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I am a new parent. My interests are secularism, learning, parenting, religion, career planning, and adult education.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Judge shows that Feminism has a way to go yet.

I read two articles today that made me so angry, that I couldn't help posting about it. The first article was about a recent rally in Manitoba protesting a judges remarks during the sentencing of a man accused of sexual assult. The judge basically said that what the accused did was wrong, but the women was asking for it because of what she was wearing! Seriously!

The second article quoted a law professor from the University of Manitoba and why she believes the judge was in the wrong.

I think that Dr. Karen Busey was exactly right when she said,

"That [decision] goes back to suggesting that women are in a state of constant sexual readiness and that sexually active women will consent to sex with all comers. It should have changed 20 years ago. It should have changed 40 years ago. But we can see that it hasn't changed for some," she added, saying the decision makes her sick to her stomach. "Every Friday and Saturday nights, there are lots of women who will dress to go out and to party and they're going to have alcohol, but when they do that they're not saying, 'Oh, and please rape me.'"
The thing I don't think a lot of men get is that, by nature and in general, a man is much stronger than a woman. Without a respect for what a woman says (ie. no) a man has the ability to physically overcome most women - making them feel vulnerable and out of control. To not have a say over what happens to one's body is the most  powerless feeling in the world - one that most adult men never have to endure. Although I have never been sexually assulted, it has crossed my mind from time to time when with boyfriends how vulnerable and weak I am in comparison if I could not trust that the people I was with would respect my will.

For this judge to say, "This is a case of misunderstood signals and inconsiderate behaviour," just re-victimizes the woman all over again. Not only has she been sexually assaulted, but her sexual assault was simply "inconsiderate behaviour". Yeah - it's soooooooooooo inconsiderate to follow a woman into the woods and rape her. What an asshole! How did he end up in a judge's seat?

Lorraine Parrington, who co-ordinates the sexual assault crisis program at Klinic, was quoted in the first article saying:

"Men have to learn women can change their minds, and no, at any point in an encounter, means no. People have a right to change their mind. If I decide that I want to be engaged in certain sexual behaviour with somebody I can do that and I'm allowed to say, 'Stop, I don't want to do it any more.' That needs to be respected."
Exactly! Because a woman's will is all she has in these situations and shouldn't be overcome by the strength and/or desire of the other person - at any time.

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