Tag Archives: victim blaming

Links: How to Address Sexual Violence, Feminism and Dating, and Being Better Allies

Combating sexual violence is a key part of the movement for social justice.

Why is it so important to remember these connections? Because it has a big impact on our tactics. Without understanding the broader connections, combatting sexual violence gets simplified into just educating women about safety when going out at night.

Combating sexual violence gets simplified into telling young girls not to talk to strangers.

Combating sexual violence gets simplified into telling women to dress more modestly.

Combating sexual violence gets simplified into relying on the criminal (in)justice system to protect us from violence.

Combating sexual violence is not simple, and its elimination is going to require a big picture strategy that takes into account all of the factors that contribute to its existence.

I had a friend who gave me a copy of Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov. I was frustrated that an intelligent, independent woman was getting her advice from a book like that. There are also plenty of books written by men about dating for women. [Travis L. Stork’s] Don’t Be That Girl was probably the most appalling book I’ve ever read. Each chapter was a caricature of a woman – Busy Girl, Needy Girl, Whiny Girl – and advice on how not to be that girl, including, “Don’t talk about your job too much” and “Don’t ask when he’s going to call.” These dating books fall into a long tradition of men diagnosing women and their nervousness.

It glosses over substantial differences in experience in a way that can be hurtful, insulting and alienating.  After Prop 8 banned same-gender marriage in California, gay news magazine the Advocate published a cover story that declared that “gay is the new black.”  The problem is, this is frequently stated by white queer people.  And while white queer people have historically experienced hate crimes, police raids, and a whole lot more, we haven’t been lynched, been forced to sit at the back of the bus, or experienced the accumulation of oppression over generations on a single family or neighborhood.  Black/African-American communities have.  Intentional or not, claiming that “gay is the new black” is deeply disrespectful, and it’s often experienced as such.

News: DSK Rape Trial, Global Midwifery, and the Canadian Left

On the Dominic Straus-Kahn rape trial media coverage: “20 Quotes About DSK That Reveal How We Think About Rape”

On global midwifery: “UNFPA Releases Report on State of the World’s Midwifery”

On how the Canadian Left can build up successful opposition to the current conservative regime: “The Left and the end of Harper”

Voices for Choices visit Adamant Eve

The show was LIVE today and we had some special guests!

J’aime and Taryn from Voices for Choices were awesome and came to talk to us about what the morning after pill/plan b/emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) is in response to an Edmonton Journal article that said ECP was equivalent to abortion. We clarified that ECP is NOT abortion, but in facts prevents pregnancy. We also talked about the importance of access to women seeking abortions and how legal rights don’t do much good if one doesn’t have access. You can learn more about Voice for Choices by checking out their facebook page.

Laura C. read an essay by Jessalynn Keller, Sorry, Can’t do Raunch today, which criticizes the idea that feminist “empowerment” and self esteem come from being sexy to get what you want.  We’ll be featuring an interview with Jessalynn on a future episode, but for now you can check out her blog, Brazen Beauties which provides critical commentary on representations of girlhood in popular culture.

Derek gave us on update on the failure of Edmonton police to warn women about a rapist in Millwoods. EPS said they don’t release warnings after the hundreds of sexual assualts ever year, but in this case they knew the assailant’s identity and they knew he was using social networking sites to meet his victims. On Monday he escaped arrest, the police didn’t let the public know, and then he offended again. For more information, check out the CBC’s coverage here and here. You can read the Edmonton Journal’s coverage here, here and here.

We also had Eve alumnus, Lesley, who spoke about the despicable way the University of Carleton is behaving following a sexual assault on campus. In 2007, a woman was sexually assaulted while she was working in a lab late at night. She is suing the university, alleging that they did not do enough to ensure the security and safety of their staff and students. In a classic case of victim-blaming, Carleton is saying the woman is at fault for being female while working not protecting herself while working. You can read more about the story from Canada News Wire and the Ottawa Citizen. (Sidenote: A big Feminist Fuck You, goes out to the Calgary Herald for running the headline “Woman didn’t do enough to prevent assault: Carleton University”)

Since the attack, the university has spent $1.6 upgrading security (which calls in to questions claims that they had adequate security…). However, they continue to blame the victim and despite students voting overwhelmingly in favour of forming a sexual assault centre, it has not yet happened.  This is ludicrous. Please take the time to write an email to the president of Carleton University, Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte, and let her know Carleton should stand behind its students, not assault them all over again by blaming victims. The Carleton website is down right now, but as soon as it’s back up we’ll get her email address and provide a link! For now, you can email the Board of Governors at governors@carleton.ca

UPDATE: Contact the president at  presidents_office@carleton.ca

Check back for the podcast, which I’ll put up as soon as I figure out how to post a live show!