Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Actions and Consequences

"I am concerned about the misogynist, sexist, gender violent kind of behaviour. ...We would take a good hard look as to whether or not we thought they were suitable to practise."
Irwin Fefergrad, registrar, Ontario dental college

"The suspension is necessary to ensure a safe and supportive environment for patients and classmates who participate in the clinics."
"We had credible reports from our front line staff of potential self-harm [on the part of the male dentistry students]. We took those seriously and so that concern for student safety overrode our concern about communicating this publicly."
Richard Florizone, university president, Tom Boran, dean, faculty of dentistry, Dalhousie University

dal dentistry winter
Controversy continues to swirl around the Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen Facebook page, where some fourth-year male dentistry students at Dalhousie University in Halifax posted violent sexual comments about female classmates. (CBC)

Concern shifted from the discomfort and discomfiting situation that women found themselves in at the dental college of Dalhousie University after discovering that a group of their fellow students had been viewing them as fair game-meat in the time-dishonoured culture of males considering females among them to represent as ripe for rape.

The 'gentleman's' club of the dental school's third-year class was comprised aspiring dentists, among them thirteen mature university students, preparing to set out in the world of professional and civil conduct and on their way to assuming their place in that world, they thought it a useful exercise to practise their juvenile frat-room humour through visualizing 'hate' sex with some selected fellow students.

They were even prepared to use some of the tools of their nascent profession of dentistry to set the stage for rape, murmuring judiciously on line of the efficacy of the use of chloroform. The group's Facebook account was rife with immature sexist comments, made over a three-year period as testament to the fact that during those three years they found transition from recruits to adulthood beyond difficult to attain.

When one of the women targeted by their raw commentary was made aware of it, she complained to the university's Human Rights, Equity and Harassment Prevention office. News of the situation became public when the CBC -- to whom copies of some related material was made available in the wake of the Facebook account being removed -- reported the tawdry affair.

After which several other women, also the subject of commentary, along with a number of the male members of the 'responsibly adult' Facebook group approached the school administration. Those social media postings revealed a fairly degraded mindset, one that views women as playthings ripe for abuse. To state that this event's revelations are disturbing with relation to the calibre of the young men aspiring to take their place in society, represents a gross understatement.

The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario has now insisted it wishes to have the names of the male students involved to enable them to refuse the right to practise in Ontario for any of the thirteen dental students at Dalhousie who manage to complete their professional course and receive accreditation to practise.

This does not bode well for their professional future in Canada. But on the other hand they themselves set the course for the trajectory of backlash that has brought them to this position. One does expect mature, thoughtful, trustworthy behaviour on the part of those presenting themselves as adult and intelligent enough to commit to such a profession where reliance on all those human attributes is anticipated.

Any males of an age that these are who believe it is an amusing pasttime to theorize between them how best to subdue a perceived physically desirable woman who may not be interested in pursuing intimate relations with them, to place her in a position of vulnerability to their unwanted attention representing violent physical abuse has demonstrated without equivocation their infantile, despicable mindset.

Concerns expressed by the university administrators over the distraught mental state of some of the dental students who engaged in this obscenely juvenile behaviour because they see their academic studies and years of achievement gone to waste, their futures absent the attainment of their aspirations are legitimate enough, but serve also to infantalize further those involved, when they should be recognizing the errant offensive stupidity of their mentality.

For every action there is reaction. And for actions that abuse civil adult social codes of conduct there is a penalty when those engaging in abusive actions are found out. The quandary that these thirteen young men find themselves in is of their own thoughtless doing, and the consequences also are their responsibility to deal with.

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