Tough Enough

I had a dialogue about Toxic Masculinity with a Tim Gittings, a reader of this blog, and he was generous enough to submit this blog entry:

Tough Enough
by Tim Gittings

I come from a long line of settler-colonialists. I am a child of the American West. It doesn’t matter that I actually spent the vast majority of my life in the Midwest, I was shaped by those wide-open spaces, those rugged, individualistic values, that weathered sense of masculine strength and resolve. Toughness is the cardinal value of my upbringing. My parents tried their hippy best to give me more nuance but my grandmother’s taciturn sharpness and gun-locker closet were always a match for that soft pull. Continue reading “Tough Enough”

Free Speech, Civil Discourse and Your Right to Bullshit

Recently, the primary author of this blog was attacked through several social media platforms and e-mail for voicing her thoughts and opinions about the #MeToo movement and especially some news in her local community. Following that, guest blogger Edward Stanley submitted this:

Free Speech, Civil Discourse and Your Right to Bullshit

Hi. If you’re here, you might be a bit hazy on the concepts of free speech and civil discourse, or perhaps you’ve been referred here by someone else who thinks you are. If so, that’s OK. These are concepts that many people think they understand and surprisingly few actually do. Continue reading “Free Speech, Civil Discourse and Your Right to Bullshit”

Wait. How are you NOT angry?

Lots of people who don’t agree with me call me “angry.”

Now, on a day-in-day-out kind of basis, I rarely feel anger. I do not get angry about other drivers or about my kids not cleaning their rooms or about not being able to find a parking spot or about having to pay for parking or about the casserole dish that inexplicably exploded in my oven last night.

I rarely react to daily life kinds of things in anger. Continue reading “Wait. How are you NOT angry?”

I’ll never stop believing survivors

Every time I speak out about sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape, someone screams “false accusations” or “innocent until proven guilty” or “women assault men too” or all three at me. Every. Single. Time.

Let me be very clear, I believe survivors. I will never stop believing survivors. Will I be wrong to believe someone at some point? Probably, but it’s highly unlikely, so I will always err on the side of believing someone who says they have been harassed or assaulted. Always. Continue reading “I’ll never stop believing survivors”

I am not required to debate you

The last several days have been hard. As you likely know if you’ve been following this blog for a while (or any other social media accounts held or run by this blog’s author), I am outspoken about several issues.

A little background:
It is no secret that I have two Facebook accounts. One is very private with the test for acceptance of a “friend” being: a) have I met this individual in person; b ) do I like them; and c) am I comfortable with them seeing pictures of my children? If someone cannot pass all three tests (with flying colours in the cases of the latter two questions), they are not welcome on my private Facebook profile. Continue reading “I am not required to debate you”

Fed up

I am so beyond fed up that I can’t even adequately express myself, it seems, but here goes (because when I’m fed up or riled up, I blog).

For any of you who feel you need some history on my own experiences, here is a blog entry a wrote a few years ago about having been sexually assaulted. I have been sexually harassed on an extremely regular basis since I was 11 years old. I have been touched by men when I haven’t wanted to be touched. I have been repeatedly bothered by men who couldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. I have been – for all intents and purposes – stalked by two men I dated for a short time each; one for the better part of a year, the other for more than two years. Continue reading “Fed up”

#MeToo has not gone too far

In fact, it has yet to go far enough.

In the wake of Ontario’s provincial Conservative leader being accused of sexual harassment and assault, I’ve been receiving messages from people that maybe #MeToo has gone too far; maybe it’s backfiring; men don’t know what they can do anymore; men think all women are man-haters. Continue reading “#MeToo has not gone too far”


At the boxing club I run, I train a 13-year-old girl. She is bright, pleasant, funny, well-adjusted, and shy. She comes from good parents. (And I set that stage, because years of experience tells me I have to.)

The other day at her school, a boy told her that his father said that she “looks like the type to send nudes.”

Let me repeat that: A grown man told his 13yo son that a 13yo girl “looks like the type to send nudes.”

What’s especially galling about this is that it took place during the couple of days that the #MeToo campaign was gaining steam all over social media.

When the girl’s mother (who I’ve been friends with for a few years) told me, I was shocked, gobsmacked, and enraged. (I can only begin to imagine how her parents feel.)

I look at my 10yo daughter and her friends and I see their day coming. And I hate it. With every fibre of my being, I hate it.

Eleven. That’s how old I was the first time a man started sexually harassing me. I had a paper route back in the days when we collected payment door-to-door each week, and he would wait on his porch for me to arrive. And every week, without fail, he would tell me how pretty I was or what a heartbreaker I was going to be or how good my shorts looked on me.

It always made me feel weird and uncomfortable, but when I told my parents, they just told me to ignore him.

I refuse to do that for our daughters.

And I’ve been dealing with this kind of behaviour from men for 30 years now. Before you blame it on an older generation who doesn’t know better, I will tell you that I still get these kinds of comments from men 20 years my junior.

I refuse to stand by and watch our daughters be subjected to this kind of behaviour.

I will confront this kind of behaviour at every turn.

I will ensure that my daughter knows it will not be ignored.

I will stand up for my friends’ daughters when they experience it.

I will make it clear to men that THEY. NEED. TO. STOP.

That man who said that to his son – even if it was the first time – just delivered the message to his son that it is acceptable to speak to and about girls in terms of their bodies, especially their naked bodies.

That is nothing like okay. In fact, it’s dangerous.

We can no longer stand for this.

Our daughters cannot live in a world where they lose count of how many times they are harassed, because they’ve normalized it just as we have.

Loud and clear for everyone in the back: NOT THEM TOO.