Kathleen Wynne made me cry
On Friday, March 6th, 2015, the Premier of Ontario made me cry.
Let me explain.
An open letter to victims of sexual assault
[This is kind of obvious, but trigger warning for discussions of sexual assault]
Dear Jane Does,
I hope this finds you well. Sadly, it probably doesn't. What a terrible few weeks, huh? Ugh. So horrible.
Rape culture is a thing, guys.
I do have other hobbies, other than raging against the patriarchy.
I'm a big lover of making collages and as a result, people often give me old magazines, newspapers and anything funky they think I'd like to cut up and turn into something else.
In this case, I was given a huge stack of Chatelaine and McCall's magazines from the '70s. Some serious GEMS in those magazines. The magazines are all in mint shape and besides the LOL hairstyles and cringe worthy ads for unimaginably disgusting food products, I found this hard hitting piece of journalism.
A 1971 Chatelaine article (that is several pages long) lamenting how rape myths make womyn vulnerable to sexual assault and as a result, allow perpetrators to live without consequence is important stuff.
That we've been talking about the same old tropes and stereotypes for decades is proof that rape culture is not only alive and well, but has been for quite some time.
(See scan of article below)
Backlash & The Myth of Acceptance
I talk for a living.
I wear many hats in my day-to-day, but I get paid to talk and in particular, as a public educator. I visit communities, elementary schools, high schools, campuses, military bases, faith groups, various workplaces and everything in between to talk sexual violence, bystander intervention and community support.
I’ve worked in this field for over a decade.
In that time, I’ve given literally hundreds of workshops, lectures, presentations and spoken on panels.
I’m a busy bee.
There appears to be a lot of mythology around the work I do and in particular, the reception I get. There’s this idea that everywhere I go is a giant love-in. Maybe it’s because my work is so visible in the media or because I have a lot of followers on Twitter or because I’ve won awards. Or maybe it’s part of some right-wing conspiracy that the world is super feminist and misandrist. Je ne sais pas.
But as a result of this myth, every time I talk about the resistance and hate I face in my work, I get a lot of eye rolls with the assumption that
1- I'm lying
2- I’m conflating people disagreeing with me as harassment.
Let me be clear: I am met with resistance everywhere I go.