The rocks are being turned over and the scum doesn’t know where to scatter. Its beautiful to see these predators exposed. The problem is that there are so many. It feels like a constant struggle to unearth them all.

Original Post that Sparked the Flame

Yesterday I was scanning the book of face and came across a post from my beautiful bestie that put a dude on blast for blatantly saying that women DESERVE to be disrespected! What the actual fuck?

She did a screenshot of his comments on a post saying that a woman needs to be loved and respected and then shared them with her friends and tagged the guy. There are over 300 comments and counting.

We went at him in real time for almost an hour, his feeble attempts to justify his actions were shut down with wisdom and swift justice. So many men were calling him an asshole and women tore him a new one.

He said that it was a joke but then continued on trolling all women and talking down to us. He dug his grave by enacting a fury of feminist rage. Good luck with that hell mouth buckoo! One of my woke male friends said that he is scared to talk to most women because he knows that men suck and its hard to prove you aren’t like them.

This scumfuck said that a “real” lady likes being disrespected from time to time, my bestie responded simply with “EW!” and he escalated it quickly.

Scumfuck: “I mean shit, now a days you show a woman some gentlemanlike class and respect they think you want their pussy. Only way to assure them that you don’t is to show a little disrespect. Like listen bitch, not every dude wants your stank ass pussy. Lol. Sometimes disrespect is needed to put bitches in their place. And thats not me being any kinda way other than real.”

Bestie: “And what place exactly of you think bitches need to be put in? Please tell me oh wise man.”

Scumfuck: “When y’all act up because you don’t get your way, you need to be talked to in a certain way that makes you lose that dumb attitude. Like the one you have now”

Bestie: “OHHHHH! right cause its 2017 and women are supposed to be subservient and inferior to men. Me and my dumb little lady brain are so forgetful sometimes.” *twists hair around middle finger*

Scumfuck: “You don’t think that sometimes there are shitty women? Women try to belittle and control men with psychology and this whole post is the perfect example. So its okay for women to treat men like shit and talk shit but when a guy does it, its wrong. Double standards are great and all but grow up. I’d also like to add, ladies, the women who go on power trips and think they’re better than men because they think men are stupid and only think with their cocks, are the women I despise and have strong a dislike for. And sadly this seem to be a large portion of women. Not all men think with their cocks and alot of us have have hearts that are reserved only for the right people.You girls obviously didn’t have a good father figure in your life and feel the need to take your anger out on men you don’t know. Im sorry you went through whatever you went through, but take a chill pill. Not every guy is bad. And my opinions of putting people in place with words when they step put of line is more than okay in america.”

Bestie: “Bigots are the ones who need to be put in their place. Maybe seeing what everyone else thinks of your sexist rhetoric would help you rethink how much of a garbage human you are? And haaaaaaaaa bring my dad into this. He’s a mother fucking hero. I don’t hate men. I just want to see them do better. And you could do MUCH better.”

(Ed’s Note: While we strive for correct grammar on this site, we have decided not to copy-edit Scumfuck’s comments in order to preserve authenticity)

Meme ℅ Grovey Cleves

Daddy issues? Really bro? He just freaked out when called out. He has a girlfriend. I wish I could send her this convo, I’m sure he untagged himself to hide. He also said that we both probably steal and also place false accusations on men.

And why we so upset? WE ARE ALL UPSET WITH YOU and that smug little attitude, and yeah she is right to put your ass on blast!

We live in a world where we have to look out for each other because so much bullshit – like the comments you made- is out there. So many men think its ok to just “DISRESPECT” women by raping, murdering, mutilating, and ya know just normal stuff like that.

Try living life in fear. Try being a woman. You don’t have what it takes dude. He also said “Womens rights? Why is that even a thing? You have the same rights as a man in america. Lol.”

Mistreatment of women (or any human) and sexual assault is nothing to laugh at. This is not a joke! See how well its going for Louis CK, Kevin Spacey, Bill Cosby, and all the others. Real funny.

Guys like this are the festering puss in the pimple that is the Donald Trump era, and ladies/ woke gentleman/ humans we need to POP THIS BITCH! Let the white nasty goo ooze out so we can put some antibiotic ointment on it and start the healing process. Toxic masculinity is a rampant disease

Gender is just a social construct, sex is a sliding spectrum, and forget about all of the archaic archetypal attitudes that have been destroying people since people existed. Asshole is not a gender identity.

Not every person who identifies as a man is an asshole, just the evil ones. I never ever claimed to “HATE ALL MEN” this is not the S.C.U.M. Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men by Valerie Solanas). Believe me, I love all humans, I am pansexual and yes, I love men.

My dad is a prime example of how a man should be. He treats my mother with love and respect and takes care of his family. I do NOT have “daddy issues”. My only issue is that I have not met any men who are as awesome as my dad.

It’s like saying every asshole dude who thinks with his cock has mommy issues. His mom probably dislikes him as much as we do. Perhaps she has no idea and her pedestal really is encouraging him, but he made his choices.

I am definitely not saying that all “women”or female identifying humans are perfect either. My friend who is a stripper said that the people who often disrespect her the most are women. They think that they can get away with doing things that men are not allowed to do.

Sex workers get all of my respect. As women we need to be supporting each other and lifting each other up, not tearing down our sisters and degrading them in order to impress the guys or fulfill your own twisted ego.

I have several people in my life who have survived abuse and now want to call out their abusers. I want to create a dating profile that is completely honest. It will not be slander because the jerk will know it’s all true. It will be anonymous, the EX or person who was abused by them can submit the photos and answer all of the questions truthfully. We can call it OkStupid.

Hobbies: Punching women and destroying their self esteem and sense of worth, video games, , and watching anal gang bang porn.

What do you do on a Fri night?: Emotional abuse and torture with a side of forced sex on the rocks. Netflix and chilling with sexist comedians and my dog Bruiser, drinking brews.

Ideal date?: 100% American woman, big tits, big ass, no brains, no voice, subservient, great at blow jobs, no self worth, great cook, into being a side piece, jail bait preferred.

Career: Well since I got fired from 711 for doing whip its and expelled from community college I guess it’s sleeping in my mom’s basement and eating meatloaf while jerking my lil ween off obsessively until it blisters.

Favorite Song: Smack My Bitch Up

What do you do when knowing that someone raped your friend but she doesn’t want to come forward, she is too scared, blames herself, it’s her fault that she was drunk… well she didn’t take her own pants off and stick his cock inside her unwilling vagina. She didn’t put those bruises all over her body. She didn’t say YES! But she wanted it? She was too drunk/drugged to function and she WANTED IT?

The most important thing is to report rape right away, get the rape kit before you take a shower, physical evidence is important. Plan B can be administered as well as emotional support from a professional counselor. I would be scared too, embarrassed that I was the girl who was drugged and gang raped behind a dumpster.

Rapists hurt more than just the physical body. Survivors are violated, that scene in a movie where a woman is rocking back and forth in the shower is not shocking. Rape culture is normalized. Abusers are heroes and presidents!

Glorifying abuse on women, trans, and non-bianry humans is a terrifying truth. It is out in the open. Women get stoned to death for being promiscuous and men can just do what they please.

Attackers get violent when confronted with what they have done. Pity nobody has their backs, not even other men. Survivors are gaining power and rising up.

The #MeToo campaign is an incredible shift of power. Use your voice! Rose McGowan and Ellen Page are two of my role models for tearing up the patriarchy they have survived in for so long. They used their fame and following to rip the head off the beast.

Hollywood needed to be exposed and torn to shreds, young actresses (and actors) have always been victimized. Give some head to get ahead, right?

I want to set fire to all the rape vans and free all the people from the cages of oppression that bind them. All us stinky pussy hoes have a problem with you existing in your current state, fragile man children. There is nothing sexy about disrespect. Mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, lovers, and friends all need to be aware if someone in their life is an abuser.

Together we are the voice for the voiceless. The silenced millions who thought they were in it alone need to know that there is a network of strength behind them, a net of loving arms. Others will have your back. We are a tight knit web of female rage. War paint on. This will not be pretty…

 

I took a walk in the park today, there are sprawling mounds that used to be a landfill right by the lake. Today is so sunny, beautiful breeze, blissful.

I was alone, my floral maxi dress blowing around (and I wasn’t wearing underwear). There was an older man walking behind me and another man walking in front. Three politely spaced humans strolling on the same path. Respect during a time where rape culture reigns supreme. A girl alone should be afraid of meeting a man on a path. Right?

We all kept the same pace. When we are farther away from another person (especially a stranger), we feel a degree of safety from them. There are social rules about personal space and proximity to others. A distant person cannot just attack us out of the blue. If we feel threatened there is time to run or fight. We contemplate ways to escape or think about how loud we can yell, will anyone hear? Will they care? Would FIRE work better than RAPE?!

As a woman I know I am slightly less intimidating to someone. A large man walking behind you will raise a larger red flag. You assume his intentions are to rob and rape you, leaving you fighting for life in an ally. It’s just stereotypes, but we are programmed to be afraid.

It does happen. People get robbed and raped every 10 minutes. Thinking about this makes people get irrational, this is when their racist and sexist nature comes to a head. I picture women clutching their purses in fear. My mom was mugged several times.

That’s why I wear a fanny pack, so I can be slightly more fearless. I don’t judge people by their looks either. The most unassuming person can be a huge scumbag with a gun. I know plenty of giant men who are sweethearts that wouldn’t hurt a fly too.

Instinct tells me to be on guard, the unknown is scary, but I don’t have to run for the hills either. I need to climb them and rise above. I always say hello to everyone I encounter and make eye contact. Ensuring them that “I see you” and I will remember you in a lineup. I remember everything, small minute details forgotten by time’s mistress.

The man in front had a stride that I recall, his hair flowing in the breeze like a god. I am glad I saw his face because he looked just like someone I used to love. Symbolic of all that I am trying to move past, he was a hill ahead of me. “You” were in my thoughts again, as usual. This time I didn’t start it.

I waited on my hill so he could have his time as the king of the mountain (I mean, that’s why I was there).

I couldn’t face him-the man that looked a lot like you from behind. I wish it was you and that we were on the same hill. I stand here on my own hill with my hands in the air, standing on the rocks, alone.

My heart is like my whiskey, strong, and also on the rocks. You are a siren, coaxing me to my demise. I came here to be free of all worry and am faced with an uncanny doppelgänger. I wonder why fate plays such tricks on us?

The other man wearing a fedora took a different path, into the dark serenity of the woods and away from the gleaming hills. Down that way is some graffiti I did the day Prince died. Now I stand here, watching the symphony of grass blades, deer paths and discarded Natty Ice cans. A moving painting.

Am I the only one who writes poetry in my head while I meander through luxurious fields? It looks like an acid flashback, but more subtle. I like to be high in high places, looking down at the world below. I am not afraid of heights as long as I am on something solid. I am more afraid of falling in love than a perilous drop into the unknown. If you survive, bones heal, but the heart never truly recovers from a break.

Symbolic-You abandoned the mound, finally, it was time for me to mosey away. Sunset was nearing, it is the summer solstice, longest day of the year. More time in the stunning brightness to contemplate all the things.

I made the climb to the top and it was glorious. I was finally king of the mountain. On top of the world, standing on the rocks with arms stretched to the sky, wind blowing my hair and dress, I felt in that moment I could live forever. Then I noticed someone standing on the other hill, waiting for me to be done too, so I moved on like all the others before me.

I wonder if I looked like someone he once loved?

« We believe you » : that was the cry chanted again and again at the rally against rape culture in Montreal on Wednesday. Over a thousand people gathered in the Émilie-Gamelin Park around 5:30 pm despite the freezing temperature.

Several people spoke on a small stage before the group marched through Quartier des Spectacles and Place des Arts. The night ended at Club Soda with a mixture of speeches, testimonies and performances by popular and emerging artists.

Similar events took place in Québec, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, Gatineau, Chicoutimi and Saguenay.

Denunciation and solidarity

The demonstration was equal parts an act of denunciation and solidarity. Denunciation of the acts of sexual aggression recently exposed by the media and of the subsequent victim-blaming that surfaced.  (“Comparing women to cars? Fuck You Éric Duhaime” read one of the signs.)

It was also a broader denunciation of a culture that claims gender equality as a core principle while routinely allowing – even encouraging-  disrespect of women’s rights to consent and to bodily autonomy.

Just as importantly, the event was a show of solidarity for all women and support for all victims. “We believe you” protesters shouted to Alice Paquet, the young woman who recently went public about Liberal MNA Gerry Sklavounos raping her. “We believe you” they chanted to the students of Université Laval assaulted last week. “We believe you” they assured the shocking number of women in the park who raised their hands at the question “who here, has ever been sexually assaulted?”

More generous estimates report a crowd of 2000 people. While young adults remained the dominant group, people from all ages, ranging from young families to the elderly, were present. The number of men was not too far below the number of women. Several speakers expressed appreciation for their presence and support.

After various speeches, indigenous singers sent off the crowd with a traditional music number. The march lasted about an hour and a half. It ended with protesters forming a wide circle around Indigenous performers at Place des Arts. At the artists’ insistence, people joined hands and danced to the sound of traditional native songs.

A smaller group continued marching under much closer police supervision.  Protesters mockingly imitated the heavy rhythmic steps often used by riot police as an intimidation tactic and chanted jeering slogans about Bylaw P6 being declared unconstitutional, but the protest remained peaceful. The police stayed as an escort and no major intervention was reported.

Safia Nolin, Queen Ka and other artists on stage

Meanwhile, organizers and many protesters converged on Club Soda for a post-protest show. The event was organized by a group of women from different backgrounds.

Among them were reporter Sue Montgomery, known for starting the trending hashtag #beenrapedneverreported on Twitter, and Tanya Saint-Jean, co-founder of the Montreal collective Je Suis Indestructible, as well as militant authors Natasha Kanapé Fontaine and Léa Clermont-Dion. After their speeches, the crowd was treated to a high quality music shoanti-rape-culture-march-montreal-december-26-2016-2w.

First came the Buffalo Hat Singers, a contemporary Powwow band that provided a nice continuity with the protest’s ambiance. Then followed widely popular female artists Safia Nolin and the Sisters Boulay. They each provided a solid performance of their own before uniting for a song.

Sabrina Halde (Groenland) and Laurence Nerbonne were also featured. Slammer Queen Ka notably delivered a brilliant poem about rape culture that she said she wrote the same morning.

A few artists hinted that they’d had minimal preparation and openly admitted to being nervous, but it didn’t hurt the show. What was missing in sophistication was more than compensated for in authenticity.

Stéphanie Boulay’s spoken text about her personal experience with rape culture and Safia Nolin’s spontaneous anecdote about a driving teacher with wandering hands contributed to a general feeling of intimacy with the public.

The night ended with an open mic.  Anyone who wanted to was invited on stage to share experiences, poems and anything they wanted about rape culture.

“The fight will be intersectional or it will not be”

That’s what the humorous duo Les Brutes said when they introduced the open-mic segment of the show. It was a prevalent theme of the event.

Intersectionality is an academic concept according to which the fight against one type of oppression must intersect with fights against other types of oppression. The failure to integrate this concept in past feminist movements has lead them to focus on the rights of cis, abled, white women.

The organizers of Thursday’s event did their best to address the compounded vulnerability of disabled women, trans women and women of colour.  A special effort was made for the event to be as inclusive as possible.

Both the protest and the show were held in wheelchair accessible places and a sign language interpreter was present at all times. One even masterfully translated the entire performances in Club Soda. Organizers also acknowledged Indigenous issues on several occasions, starting by recognizing they were standing on unsurrendered Mohawk grounds.

That effort was greatly appreciated by two young indigenous women who spoke to FTB after the show.

“I had the impression that there was decent representation, with native presence and Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, who is an excellent  spokesperson, especially for indigenous people,” said the first.

Her friend underlined however, the importance of also having events with native women as a soul focus.

According to Statistics Canada, one out of three women has been assaulted at least once since turning 16. 40% of women with physical handicaps will be assaulted at least once in their life. 75% of indigenous girls will be sexually assaulted before they turn 18. A 2014 government report estimated that only 5% of all sexual assaults are reported to the police.

How Can a Woman Feel Safe When Men are like Brock Turner?

Brock Turner you are what is wrong with this world… I remember his name but not his victim. Every woman is hurt when a man gets off easy. Just like every black person is hurt when a cop gets off clean after an unjust racist murder or every child is hurt when a child molesting priest is set free with no consequence. If you are a regular reader I apologize because I have said this all before, but it can’t be said enough, can’t be stressed too much until change happens and every woman feels safe.

I was cleaning at the hostel I work in today and a random guy staying there said “Why don’t you just get married so you can do this every day? Clean and have a man not talk to you, feed him, ect.” He was definitely joking, and he grabbed my attention and not my ass, but I was still mortified that those words came out of his mouth.

You look good cleaning girl, in the kitchen, on your hands and knees scrub a dub dub, apron on, shoes off, make babies, treat your man as a king, darlin’. There was definitely a cultural disconnect there, you don’t say shit like that, dude.

I then said to him that all I need is my cats. Cats and dildos are all a woman needs to supplement men, maybe a bag of weed and some red wine to top it off. Love, affection, something that never goes soft or gets tired, and green happiness.

This masculine aggression goes beyond humans, I see it in my own cats even. We have one female cat, Miss Lola, and she is often chased down and picked on by the larger male cats. She holds her own, but she shouldn’t have to.

I am not saying because it is engrained in their being that its ok, it is NOT OK. These men are a product of society and bad parenting, but need to rise above that to prosper, even the feline men need to check themselves.

Misogny and heteronormativity are wrong and create unhealthy situations. If you are a heterosexual man you need to respect women. If you are a human being you must respect other human beings (animals too, but that’s not what this blog is about).

Would you want someone to treat your mother or sister the way you do? Imagine if you got cat called, “Hey baby your dick looks great in those jeans!” “You gotta number baaabeee? You look even sexier if you smile. Where you going? You gotta girl? I wanna taste that.”

I enjoy being a powerful girl, I am fucked with less because of my size and overt confidence. You can’t roofie me because I am too heavy to carry.

Men can be frightening. When I am alone on a dark street I feel a blanket of fear come over me if a man approaches me. If I saw a woman I would think, what is she doing alone? She’s living her fucking life.

Sometimes you get out of work late and have to walk to a bus stop alone, that is not an invitation. She should not have to be afraid, but we have all read about the horror stories of girls walking alone at night and what that means.

me and dadGirls are raised in fear, our fathers tell us never to go places alone because they worry about what other men will do to us. My dad is the most incredible, kind, strong, compassionate man in the world. He is a shining example of a good man. There are a few left. I think that’s also why I love gay men so much, they never treat me like an object, just a human.

Last night I went to the ATM (no, not ass to mouth, you pervert) to deposit rent money with my roomie. As her and I approached the bank there was a large man out front asking for money “homeless veteran trying to get through the night,” we both politely said no but he stood out there watching from behind the glass.

In any other situation I am here to help you, sir, I serve the homeless, I love you, just DO NOT accost me in front of a bank at 1AM. Another man then entered the room (one of those ATMs that you swipe your card to gain access. Again, we were immediately on guard. We had a large amount of cash and were trying to figure our shit out, and all we can both think of is will one of these men rob us?

Fortunately not every man is a rapist and murderer. The second man who came to use the ATM asked us if we wanted him to wait for us. We were creeped out by him because thats what we have come to expect from men. We were threatened because of his appearance. He was actually being a gentleman, also concerned about the man outside.

It was a sweet sentiment, he knew what we must have been thinking. He knew that being women alone at night was scary. Like anything you cannot judge a book by its cover, or just assume that any one kind of person is always bad. Being sexist is just as evil as racism. I don’t cower and get scared every time a person of a different race walks by me at night.

Being a woman in this day and age is scary. We live in a world where rapists are not even punished for their crimes. Brock Turner raped a woman, got a slap on the wrist, and didn’t even serve the entirety of his minuscule sentence.

He is an “accomplished” white athlete, therefore girls must want to be raped by his creepy little pencil dick. Men tell me to smile and call me sweetheart on the daily, condescending, putting me in my cute lil place. Am I asking for it because I don’t run away screaming RAPE?!

Last Wednesday, so-called “pickup artist” and advocate of legal rape on private property Roosh V announced that the “global meetups” his Return of Kings group had been planning were cancelled. Some Montreal-based feminists including Katie Nelson didn’t buy it one bit. They tracked down where the still-on meetup was taking place and on Saturday confronted the local organizer and saw to it that the event wasn’t going to happen.

In this audio interview (which will be included in our next podcast’s panel discussion available on Wednesday), Nelson speaks with FTB’s Jason C. McLean about Saturday night, why it’s important not to ignore Roosh and people like him, the master doxxer getting doxxed himself by Anonymous and Roosh’s beer reception in Montreal last August:

Yesterday, I told you about how Roosh V, the US blogger and “pick up artist” who thinks rape should be legal on private property was in Montreal and people weren’t happy about it. Apparently, his seduction techniques are lacking, too, especially on the women in this city.

Makes sense, considering people here are social-media savvy, know exactly who he is and don’t stand for that sort of bullshit. Even the Mayor doesn’t want him here:

Last night, several bars made it clear that Roosh was not welcome in their establishment, some, like Casa del Popolo even posted notices to that effect.

Beer in the Face on Video

That, apparently, didn’t stop Roosh from going out and trying his “technique” on Montreal women. He got a little more than he bargained for in the form of a drink in his face. Have a look for yourself:

Beer Throwing Happened on Private Property

Apparently, Roosh wasn’t too happy about being called out in such a manner. He even went as far as Tweeting that he thought beer in the face was “assault” and he apparently told the SPVM as much:

How he doesn’t realize that calling a beer in the face assault makes him look really pathetic is beyond me. But even if he does feel it is assault, didn’t it happen in a bar? Isn’t a bar private property? I thought he was cool with assault on private property. Or is that just sexual assault?

Final Thoughts

I’m going to give the final words here to the woman whom Roosh said on Twitter had “sexy legs” and who is a hero to many Montrealers and people on the internet today:

dear roosh

Osheaga 2014 Gogol Bordello © Bianca Lecompte

2015 has been off to quite a busy start, but before we get too involved, let’s take one final look back at 2014.

Every year we ask our contributors to vote on the favourite two posts they wrote and the two posts they liked most from all the other contributors on the site. Then, in a not-too-scientific manner, we turn that into this list.

In no particular order, these are the top posts of 2014 on FTB:

Standing in solidarity with Ferguson by Cem Ertekin, photos Gerry Lauzon

After the grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri erupted. In Montreal, the Black Students’ Network of McGill organized a vigil. Cem Ertekin was there to report and record audio and Gerry Lauzon took pictures (read the post).

Burlesque: A Naked Revolution You Can Do Too! by Cat McCarthy
Cat McCarthy on what burlesque has done for her and can do for you, too. For her, it’s a revolution of sexual liberation. (read the post).

Our first and (probably) last post about Jian Ghomeshi by Johnny Scott

We only published one post about Jian Ghomeshi this year: Johnny Scott’s satirical response to the overbearing presence of Ghomeshi images in his Facebook feed. The story is important, but do we really need to keep looking at his face? (read the post)

Electric Winter: an interview with Igloofest’s Nicolas Cournoyer by Bianca David

Did you know that Igloofest started out as a joke? Well, it did, and now it’s anything but. Find out about the fest’s origins and its future in Bianca David’s interview with founder Nicolas Cournoyer. (read the post)

Black Lives Matter - In Solidarity with Ferguson Montreal vigil (5)
From the solidarity vigil for Ferguson held in Montreal on November 25, 2014. Photo by Gerry Lauzon.

 

Solidarity with the enemy: When the oppressor wants to fight oppression by Jason C. McLean

When municipal workers took up the fight against austerity, Jason C. McLean wondered if it was possible to show solidarity with those who didn’t reciprocate. Also, would that even be a good thing? (read the post)

Channeling Energy with Brody Stevens @ OFF-JFL by Jerry Gabriel

This year, we covered Just for Laughs, OFF-JFL and Zoofest. One of the more, um, interesting performances we saw was by Brody Stevens (he had a cameo in The Hangover). Find out why it piqued our interest in this report by Jerry Gabriel. (read the post)

Ferguson – The Grand Hypocrisy: Legitimate violence, ideology and the American Dream by Niall Clapham Ricardo

How legitimate is a legal system that serves more to oppress than to protect? Niall Clapham Ricardo takes a look at the aftermath of the Ferguson Grand Jury. (read the post)

The rise of EDM at Osheaga by Jesse Anger

This year, we returned to Osheaga and Jesse Anger discovered that it was more electronic than ever. Find out why. (read the post)

 

DSC_0906
From November 29, 2014 Refusons l’Austerité march in Montreal. Photo by Cem Ertekin.

 

Say no to victim blaming by Bree Rockbrand

When the Montreal taxi rape story broke, Bree Rockbrand searched for stories of similar cabbie assaults. What she found lead to this post about why we need to stop victim blaming. (read the post)

Cuddles and catpuccinos: How Montréal is setting the course for cat cafés in North America by Josh Davidson

CAAAAAATS! But seriously, there are cats, plenty of them, at Montreal’s two cat cafes, the first such places in North America. Josh Davidson reports. (read the post)

Snowpiercer is a Welcome Addition to the Current Dystopia Craze by Thomas O’Connor

With the dystopia genre going the way of vampires, Thomas O’Connor takes a look at Snowpiercer. Is this a film that can buck the trend? (read the post)

SPVM officers issue a ticket for a situation they created (AUDIO) by Jason C. McLean

Lindsay Rockbrand just wanted to lay down for a few minutes on a park bench, but the SPVM wouldn’t let that happen. Even though it was before 11pm, they managed to give her a ticket for being in a park after hours (read the post and listen to the interview)

Tinder, Tinder, On The Wall… by Jules

Jules decides to try out Tinder. Wonder what will make her swipe left? Find out. (read the post)

Igloofest 2014 7 © Bianca Lecompte
Igloofest 2014. Photo by Bianca Lecompte.

 

2014 in Review: Why Feminism Still Matters by Stephanie Laughlin

It’s not usual for a year-in-review piece to make it to the list of favourite posts, but Stephanie Laughlin’s look at the events of 2014 as a reason feminism is still needed bucks that trend. Find out why. (read the post)

Some Nasty Advice: The Nasty Show @ JFL by Hannah Besseau

We didn’t like everything at this year’s JFL. While Hannah Besseau enjoyed the Nasty Show overall, she does have some advice for next year. Will those planning it listen? (read the post)

Quebec election postponed until August: Marois by Jason C. McLean

Our April Fools posts usually catch a few people (usually those just waking up) off-guard, but in 2014 we really seemed to have hit a nerve. Maybe it’s because the scenario we jokingly proposed wasn’t all that inconceivable, given the climate. (read the post)

P6 is police collaboration and I refuse to participate in it by Katie Nelson

Katie Nelson argues why, under no circumstances, people organizing a protest should comply with municipal bylaw P6. It is collaboration, pure and simple. (read the post)

Osheaga Day 3: The Green stage rules them all [PHOTOS] by Bianca Lecompte

More Osheaga! This time, it’s the Green Stage and quite a few photos by Bianca Lecompte. (read the post, check out the pics)

Petrocultures 2014: Oil Energy or Canada’s Future by Sarah Ring, photos by Jay Manafest

This year, McGill held a conference on oil and Canada’s energy future. It welcomed people with sustainable solutions to our dependence on fossil fuel and Ezra Levant. FTB’s Sarah Ring and Jay Manafest were in attendance. (read the post)

#FantasiaFest Interview with Director Leigh Janiak of Honeymoon by Pamela Fillion

No, this isn’t just in here because it mentions Ygritte from Game of Thrones, but that helps. It’s actually a pretty cool interview by Pamela Filion with Leigh Janiak, Rose Leslie’s director in Honeymoon. (read the post)

Our collective struggle: Austerity and Spring 2015 by Cem Ertekin

This piece by Cem Ertekin is a prediction of what’s to come in the Quebec student movement (SPOILER ALERT: We’re in for another Maple Spring). It’s also a great primer for anyone wanting a rundown on just what austerity is and Quebec politics for the last few years. (read the post)

Trigger warning, this article discusses sexual assault and rape.

After a 26-year old woman was sexually assaulted by a taxi driver a few weeks ago, the police told her that she had been the third victim of such an attack since July, and went on to find out that she was one of 17 similar cases currently being investigated this year. As if these facts were not hard enough to swallow, Montreal police spokesperson Laurent Gringast went on to suggest a number of ways women can protect themselves against predator cab drivers, which included not taking a cab when they are under the influence and taking a picture of the driver’s badge and sending it to a friend via text message.

According to canadianwomen.org, half of all women in Canada have been assaulted at least once, either physically or sexually, since the age of 16. Half of all women. At least once.

The website also goes on to explain sexual abuse (for those who are unfamiliar with the term, which seems to be the case here) as “Using threats, intimidation, or physical force to force [someone] into unwanted sexual acts”.

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So why, then, is it so easy to blame the victim? She was going home too late. She had drunk a few too many beers. And, of course, she hailed the cab right off the street instead of calling it in, so she was obviously looking for trouble.

The real problem with victim blaming, though, is not one of petty sexist allegations. The biggest problem remains that many women are so afraid of being judged, that they cannot even admit that they were raped, primarily because of the sexist statements leaving the mouths of police commissioners themselves.

How are women supposed to feel safe in a world where they are taught how not to get raped, instead of being insured true security over their own bodies and their minds?

One young woman, Desiree Armstrong, recently came forward to the media about her own assault story, but only after it was revealed that the police were investigating 17 similar cases. When she had reported the assault to the police, they wouldn’t take her seriously, because she had been drinking. While the police went on to say that they may ask an intoxicated person to file a report the next morning, Armstrong maintains that she was not told that, and has since moved to British Columbia.

Leading my own mini-investigation, I took to Facebook to ask my 363 ‘friends’ if any of them had any personal experiences with taxi-driver assaults. Thankfully, not too many people responded, save for two girls – one of them had a friend who had been raped by a taxi driver two years ago, and the other mentioned that she once rode in a cab with a nab who refused to take payment from her and instead insisting that “if [they] kissed/fucked, [they]’d be even.” She then went on to leave the cab without paying since the driver had refused to take her money.

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I myself, on the other hand, remember one particular night a few months ago. It must have been around three o’ clock in the morning. I was dying to get home after a long night out. A cab driver saw me standing on the sidewalk and motioned at me to come over. I entered his car and told him I needed to get home, but had no money. I had, indeed, been very intoxicated that night and had definitely not been thinking straight, so it sounded normal to me when the man said “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.” My idea of the world being full of good people rooted firmly in mind, I replied with, “Really? Wow, that’s so nice of you. Are you serious?” Then he said “Yeah, yeah,” in his weird accent and kind of pointed towards his pants, or something. I don’t remember this part with too much detail, but I remember him saying “You know?” And then I realized that he was suggesting that I pay him in some type of sexual “favor” in return for my “safe” trip home. I suddenly got scared and left the taxi, feeling quite shaken.

While I wouldn’t call my story abuse, because I was obviously given the opportunity to say no, it did leave me feeling extremely paranoid. I can only imagine what these women have been through, but what I can’t imagine is what type of “men” these cab drivers must be in order to abuse a woman in her weakened state, especially when she is intoxicated or tired after a long day, and itching just to get home safe. I am wondering why we are investigating the type of women in these stories instead of the type of men conducting these crimes. I am wondering how it is supposed to be encouraging, at all, for a woman to be told not to take a cab home if she is intoxicated (what else is she supposed to do?), or that she is now expected to always take a photo of the taxi driver’s badge to maintain her own security.

Expecting a reality where women are totally and completely precautious of everything they do is not only unrealistic but completely hypocritical. We can secure ourselves behind bulletproof glass, but that doesn’t stop people from still shooting at us. And sometimes the bulletproof glass isn’t so bulletproof. And sometimes women get raped, no matter how cautious they are. Conditioning women to believe that they are the problem takes the limelight away from the real problem, that is, the assaulters themselves. Causing fear can induce more self-built security, yes, but it is the blindness towards inequalities that will continue to perpetuate the problem, time and time again.

When I first heard there was going to be a comedy set on rape at this year’s Zoofest called Asking for It, my reaction was a mix of horror and curiosity. If done well, I thought, at best it would be interesting. But if done poorly it would be abhorrent, and further the pervasive rhetoric that rape culture stands on.

Adrienne Truscott’s set opened with her dancing through the audience naked from the bottom down, in an intimately sized room. The audience from the beginning was clearly put on edge by the proximity of the naked women, but I think that was her point. She tried to ease the crowd with banter, and a couple outrageous rape jokes meant to poke fun at the assumptions that are made about rapists and survivors. It fell short, making some people, myself especially,  more uncomfortable. I think it would have been much more effective is she focussed more on ridiculing the perpetrators and the culture that supports them.

After interviewing Truscott earlier that week I guess I had expected a lot more from the set. The intent was there to satirize a prevailing issue in gendered violence, that was clear. And Truscott also stayed clear of any victim blaming, which was also, more or less, clear. But the satire could have, and actually really should have for the sake of effectively shifting the focus of rape culture, been taken a few notches up.

I had gone wanting to see how a comedy set could be executed well on this topic, but instead I feel like what was left was a very shallow attempt at address the issue in a comedic way. Her costume, I think, was a good example where she should have satirized more. She was dressed as “the ideal rape victim,” meaning wearing revealing clothing, drinking, and being flirty, as a way to point to the assumptions made about women who are raped. But other than dressing this way, it was never brought in to her set very directly, which rendered it more or less superfluous.

 

Tonight Forget the Box will be checking out Adrienne Truscott’s “Asking for it: A one-lady rape about comedy starring her pussy and little else.”

It’s a pretty bold topic to venture in to into the comedy world, but Truscott takes it on with her own satirical twist.

Our friends at Dragonroot Radio interviewed Adrienne about her set.

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=false&show_comments=true&color=0ac4ff”]https://soundcloud.com/forgetthebox/adrienne-truscott-on-her-just-for-laughs-performance[/soundcloud]

* Asking for it runs until July 26th, tickets available through Zoofest.com

Despite the start of another academic year still being months away, The Centre for Gender Advocacy is already looking towards the fall, continuing to mount a campaign to get mandatory consent workshops in Concordia University residences. The campaign includes an online petition with over 200 signatures calling for support of the workshops.

The campaign seeks to bring education about issues of consent to students residing in Concordia University residences, a number which will be growing this year with the expansion of the University’s residence system.

Julie Michaud, Administrative Coordinator at The Centre explained to Forget the Box that a similar system has already been implemented at McGill for the past ten years through Rez Project – something that she views as all the more reason to follow suit at Concordia.

However, the University’s Director of Residences has asked the Centre to take down the online petition, and telling the Centre that it would be unfeasible to hold such mandatory workshops.

Michaud pointed to the fact that the Centre had met in the past with the Director of Residence Life, as well as managers of residences to discuss the issue of mandatory consent workshops, and the response was relatively closed.

“They offered for us to come in and give one workshop – well one workshop will let maybe 20 students out of several hundred get this information, which isn’t practical. They gave us reasons we thought that weren’t very convincing about why it would be impossible to have mandatory consent workshops.”

“We did receive a call a few weeks after we put up the petition and the Director of Residence Life asked us to take it down, saying he thought it wasn’t a very good way to start the conversation, but as I said we had conversations with them and reiterated that he had given us his reasons

Michaud continued that she believes the lack of support stems from a “lack of vision and a lack of understanding for what a substantial issue this is for them to just shut down the conversation. At McGill there are far more residence, at Concordia there are less than a thousand, even with the planned expansion for next fall. ThI just don’t buy that idea that it isn’t possible or too much of a logistical challenge to make this happen.

“I think we can work through ways to really prioritize this, all of these new students coming into University and residence life usually having no decent sex or consent education in high school.”

“We need to take concrete steps to ensure that people are being respectful of one another, because residence isn’t just an apartment building, the Director of Residence Life isn’t just a landlord, residence is really a community.”

While the Centre has run optional consent workshops before, Michaud highlighted that making the workshops mandatory means that those who may not believe they need to care about issues of consent, are also receiving lessons on sexual assault and consent.

“Most survivors of sexual assualt know the person who is assaulting them, might even be in a relationship with them, it happens in all different locations, women of colour are often greater targets of sexual assault than white women. So there are a lot of issues that need to be unpacked and people need to have their conceptions of what sexual assault is broadened.

“People also need to learn what it means to support survivors because I think people also have this idea that sexual assault happens to people we don’t know […] the truth is though that around 1 in 4 students, and in my opinion that is actually a low estimate […], experience some kind of sexual assault throughout the course of their post-secondary education.

“So we have to face it, we all know someone who has faced sexual assault whether we realize it or not. And we have to learn how to be supportive, how to not reinforce the common victim blaming ideas that is so pervasive in our society.”

I was having a really shitty week. My mind-numbing office job was driving me crazier than usual, my sinuses were completely plugged, causing a massive headache and I had an unexpected call regarding a four hundred dollar bill that I have absolutely no way of paying. And then I saw a post on Facebook with a picture of a bright-eyed, smiling teenage girl named Rehtaeh Parsons standing in front a lake with her dog. I read her story and bawled my eyes out at the kitchen table.

The 17-year old was gang-raped by four boys, then taunted and cyber bulled about it to the point where she took her own life earlier this week. Somehow, even though photos of the crime were widely circulated at Rehtaeh’s school, the police decided there wasn’t enough evidence to charge the rapists. This devastated the Parsons family, who called it a slap in the face.

Rehtaeh descended into a deep depression after the rape. “She was never left alone. She had to move out of her community. Her friends turned against her. People harassed her. Boys she didn’t know started texting her and Facebooking her, asking her to have sex with them since she had sex with their friends. It just never stopped,” her mother Leah said in an interview on CBC’s Maritime Noon radio show.

After the tragic tale made international headlines, the hacker collective Anonymous got involved. They tracked down the identities of the guilty parties in matter of hours, with a combination of internet sleuthing and character witnesses:

“Dozens of e-mails were sent to us by kids and adults alike, most of whom had personal relationships with the rapists. Many recalled confessions made by these boys blatantly in public where they detailed the rape of an inebriated 15-year-old girl,” they wrote in a statement on April 11th.

anonymousInstead of outing the guilty parties and leaving them vulnerable to vigilante justice, Anoymous used the names as bargaining chips, putting pressure on the Nova Scotia justice system to reopen the case or else they would make the rapists’ identities public.

Nova Scotia police finally caved to the pressure, releasing a statement on Friday that the case would be reopened. They denied that it was because of pressure from an outside source, claiming instead that a person had come forward to them with new and credible information.

It makes me incredibly sad that we live in a world where something like that could and will continue to happen. As if being physically violated wasn’t bad enough, to have everyone know about it, see pictures of it and question your version of the events is enough to break anyone, especially a sensitive, compassionate teenage girl. But it also makes me angry to know that for every case like this that makes the news, there are probably tens, hundreds or thousands that don’t.

The most touching tribute of all was from Rehtaeh’s father on his blog. In life, Retaeh Parsons couldn’t get away from her reputation and her father hopes that she will be remembered for more than just her victimhood.

“I had to write something about this. I don’t want her life to defined by a Google search about suicide or death or rape. I want it to be about the giving heart she had. Her smile. Her love of life and the beautiful way in which she lived it.”

On March, 17th, 2013, Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, of Steubenville, Ohio, were found guilty of raping a 16-year-old West Virginia girl.

The defendants, both members of the town’s cherished Big Red football program, dragged the victim to a series of parties on August, 11, 2012, sexually assaulted her and documented the brutal and public rape that took place that evening. Video and photographic footage taken by Trent Mays and observers (who stood idly by as the victim was abused and publicly humiliated) soon circled rampantly on social media sites and cellphones.

Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays received offensively weak juvenile sentences for which they will serve one year and two years, respectively. Mays received a longer sentence for being found guilty of illegal use and distribution of nudity oriented material containing a minor.

The Steubenville rape case gained international attention following posts by the known blogger Alexandria Goddard, who raised questions concerning the integrity of the investigation and the attempted cover-up by the boys’ football coach and brought to light the social media backlash that had begun, defending the actions of the rapists and publicly shaming the victim. Twitter and other social media networking sites flushed with posts condemning the victim for being inebriated, accusing her of being promiscuous and discrediting the claims that she had been taken advantage of, despite graphic trial evidence.

See for yourself (WARNING: the previous link contains an amassment of pathetic, social shortcomings and a lack of sensitivity, worthy of instilling anger in even the most sentient of beings).

The Steubenville case in its entirety is horrendous, and that includes the media’s coverage and portrayal of the defendants. Major media outlets such as NBC, CNN, ABC and USA Today paint the rapists in a sympathetic light, emphasizing the demise of their “promising football careers” (as quoted by NBC) and the heavy emphasis on the victim being drunk.

Of the news media outlets that were guilty of putting unnecessary stress on the victim being drunk, USA Today opens their article with: “Two members of Steubenville’s celebrated high school football team were found guilty Sunday of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl…” This begins the outline of a very obvious media bias. cnnn

CNN’s reporter Poppy Harlow empathized with the defendants and had this to say when asked (by CNN anchor Candy Crowley) about the emotional setting of the courtroom during the trial’s verdict: “I’ve never experienced anything like it, Candy. It was incredibly emotional — incredibly difficult even for an outsider like me to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believed their life fell apart.”

CNN goes on to highlight the trials and tribulations these young men are now faced with as registered sex offenders. There is little, to no acknowledgement for the victim and the lasting effects this rape is going to have on her.

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These comments and implications intended to lessen the monstrosity of May’s and Richmond’s actions shocked the public, and serve as a depressing assertion to the prevalent desensitization of society caused by rape culture.

Making excuses and attempting to invoke pity for the defendants in the brutal raping and mocking of the unnamed 16-year-old victim, just because they were “promising athletes” or because one of the defendants broke down and cried in court, only stands to perpetuate rape culture and the harmful actions of arrogant individuals who think their athletic and academic standings grant them immunity from moral obligations.

This is only one case out of so many that has sparked a flurry of online victim blaming. The way that the media and society continually depict women as being fully responsible for their own well-being while drinking and the backwards claim that women are “asking for it” if they dress a certain way, is how this mentality continues to thrive in our society.

The focus should be on teaching people: that causing malicious, intentional, sexual and demoralizing, trauma to someone is not only vile and inexcusable, but more importantly-the blame should fall solely on the perpetrator of these actions, not the victim.

How does a tragedy such as the Steubenville case, in which the rapists are shown celebrating the victim’s public defilement and torture in front of her peers, make its way into our communities, and culture?

We can find the answers to those questions all over the world, seeping out of every crevice of our deadened and morally corrupt human capacities. Everywhere we look we can see misogyny. Everywhere we look we can find people who believe others are worth less than they are.

It is this loss of humanity that seems to be so prevalent in our society that shelters rapists. Under the guise of the media, young people are growing up not fully understanding the repercussions that come with every facet of rape.

Take for example the 2004 incident that occurred in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The Abu Ghraib incident refers to the acts of rape, torture and mistreatment of prisoners in the correctional facility. For a year these prisoners were abused and subjected to routine shaming.

This was an instance where a group of people (in this case trained military personnel) were left largely unsupervised and in charge of prisoners and within a year were not only abusing the prisoners, but sending graphic images of prisoner torture back home to fellow soldiers.

This is just one example of people feeling entitled to rape and torture, just because they uphold a certain status. Whether you are a soldier, or a football player, rape is never any less of a crime.

It is saddening to see that the impact of a culture so desensitized, that pushes such conflicting and twisted views regarding rape, could influence young people to film and boast about raping a girl to their peers.

Unfortunately this is a product of rape culture; it casts a veil over the consequences of sexual abuse, by constantly putting more emphasis on the victim and not the rapists. Young people are growing up with a skewed idea of what “consent” means and because of this more and more victims are left feeling guilty or unsure of coming forward.

Not only did news media outlets inadequately acknowledge the suffering of the victim, they are responsible for aiding the growing delusion that rape can be joked about and treated lightly. This should be considered a crime in itself.

The power of the news media is vast, and as such the graveness of painting Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond in a pitying light is all the more profound. These implications will have major negative impacts on the 16-year-old Steubenville victim and sexual assault victims worldwide.

Something certainly needs to change and it sure as hell has nothing to do with what women are wearing.

You can sign the online petition asking CNN apologize on air for siding with the rapists