Tag Archives: Rape

Consent Matters

MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNING for this entire post, including links.

A lot has happened in the last six months. The relationship I had been in for two and a half years ended. I lost my job. I stopped blogging. I spent three months in Paris, before running out of money and coming back to Toronto to crash on my sister’s couch and beg local businesses to hire me. I tried, and failed, to start blogging again. And then, to top it all off, two days ago a prominent third-wave feminist argued in a televised debate that I was not “really” raped.

I started this post several days ago, before the Wolf/Friedman debate took place. Like many feminists, I’ve been following the Assange case for a while, but I deliberately avoided discussing it. Better writers than me (and I should include a thank you to Sady Doyle, who is absolutely incredible writer and, from what I’ve seen, a pretty fucking amazing human being) have taken it on, and personally, I didn’t have the energy or the courage to engage with something so huge and so polarized. What I did want to write about, however, was Edmonton’s recent anti-rape campaign, which was briefly covered on a few blogs some weeks ago. The Don’t Be That Guy campaign is one of the first I’ve seen to fight sexual assault by placing the responsibility on men not to rape, rather than on women to avoid all contact with alcohol/taxi cabs/skirts/other human beings to protect themselves. Specifically, the campaign tells men that taking advantage of intoxicated women is rape. It may not seem like much, but it’s a pretty big step forward, and I am grateful that it exists.

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