The Day of Pink is not an early-hours strip club, but rather an initiative to promote inclusion and prevent bullying. As with every successful social media-based campaign, participation in the Day of Pink requires little effort and engagement. While participants are welcome to discuss bullying issues with friends and members of the public, the vast majority need only wear something pink and post something like “NO BULLYING!” on their Facebook or Twitter accounts. Despite this simplicity, some people always find a way to screw things up.
For the most part, this year’s Day of Pink moved along nicely. People posted photos of themselves wearing pink, usually looking pretty dorky, and drowned the internet in feel-good anti-bullying messages. Police officers, students, Rob Ford’s successor, and even the American Ambassador to Canada joined in. Awareness multiplied like polygamists in Bountiful. It was a great day.
Unfortunately, a few do-gooders took things too far. Pouncing on the news that El Dictator’s wife, Laureen Harper, would participate in the Day of Pink, activist Ariel Troster declared that she would boycott the event in its entirety. She argued that Day of Pink had sold out by allowing Laureen Harper to participate. After all, she is the woman who is married to the man who appointed Mike Duffy to the Senate. More importantly, Laureen is married to the man who is responsible for Bill C-279, which Troster argues harms the trans-community. This association was too much to handle.
Respectfully, Troster’s opposition was a bit too much to handle. Everyone in Canada knows that Laureen Harper hides behind cats to avoid important conversations, but that hardly ruins the Day of Pink for everyone. Can we fault this cat lady for her husband’s behaviour? That feels awfully archaic. It also runs contrary to the expressed purpose of the Day of Pink, right down to its core.
If Day of Pink’s purpose is to prevent bullying and promote inclusion, it doesn’t make sense to cancel the event just because one person plans to participate. That’s textbook exclusion. Troster can argue that Harper’s enthusiasm isn’t genuine, and that Laureen is of questionable moral character for standing by as her husband supposedly ruins lives. These are fine points to contend. However, by saying “I won’t participate if she is allowed to participate,” Troster has taken on the role of, well, the bully. It doesn’t make sense.