Oh my… I seemed to have let my soapbox gather some dust of late. Normally I don’t let my political housekeeping go to seed quite this badly. I can tell it’s really been let go of because I felt like I’ve recently looked away from the news and such for a moment, and the second I return to read it I see things like ‘rape cover-up’ and ‘more women coming forward’. The thing I see the most of all of these when I read them is this really unsettling trend that is a common thread with all of these related stories. If you’ve been reading the same stories, I think you’ve likely noticed this too…
I’m pretty sure we don’t have a Salem witch trial going on here with these guys who have been accused of these events. Some have openly admitted, others have had actual online forums and even pictures and videos of the crimes. And yet, somehow, the women were too scared to come forward, and when they did the worst thing happened… the entities that surrounded these men in question (I might point out the CBC, I might call attention to Dalhousie University) were more or less protected by these institutions. Part of why this has got my hackles up is because this isn’t a backwards country where equality for women is slower to catch up to the rest of the world – this is motherfucking Canada. You would like to think that in our polite, civilized True North that this shit would not be happening.
And yet it is.
So here we’ve two examples of why I get mouth-foam when I start to discuss feminism. On the one hand a popular radio personality is fired over allegations of sex allegations that he did things to a number of women without consent. This included other members of the CBC. Meanwhile, over at Dalhousie University, some students (male) had a Facebook page called the Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen. The fourth-year male dentistry students’ violent sexual comments about female classmates included a poll about having “hate” sex with female students and drugging women. However, the university has declined to name the students, though the thirteen men were suspended.
Now despite the fact that these two institutions both did protect/are continuing to protect these guys, with the CBC waiting until it came to this boiling point to fire Ghomeshi and Dalhousie not releasing the names of those dentistry students, I think the greater problem is the women involved. That SO many women were targets in the one case, and that there are no real repercussions beyond suspension for the men while the women don’t even know their names. And while the university heads agree that sexualized violence is a problem at universities across the country, the best they can do is that they urge Dalhousie to respond by looking at both the specific harm caused by the Facebook posts, and by addressing underlying causes.
Now, personally, I say name and shame the little shits. I’d have bird if I walked into a dental practice with a daughter, a niece or a sister and dropped her off to someone who was going to stick his hand in her head after he wrote about hate fucking and drugging a fellow student. I am already bristling with the knowledge that there are massive budget cuts to the CBC, and yet in order to keep their audience they chose to protect the golden goose Ghomeshi rather than suck it up and sack him when the first allegations came from their interior. I get it, times are tough, but playing that shit with my tax dollars puts you on the same shit list as Stephen Harper, which is fairly dire, though I’m fairly certain Harper never assaulted anyone, let alone said in a cabinent meeting he’d ‘hate fuck them to wake them up’.
I never attended one of these post secondary institutions. I travelled, performed and let life teach me all the useless human tricks I’ve now got in my repertoire. And that’s a good thing, because as you know, tuition in North America does not come cheap. If I had been attending one of these universities and had taken out student loans, at great personal expense, with the idea of furthering my formal education in order to pursue a professional career of some kind that required a certificate only to find this happening, I’d ask for my tuition back. I hate to say it, but I feel like the only place the universities would feel it is in the pocketbook. And if I were a parent, you’d better believe the tar and feathers would be getting ready as well for a faculty that harboured that kind of bullshit.
And yet, I have to laugh. Because someone asked me, prior to Christmas what I wanted. While I’m sure they were thinking the answer would be a visit to the spa, a bottle of nice bubbles, or a fancy dress, it was none of those things. What I really want is for educational institutions to stop playing the bitch and step up and show students how to be human beings, and how to treat each other with kindness, compassion and respect. Because, in theory they should be teaching how to equip the next generation on how to function in the world aside from that expensive piece of paper on the wall. And on a whim, I’d also like a chance to go in the boxing ring with Mr.Ghomeshi. I figure if he’s so keen to hit women, I’d give him his shot – only I hit harder and faster. I think it might be good for him to get his ya-yas out on someone who can not only take it, but dish it out. Harder.
Little Miss Risk