Frank talk about ‘rape chants,’ campus life and cultural change

Anne Kingston speaks to Wayne MacKay about St. Mary’s plans to change campus culture

by Anne Kingston

Jocelyn Bain Hogg / VII / Corbis

For the background on this  this story, read this feature by Anne Kingston: The real danger for women on campus

In the wake of the frosh-week “rape chant” controversy at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, its president Colin Dodds assembled an independent “President’s Council” to study sexual violence on campus and to propose recommendations. Last week, the council issued a 110-page report with 20 recommendations, which included developing a university code of conduct, establishing a “sexual violence response team,” reclaiming orientation week and improving the school’s disciplinary and complaint investigation process to hold perpetrators more accountable. Dodds has responded by  saying the university is committed “to implementing the recommendations in a timely manner.”

Maclean’s senior writer Anne Kingston, who recently  examined sexual violence at Canadian universities, speaks with President Council chair Wayne MacKay, a law professor at Dalhousie University and former chair of Nova Scotia’s Task Force on Bullying and Cyberbullying formed after the suicide of Retaeh Parsons. Their wide-ranging discussion spanned  the proposed recommendations, incidents of sexual violence reported by Saint Mary’s faculty members, the debate over alcohol and sexual assault, the “date rape” label, why female athletes are at greatest risk of campus sexual assault–and whether or not the council’s recommendations will change anything.

Q:  The council begins the report saying its goal was “to avoid blaming as much as possible and to seize the opportunity to go forward in a positive and constructive way.” Why did the two things have to be exclusive? Why not assign blame? Without culpability how can there be change?

A:  It’s a good and important question. I have two responses. The first is technical: the mandate didn’t include that. It talked about making recommendations for a cultural change that would prevent sexual violence, promote respect and safety. But the more important strategic answer is that we felt that more progress could be made by looking at it constructively, and with interviews and our consultations on campus there already was quite a divide about what people were saying–people were sacrificed, or the blame was put unfairly on a particular group. It seemed to us as a council that that was not productive and that the reason we were doing this on a volunteer basis was to try to make change. So strategically we felt that was a better move.

Q:  The report says a university should be “a model of a more caring and respectful society.” But a university also has to protect its reputation, its recruitment and its endowments. At Saint Mary’s, for instance, there was incredible frustration among a segment of the population that there were no serious repercussions for behaviour after the “rape chant” and that any discipline that did occur occurred  in camera. Certainly there was no transparency of the sort people need to feel  change can take place.   

A:   Transparency is critical. Obviously it’s not our mandate to deal with the reputation of Saint Mary’s – we were asked to do a task and we did it – but obviously as Saint Mary’s goes forward it has to be concerned with its image and with how people perceive it. And the only way to really recover effectively from what happened in relation to the chant is to be very transparent that they are, in fact, making a new departure, that they are taking serious steps, following these recommendations, and other things (this is not a complete list) that will make it a better place, a safer place, one that’s more welcoming particularly for women but for all students, and one where, if not eliminating certainly greatly reducing sexual violence on campus. So I think in order to convince those out there nationally, internationally, that Saint Mary’s really is not that kind of an institution, then they have to be clear and transparent.

Q:   Over the past 30 years, we’ve seen a host of on-campus sexual violence awareness campaigns, safety audits, discussions of consent and so forth. Yet when you talk to sexual assault educators and counsellors, they tell you very little has changed in either incidence or reporting. What confidence can you have that your recommendations will?

A: Stating what needs to be done is only the beginning: it’s actually doing it and doing it in an effective way. There are a couple of keys to that– one, we state that it’s really important for the leadership on campus to be agents of this change and champions of this change.  One of our very first recommendations was appointing a champion and a team to oversee this because these things don’t happen automatically; and secondly, even though our consultation was small, that leadership – not just in terms of administration but within the faculty and within the student body – is very important, so we made some recommendations about increasing the presence of women in all of those settings but particularly in the student organizations where they really are under-represented. It’s a small recommendation there somewhere, maybe even just a comment – but important groups like the sports teams and the varsity teams modelling the kind of behaviour that needs to happen. For example, the Toronto Argonauts are involved in having their players talk about the importance of consent. There has to be real leadership and buy-in so that it’s not cool to do the kinds of things that led to this in the first place. And that’s not simple, it’s a large, difficult culture change process, but I think with the right leadership and with a real dedication to making that change, I think it can happen.

Q:  Speaking of jock culture, the report noted male athletes are consistently and significantly over-represented in university sexual assault records. It also claims women student athletes are exposed to a greater risk of sexualized violence than other female students. Why that is the case isn’t clear. It it because of their proximity to male athletes?   

A:  On the broader point – and it’s a really important point that hasn’t got a lot of attention–there is a lot of research that suggests that so-called jock culture does correlate with higher incidence of sexual violence. We didn’t find any specific examples at Saint Mary’s; it’s based on general research. But it’s interesting to note that Saint Mary’s has a significant athletic reputation in football and other sports.  In terms of  women athletes being more vulnerable– and the studies weren’t completely clear – male and female athletes would work together and play together and be in the same places as a natural grouping and as a consequence they would perhaps tend to be more victimized. The second, less clearly documented point, is that the need to be part of the team and the need to fit and the need to not be blowing the whistle on their colleagues may mean that they would be, like many, unlikely to report incidents even if they did happen.

Q:  Your report quotes a 2004 survey saying that sexual assault to police is only 8 per cent; other studies have it lower than that.  I talked to female students – both at Saint Mary’s and at other Canadian universities – who said  sexual violence  was grossly under-reported because there was not a  sensitive and responsive system in place to report without ramification; they also didn’t feel that there would be any consequences for the perpetrator, particularly if it was a fellow student. How do your recommendations pave way for better reporting and a more empathetic system?

A:   We definitely heard that  people don’t report because they don’t think anything’s going to happen so we tried to make some recommendations to address that. One is that there be anonymous surveys to collect data about the extent of sexualized violence at Saint Mary’s. A second very important component of that recommendations is that safe spaces and proper supports be provided so that survivors of sexual assault could come forward with their stories in a way that would have the necessary counsellors  – that they would feel comfortable with the people that are receiving the information.  As a panel of 10 with very limited time we definitely were not such a group.

Most important is an absolutely clear plan in terms of an action team to respond to sexual assault and clear indication of what you do if you’re a victim of sexual violence in any form. Who do you contact? What are the steps? Communication of that [at Saint Mary’s] was  problematic—and that’s unfortunately typical of a lot of universities. One of the challenges is how do you communicate to students in the social media age.  Another issue is empowering bystanders, and this is partly drawing on my experience with the cyberbullying task force. Friends or bystanders, third parties, are so critical in recognizing these things. So it’s important to  educate them so they can do that;  if safe for them, intervene themselves, or if not then to report it in some fashion. I think it really does go to creating this climate of safety where people feel, “I can do something about this.”

Once that does happen then there have to be some transparent sanctions: “Okay, it was reported. What actually happened? What kind of process?” Obviously you have to be fair, presumptions of innocence and so on, but at the moment there really isn’t an internal discipline structure, it simply is referred to the police. But  we recommend that there we a parallel discipline structure in these kind of cases as well. So, transparency, clear consequences, clear communication and a supportive environment would be all big.

Q:   The report states the council was “struck” by Saint Mary’s current sexual assault policy – the university does not formally adjudicate allegations of sexual assault but prefers an informal system that accommodates the wishes of both the victims and alleged perpetrators.  Could you elaborate?

A:   We had presentations from Saint Mary’s and also from Dalhousie and Mount St. Vincent on their policies and approaches to this, so part of what struck us was that Saint Mary’s was different from those other two in terms of not adjudicating, not having some more clearly-spelled-out sanction. Even more importantly they didn’t appear to treat these serious cases very different from other kind of conflict resolution situations. Now, they did, as a matter of policy, report it to the police when in fact reports came forward, but as we said earlier that’s not very many, and in any event that doesn’t prevent the university from also pursuing its own discipline process.  I guess as a matter of principle they felt they should not get into adjudication but should treat it in a sort of more restorative or conflict-resolution kind of way, which may be appropriate for all kinds of things but not particularly appropriate, in our opinion, for a sexual assault situation. So I think that probably was the “struck” point.

Q:  What struck me when I spoke with universities administrators about sexual assault was their use of  nurturing, politically correct language about needed to be  “inclusive” and “restorative,” which is more about upholding the status quo than addressing or disciplining sexual violence or misogynist behaviour.

A:   I think that’s exactly the point.  One answer they would give to that is, “But we do send it to the criminal process.” Well, that’s fine, but that’s the social sanction. What, as an institution, are you sending as your response to these serious matters? In the high-profile Rehtaeh Parsons case in Nova Scotia where it was an alleged sexual assault  followed by cyberbullying, one of the things that she identified as really damaging to her psyche was that nobody was taking it seriously. Not only were the police not willing to lay charges but the school was not willing to do any discipline for the alleged perpetrators who continued to go to her same school. And, interestingly, their answer was kind of the same: “Well, it’s in the criminal process, we don’t want to mess anything up there.” But that’s not legally necessarily true, you can have a parallel process that is done carefully so as not to damage the criminal process – obviously that’s important – but from a victim perspective to have everybody seem to not take this seriously is obviously a further kind of victimization or a further blow to them.

Q:  One  important point made  in the report is that sexual violence is not about sex, per se, it’s an act of violence and power over another person. Yet when we discuss sexual assault – and this is true within the report itself– there’s a focus on how sexual violence has been normalized in a hypersexualized culture and hang-wringing about hook-up culture. It becomes very difficult to untangle these two things.  

A: That’s an extremely important point as well, that really sexual assault is about power and violations of trust, it’s not about sexuality or about sex.  A hypersexualized society generally – not just universities—adds to the complication of where are the lines. The blurring of lines or the grey area – as so many people talked about – in terms of consent is partly in this context of a highly sexualized society.  So at what point does the modification and objectification of women become problematic, because it’s happening everywhere: it’s happen in the media, it’s happening in the general public, it’s happening on campus. So how do you then say, “Well, okay, it’s okay up to this point but once you cross this line, now, that’s really problematic.”

Q: The report alludes to the “group-think” that prevails around sexual violence but I wonder if at places it’s guilty of it also. At one point it notes the heavy use of alcohol among university-age students blurs lines relating to consent. But aren’t lines concerning consent – legally at least– very clear? Isn’t the actual problem reporting and discipline? Most people know when they’ve participated in sex that they’ve not agreed to—at least if they’re sober. And if they’re drunk, they couldn’t have given consent in the first place.

A:  First of all you’re correct that the law is much clearer than most students we talked to – and probably the general public – thinks about the ability of someone who is significantly impaired by alcohol or drugs to consent. I think it’s relatively clear, but that’s not widely known. So you’re right in that respect, that it’s partly a matter of awareness and education around these things, and that’s why we advocate that as an important part of what needs to happen. However, on the second part – again in very limited amount of consultation – many students were saying, well, really it’s not so clear anymore what’s consensual or what’s not, particularly in the context of alcohol and drugs where you wake up the next morning and think, “Oh, something happened last night. Oh, I wonder…” you know, it’s not that they don’t remember totally, but, “Was that really consensual?” and, “Did I send the wrong messages?”

There’s a fair bit of pressure on young women to accept the hypersexualized society, “Well, it’s just sex, it’s no big deal.” And you don’t want to sort of ruin somebody’s life because, after all, maybe,  you were part of it, you didn’t intend to and you really didn’t want to do it but maybe you weren’t clear enough about that, which is not the right approach at all. One of the other things we talk about is in supporting the Ontario approach about enthusiastic consent; silence is not consent, reluctant okay is not consent, it’s enthusiastic consent, and we have little buttons – I’m wearing one now – “Consent is sexy.” I think education about it can make the lines clear, or make it less grey, but I think to be fair to students in this overly sexualized society and this hypersexualization on campus, there’s a great deal of pressure to say, “Well, sex is not a big deal, it’s the hookup culture,” like, “Get over it, no big deal.” I don’t agree with that, by the way.

Q: There’s such  judgment about  casual sex and “hook-up culture,” and even more toward women who engage in it, that it makes it difficult for many people to untangle the notion of sexual violation taking place in such a context.

A:  It does, and that leads to another really important point – and I hope we succeeded in this – we tried to be very careful in not in any way to be blaming victims, so that if you engage in hook-up culture or you drink too much, well, it’s your own problem, that we tried very strongly  to make it clear that that’s not the case. The essential difficulty is men need to know – mostly men, sometimes women but mostly men – need to know that it’s your responsibility to determine whether or not there’s consent, if there isn’t you should not proceed. That’s the main point. And when we talked about things like alcohol and drugs it was not so much in relation to victims – which can be a kind of victim-blaming – but rather in relation to perpetrators.

Q:    Let’s talk about the role of alcohol consumption in sexual assault, a huge hot-button subject. The report says that women are “more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol and they’re at greater risk of experiencing gender-based violence while drinking heavily.”  Already some Saint Mary’s students have reacted; one, Lewis Rendell, who sits on the board of the Saint Mary’s Women’s Centre, called the President’s Council “victim-blaming, misguided, and uninformed” on her blog. But isn’t the focus on women drinking a red herring? Obviously if you get smashed you’re putting yourself at risk of all sorts of things including being preyed upon sexually. But what separates a woman who is drunk from a woman who is drunk and has been raped is a rapist. The rapist is the problem. So why are we  focusing on the woman?

A:   I could not agree more. And we had a very effective presentation from Todd Minerson from the White Ribbon campaign. Clearly the focus needs to be on the fact that men need to have a better understanding and stop raping, that’s the whole point. It’s not to restrict women, that “Well, if you drink too much or if you go in unsafe places, you’re on your own.” That’s not appropriate, and completely contrary to the safe and respectful and kind of campus and society we’re looking for. It is very tricky, as you say, when you run into factual things like, well, there’s many studies that say alcohol makes you more vulnerable. More importantly – and maybe we weren’t as clear on this as we should have been – that’s even more so in the case of the alcohol-impaired perpetrator. If you’re drinking as a male, then your judgement’s impaired, you may not be adequately equipped to assess whether or not there’s consent, and that’s no excuse, and therefore don’t do it. If you’re not sure there’s consent and you’re real drunk then don’t do it.

Q:   Your report also suggests sexual violence is a problem within Saint Mary’s faculty.  Three Saint Mary faculty members report experiencing sexualized violence in the course of performing teaching and research duties– two were raped, one on two different occasions while conducting research off-campus while the third reported sexual harassment and stalking. Were these reported to the university?  And how did you find out about them? 

A: I can’t say this categorically, but I don’t think they were reported through the university system. In terms of how it was reported to us, one account was one on-line – because you could either contribute in an on-line website or we had individual consultation – two were personal and not necessarily to the whole committee;  a couple of our women members meet with the person and hear their story.  But anyway, very courageous and somewhat surprising to us that these people did come forward, and so anyway that’s concerning. To be fair, again, we don’t know the full details in terms of whether that’s completely atypical or any of that, and that’s almost another whole study.

Q:  The cyberbullying task force resulted in the federal government tabling legislation. Was there discussion of advocating for legislation in this context like the Clery Act in the U.S. that legally requires universities to report on-campus assaults? Is something that you see as germane?

A:    I think it is germane, and again the limits of time didn’t allow us to pursue all the avenues we’d like to have. we did make a statement early in the report, that unlike the U.S. there is no legal requirement on universities to report. I think, I don’t believe we made a precise recommendation on that in part because we felt that that would require a bit more analysis and time than we had to see how effective that was, but certainly I think that’s something to look at. We don’t claim that our 20 recommendations are the only things that need happen, there may be lots of other things and this might be one of them. And, as you say, comparing and linking that to the kind of cyberbullying and Bill C-13, I think it is, on the intimate images, sometimes sending a clear message by law can be part of changing a culture.

Q:  Your report references the research of American psychologist David Lisak who studies student sexual predators who target and groom women on campus; consent isn’t on their radar. He has said that a big problem with dealing with campus sexual predators is wilful blindness: people don’t want to believe “nice” guys with a great SAT scores can rape. Did Lisak’s work contribute to your recommendations?

A:  We were concerned and surprised at the kinds of things that Lisak’s very thorough, long-term research identified in terms of breaking down some of the myths. Most people know that the stranger in the bushes is not your main threat.  A second is the sort of alcohol-related bad decision of the moment kind of thing, which isn’t to justify it. But the third category, the one that Lisak talks about, is quite alarming because he’s talking about calculating predators who, almost like the pedophile situation, identify an environment where there’s lots of vulnerable victims and systematically pursues them.

Q:   Lisak rejects the term “date rape,” which he says sounds like “rape lite.”  Certainly it softens the fact that we’re talking about unlawful sexual violence. Yet your report use the term. Why don’t we get rid of it?

A:  I think there is some good reason to get rid of it. The idea of using it initially was in part to break down the stereotype of the stranger rapist – not that that doesn’t happen – but that the greater threat is someone you know, and not necessarily in a date context.  But I don’t think date rape is “lite” in any real sense. In some ways a date rape may well be more violative because this is a person you trusted and you thought was okay.

Q: The report repeatedly refers to the constraints of the limited three-month timeframe you were given. What would you have done with more time?

A:  Things like the legislation point you mentioned is one. There  could have been more extensive consultations with students and faculty and others on campus to get their views; consultations with alumni over a longer period of time – we did have some alumni but mostly just on a volunteer basis. It would be interesting to have some kind of longitudinal sense of, “Okay, is this a newer thing, is this a long-standing thing, did it used to be worse and now it’s better?” And the one you just talked about, which we really only touched on–the Lisak research. Are there actual predators? And can we develop a better understanding and way of detecting who they might be? And once they’re identified obviously remove them from the campus and go through the criminal process and all the rest.

Q: What did you learn during this process?

A:   To avoid going quickly to judgment and assuming that it’s kind of an isolated university younger generation problem, it’s a much bigger problem. And not go to the kind of easy solution and be judgmental about young people, you know, “Oh, well, the younger generation, they’re just sort of off the rails and don’t have any standards,” and so on.  Part of that was an easy lesson to learn in that the students on our council were so excellent and thoughtful and positive in assisting us. A second major learning thing, particularly as a lawyer, was the extent to which people didn’t have good understanding of consent. The final one  is a further identification with what a terrible thing this is from the point of view of the survivors, that the consequences are so significant for them in so many ways. And this is similar again, to the cyberbullying experience – that we somehow haven’t got the message even out there that this is a really serious problem, this is not a minor thing. When  I started off  talking about the chant itself, a lot of people were saying, “Well, it’s much ado about nothing, you guys are getting all carried away, you’re making a mountain out of a molehill. They didn’t really mean any of that, that’s just one of these things that happens.” Well, it’s not if you really think what it represents and not when you look at as  a manifestation of attitudes and a culture that are out there, and if you think about those who are the victims of that kind of thinking and culture.

Q:   You refer to the recommendations as a “roadmap.” Is there a way to measure whether they are being taken seriously at Saint Mary’s or even fully implemented–as opposed to being some goodwill measure that whitewashes a huge problem?

A:   First all of we have no role anymore, we passed the torch, but I think the dialogue and the very positive debates around these things that have emerged are going to really put a pretty high standard on the administration and the other leaders to respond effectively. Organizations like the Women’s Centre, the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, others who are very knowledgeable in these things will be watching it closely– the faculty, the students – so I think the community awareness is at such a high level that I think they will be certainly not easily accepting just ticking off a recommendation and saying, “There, we did that,” but rather will be saying, “Okay, and what difference did that make? Has it been effective?”

Another way of stating the question is that if it’s a roadmap, what does the destination look like? I think the destination should be one where  there is clear accountability for responding to these kind of problems; and we tried to build that in a little bit over the six-month reporting over a three-year period. More importantly, that on surveys – that would again be anonymous  – you could actually gauge whether women in particular and students generally felt safe on campus, that they were safe to engage in learning to engage in the critical thinking and the kinds of things that universities are supposed to do.   The main  big-picture  point  is first, people will feel safe. But if these kinds of things do happen, they know what to do, that the resources – both human and financially – are there to respond to minimize the significant damage that comes from sexual violence. So that would be a much better destination as well. And I suppose another very broad one: an education system that really focuses within a campus on respecting one another and being inclusive.




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Frank talk about ‘rape chants,’ campus life and cultural change

  1. Massive cultural change needs to take place at ‘university’.

    It’s not Summer Camp.

    It’s a place for adults. Not ‘Party Central’ for a bunch of kids.

    • And how to make that happen? This massive cultural change.

      It was other kids taught me how to play marbles.

      Teacher may have come along and told us the ‘new rules’ but it was a kids’ game and teachers had no authority – other than what they thought they had.

      It will take the girls. Strong young women to make the silly boys feel like fools and show them the other boys they prefer .

      We old folks don’t have any say.

      And it *is* Party Central. That’s an important part of the university experience. It is not a nunnery.

      • No, it’s NOT party central…..We are now competing with the globe….and all the graduates out there who actually studied in university. It’s past time to dump the foolishness.

        It’s not a choice between an orgy and a nunnery….it’s a university…a place for scholars.

        And I don’t agree with making women the disciplinarians.

        University needs to tell all incoming students that they are now adults and expected to behave as such. Anyone who can’t grow up and cope with that should be expelled.

        • With the enormous number of effeminate men males being churned out by a Social Engineering school system, our ability to compete “globally” decreases exponentially every single day.

          We no longer have universities for scholars, we have huge Sunshine List palaces of political correctness over-run with bushy beard 1960′s left overs who’ve come to infest the NDP/Liberal Party. As a nation we no longer stand a chance in any sort of competition,”

          Two things are conveniently overlooked by this study

          a) The important matter of an increasing number of effeminate men males is a problem. Young women of today have lost one of the great human arts of womanhood. Unlike those of 60 years ago, the ladies have become so used to dealing with little tinkers that they no longer have any idea of how to deal with “men.”

          b) For 50 years our sick NDP/Liberal Party education system has concentrated itself not on scholarship but on self-esteem. For 50 years no one outside of our increasing number of dysfunctional families has ever suggested to a child in it’s formative years that it’s point of view might be wrong. That point of view is not helpful on a modern Saturday night.

          We learn from “Professor” Wayne McKay that his study was mandated to talk about making recommendations for a cultural change. The last thing we need from these clowns is more cultural change. Haven’t they mucked the place up enough already?

          • You have confused manhood with working class slobbiness.

            Go play lumberjack elsewhere, Q.

          • Slobbiness?

            Obviously you haven’t met the elite and prestigious Professor Fancy Pants Scrubby Beard – Wayne McKay.

            Emilechka, can you tell me please why these left wing marxist wackos all sport a dirty little half shaved beard with crumbs in it?

            Is it so they can recognize their common marxist interests when they pass each other on the street? Or is it a sort of mating call from their primordial past?

          • Santa just crossed you off his gift list.

          • No sweat Emily. Last week they ran a photo of an unwashed Karen Stintz haunting theToronto subway dressed up in a Santa suit and I haven’t been able to sleep since.

            The thought of that thing coming down my chimney looking for a glass of Pescevino and a shrimp salad is enough to turn my stomach.

          • John you’d be happy with any woman that showed up in your house….no matter how she arrived.

            ‘Nite.

          • Ah yes Emilechka, in days of old!

            But unfortunately for us all, the NDP/Liberal Party education system now gives us only shrews, Xanthippes, termagent viragos and 300 pound battleaxes with their toenails done up to look like Justin Whatsit’s.

            It’s a horror show out there. A decent fellow like me would be better off to just find some woman he doesn’t like and buy her a house.

          • Or just come out of the closet…..

          • Ah Emilechka, it’s all been looked after. The left butt wookycakes on the Supreme Court have spoken and the Las Vegas Chicken Ranch is on the way to the rescue.

            You’re apparently aware of all the guys who were thinking of switching on account of 300 pound battleaxes with their toenails done up to look like Justin Whatsit’s. Well the “thinking of switching” guys have all changed their minds.

            The golden opportunity for matrimonial fiscal responsibility has arrived and it’s “Chicken” time honey. The cranky harridan brigade now has legal and effective competition.

            It’s suddenly a new century my sweet!

          • You would have liked this, no doubt:
            The Agenda with Steve Paikin: Singing the Masculinity Blues
            http://ww3.tvo.org/video/197366/singing-masculinity-blues

            And re the self-esteem problem in society – men always had it because they held the power. It’s only since feminism gained power that whatever women or girls said was seen as okay, in fact, perfect, lest it do harm to their self-esteem. For sure, this is one one of the main problems in society. But don’t tell Emily.

          • People like you are one of the main problems in society

          • Ah, the “when men were men and sheep were nervous” school of thought…

          • No, these wacked out social engineers don’t operate in such black and white terms.

            It’s the school of thought where men are men, women are women and where it isn’t necessary for four year old children to hire lawyers and swear affidavits of gender preference before some flake NDP/Liberal Party kindergarten teacher will graduate them into grade one.

          • Yes John_Marmalade’s observations are correct.
            We are facing a crises of lack of real men & the only thing I’d change about John’s entry is the term ‘effeminate men’.

            No such thing, rather we’ve got boatloads of ‘effeminate males’ being crapped out of the leftist liberal school system, but men they are not.
            Of course, we’ve then got a shift in the female ranks. There’s 2 choices for them: act motherly & take care of the little sods, or get aggressive to attract these wormy little girly boys so they over advertise themselves-hypersexualized attire & attitudes etc.

            However, the girly boys are so restrained & cannot handle this in real life so that when it comes time for the drinking parties to start-BAM-you’ve got a bad cocktail.

        • It shouldn’t be Party Central, but it shouldn’t just be academics either. Some of the people I value most and with whom I have kept in contact with the longest weren’t people I took classes with but people I socialized with. And yes, in many cases that included drinking with (but not necessarily and definitely not exclusively).

          Social skills are high among the valuable things that many learn from campus life.

        • Emily! Woh! Partying and studying are mutually exclusive only in any particular moment. Often the brightest students – heck the brightest contributing adults in the grown-up world, – are drunkards, stoners, libertines – what have you…..Our best people!

          It’s not the poor and homeless that are having orgies. It’s the creme de la creme.

          You know that, right?

  2. Every generation is thought to be going to hell by people who have forgotten their youth.

    • And that statement is a denial of changes in society. Increasingly, more and more skin, and more sexualized displays, are what it takes for performers to become successful. it’s no longer Lulu of the 50s, or any other female performer, but Miley Cyrus, and the rest.

      • You mustn’t have been around for Mansfield, Monroe, Josephine Baker etc….Miley Cyrus is a cherub in comparison.

        Boomers didn’t invent sex ya know. Or drugs.

        I’m talking about the seriousness of the effort to be educated and to contribute, not arrested development.

        • Miley Cyrus isn’t sexy, yet she’s popular, just because she wears bikini pants that allows as much of her to be visualized as if she were naked, which she does do, from time to time.

          She can’t be placed in the same category as Marilyn Monroe. There’s a difference between displaying one’s sexual bits and displaying one’s sensuality. And contrary to what JanBC said, this generation of women is different than those of previous generations, whether it’s Lulu or Marilyn. And I’m quite sure most young women of earlier times were not into the Miley-type crude display of sex.

          • Miley Cyrus is still Disney…and so apparently are you.

          • Miley is a popular role model for girls. They know why she is popular, and that’s what they want – to be popular.

            I’m not going to ask why you figure I am Disney. Does Disney display all its crotch area for girls to emulate and boys to expect?

          • You’re very Disney….very Victorian.

            And none of this has anything to do with university.

          • Don’t you mean Dizzy? (Referring to Miley, not Sue)

          • Miley is emulating Madonna’s actions from the 1990′s. She is trying to be shocking and provocative. When one doesn’t have the music chops, one makes a splash in a different way…by being outrageous….hence Miley’s behavior. It made Madonna rich and famous and Miley is looking to follow in her footsteps.

          • It wasn’t Miley who said that, right? It’s your interpretation?

            I can’t see that she would try to become famous by emulating a performer from the 90s. I understand she was already famous, though I never saw a Hannah program. The kind of behaviour Miley is engaging in would be quite normal for someone rebelling against their image in something like that.

            She hasn’t worn cones, has she, and yet they are quite notorious. I understand she may be simulating masturbation, or maybe not simulating, in her latest video. But even that is not likely to resemble Madonna’s very serious performance. Miley’s seem as though they could be a spoof or just a joke, or her just gone a little bit off her rocker, in all that she does.

            I don’t see this as being about Madonna, specifically. It seems as though the whole world has gone into sexualizing what they do, and exposing as much skin as possible. Miley’s is just particularly crude, by which I mean not sexual. Just exposing herself. She’s not being sexually “provocative”, just provocative in a way that is annoying.

  3. These should be numbered. Regardless-
    “Q: Let’s talk about the role of alcohol consumption in sexual assault, a huge hot-button subject. T . . .
    A: I could not agree more. . . . Clearly the focus needs to be on the fact that men need to have a better understanding and stop raping, that’s the whole point.”

    No it isn’t. And no, we do not live in a rape culture. We live in a culture in which most men would like to be having more sex. And this culture we live in also tells girls, you can drink, dress provocatively, and flirt to your heart’s content – but they have no right to rape you.

    It must come as a shock to discover that we don’t live in a just world after all, and that there are a lot of men who do consider it their right to have sex with you. They probably won’t see it as rape, because you are drunk out of your skull, wearing sexy clothing, and flirting like mad. The misinformation that feminists give to young women has to be corrected.

    ps
    To Mr movies
    That was his opinion, and anyone surely would take it for that.

    Feminist politics is what has endorsed the idea of rape culture, as though it is truth. And they should be called on it.

      • Let’s have feminists – and other women – acknowledge that men are different from men, in their physical sexual needs, their hormones, and the way their sex organs are structured.

        • Except for minor plumbing, men and women are the same….and both are expected to be adult past a certain age.

          • Any Dr would disagree with that. That is the most inaccurate statement ever, about men’s biology and women’s.

            Minor plumbing – like the uterus? And no, I understand you wouldn’t see that as a ‘sexual’ organ, but sex originally was abut reproduction, and that’s why two sexes exist. they were never meant to be the same, and aren’t.

          • Fraid not….men and women are pretty much the same.

            Enough with the religious hokum, kay?

          • Forget it Emilechka, it’s based on biology.

            As much as you’d like it to be so, it’s not based on the Affidavit of Gender Preference you were forced to sign in duplicate for your kindergarten teacher and for some wackamo at the NDP/Liberal Party.

          • So now biology and evolution are “religion”? This from the same person (same bot?) who is fond of accusing everyone else of being anti-science.

          • Emily has a real problem understanding basic biology. And yes, she seems to think it is a form of religion.

  4. “Organizations like the Women’s Centre, the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, others who are very knowledgeable in these things ”

    Women who take women’s studies learn what academic feminists let them learn, just like traditional sociology and psychology and history, etc learn the traditional (male) perspective. Believe that the truth lies somewhere in between, not solely at one end of the spectrum. If WS people were so knowledgeable, we wouldn’t be having the Sl-t Walks we had, which gave young women the impression they could dress and acted provocatively and not get raped. They can do that, if they like, just as old men can try to cross at a crosswalk while cars are speeding up to the icy intersection, and think they won’t get hit.

    • ‘How come when men get raped, no one asks what they were wearing?’
      George Takei

      • Because it happens in prison, and women love to blame the victim.

        • Male rape happens everywhere. Come out of the closet.

          • What is your fixation with latent male homosexuality? Who hurt you, Emilio?

          • Given the comment, I hardly think closeted homosexuality is the problem…

          • She’s grieving today. Mikhail Kalashnikov has died.

          • Misogynists are closeted gays.

            People in closets aren’t always aware of what goes on in the world.

          • You do realize that by perpetuating such myths you are every bit as bad as he is? And does your misandry make you a closeted lesbian?

          • I’d forgotten everything has to be spelled out for you.

            Hatred of the opposite sex comes from closeted gays.

            ‘Normal’ people LIKE the opposite sex.

            Adios.

          • If you are normal, this world can blow up any time.

          • So you ARE a closeted lesbian! Good to know…

          • Stupid is your default setting…same with RLayer. It’s why I don’t talk to either of you.

            Hasta la vista babies.

          • Yet you keep spouting the Marxist line here…
            Poor Emilio. We all miss the USSR.

          • The point I was flippantly making is that you shouldn’t make broad, insulting assumptions [I'm assuming from your tone you intended it to be an insult - though I'm sure most gays would be offended that you think calling someone gay IS an insult] or call others names – unless you’re thick-skinned enough to receive it in return. Which, apparently, you aren’t.

            Ciao baby!

          • Is this written somewhere?

      • Because it happened in the prison shower and they weren’t wearing anything.

  5. Let’s see if I got it right. If a woman is drunk out of her mind, begging for sex, it is rape if you oblige. If a man is drunk out of his mind, he shouldn’t have sex because he can’t figure out if there is consent or not.

    This should work. What a bunch of blithering idiots. But give them credit. They did touch on all the proper issues, expressed in a respectful way.

    • I kind of agree with you. It strikes me as more than just a little sexist to say a woman is incapable of coherent thought after drinking but a man in the same state is completely aware and responsible for his actions.

      That said, the wisest thing – regardless of one’s gender – is to refrain from having sex while under the influence or with a partner who is.

      • Whether it is sexist or not is immaterial. To expect young people in mixed groups intoxicated in an oversexualized environment to rewrite their brain function so that the alcohol doesn’t dim judgement and inhibitions is plain ridiculous. To be surprised that nasty things happen makes one wonder where these folks have been all their lives.

        I have a simple rule to suggest. If you are intoxicated on campus, two warnings and the third time you are invited to come back next year a bit wiser hopefully. I think everyone agrees that a change in culture is required, that would do it.

        • It’s not immaterial to the guy who ends up in court because he got it on with a woman while both were intoxicated, and she is supposedly incapable of forming consent while he is held to be completely responsible for his actions. Like you say, to expect people “to rewrite their brain function so that the alcohol doesn’t dim judgement and inhibitions is plain ridiculous.” But under law, that only happens to women.

          Do I think a guy should take advantage of a woman while she is drunk? Absolutely not. But I’ve seen very drunk women throw themselves at equally drunk guys. If she decided in the morning to call what resulted from her actions rape, the guy is done for.

          I have some sympathy for those in the justice system who made the law – a rape conviction is often very hard to get, and the blurred lines of drunken behaviour make it that much harder. But saying a man can form intent while a woman can’t – that’s sexist. Though I will admit it may have given many men pause, and prevented some bad behaviour.

          • Sure. But if I had a son, I would say exactly the same thing that I would say to my daughter, if after getting intoxicated at a party something happened that caused them grief. What do you think you were doing? If you get drunk around a bunch of people your age bad things will happen. If you don’t want them to happen, don’t be there. Don’t get drunk. If you intend to get drunk, give your keys to someone else, get them to drag you out of circumstances agreed upon beforehand. If you intend to have sex, get yourself into a situation or relationship where you won’t be hurt.

            Life isn’t fair. Women are going to get a different treatment in these situations than a man. Equality is a con job foisted on fools, because men and women are not the same.

            Rape and false accusations of rape are occupational hazards, always have been. These places are obviously out of control; behavior, culture has been encouraged in the direction that they have gone, and the fools who encouraged it that way thought they could trump biology. Now it is out of hand, and action will be taken to try to put the genie back into the bottle. It will get ugly.

            So a young man or woman would be wise to stay away from those places for a while.

          • One thing I have to add here. It is about power, too and not just gender. If we talk about sexual harassment – professors, for instance, who use their power of authority to get to know women and to select women or dismiss them from their spectrum of interest, sexually and academically, then it is a bit different than talking about just students getting together.

            You can say, life isn’t fair for men. But life often isn’t fair for women either. If you read my other posts, or my blog, you will see that I don’t simply take the side of men, or the side of women, in all situations. Women can get raped.

        • “…intoxicated on campus, two warnings…” That won’t work for the people who live in residence on campus. Whether you like it or not, these students are adults and they reside in the dorms on the campus. They are getting intoxicated at their homes or are returning to their homes intoxicated. You can’t make rules to remove them from their homes for intoxication.

      • But she’s not raping him. She’s not taking his member and placing it in her you know what. For her to be able to do that he would have to demonstrate that he wants to, something that she is not doing, not verbally, apparently, and not through forcing him into her. Yes, it is assumed the man is the one doing it. And it probably is.

        You are right. There are a lot of contradictions that feminists are not addressing.

    • A male and female student, equally drunk, have sex. Which one is the rapist? Let me guess… The first one to regret it afterwards gets a free pass, while the other one a criminal record?

      • Feminists assume it is the man who wanted to have sex, not the woman, despite them saying over and over and over and over that men and women are the same. When it comes right down to it, however, they are recognizing that it is men who are more under the influence of their hormones and biological sex drive than women.

  6. “It is very tricky, as you say, when you run into factual things like,
    well, there’s many studies that say alcohol makes you more vulnerable.”

    I find it odd that many women think that anyone who advises women to be careful about their level of intoxication because it makes them easier targets are “blaming the victim”. As MacKay notes, that attitude makes it very difficult to hold rational discussions about the problem.

    A rapist is going to rape. But unless he has a specific target in mind he is going to pick the target he thinks will be the easiest. It’s like the burglar who picks the house where the owners forgot to lock the door, rather than the house next door with its motion sensors and the activated alarm. The idea isn’t to blame the person who lets their guard down, but to raise awareness beforehand in the hope that that person won’t become a victim.

    • Just sell an alarm.

    • That kind of talk will get you a knock on the door.

      • Whoozzat?

      • From whom? People who think ideology should ignore little things like facts or common sense?

        • Well yes.
          There is really no room in our society any more for common sense or rational thought :p

          • Well, you’re right. It isn’t about facts or being sensible. It’s about who has the most power to dictate what is going to be seen as the ‘truth.’ And women hold the power. They have the vaginas. It’s unfortunate, but women can make it difficult for men, if they choose to. And many are not above using what’s between their legs to get ahead in life.

          • Weapon of opportunity.

          • And men’s aren’t? the only difference is, for men it’s about sex, for women it’s about money and/or career,

          • Both are. Really, that hasn’t changed in any generation. Use what you have to get what you want. Might be different gains that each look for, but the bottom line for either would be some sort of benefit beyond just good clean fun.

          • How old are you? twenty?

            How do you know that that is how previous generations thought, or even that everybody thinks that way today?

            I will concede that most people I have met in recent years are absolute as- – holes, and do think that way, but in previous times, before internet, before cell phones, information – or gossip on informal norms – weren’t available to everyone.

            It wasn’t a matter of using what you had, it was about believing in something – family, or hard work will get you somewhere, or in education. I do sound old, don’t I, to actually think that an education will get you a career, when it’s sleeping with the prof that get’s you it, not hard work, not knowledge, not skills or talent.

            It’s important to acknowledge the different gains – sex for men, careers or security for women.

          • I actually typed out a response to that, as I was interested in the conversation, however your rudeness and personal insults really doesn’t warrant me either correcting you or wasting my time trying having a conversation.
            Out

          • You know nothing! another little girl whose mommy and dadddy d=want her to grow up with self-esteem. iow -= you can say whatever tyou like and it must be true.

            You are so ignornant of what the waorld was like and is like and what it would be better off being.

    • Well-said. Feminist activists want the right to behave like juveniles, no matter what age they are, with no sense of responsibility.

  7. What a load of horseshit.
    Sex is good…not an aberrant behavior

    Once again…as always the old farts, the feminists, the puritans have not a clue..

    Yes there are bad apples in every bushel…but the Honeycrisps are just as tasty as the Macs.

    This entire discussion is no different then a Leave it to Beaver episode…1950′s

    With one exception…the admin at St Mary’s has allowed the football team to get away with murder…or rape…just ask why Sumarah left…but ask the right questions.

  8. New rules are definitely needed. However this committee in trying to fix some injustices has created others. Where they got off track was adding so much gender language to the policy. In the post same sex marriage era we can finally purge gender from our laws and policies. Its tough at first but very doable. The last thing we should be doing is creating new legislation in a he/she mentality. It matters not if relevancy normally presides with one gender. To set a culture that we’re all equal under one law, that law has to dump the pronouns. All the sexist and reverse sexist stuff would become mute. How you fit the LBGT community into the policy becomes mute too. Balance and real equality both in rights and responsibilities become automatic if gender pronouns are simply banned from new laws and policies. Without unnecessary profiling, the low risk person can still get help or justice when the odds eventually fail that person. Ungendered laws can survive cultural shifts and medical advancements, protect exceptions, trancend myths, alleviate the hostility of unequaled treatment. They would get much less push back so be easier to implement and apply. Its the new big step to true equality of persons.

  9. EmilyOne’s posts are much more humorous when you imagine her as Patty or Selma from the Simpsons.

    • Best post yet.

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