Gov. Gen. Mary Simon speaks out against online hate

Governor Mary Simon is standing up to the online hate directed at her in hopes of creating “a world where true equality and respect are the norm, not the exception.”

Simon asked CTV’s Question Period host Vasily Capellos in an interview aired on Sunday to use his platform and authority to create a larger dialogue on the issue of pervasive and damaging online hate. Said he wanted to make

Last month, the governor-general announced that he would be closing the posting of comments on social media in response to a storm of negative rhetoric.

Simon’s team posted at the time that “abusive, misogynistic and racist engagements on social media and online platforms are on the rise, as are violent threats.”

Less than a month later, Simon released a video commemorating International Women’s Day, sharing these hateful comments with a lengthy message about the impact of online violence, especially against women and girls. I posted many.

“I am speaking about this for those who cannot speak for fear of retaliation or retaliation,” Simon wrote. “But my hope is that others will join me.

When it comes to online hate, Simon wrote that he “politely disagrees” with the idea that women and girls should develop “thick skin.” ”

“Of course they annoy me,” said Simon. “I mean we get thick skin at some point in our lives, and that’s unacceptable.”

“This kind of dialogue going on on social media is not only my role, but I think many women and girls are affected by very negative and racist discussions on social media. And it contains misogyny.”

Many of the comments Simon shared on International Women’s Day were aimed at the governor’s race. Simon is an Inuk woman and the first indigenous people to hold the position of governor.

“These are the things I think about when it happens to me as an individual. I use this opportunity as a way to open up the conversation. Individuals like girls and women,” Simon said.

She added that it’s not enough to just stay off social media platforms or keep yourself in low profile in hopes of reducing hate. , she said, is something she’s been trying to do all her life.

“This is a reflection of my career so far as I have had to speak out to people in situations that were unacceptable for me,” Simon said, adding that the recent discussion took place on the Internet.

“It’s really important for me to take advantage of opportunities like this,” Simon also said. “I call it an opportunity because, although it was hurtful and challenging, I saw it as a way that we could really use this situation to bring out the issues and have this discussion. .”

Simon believes that while it is not an immediate process, progress is possible with the involvement of the government, social media companies and everyday Canadians.

“This is not a women’s problem. This is not a girl’s problem. This is a human problem,” said Simon. “I think we all have a role to play in talking to our families and kids and making sure we understand what the pitfalls are in terms of being part of these social media platforms. “

The Governor’s online video coincided with a roundtable she hosted at Rideau Hall on International Women’s Day called “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality” and other women leaders.

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