But it’s not JUST a war on women. It’s on everyone who isn’t overflowing with entitlements, and it’s largely being waged by white men, who seek to perpetuate male and white supremacy.
You are either actively on the side of the oppressed, or the oppressor. And if you’re silent, you’re with the oppressor.
Let’s up our game for justice and dignity:
“Last night, as the news swarmed online, a friend texted me: ‘There’s a war out there against us.’
“I think she’s right. I think there is a war. I think we’ve been fighting it for some time. I think it’s reached a breaking point.
“This war is not about men and women. This war is about those who believe people of all races, cultures, sexes, genders, classes, and religions deserve kindness and respect, and those who don’t. We have to speak out, for ourselves and for each other.”
Instead he was maybe trying to be “nice” by trying to kiss her. She complained to the RCMP.
If I went into a car dealership and kissed a woman or man on the cheek, out of the blue, I think the business would support their sexually violated employee. That makes sense.
If I went into a Starbucks and tried to kiss a male or female employee. Same thing. If I tried to grope their genitals, same thing. If I tried to do it to a man or a woman on the sidewalk? Same thing.
Should I toss out, in my defence, that hey…the victim should be flattered that I found them attractive. Or, hey…they’re in a public place, so they’re fair game. Or hey…it’s not like I raped them, so a milder, less intrusive form of sexual assault is less bad, so shut up.
So while the media has been reporting this latest attempt to violate female reporters trapped and vulnerable by being in a live TV broadcast, JRfm has stooped very very low by framing the issue to illicit responses that perpetuate rape culture:
A CBC TV reporter is filing a formal complaint to the RCMP about a young man who attempted to give her a kiss on the cheek while reporting live.
Do you think the young man deserves a criminal record for this? Or do you think she is justified and it was completely inappropriate.
Start by implying that this act occurred because dude was “young” so hey, cut him some slack. He’s young. So he’s not threatening. Or he’s an innocent.
Ask a rhetorical question that implies that he doesn’t deserve a criminal record for this youthful dalliance.
Suggest that the reporter is not justified in complaining to the police.
Add an adverb to “inappropriate” to suggest that the act was maybe not entirely, completely inappropriate, like just a little bit bad.
Wait for your JRfm loyal followers to explicitly do the rest of the work in perpetuating rape culture.
So if you want a sickly living textbook example of the kinds of rape culture justification floating around out there, there are right now 105 comments on the JRfm Facebook post, the majority of which are sick and wrong. Those who try to call out rape culture are, of course, attacked.
And of course, many of the rape culture apologists are women. And the majority of responders are woman, actually.
Then when you swing by JRfm’s website for their elaborated story, they get far more explicit excusing this sexual assault:
She was reporting live from The Squamish Valley Music Festival, when a young man tried to sneak in the shot and give her a kiss on the cheek. He missed, but the attempt was there. What some viewers may have taken as a light-hearted joke, Batchelor is now following up with the RCMP to file a formal complaint against the young man.
Do you think he deserves a criminal record for life because of this? Did it seem like a harmless joke to you? Or do you think it was too inappropriate for TV?
There’s “young” again.
The fact that he missed is supposed to excuse his attempt.
Let’s introduce “light-hearted joke” as a way of framing this.
Criminal records are FOR LIFE, don’t you know!
And let’s suggest “harmless” as a frame too, despite the fact that maybe the reporter should be the one to define harm.
In the end, JRfm has set up a special moment to perpetuate rape culture and set back the value of promoting consent to the mass public.
Being up for whatever happens [even with its own hashtag: #UpForWhatever]
an evening environment that doesn’t include no in its vocabulary
all within our still vibrant rape culture
a recipe for Budweiser to demonstrate how pathetic they are at understanding how communication works.
And they end up being complicit in continuing to promote rape culture and a world where explicit consent for sex is either ignore, downplayed or rejected.
They still haven’t apologized, but they have said that they regret missing the mark. Continue to not expect integrity from corporations:
The Bud Light Up for Whatever campaign, now in its second year, has inspired millions of consumers to engage with our brand in a positive and light-hearted way. In this spirit, we created more than 140 different scroll messages intended to encourage spontaneous fun. It’s clear that this message missed the mark, and we regret it. We would never condone disrespectful or irresponsible behavior.
The Transit Police got burned in the media recently, when rad feminist transit riders called them out publicly for their summer-line of sexual assault ads. These ads use language that shames the survivors of sexual assault, stating, “the real shame of sexual assault is that it goes unreported.” It turns out that the transit police were the ones doing something that “doesn’t feel right” and making riders “uncomfortable.”
The whole thing was a PR blunder for the transit cops, who realized it right away and are now busily placating the public, regrouping, and working toward Version 2.0. This time, they’ll be sure to “include representatives from women’s rights groups” so as to remain in public favour. Great! Problem solved, right?
Maybe. If the ignorant and hurtful language of the original ad was its only flaw, the only reason to be concerned, and if there wasn’t another, equally repulsive message lurking underneath, then, yes, the problem would be solved. Sadly, that’s not the case.
The sinister implications of this transit ad not only shame survivors of sexual assault, but they also work to bring us all deeper into the police-state that Canada is quickly becoming (and perhaps, for those who are marginalized, always has been). An important piece of information appears at the bottom of the ad, in the second biggest font, urging readers to TEXT 87.77.77.
I’m sorry, what? We’re texting the cops now?
Yeah, what’s wrong with that?
Well, don’t you think it’s a little weird, like, ratting on random people to the authorities? It’s a little sci-fi. …a little Soviet Russia…a little Nazi Germany…
You’re so negative! Besides, it’s to stop sexual assault! You don’t like sexual assault do you?
The theme of sexual assault serves as the catalyst for gaining public acceptance for the practice of text messaging the police, for promoting and normalizing a tattletale behaviour in the populace. It functions much the same was as the issue of child pornography functions online. Child Pornography serves as the excuse for police-state surveillance tactics in the digital realm. Everybody hates Child Pornography. Everybody hates Sexual Assault. These issues serve as PR strategies to introduce the public to a new tool for surveillance and to further limit our freedoms. The report-your-neighbour text-message campaign goes nicely with the transit police smart phone app, OnDuty, which enables users to report “crimes”, view “Crime Maps”, and check out who is “Most Wanted!” It also gives the transit cops opportunity to gain access to your call logs, photos, locations, and more.
Can I report someone on transit for being drunk and loud?
You can definitely report those situations. It’s an offense in the criminal code … We are very accountable, and are legally required to act to protect the public and preserve the peace.
So, perhaps it’s not only crimes that are being reported. After all, both the text service and the OnDuty app are for “non-emergent” reports only. And what kind of sexual assault is “non-emergent”? Traditional 911 works just find in summoning urgent police presence, so why these new social tools? It seems like they exist for reporting suspicion, rather than dangerous ‘crimes.’ In this arrangement, every person with a smartphone is a potential cop, a potential punisher, and people learn to suspect each other.”
“See something. Say something,” the transit ad reads. This isn’t entirely a bad idea. But to whom do we “say something?” It’s assumed that the answer is the police. They will swoop in and save the day and no one has to feel guilty for staring passively at their phone while someone is being assaulted, In Real Life, right in front of them. It’s understandable that even bystanders feel unsafe in these situations and may not be able to intervene, but we do have a collective responsibility. We need to decide whether we want to create a community in which a bus full of people band together and say “No!” to abusive behaviour, or to create a ‘safe’ community in which people are picked off the bus, one by one, by big men with guns?
We know which world the police are envisioning. There seems to be a real emphasis on punishment over prevention, in the language used by transit police. The Transit Police ad tells riders that not reporting sexual assaults is the real shame, rather than the fact that these assaults occur in the first place.
Spokesperson, Anne Drennan is quoted in the Metro as having never intended to “lay blame on victims in any way, but rather to suggest that it’s a real shame that these people get away scott free when these incidences are not reported.” It sounds as if the goal is not to stop potential abusers, but to punish perpetrators. Rather than prevention, the ad itself, supported by Drennan’s comments to the media, implicitly promote eye-for-an-eye, revenge-style ‘justice’ which serves as reinforcement for role of police in our communities.
The language of the transit police also includes a heavy use of the word “victim”, to describe those folks who have experienced sexual assault, despite the fact that the chosen identifier for these folks is “Survivors.” A survivor is strong and empowered, while a victim is weak and in need of protection, presumably by the police.
It’s clear from their language that neither preventing assault, nor empowering women and the community, are top priorities of the transit police. Instead, they actively present the world as a scary place and the police as our only protectors. If we need the police, if they are keeping us safe, then we won’t have a problem with them invading every aspect of our public and private lives, cracking down on every transgression and injecting our community with suspicion and fear.
Emily Griffiths is a writer, performer, and child care worker, living on unceded Coast Salish Territories.
Now that the weather is turning, the slut shaming and attacks on women’s clothing choices will ramp up.
In Labrador, 28 girls were sent home from school because their clothing contravened the dress code. They also sent home two boys whose shirts bared their shoulders. 47% of those voting on the CBC story’s webpoll supported the school’s decision.
But Memorial University professor Patricia Dold share some inconvenient truth about this:
Male students and teachers they apparently were distracting should be the ones under the microscope. … Dold said that the school should have an open conversation with students about the issue.
An open conversation would be welcome, but in our society, we don’t have those open conversations. Instead…
Instead, we have slut shaming. “Society,” men and women alike, criticize women who dress like “sluts” [however people define that] and suggest that those who dress like this woman [above] are just asking to be raped. What happens to the slut shamers who disrespect women who dress like this, when this woman was raped while actually wearing sweat pants and a hoodie?
That kind of disconnect is inefficient to the slut shaming agenda. so they ignore it. It’s the substance of ignorance.
So beyond teens dressing for summer then getting punished for lude boys being distracted by them, and women being raped when they’re NOT actually weary the “slutty” clothes, women who do well in high school often don’t make as much money as white men who do worse in school.
And what do our politicians do about any of this?
About as much as all the high schools that are not having open dialogues about dress codes, gender respect and slut shaming.
Indeed, our equality-champion prime minister and his crew just sits around; here’s all they are able to vomit out:
Citing the facts that aboriginal women are four times more likely to be murdered than white women, and that nearly one quarter of aboriginal women are victims of domestic abuse, the department has begun to explore new policy options: options as diverse as sighing, shaking their heads, and muttering “it’s a damn shame”.
“Is there some sort of historical context to all this?” said Prime Minister Harper. “Because it almost seems as though the conditions for this crisis might have been brought about by institutional racism.”
At UBC the dean of the business school muses about firing all the students who took part in the chant that celebrates rape, which was also sung at Saint Mary’s in Halifax. And the students voted to not contribute money towards a sexual assault counselling program.
At the University of Ottawa, student politticians had a Facebook chat about how they would sexually assault another student leader. Then they got a lawyer to try to stop her from distributing the transcript of their chat. Then the parents of one of the students one, a former respected police officer] said he’s a good guy, really.
Maybe it’s like the good young adults who participated in the Stanley Cup riot. Really, they’re good people who made a mistake.
Rape chants and sexual assault fantasies are hardly minor aberrant errors.
But here’s the issue. When it’s good kids getting caught up in this, that’s when we know that rape culture is pandemic in society.
“That’s so gay,” has been defended vehemently by people who reject how it could be disrespectful. That’s slowly changing. Much like how it took a lot of effort for people to stop tossing “nigger” around in casual conversation.
Everyone needs to assess whether we have an urge to defend men [usually] who try to normalize rape culture, or say it’s not that big a deal. That urge perpetuates the culture of rape. That urge also justifies sexism, discrimination and bigotry, all the way down to racist jokes at cocktail parties.
It’s up to us to delegitimize this.
De-Spinning the Political and Re-Spinning it for Social, Economic and Political Justice