"It's the way these girls dress Manju -- it's just an invitation for a man to come on over and rape them." I was 16 years old, lounging on the front steps and listening to my mom chat with our neighbour about a rape case dominating the local news cycle. As they spoke, I saw my mom's worried eyes repeatedly dart over to me and anxiously frown. A couple of months later my family moved and I never saw or spoke with that neighbour again. But oddly, I thought of her often. It was neighbour Brenda who once again came to mind when I decided to share my experience in the Huffington Post about being sexually assaulted by Jian Ghomeshi.
"Believe them, do not question their story, do not pressure or guilt trip them to report. It is not the victim's job to put a rapist in jail, they don't need that added stress and pressure on top of the terrible things already done to them, coming forward and telling someone is difficult enough. it is the rapist's job NOT TO RAPE. Teach young men and women how to respect boundaries and speak out against violent sexual behaviours."
While it is legitimate for the players who weren't in Thunder Bay that night or weren't aware that an assault took place to feel a deep sense of injustice, I would like to shed a light on an obvious fact that has been quite irritating since the beginning of the investigation. None of the players in the team have spoken up and publicly condemned what has happened: not one.
Avoid Rapists: Stay away from those who commonly commit assaults: strangers, family members, friends, partners, spouses, co-workers, bosses, clients, teachers, doctors, teammates, and police officers. Be extra careful during peak times when rapes occur i.e. daytime, nighttime, dawn, afternoon, early evening, tea time, nap time.
Rapists rely on other men to excuse and justify their crimes against women. Other men who'll laugh at their jokes, invite them to parties, play sports with them, introduce them to other women. Men who'll give them jobs, feed them, and help them blame their victims even if it's by indifference. Men, good men, need to stand up and do to rapists and their supporters what we do to child molesters. Imagine the difference it would make if a man who jokes about rape and always doubts victims entered a room to silence, whispers, stares, and looks of disgust from other men. There is no difference between a man who rapes and a man who befriends and defends him.
There is currently an Indiegogo campaign created by AR Wear for a line that they call Anti-Rape Clothing. AR Wear wants us to believe that this is some sort of modern innovation, and not just a contemporary twist on an outdated garment meant to oppress and subjugate women. In fact, AR Wear wants us to believe that the opposite is true -- that their anti-rape wear will actually empower women and offer them some sort of freedom that they might have been lacking. Let's get a few things straight.
According to a recent study, nearly one-quarter of adults aged 18 to 34 said women may provoke sexual assault by being drunk and 17 per cent believe women invite assaults by wearing short skirts. These antiquated attitudes are not held by the old-fashioned or aging demographic but by younger Canadians who. Why?
On April 3, 2011, the first SlutWalk took place in Toronto, Canada. As an attendee that year, I didn't know what to expect that day, and it's fair to say that nobody really did. Now, two years later, we're marking the International Day Against Victim-Blaming. We don't have all the answers to ending rape or victim-blaming. We also don't know what the future holds for SlutWalk Toronto. Whether you agree with SlutWalk or not, whether you think sexual violence is your problem or not, consider that at least 1 in 3 women and girls and 1 in 6 men and boys will experience sexual violence in their lifetimes.
On October 25, Marina Krim returned from taking her three-year-old daughter to the pool, to find her other two children -- Lulu and Leo -- stabbed to death in the bathtub of the family apartment in the Upper West Side. The nanny has since been charged with the murders. Many Internet responses have focused on mother-blaming, and especially on the mother's part-time labour outside the home. The father's labour is not discussed, just as his parenting skills are not criticized. This is misogynist victim-blaming. Cyberbullying has politics and here they revolve around contempt for women.
Last week, I found myself -- yet again -- explaining why it is wrong to blame women for being sexually assaulted. Since a woman can be deemed "bad" for anything from wearing a short skirt, to not covering her hair, to having an opinion of her own, the game is clearly rigged. So I don't play. I don't care what a woman wears, says, or does: she does not deserve to be sexually assaulted. Period. Let's ask the real questions.