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Misogyny exposed by Greta decal

Sarah Burns

The recent example of rampant misogyny to hit the local news, in the form of a professionally printed decal depicting an arguably dominant sexual act on a female, has put me back on my heels while simultaneously getting my back up.

Misogyny is the dislike, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women and it needs to stop being accepted at any level.

Make no mistake, those that defend, support or promote this decal are misogynistic. 

The decal depicts a female figure bent over unclothed, seen from above, her long braids being held in the hands of the individual immediately behind her. The name “Greta” is scrawled across her lower back and the company logo X-site Services is below the image, making the depicted act an act of rape on a minor. 

The company is managed by former Hintonite, Doug Sparrow.

By several internet accounts, this decal has been distributed to others. A week after this blew up online, the company has finally apologized and stated they are attempting to recover and destroy the decals. The decal has been denounced in the House of Commons. 

I’ve really struggled with how to properly express my feelings on this while staying succinct. I’ve been in a few Internet fights this past week. 

Here and now, I am choosing to address the misogyny. Ingrained prejudice is defined as a firmly fixed or established preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience and is difficult to change.

Difficult to change … so that begs the question, what is the best way to change this belief system?

I believe it is done by holding people publicly and openly accountable using whatever means possible. 

That’s why I identified Doug the way I did.

I appreciate how the Councillor from Rocky Mountain House did this as well when she became aware of the decal. She first called Doug and asked if he was aware the decal existed with his company logo on it … he was. According to her, he responded in a way that led her to believe he was not concerned about the content of the image.

She sat on that information for a day before posting the image, along with her disbelief at the acceptance of this image in the very industry she works in and supports.

It has resulted in a lot of attention, from both sides and the fact that there are two sides of this is the problem. Any online presence associated with Doug and the company have been removed from social media. Doug has expressed his frustration at the inconvenience of this in one news interview with Global Edmonton. 

More than one individual within the industry has posted that they will be removing the company from their service supplier list. 

I appreciate these actions … they are the actions that will correct this kind of behaviour. It must become more and more inconvenient to hold this mindset. But how many saw it that did not call this out as unacceptable?

Brad Zaharko was posting in a local forum and made the argument that “the only thing that would make that picture better is if you see the back of the guys head and it said Trump”. He also tried to explain the content of the image as “maybe she was falling and that just happens to be what he caught her by”.

Side note, the original artist of the drawing (minus the ‘Greta’ and the logo) has come forward to denounce this use of the image, and confirmed that the image does in fact represent a sex act… As if there was any doubt. I may be just a little too gleeful over his interest in suing the company for copyright. 

Zaharko also believes that “you don’t need to try and publicly shame them because it’s not going to work.”

We obviously disagree here.

Brandon Holmes states, “I wanna sticker for my door…”.

Greg Long states, “good for them that dumb little b****.” 

Travis James Skrepneck TJ went on quite a tirade on a comment of mine including, “The girl in the mean little cartoon might really be enjoying it. Lol.” 

Jason Taylor sent me over the edge in a comment on a news article when he included this in his tirade, “The oilfield sees her as a threat as she sees all of Alberta as a threat she’s been asking for it since the day she first appeared on TV.” 

She’s been asking for it. 

You can’t convince me these attitudes aren’t a deep seated contempt for women. 

For example, it’s fair to say that those who take issue with Greta Thunberg have a similar dislike for our Prime Minister. 

And I can find a multitude of images on the internet using a certain four letter F word to express their feelings towards Trudeau … I can’t find a single image or comment thread showing their amusement at his bent over naked body with a figure tucked in close behind firmly holding a handful of his thick black hair.