set to be charged in court, surely the country has more pressing things to worry about than boomer slurs hurled by Repubblika activists and a lame Benna advert? You could decide to see it that way. But sadly, it’s also very much apparent that women will have to continue tolerating (and battling) sexist pestering from all quarters for a long while yet… crisis or no crisis.

Hey, at least Destiny was allowed to lean over a half-naked guy in her latest video, right? If anything represents the hope for a brighter, more defiant and gender-friendly future, it’s that video.

Do say: “While we should make all possible allowance for context, nuance and perspective in any given case, it would not be inaccurate to say that a zero-tolerance policy towards evidently retrograde attitudes to women in both public and private life needs to be relegated to the dustbin of history if we hope to make fully-fledged gender equality a reality, and not just a handy hashtag to bandy about as political or promotional expediency dictates.”   

Don't say: “Who the hell drinks milk at the office, anyway?”