7 Gender Stereotypes We Must Scrap From Our Vocabulary

By | September 3, 2014

I am a victim of bullying and harassment. The only reason why the perpetrator [Allan Socken] got away with it was because he made up vicious, preposterous claims against me in order to save himself from being disbarred as a lawyer. It all started in 2012 when I found out that a Non-Profit Organization working with people with disabilities was not providing the proper equipment to its employees to transport people with physical disabilities. It is the law (AODA) for places in Ontario to be accessible to all. When I contacted Allan Socken about the case, he informally agreed to help me…so I put him down as a lawyer on file. My mistake – I wasn’t aware he had a retainer policy; I never hired a lawyer before. Not only did he take himself off the case, he plotted to create a Sitcom called “Noodles To Go”. The plot would entail me becoming his butler in order to pay for services he had rendered.

Allan Socken humiliated me! He emotionally tortured me with a jingle to his supposed sitcom. When responding to my complaint against him to Law Society of Upper Canada, he denied everything and accused me of wanting to write the sitcom (he called it a book) myself. I had plenty of witnesses who came forward to co-operate my story. But because society believes “men cannot harass other men”, LSUC refused to further investigate – saying there was a lack of evidence. If a woman came up to accuse him of sexual harassment or any harassment for that matter, it would have turned out very differently.

That was not the only incident involving Mr. Socken. In summer of 2013, I was peacefully having dinner with my wife and two mutual friends. As I stood up to go the bathroom, Mr. Socken and his friend Joel Friedman (who works for the Ontario College of Chiropractors), who happened to be dining at the same restaurant, told me to keep my shirt on. I was forced to leave the restaurant because Mr. Socken and Mr. Friedman made it look like I was an escort. How many of you have seen someone take their shirt off in a restaurant that charges $50/plate?

That’s not all ladies and gentlemen. Allan Socken harassed and bullied other people. He has no compassion for people with disabilities. In fact, he told me to cure my ASD (I don’t have ASD) on several occasions. My friend Paul Rackham has a Learning Disability and exhibits some hypertension. Mr. Socken nicknamed him “Paul The Rapist” because he believed Mr. Rackham looked like Paul Bernardo, the Scarborough Rapist.

It gets better. He hired a woman named Rosana Zarinnia, who also has a learning disability. Mr. Socken would often trash talk about her, saying she wouldn’t amount to anything in life and it was the worst decision for him to hire her.

We all made our plea for help from LSUC, but they rubbed it off and refused to take any action. I am sickened by these gender stereotypes. I ask you to read this article carefully and share it. Help prove to Mr. Allan Socken and every other harasser that their actions are unwanted and GENDER STEREOTYPES MUST GO!  I am no different than a woman when I am being harassed.

So to break down these barriers, I wrote an article: 7 Gender Stereotypes We Must Scrap from our Vocabulary:


1. Women Cannot Drive or Park Their Cars

Allegedly, there is one commonality between women and blind men: their ability to navigate an automobile. Even Google loves this stereotype, tossing back an impressive 117,000,000 hits when we searched for “women can’t park” and 114,000,000 hits when we searched for “women can’t drive”.  In Saudi Arabia, clerics have gone to the extremes to advance this stereotypoe. Although there is no official law that bans women from driving, but deeply held religious beliefs prohibit it, with Saudi clerics arguing that female drivers “undermine social values”.


2. Men Are Slobs

The Ashley Madison website was hacked and all the information was revealed about its users to prove that men are slobs and cheaters. But is this true? Proponents of this stereotype argue that the female nose is so highly developed that it can pick out the stench of sweaty gym socks from 1,000 meters away.  Men, on the other hand, can wear the same shirt for a week and let garbage pile up in the bathroom before somebody calls the health department. Basically this stereotype is trying to prove that women were predisposed toward cleaning up after men. What a whack of bologna.


3. Girls Who Show Interest In Sports are Tomboys

Girls who show an interest in sports are dubbed “Tomboys,” while many parents try to talk them out of torn jeans with grass stains and into frilly pink dresses. Kids, irrespective of their gender, should be encouraged to participate in whatever activities they have an interest in, regardless of their gender. Don’t believe me? Watch Bend It Like Bechkam.


4. Women Gossip More Than Men

TV shows and movies especially perpetuate the stereotype that when women gather in a group, they all gossip together. Of course they do. You know what else? Men are no different. They just have a different name for it: “trash talking” or “getting the down low”.  Passing off and listening to gossip puts you in the non-trustworthy category among friends and colleagues alike.


5. Women Aren’t Capable of Paying for Themselves

If you are a guy and you are looking forward to a date with a woman, well, you had better be prepared to take out your credit card. This date is yours to pay. Apparently according to societal stereotypes, women are incapable and often offended by the very prospect of having to shell out a few dollars and possibly going halfsies on a date. This idea, rooted in the simple principle of a man “taking care” of a woman, even if she earns the same or more than he does, is one that simply must be thrown out. There’s no rule that says a man can’t take his girl out, but there shouldn’t be a rule that he has to.


6. Women Are Frail & Hopeless

A societal stereotype purports that women are some frail and hopeless creatures that cannot be expected to lift heavy things. My manager at my former Tim Hortons  job firmly believed that the women at our workplace were not to be lifting anything over 5/10 pounds. I’m sorry but in our job descriptions we were required to lift 50 pounds and up.  So why sign the agreement you cannot uphold? Do I get extra wages for picking up heavy items that women cannot? Exactly.


7.  (Sexual) Harrassment

I would be remiss if I did not mention (sexual) harassment with regard to gender bias. It amazes me that this type of behavior still occurs in the workplace and in social settings. Men are known to be harassed as much as women. The only difference is that they never report the harassment because almost always it is dismissed as child play.


The purpose of this post is to perhaps relay a strong message: own up to your mistakes. If you bullied or harassed someone, don’t cover it up. There’s a word for this in Judaism called “Lashon Hora” and this sin is worse than committing murder. G-d is the only judge and I know that when the time comes, all harassers will have a lot of explaining to do to G-d as to why they were cowards and couldn’t face the music. I know G-d is watching and I have faith that he will take the right action.

Interestingly enough, I learned that one of Allan Socken’s witnesses used for responding to LSUC complaint is no stranger to criminal behaviour. Jason E. Bogle, criminal lawyer, was arrested for mortgage fraud earlier this year. I guess it takes a criminal to help a criminal. Beware before hiring either of them for legal purposes….you may be scammed yourself.

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