To the editor:
This is in response to yesterday's article "Will 'Bastard' Survive Political Correctness?"
I am the owner of the Bastard Baking Company, a small business based out of Delta. I couldn’t help but laugh at this article, particularly the council’s comments about being “politically correct” and “grasping history”. Of course I had to weigh in.
I chose to have “Bastard” in my business name for a few reasons, with the main one being the “Proud to be a Bastard” movement of 1994. For anyone who doesn’t know, a real estate agent claimed he would never be able to sell a property with the name “Bastard” associated with it and proposed to have the name changed to “Beverley Hills” (barf). It wasn’t long before a sort of protest ensued. And in true Canadian fashion of course, it was a polite protest with letters, polls and the ever popular “Proud to be a Bastard” buttons. Expressions of loyalty to the Bastard name poured in from all over, with some letters coming from as far as South Africa (from the ACTUAL Bastard family, no less).
I was so inspired by this patriotism and this community, I wanted to bring the name to light again and celebrate it. With the birth of Rideau Lakes 20 years ago, I feel like that real estate agent got what he wanted in a way. You don’t see much evidence of Bastard any more. That is until now. In addition to my business, the Bastard County Fruit Farm is also in its first year.
Since starting the business in January, I haven’t had single complaint about the name. Most people already know what the name is referring to and show their support. The people who don’t know what it means, they simply ask and I share the history with them. I tell them about the Bastards and how my flour comes from the Delta Mill and how Delta will always be my home. I never mind explaining it. I will happily do it over and over. I am proud of where I live and I know others share the same sentiment. No one ever leaves angry or offended. Ever.
In this age of walking on eggshells, I find the whole conversation to be ironic because being “politically correct” in this situation and condemning “Bastard” as offensive, is offensive in itself. Just as the article stated, Bastard is Canadian history, it is a family name and now it is a business name as well. To compare it to the N word is disgraceful. From what I can see, this article has prompted nothing but rolling eyes and angry emojis. The council’s comments have actually ruffled a lot of feathers, which is what they were attempting to avoid in the first place.
Whatever they choose to call Kitley Bastard and South Burgess Townline Road, I hope that people in general just lighten up and stop taking everything so seriously.
PS In the spirit of political correctness, it’s technically pronounced Bas-TAHRD.