Monday, April 20, 2009

A nice place to bee, honey?

There are a lot of things about Canada that piss me off: the spawn of Satan that is the Prime Minister; the racism towards Aboriginal peoples; the lack of progressive leadership in addressing poverty; a popular culture that is highly masturbatory for anyone and anything Canadian, oh I could go on and on...

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of good things as well and generally I think Canada is alright, though that really does depend where you're at. I love the west coast but I sure as hell would not want to live in Tisdale, Saskatchewan:

(Not my photo, found it on the net, here.)

By rape they mean rapeseed, that bright yellow crop that is grown for canola oil. And you maybe, like me, might have thought that that's just an old photo and the powers that be in Tisdale have since adjusted the wording a bit. Oh, but no. It's right there on the town's website.

I'm not easily offended and I do have a sense of humour. I laughed at the linguistic 'funny' in the slogan and the uncomfortableness it produced. Thankfully, for my sake, it was only uncomfortableness that I could laugh off.

When thinking about sharing this with a couple of friends, I had to remember that quite a few of my friends have actually been raped, one by her own father. As I have never been raped or sexually abused I wondered how they might interpret the words.

I talked to two friends and very gently explained what I had found and asked what they thought about it. They felt sick to their stomachs. Obviously.

I can imagine that in Tisdale, SK the word 'rape' most likely conjures up ideas of yellow fields much more for people living there than it does in my mind. They are surrounded by the crop, it's integral to their economy, it's a part of their daily lives. Perhaps the people working at the town's hall are genuinely unaware of alternative interpretations.


Perhaps they are fully aware and the notoriety produced by the town's slogan is the only way for Tisdale to let the world out there know that they exist.


It's just another typically backasswards small rural Canadian town. A town that on the surface is full of friendly happy shiny people but contains an underbelly of red necked sexist machismo (and various other yuckiness, no doubt).

Whichever way, this highlights another thing that pisses me off about Canada. Many Canadians will bleat on about how friendly, peace-lovin, tolerant, egalitarian Canada is yet behave in the exact opposite manner, turn a blind eye to anything that doesn't conform to their sugar-coated stereotypes or just be so incredibly ignorant of the world beyond their front porches.

And breathe, Marnie.................

I feel a meeting with a punching bag brewing. ;-)

Am I over-reacting?


  1. No, not over reacting. No doubt people will say you are, but what's a little sensitivity worth? That sign is knowing, gloating in and profiting from others misery.

    Try posting in BE and see what reaction you get!

  2. Town of Tisdale, just change it to rapeseed already!

    From the wording of your post I'm wondering if you're originally from somewhere else. How long have you been in Canada?

  3. I thihk the impact of the words is made stronger by the Crime Stoppers sign right niet to the town sign.

    Crime stoppers and a crop? No, Crime stoppers and a serious assault. Yes. They can't wave their hands and proclaim that they have never thought of the alternative meaning.

  4. me again

    Tisdale is Corner Gas, Brent Butt is from there.
    No how come he has never made a joke about that
    Tisdale the Land of Canola and Honey.... easy

  5. Er, no not over reacting. That sign wouldn't last five minutes in this country. A stout chainsaw or a pot of black paint would do the trick I think. Appalling. What a bunch of assholes.
    And you're bang on Mog, the Crime Stoppers sign just accentuates how ludicrous it is.
    Right, off my high horse now!

  6. Thanks for your feedback sweet people.

    I was out driving around a bit today and was following a car with Saskatchewan plates and couldn't resist flippin them the bird... under the dash of course ;-) as it's not about them personally and I'm a bit of a wimp. lol.

    Sarah, I'm from Canada but I spent five years in England and many of my friends are British or are Canadians who live over there now or who have. I often use British words, phrases, etc... just from habit (and Neil and Naldo are rapidly expanding my vocab!)

    I met Mog via a British Expat site and have known her for years. We've nearly met twice but real life but other bits of real life have gotten in the way but we will meet!

    And Neil, stay up on your horse! Better view from up there. And guess what I bought today... for a peaty 40 quid and will sip a bit of in a moment...

    I think I'm going to write an email to the 'Town of Tisdale' just to see what they say... what do you all think that I should say or ask? I'm thinking of the 'dumb blond' schtick I often use... ask very naive questions just to see what actually flows out of someone's mouth.

    On the plus, this afternoon was a gorgeous down by the water and I snapped a few good photos of some bald eagles (I hope) and got too much sun. Still... blood is simmering...

  7. If your blood wasn't boiling then you wouldn't be Canadian eh? Go take the fight to them. Listen to what they have to say. I'm wondering how many women they have on there town council. None with any common sense at least. Keep us posted.

  8. Although in hideous taste (I hate it when towns, especially small ones, try to gain notoriety by tasteless things), the Crime Stoppers sign underneath is even better.

  9. Ask an innocent question, that gets the best results.

  10. Hey Mog... you brought up Brent Butt. I believe this was how I found out about Tisdale. He was in the news lately.

    I was thinking that perhaps Tisdale maybe could just change the slogan slightly to:

    "home of butt rape and honey"

    Innocent suggestion...

  11. I sent an email a few hours ago...

    I'm not going to hold my breathe but I will send another in a few days... just to be a bee in their bonnet, honey.

  12. Yes, "Home of Butt Rape and Honey" sounds perfect - lets see how those macho redneck blokes feel about that take on what they enjoy!?!?

  13. Cheesy peeps, just came across this and am a wee bit outraged. The idiots who commissioned that sign no exactly what they're up to. Aaaaargh! Wankers like that give men a very bad name.

  14. Thanks again for all your comments... it's always good to know that I'm not insane (at least in this instance).

    Still waiting for a reply from Tisdale...

  15. yupp so tisdale resident right here and im not too impressed on your attempt at the 'new' slogan of our sign

  16. Well, since not one of you are from Tisdale or surrounding area, this sign should not bother you. It is worth a quick laugh but not worth sending a stupid e-mail to the town...Do you actually think you'll get a response from the town? Do you think they don't know that the word "rape" in the proper context means sexual assault?

    If this town sign really bothers you all so much that it is worth putting this much time and effort into complaining about it, I strongly recommend you find better hobbies to. And if that doesn't satisfy you, then go cry some more.

  17. Wow. I believe the people here need to grow up. I am from Tisdale myself and I am not offended by it the least. The town was created in 1910 and was a major agricultural town at its time. The name stayed because that is what it is still referred to in the region. Do your research before you say anything. Secondly, I find that YOUR comments are obscene. Not a very good message you are showing.

  18. What's wrong with my new slogan, Anonymous?

    And why shouldn't 'the land of rape and honey' bother me if I don't live there?

    Those are rhetorical questions, fwiw.

  19. I live near tisdale and personally I found it much more entertaining when someone spray painted out the and, it was replaced with a your. That was pretty good.

  20. Well, with those last two comments, I rest my case... obviously no evidence of sexist machismo.

    (that's sarcasm)

  21. Hey I'm female, how can i be sexist against my own sex. and it was funny, and definitely makes more sense than butrape and honey. like really

  22. "how can i be sexist against my own sex."

    By defending a town slogan that include a double entendre (a play on words, a word with a double meaning) about sexual violence against women.

    Rape is not something to joke about.

  23. Perhaps because Canola is only one particular cultivar of rapeseed... maybe you should petition the world to rename rapeseed so it will never be referred to as 'rape' ever again.

    And then you can start in on your campaign about renaming the murders of crows because then people who've had families be murdered won't break down into panic attacks from seeing crows.

    Good luck with that.

  24. Wow. Although I believe that everyone here has a right to their opinion maybe sometimes your opinions should be kept to yourself.

    Don't act like you didn't expect a fight when writing something like this on the net. Yes you are overreacting. To think that something should be changed because you don't agree with shows quite a lot of ignorance no? Yes it is offensive to people who don't understand. Instead off getting all mad about about it, try to understand the culture instead of trying to make it like yours.

    Lets not even talk about the other things that piss you off about Canada. You are obviously misinformed, ignorant, or haven't done any research and decided you should yap to your friends about it.