Rape is cancer

May is sexual assault awareness month. It’s April in the US, which seems odd, but whatever… In any case, it’s the time of the year when we’re supposed to be raising awareness about sexual assault.

 What the hell does that even mean?

 Does it mean dispelling the myths of all the bullshit ‘prevention tips’? Yes.

 Does it mean targeting boys and men to not only stop raping people but calling out other dudes who do? Yes.

Does it mean teaching everybody and anybody how to set the bar higher for society? Yes.

As a sexual assault support worker and an anti-violence activist, my views on the matter are clearly more ‘radical’ than others. Although I speak and work in many different forums that require different techniques and approaches, the truth is that all I really want to do is RAGE. Rage, rage, rage against the statistics, the bullshit policies and the apathy that I see around me every day.

It’s not healthy or wise to spend each moment of everyday telling people “Every 17 minutes in Ontario, a womyn is raped BUT that also means that every 17 minutes, a man is raping someone”. It doesn’t exactly make for great chit chat.

But what I really want to do and the message I want people to absorb is that rape is cancer.

Yes, rape is cancer. (Hear me out...)

It's Sexual Assault Awareness Month, yo!

Think rape culture sucks? So do I.

Think that survivors/victims of sexual violence deserve better? So do I.

Want to make a difference? You can!

Refuse to be silenced. Speak out when you see people making apologies for rape culture. Don't fall into the trap of referring to sexual violence as 'bullying' and don't let others get away with depoliticizing sexual violence, either.

Don't be an idle bystander. When you see sexual violence, do something about it.

Every day this month, Draw-the-line.ca's campaign will be throwing out a scenario of sexual violence and asking people where they would draw the line. Follow them on Twitter and on Facebook and show where you would draw the line. If you're on Twitter, tweet your answer with the hashtag #WDTL (Where to draw the line)

Here's today's question:

On the website right now, 58% of people would leave their friend behind. This is actually a huge improvement from just a few days ago when 75% of people would leave their friend. Clearly, there remains a lot of work to be done.


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.

Why I'm pro-choice

I am Pro-Choice because…

 1- I think bodily autonomy is a human right. I think that the right to control what one does and does not do with their body is a human right that should be accorded to all people. I think that once we take away someone’s bodily autonomy, we are going down a very slippery slope and quite frankly, I don’t want to see where it leads.

 2- I think that pro-choice is the most democratic choice of all. As the old feminist adage goes, “If you can’t trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child?” I truly cannot understand how a democratic state/nation/territory/etc could have any other stance.

 3- I believe that pro-choice is not pro-abortion. I know and love people who got pregnant unexpectedly and thought long and hard about their choices. In the end, they either chose abortion or they chose to keep the child. They weighed the options of adoption and in one particular case, seriously explored that option. But in the end, they chose what was right for them. None of these womyn regret their decisions. And I imagine that even if they did, they would have been grateful for the ability to choose what was right for them, whether they felt the same way about that decision or not.

'Ballad of the female promoter'

So Jezebel has an article about the situation of womyn who are working to promote their work. Check it out.

This article means a great deal to me because I'm currently in this battle. To be a successful professional, you need to 'sell yourself' and learn to self-promote. But apparently, to be a 'good' feminist, doing that means you're in it for the wrong reasons, egotistical and other evil things.

How do we ensure that our issues get brought to the fore and are discussed in the mainstream when doing so puts us at risk of losing our 'cred' in the feminist bubble?

I'm a feminist, but...

I’m a feminist. (duh...)

But when I say ‘feminism’, I’m not talking about theorists or jargon (I’ll get back to those in a second…)

Why I SlutWalk(ed)

This blog post assumes that you know what SlutWalk is and what prompted it. If you don't know, Google that shit then come back and join me. It's been said all over the world over and over again, so I won't bother to repeat it.

So, Ottawa had its own SlutWalk and you better believe I was there. In fact, in the interest of full disclosure, I was asked to speak at it, too. But that's where it ends, for the record. I've never organized a SlutWalk, have no part in organizing future ones and quite frankly, spent 5 minutes at the Ottawa one talking about systemic violence against womyn.

I must admit that I was initially a little apprehensive about the whole thing. I'd heard about it in its planning stages and felt that it might have been a well-intentioned but misguided attempt to highlight an issue.

But I was wrong. I was so, so wrong.

Dudes & chicks: What men gain from joining feminism

Men have much to gain from feminism and why they haven’t figure that out yet is a problem.

The role of men in feminism and the very obvious ways in which men benefit from it has always been apparent to me. Not because I grew up in a progressive, hippie household or that I went to some alternative school. Quite the opposite, in fact. I came to feminism not out of some deep hatred for the male species or a general chip on my shoulder, but by being curious about gender as a whole.

Being Whole

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am an intense person, yes, but I laugh at funerals, use sarcasm when I probably shouldn't and really do believe in a silver lining.

If you know me well you also know that there is no room in my life for religion or even much of spirituality, either. I call myself agnostic, but really I'm apathetic and really over all discussions of the sort. It just doesn't interest me in the slightest.

I say all this because the following might seem incredibly out of character but it's something I've been thinking a lot about lately.

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