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”

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”

Piece of meat

I originally wrote this a little more than four years ago and published it on another blog. The response was overwhelming. I am re-publishing it here today, with some edits, to accompany Monday’s Practical Feminist podcast episode about rape culture and to reassure whomever is reading this and relating to it that they are not alone.

~~~

The first thing you have to know about this post is that it will be very difficult for some of you to read. Please tread carefully. Read the tags I’ve put on it and then tread carefully.

There’s been a lot going on in the world of social media and in my life that’s compelled me to write this. It’s deeply personal and, before I even start writing it, I know it’s going to be deeply painful. Continue reading “Piece of meat”

This is rape culture

I’m going to describe two separate but extremely similar events to you and then I am going to tell you very frankly how I classify them.

About a month ago, at a public event, I encountered a man who I know only in a professional context and really only barely know him. As I and two women with whom I work approached him to walk past him, he shook the first woman’s hand, then he shook the second woman’s hand, and when I put my hand out to shake hands, he grabbed me by the shoulders, pulled  me in for a hug, and kissed me on the cheek. Continue reading “This is rape culture”

The silence of our friends

Last week, nearly 100 men in Niagara attended the Coalition to End Violence Against Women’s (CEVAW) 101 Men event, featuring Jackson Katz and his Mentors in Violence Prevent (MVP) training. Since that day, I have read a few tweets, a Facebook post or two, and a newspaper column about how interesting and important the conference was; about men needing to act; about men needing to treat violence against women as a men’s issue to join in the fight to stop it.

So far, and – to be fair, it’s just five days later – I have neither heard nor read anything about what specific action will be taken; what specific action men who attended the day’s workshops will engage in. Continue reading “The silence of our friends”

We must raise the bar

You’ve heard it before. You’ve been discussing an incident of domestic violence or sexual assault with or in the vicinity of men and a man has piped up and said, “That’s not my problem. I don’t abuse or assault women. I respect women and treat them right.”

And that’s all well and good, but maybe we need to raise the bar of what it means to be a “good guy” a little higher than simply “I don’t abuse or assault women.”

Continue reading “We must raise the bar”