Today Thu Fri
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on April 23, 2014
Partly Cloudy
10°/1°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on April 24, 2014
Partly Cloudy
12°/5°
It is forcast to be Chance of Rain at 11:00 PM EDT on April 25, 2014
Chance of Rain
14°/5°

65 Comments

news

At SlutWalkTO, Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves

20110404slutwalk1.jpg
Photo by Nick Kozak/Torontoist.


Yesterday afternoon, I took to College Street with an estimated 3,000 people as part of SlutWalk Toronto. The rally was a response to an incident with police earlier this year, when Constable Michael Sanguinetti advised a group of Osgoode Hall law students in late January that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”—a flawed approach that shifts blame for sexual violence from the perpetrator to the victim. (Sanguinetti has since apologized for the comment.)
Despite the myth of “asking for it,” while many factors can contribute to sexual violence, a victim’s dress is never one.
SlutWalk Toronto started at Queen’s Park with a crowd filled with people of all genders, mostly adults and some children. There was no specific dress code—most people wore comfortable attire suited to the weather. Signs were hoisted proclaiming “Slut Pride” and many addressed the shaming of victims. Among the crowd, Eye Weekly and National Post columnist (and former Torontoist contributor) Sarah Nicole Prickett tweeted: “A lot of signs here are angry, but one made me die inside: ‘Xmas 1985. 14 years old. Bundled in layers. Was it my fault too?’”


20110404slutwalk6.jpg
Photo by Nick Kozak/Torontoist.


“Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes, and no means no!” chanted the crowd, before SlutWalk Toronto co-founder Sonya JF Barnett spoke. ‘Slut’ has a negative connotation, said Barnett, “used to discredit someone who loves a lot of sex. Being sexually confident is not an invitation to violence.” (As she spoke, I thought of my history with the derogatory potency of words—first as a child with “Chink” and later as an adult with “fag”—and how slurs embody the threat of violence that looms over one’s identity.) Barnett acknowledged the provocative title of the event—”‘slut’ is a strong word with a strong meaning; if we had not used it many less of you would be here today”—and said that it was important to reappropriate the word ‘slut’ because “we have the power to change [its meaning].”
Laying blame with the victim of rape is, simply, ridiculous—akin to saying that an unlocked house deserves to be robbed or that a child walking unattended to a friend’s house down the street deserves to be kidnapped—and yet it happens. Deb Singh of the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre spoke yesterday about the number of women who go to the police reporting assaults but are not believed. She shared a story of a woman who was assaulted, but whose attacker was not charged because she had let him into her home—an assignment of blame that makes no sense given that, while sexual violence can be random, it is common for the victim to be acquainted with her attacker. Mere willingness to interact with someone, or to let someone into your home, does not remotely constitute consent.

20110404slutwalk2.jpg

20110404slutwalk3.jpg
Photos by Nick Kozak/Torontoist.


“Rape is about power,” said Jane Doe, survivor of an attack by the Balcony Rapist who triumphed in a lengthy trial against the Toronto Police Service. She shared statistics that show disabled women are raped at twice the rate of non-disabled women; for Aboriginal women, the incidence of rape is three times that of non-Aboriginal women. “Equality is the issue,” Doe said, arguing that education was one key to combatting the problem. The environment at the Toronto Police Service that made Sanguinetti feel comfortable advising women to not dress like sluts had been enabled by sexual assault training that was mired in “sexist, racist, and misogynist concepts,” and Doe wondered why police officers weren’t being trained by external experts.
Doe added that “we need to stand up and support women who are sex workers,” a rare and important acknowledgement of those who push the conventional boundaries of a woman’s right to her body. In a habit of shaming by proxy, clients of sex workers are often portrayed as desperate, losers, and/or dangerous—a habit whose problems are analysed by Sasha over at NOW, and which will be further challenged with the release of Chester Brown’s autobiographical graphic novel Paying For It. Doe credited sex workers for being “engaged in one of the most important equality battles of our time.”
20110404slutwalk4.jpg


The onus in fighting the battle for equality doesn’t lie only with women. Sanguinetti’s attitude stems not only from the police environment he inhabited, but from a broader cultural context which informs how men approach these subjects. As Michael Kaufman of the White Ribbon Campaign noted: “Men look to other men for what it means to be a man.”
I think of how we can safely laugh from a distance at the characters in the television show Mad Men, at the bravado of the men back then, and excuse it as an anachronism, the ways of that time. Yet, today, learning to be a man still means being in the thick of a locker-room culture where masculinity is defined by Charlie Sheen–esque aggression. While it’s clear that the majority of men aren’t committing sexual assaults, Kaufman chided the majority of men who remain silent: “It’s time for men to speak out, to look at our behaviour and our jokes.”
Heather Jarvis, another co-founder of SlutWalk Toronto, concurred, and has been asking that there be more education for men on how not to commit sexual assaults, rather than education for women on how not to get assaulted. Progress in education, however, appears to be slow: after the sending of a statement to the Toronto Police Service asking for better education and training, including third-party recommendations and reviews, the TPS response “did not speak to a single one of our requests.” (TPS also declined to provide a representative for the event.)

20110404slutwalk7.jpg
Photo by Nick Kozak/Torontoist.


Greater awareness may help add pressure, however, as two more SlutWalks are scheduled in Ontario (in Ottawa and London). Plans for events are also in progress for Vancouver, Boston, Birmingham, and Dallas, with potential ones in New York City, Los Angeles, Munich, and Australia.
The global support is an encouraging step, although no one can know for sure if, as the organizers hope, the word ‘slut’ will be reappropriated. In the meanwhile, here’s to hot, consensual sex (as Doe phrases it), and knowing that the freedom of choice to have it is one worth fighting for.

Comments

  • http://twitter.com/MissStaceyMay Stacey May Fowles

    This is a wonderful piece, Jaime. Thank you for writing it.

  • asdfg1

    Don't walk alone in poorly lit areas/alleys late at night – accepted advice to adjust your behaviour minimize the risk of rape in the reality of the world

    Don't dress in an overtly sexual manner since it will draw additional attention from men you don't want – controversial advice about adjusting your behaviour to minimize the risk of rape in the reality of the world.

  • http://twitter.com/minasmusings Mina Gorey

    Fabulous article. I so wish I'd be there!

  • Dissonym

    Don't assault women – controversial advice to men about adjusting their behaviour to minimze the risk of rape in the reality of the world.

  • Dissonym

    Don't assault women – controversial advice to men about adjusting their behaviour to minimze the risk of rape in the reality of the world.

  • Patrick_Metzger

    Why would that be controversial? Or are you making some other point that I'm missing?

  • Dissonym

    I was replying to the above comment by asdfg1, but failed to nest it properly. Sorry about that.

  • http://twitter.com/realSLIK Real Slik

    This is so wack. Honestly. If someone told me “You'd better not wear red in that area” then I would take the fucking advice, and either not go to that area, or not wear red. I wouldn't organize some gay ass campaign called “redwalk” to protest and demand equality amongst all who want to wear red. Its a fact that girls do get raped, so you can minimize your chances of that if you avoid dressing in ways that will attract unwanted attention. If anything, people should be mad at the rapists, not the cop who gave the advice.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VBPPW22WKUC7AH7V5WMCXINZPQ Ronny

    The women of Toronto need to stop living in a world of fantasy. If you dress like a slut men will react towards you accordingly.

    Don't sexualize yourself and then expect men to act like it means nothing to them.

    Sticking your hand in a bees nest will get you stung. That's reality, not some fantasy world were your actions receive no repercussions.

    So if you dress like a slut expert the following from men;
    -cat calls
    -men staring at you
    -men approaching you
    -men sexually objectifying you
    -men treating you with disrespect
    -and unfortunately, possible molestation.

    That's the cold hard facts.

    If you want to dress like a slut, then at least protect yourself. Don't expect all men to control themselves properly because you feel like dressing yourself in a highly sexual manner to attract men in the first place. Or other women if that's your manner.

  • Dissonym

    There's a lot to respond to here, Real Slik, but I'm going to take aim at the largest fallacy – the cop giving the advice wasn't being helpful to women, he was shifting blame to them from the rapists.

    I don't think there's a shortage of people being mad at rapists, incidentally, due to their support for the raped.

  • Dissonym

    How does one define 'dressing like a slut'? Are rapists, like bees, protecting themselves? Men can't control their overwhelming urge to have sex with anything they see as attractive?

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    “men will react towards you accordingly”

    1. Not all of us, thank you.
    2. What the fuck is “accordingly” supposed to mean? A short skirt isn't a permission slip.

  • avp77

    To be closely followed by the

  • torontothegreat

    “Don't expect all men to control themselves”

    In fact that's exactly what both society and the law EXPECT. Backwards hick thinking like this is exactly why the need for awareness such as this is needed.

    Also, read this article. Then after you feel sick to your stomach, you may (hopefully) choose to vomit all over your own post.

    http://bookmaniac.org/how-to-h

    How this girl dressed is in fact being used AGAINST her.

  • isyouhappy

    Seriously Ronny? Are you going to blame your daughter or sister or mother when(god forbid) she's sexually assaulted or raped for 'dressing like a slut' because they were asking for it? Disgusting.

    I'm not sure what's worse: blaming women for their bodies, or comment trolling on an article about rape victim blaming.

  • McKingford

    Ronny and his Neanderthal ilk who will be making their way into this discussion defend the idiotic comment by Officer Sanguinetti (refuted by no one less than the police chief himself) because they don't under the dynamic involved in rape…and in the process objectify women and infantalize men.

    Rape isn't a product of men who are simply so overcome by sexual desire and lusty thoughts that they can't control themselves (“Oh well, boys will be boys!”). It is fundamentally an act of violence and an exertion of power and control – so that who a woman is or what she wears is irrelevant to the victimizer.

  • isyouhappy

    Hey Real Silk, sounds like you should have probably gone to the slut walk to see what the people there had to say. Sounds like you could have learned a lot. To believe that rape exists only, or the majority of time, in some seedy dark alleyway is a myth. Perhaps we should be advising men to STOP RAPING in the first place, instead of telling women to stay at home wrapped in a sleeping bag because there's a chance there's a man out there who can't control himself. Do some research and get informed before you make misogynist homophobic remarks.

  • Dissonym

    Claiming that a rape/assault victim was desperate for attention is akin to claiming that items shouldn't be so valuable because you can't help stealing them. The onus of responsibility is on the man (well, really, on everyone) -not- to act on violent and abusive impulses. There is a difference between being idealistic and being proactive, yes – but the action that should be taken in this case isn't too 'dress less slutty', but to call people (like you, it would seem) out on claiming that being raped can't be helped if you're 'asking for it'.

  • http://phro.myopenid.com/ Rob

    “asking that there be more education for men on how not to commit sexual assaults, rather than education for women on how not to get assaulted”

    “Perhaps we should be advising men to STOP RAPING in the first place …”

    This seems like a better solution but I'm completely at a loss as to how it could actually be implemented. I mean, people know they're not supposed to kill and steal too but that happens all the time. Anyone have any ideas on how an education program might actually make a difference?

  • McKingford

    Ok, let's address the influx of “I know it's not PC to say, and I don't mean to blame the victim here, but let me kinda blame the victim” thoughtlessness that is popping up here.

    The problem with what Officer Sanguinetti said isn't that it wasn't PC, or that it was blaming the victim (ok, maybe that's part of the problem).

    It's that his advice was wrong.

    Rape isn't a crime committed by men who just can't keep their libidos in check at the sign of a mini skirt and low cleavage. It is a crime of violence, where power, not sexual gratifaction, is the primary dynamic.

    I know people think they are being clever when they analogize it to keeping your doors locked, but it it isn't, because it is more alike saying banks get robbed (as Willie Sutton said – “that's where the money is”) so protect your money by not keeping it in a bank.

  • isyouhappy

    Actually AVP77, sounds like you should have gone there yourself with an open mind and be EDUCATED. So that you wouldn't feel the need to share your misogynist opinions.

    We don't wish away our problems, WE DEAL WITH THEM, this is how we deal with them: WE CALL OUT BULLSH*T like yours. NOBODY wants to be raped no matter how “desperate” they are. Is this the advice you'd tell your daughter or sister if she were ever raped?

  • McKingford

    To be closely followed by the “Don't lock your doors, because nobody's allowed to steal your stuff” march,

    See, this is where you and your crowd get it wrong. Defending Officer Sanguinetti's comments is more like saying “don't *have* stuff because people might steal it”.

  • isyouhappy

    first step might be with the police who seem to think victim blaming is the answer

  • torontothegreat

    The first thing that needs to be done is shame the police (read: law) for it's attitude towards rape victimes. Oh wait… That's what this was for…

  • http://twitter.com/carlyrhiannon carlyrhiannon

    Studies on the subject have shown that the majority of women who are sexually assaulted are wearing non-provocative clothing. So it turns out you CAN'T minimize your chances based on what you wear.

    Also, “gay ass campaign”? Really? What do people attracted to the same gender have to do with your hypothetical non-campaign?

  • http://phro.myopenid.com/ Rob

    Ah right you are, but not exactly what I meant. Sorry I should have phrased my question more directly. Dealing with this attitude in the police department is certainly in order, but what I meant by “making a difference” was more about making a difference in the actual number of rapes.

  • isyouhappy

    It's worth repeating:

    “Rape isn't a crime committed by men who just can't keep their libidos in check at the sign of a mini skirt and low cleavage. It is a crime of violence, where power, not sexual gratifaction, is the primary dynamic.”

  • avp77

    Sorry, I don't think you're responding to my comment specifically, since your reply is full of stuff I never said. Nobody deserves to get raped, and there are no excuses for the act, but if there's at least a chance to reduce your vulnerability, I don't think it should be shouted down because it might be politically incorrect.

    Hitchhiking would be an absolute last resort for me, because, while most people aren't serial killers, I don't want to take the chance of coming across one. That doesn't mean serial killing is ok. In the same way, I wouldn't pull out an ipad or a laptop on the subway, or dress differently than the general population when travelling abroad, or even put out identifiable empty boxes outside my house after I've bought some new desirable electronics.

    There's so many people out there looking to prey on the weak, and it's better to take preventative measures than to whine about being in the right after the damage is done.

    Though, I do think my comment was a bit petty (maybe this reply is too), and I'd have deleted it soon after I posted it if the commenting system had the option

  • isyouhappy

    I might also add, stop making f*cking rape jokes. IT'S NOT FUNNY.

  • avp77

    That's also good advice. The impermanence of all things, and all that….

  • http://phro.myopenid.com/ Rob

    “educate our sons, friends brothers, fathers about rape culture”.

    Interesting. I'd never heard the phrase till just now. Certainly could have a place in public school sex ed. Has there been any research in this area? I'd be interested in reading such work.

  • isyouhappy

    Women cannot 'reduce their vulnerability' when it's the man doing the raping. He is in control, he is the one that is doing the raping, he is the one that has decided to do the rape. It's not a mutual decision, it's not because the woman “was asking for it”, and it's not because she decided to wear something that someone subjectively finds “slutty”.

    Perhaps you should be advocating for more rape culture education instead of asking for women to become less vulnerable.

  • http://twitter.com/fantasticmio Becky

    The problem with advising women not to dress provocatively in an effort to prevent getting raped is that it is factually wrong. A provocatively dressed woman is no more likely to get raped than any other woman.

    The real danger behind the police officer's words is if anyone takes them seriously. If a woman takes his advice, and dresses less provocatively because she believes it's her ticket out of being raped, she, at best, feels a false sense of security. Because it wasn't her clothes that caused the problem. Her clothes weren't even contributing to the problem.

    The beehive analogy from above would only hold true if, statistically speaking, you're not more likely to get stung by a bee by sticking your hand in there.

    The red clothes analogy would need to go something like, “Hey man, don't wear red if you're going to that place.” “Why not?” “No particular reason, really. I just don't think red's your colour.”

  • isyouhappy

    google it

  • avp77

    I'm not going to reply to you any further, but I'd just like to say that I'm genuinely a little bit hurt that, on an obviously serious subject such as this, you're painting me with broad-brush slurs by ascribing thoughts like “asking for it” and “slutty” when i *NEVER* used those terms.

    If you're interested in winning over people to your point of view, perhaps you can consider genuinely engaging with someone, rather than trying to beat them down with sloganeering.

  • http://phro.myopenid.com/ Rob

    Indeed I have, it seems I'm spending my afternoon plumbing some particularly nasty shit. Again I should have been more specific, I've found plenty about rape culture, theories of contributing factors to sexual violence, and post assault treatments for victims and perpetrators. What I haven't found is any research into the effectiveness of preventative education programs. Any suggestions beyond google?

  • isyouhappy

    You might not have specifically said it, but you implied that women are to blame, even if you don't think they 'deserve' it.

    When you say things like “to whine about being in the right after the damage is done.”… using the word whining implies that women are just being 'difficult' by addressing a problem that they have no control over (sorry but facts show that women have no control over rape, their appearance, their choice of dress, their location doesn't determine if they are going to get raped or not, the rapist does)

    When you say things like “but the point is when you're desperate for attention from everybody, not all attention is good.” Implies that the 72 year old woman raped in her apartment was desperate for attention, or that the 12 year old girl raped by her father was desperate for attention.

    Comparing women's bodies to empty boxes or objects to be stolen is misguided and reduces the dialogue down to thinking of women are just objects for the taking, and that the men need to protect their possessions.

    Obviously I'm not saying you advocate rape, but it's the subtleties in your argumentation that contributes to the myths of rape culture.

  • http://phro.myopenid.com/ Rob

    For anyone interested, this a decent starting point.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I

  • tomwest

    “[It's] akin to saying that an unlocked house deserves to be robbed or that a child walking unattended to a friend’s house down the street deserves to be kidnapped—and yet it happens”

    A house with an unlocked door is more likely to robbed than one with a locked door. A child walking alone is more liekly to be kidnapped than one walking in a group. Neither statement is anythign to do with who “deserves” anything – it's about cold numbers.

    Similarly, a female who walks home alone is more likely to be raped than who gets in a taxi with friends. Again, nothing to do with “deserve” – it's a statement about the risks involved.

    Now, I don't know whether a female dressed in a sexually alluring manner is more likely to be raped than one who is not. (Given how many rapists know their victim well, I suspect the difference is small). It's got nothing to do with blame – it's about knowing the risks involved with a certain course of actions.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    There's another issue here that has nothing to do with rape or how women dress: the use of the word slut to imply that someone who likes lots of sex deserves to be raped, and the backwards “logic” which flows from it – that rape victims are sluts.

    It's this line of caveman thinking that gets women disfigured or murdered in some parts of the world, because when they're raped (or gang raped) it shames their father or husband or brothers or uncles.

  • McKingford

    Ok, so you don't actually know whether a woman dressed provocatively is more likely to be raped (and not, btw, whether women ought to take other precautions, like not walking alone or in dark and scary places).

    Well, that's the subject of discussion: the complaint is that there is *no* relationship between how a woman is dressed and her likelihood of being sexually assaulted (ie. some women who are dressed provocatively will be sexually assaulted, some women dressed demurely will be sexually assaulted; the women who are dressed provocatively are *not* likely to be assaulted because of how they are dressed, but because they are women). So that being the case, then people – especially police (who should know bette – as evidenced by Chief Blair's repudiation of the officer's comments) should STFU about telling women how to dress.

  • isyouhappy

    “instead of expecting all men to not be evil, how about along with that, women also take some steps that are unfortunately required in the real world?”

    And what might these steps be for women to take to prevent men from raping them in the 'real' world?

  • GerrardCoxwell

    Two takes on the broken windows theory:

    1. You are told your neighbourhood is unsafe. You put locks on the doors and roll down the blinds.

    2. You are told your neighbourhood is unsafe. You have a community meeting to discuss why it is unsafe and then you implement policies to make it safe.

    Not everyone has the option of moving out of the neighbourhood, like no one chooses to be female, raped, subordinate, or whatever else you think.

    Solve the problem, don't treat the symptoms: promote education and spread the word. Good job, Toronto!

  • http://twitter.com/hanamarku Hana Marku

    Here's some more unasked-for advice: don't rape people.

  • orangedesperado

    I think that many of you are missing the point when stating these warnings for women about not walking in dark alleys or wearing “sexy” clothing. Many women are raped by dates, acquaintances, and friends of friends — not the stereotypical “bad guy rapist” waiting in the shadows of a dark alley for the next woman in a miniskirt and high heels to walk by. Rape is about power and control — and gets all mixed up with notions of masculinity and force and the rightness of HIS “desire”(to rape) and the refusal to acknowledge or accept her communication of the concept of “NO”. Don't even get me started about family members who rape children — this has nothing to do with wardrobe, make-up, reputation or geography — it is about abuse, control and RAPE.

  • asdfg1

    People know murder is wrong but it happens and we can't prevent it BUT we can take steps to reduce the RISK/PROBABILITY of being in a dangerous situation

    It's safer to walk home with friends/split a cab than it is to walk home alone. You've just been advised to alter your behaviour to meet the reality of the world.

    Health Canada says using a condom is safer that not using one. You've just been advised to alter your behaviour to meet the reality of the world.

    Don't get into an car full of men you don't know after a bar who say they'll give you a ride home. You've just been advised to alter your behaviour to meet the reality of the world.

    Don't accept a drink in the bar from a stranger if you haven't seen the bartender pour the drink yourself. You've just been advised to alter your behaviour to meet the reality of the world.

    Don't look both ways when you cross the street, you could be hit by a car and will fully innocent of what happened to you but you'll still suffer lifelong injuries that you wouldn't have if you had just slightly altered your behaviour

  • orangedesperado

    Geez, asdfg1 — you are missing the point about rape here. Women(and children, and men, too) get raped all the time, under all kinds of circumstances. Young ones, old ones, fat ones, thin ones, rich, poor, able bodied and differently abled, pretty and ugly, virgins and sex workers, sober and drunk. They get raped because …(wait for it !)…someone (probably a man) raped them ! And not a single one of them “asked for it” — verbally or nonverbally. A hairstyle or push-up bra or fingernail polish has never requested a rape to commence ! They get raped in their own homes in their sleep, they get raped(and severely beaten) in the middle of an afternoon visiting the grave of a loved one, they get raped at a party by men they thought were friends, they get raped at the home of a family member by an abusive ex-spouse, they get raped in a hospital after a surgery. There is no particular scenario that will lead to rape. The only consistent situation that will 100%of the time become a rape scene is the presence and actions of a rapist. The thing about rape is that it can totally be prevented — by a person who makes the conscious choice to NOT VIOLATE OR RAPE. If a man drinks too much at a party and starts to feel predatory then he should beg a friend to drive him home and lock him up — leaving the world safer for the rest of us who would simply like to live their life. The constant fear, vigilence, anxiety and extreme self consciousness that a person can potentially become a victim at any time, and then be judged about what kind of victim they are, and the questions that get raised about their responsibility for simply…existing…and the criticism about what they should or could have done to prevent this is really fucked up.

  • http://twitter.com/JasonKucherawy JasonKucherawy

    I think a lot of women find power in their sexuality. I think sex – and more broadly, sexuality – really is the most powerful tool women have to use with men. For a cop (usually an “alpha male” type) to tell women to not dress provocatively, could be seen by women as an attempt by men to diminish that power. Maybe women ease off on the slutty clothes and find power in more subtle ways, but maybe men should ease off on the cat-calls, arm flexing, and stupid acts of machismo around ladies that embarrass the rest of us guys.

    I think what the cop should have been telling women (and maybe he did – I wasn't there) is to get over their fears and report sexual assaults – consequences be damned. The perpetrators of these crimes are relying on their victim's silence to get away with it. Don't let them! Show some courage!

  • orangedesperado

    We need to get this straight: Rape has got nothing to do with sexuality.

    When a woman comes forward to report a sexual assault, and she is dealing with an officer that has the mindset that she was somehow asking for it by her manner of dress(or profession, or level of education, or whatever), and that somehow she should have been able to prevent this assault from happening — this criticism, disbelief, this judgement is a searing assault on top of the trauma of having had your body forced open by someone's unwanted intrusion.Very, very few cases of sexual assault ever make it to a court of law, and the entire process is profoundly traumatic.The entire system needs to be changed — from the education of the police, to the process of reporting a sexual assault. This is not a matter of “getting over our fears” and learning to “show some courage”.You are trying to be supportive by saying this–but it comes across as patronizing.

    p.s.I have never viewed my sexuality as a “tool” that I use with men(or women). I identify a tool as a thing like pliers or a shovel or a sewing machine.I have attempted to deal with humans in a straightforward, non-manipulative manner that is about communication and emotion.Whatever your assumptions about my sexuality are, please recognize that my sexuality is a private thing that I choose to share very selectively.Just because you think you are perceiving it, does not mean that I(or any other woman)is actively engaging you in this interaction.

  • http://twitter.com/taenia A Jaszlics

    Ah, yes. As a man, I am a penis-driven, violent beast who simply can't control himself when I see a woman wearing sexualized clothing or walking in a dark alleyway, or having a drink, or not armed to the teeth.

    I just can't help myself. I have to rape her. It's not *my* fault.

    … you know, I think I'd rather live in a world where the testosterone in my system doesn't excuse atrocities.

  • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

    This sort of exaggeration and misrepresentation of the contents of the post you were replying to is about as helpful as the police officer's use of “slut.”

  • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

    I'm trying as much as I can to make this not sound adversarial. Can you point to statistics regarding age of women raped? Genuinely interested.

  • isyouhappy

    google it. lots of info out there

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    You're still operating under the misguided notion that “dressing like a slut” is what gets women raped, when it's abundantly clear that isn't the case.

    “Health Canada says using a condom is safer that not using one. You've just been advised to alter your behaviour to meet the reality of the world.”

    Imagine if Health Canada were to phrase this advice the way our dear officer did: I imagine it would take the form of “don't have sex with fags and you won't get AIDS maybe” or “don't have sex out of wedlock like a slut and you'll be fine”. (Hmm, that last one is pretty close to Rob Ford's own advice.)

  • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

    Thanks

  • isyouhappy

    Jason, don't you see that the system in general makes it hard for women to 'get over their fears' when you have cops blaming them for the rape(and even a 'little bit of blame' is a lot), instead of blaming the rapist to begin with? Don't you see how your opinions above illustrate the lack of education surrounding rape culture?

    Are you going to tell the elderly woman who was raped visiting a cemetery, or a 12 year old girl raped by her father to 'ease off the slutty clothes'? Are you going to argue that sexuality is power to an 8 year old girl?

    While I appreciate your encouragement for women to speak out, it's her right to speak out if she chooses. I'd rather hear from more men calling out misogynist bullshit, cat calling, objectifying women, being silent, etc etc etc. How many men laugh or snicker when they see a guy catcall a woman on the street? If we as a community start actively addressing rape culture in all forms, perhaps then, maybe, women might feel more supportive to speak out. But I fully and completely understand if they don't right now.

  • http://twitter.com/taenia A Jaszlics

    Unfortuanetly, it's not a gross misrepresentation. This is what rape culture wants me, as a man to believe — that I'm not actually a rational, thinking human being capable of restraining myself from rape, and that it is the responsibility of women not to get themselves raped.

    Every day on the news, I see people slut shaming women, telling them not to drink without an armed posse of bodyguards, telling them not to dress clothing, and telling me that, really, boys will be boys and that I shouldn't be horrified, guilty or ashamed of the crime of violence that men just like me commit every day, because it's the girls' fault that they don't go out armed to the teeth and dressed in burqas.

    Frankly, it's not that hard not to rape someone. I am not an animal or a psychopath — I am a *man*. I can appreciate a woman's shirt without assaulting her. I can watch a woman have a drink without assaulting her. I can see a woman alone in a dark alley without assaulting her. I can let a girl kiss me without assaulting her. Really, it's pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

    And I expect that if a man is ever brought to trial for assaulting any woman, that he's held to standards of masculinity that include things like taking responsibility for his own actions, and not simply having an atrocity waved away because 'boys will be boys.'

  • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

    As a man, you also believe and act on everything you see on the news and everything the culture tells you without thinking for yourself, right?

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    I see two Comment removeds and two Guests where some highly offensive pro-rape posts had been before.

    Cowardice, or intervention?

  • HamutalDotan

    Intervention. We try to keep it to a minimum, but there were some things that definitely crossed the line.

  • billy3b

    To add other points
    - Bring Understanding of rape as a violent act, deconstruct the imagery of rape as sexuality

    -highlight the issue of alternative rape, male-on-male, female-on-female and female-on-male. remove stigma surounding these issues particularily for male victims. This relates to the above point about rape as violence.

  • billy3b

    That is one of the odd things about parts of Pakistan, where women are not only blamed but punished. Maybe I'm old school but when but when some guy comes after a member of my family I kick the shit out of them. Even using old timey honour logic, if my sister/niece/cousin/aunt/mother gets raped it is my sworn duty as her male relative to turn him into a kebob.

    Note: it's not a muslim thing becasue Egypt has the exact opposite in law where the rapist is in deep trouble.

  • billy3b

    To add other points
    - Bring Understanding of rape as a violent act, deconstruct the imagery of rape as sexuality

    -highlight the issue of alternative rape, male-on-male, female-on-female and female-on-male. remove stigma surounding these issues particularily for male victims. This relates to the above point about rape as violence.

  • billy3b

    That is one of the odd things about parts of Pakistan, where women are not only blamed but punished. Maybe I'm old school but when but when some guy comes after a member of my family I kick the shit out of them. Even using old timey honour logic, if my sister/niece/cousin/aunt/mother gets raped it is my sworn duty as her male relative to turn him into a kebob.

    Note: it's not a muslim thing becasue Egypt has the exact opposite in law where the rapist is in deep trouble.

  • not_convinced

    i’m a pretty progressive guy, but i don’t think i can really get behind this movement. you said yourself, just because a house is left unlocked, it doesn’t mean it should be robbed and I agree, it shouldn’t. but people still lock their doors. robbers are to blame, yes, and even if your house is unlocked and you get robbed, you’re still the victim. and granted, not all home robberies are a case of unlocked doors – in fact, MOST may not be, but that doesn’t mean we should stop locking our doors. or in this example, using discretion when choosing the way we dress ourselves. the messages we send using our dress or behaviour can sometimes, at least potentially, be a trigger to the wrong person receiving them.

    apply this logic elsewhere and you’ll see how it falls apart – if i walk by a gang at night, i probably won’t fan myself with a stack of $100 bills. if i do end up getting mugged, I would agree that i’m still a victim of gang violence, and I could very well have been mugged if i walked by just minding my own business, but I have a range of choices that I can make – some of which are better than others. at the end of the day, we can all agree that the gang is to blame, and they shouldn’t mug anyone, but it would be naive of me to think that there are no situations in which my choices affect my circumstance.