20 Things You Can Do to Transform Rape Culture

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Except in Maysie's example the asshole is is noisy and easily spotable for the bouncer/bartender etc. The NZ ad it is not so obvious and someone could easily be wrong if they interfered and found out it wasnt what it seemd.


The Maysie example he seemed and is an abusive asshole ruining fun for everyone


The Creeper is not as obvious. otherwise I would agree they should step in, much as I have seen them do in bars/clubs where a guy was grabby, creepy abusive to every woman he saw. Especially if anyone complained.


And if anyone said anything to a oblivious or otherwise busy bouncer/bartender I would expectr them to take action as well, even if its just to inquire if anyone needs help




And all I am saying is that theory aside, there is a point at which we are all responsible, regardless of whether the situation is unclear or intimidating.




Some drunks just fall asleep, but they aren't usually a problem, except in terms of getting them home safely...


ryanw wrote:
I think the distinction between intervention and confrontation will be lost on perpetrators especially when alcohol is involved

in that great article their creeper isn't even in a social scene, his reality has already started a confrontation with anyone who delays his  violent entitled purpose.

Drunks are violent, there is a prevailing culture to look the other way, there is a great deal of danger in speaking up and that knowledge speaks loudly to choose the situations when to speak out with as much importantance as speaking at all opportunities to "get better at it"

if your friends are creepers or have creeper qualities that would be the ideal situation, following that; when you have supports from friends and staff and you are not isolated(this category pretty much encompasses all staff on the job) and then all other circumstances when you have progressively less resources for escalations.

I'm not sure what you mean by this post.

Intervention is solving the problem. Confrontation, particularly when alcohol is involved, usually means escalating to a fight. Do I get a big bad rush of adrenaline if I need to intervene with a drunk guy who is behaving badly? You bet. Do I do it anyway? I try to, and sometimes that intervention means that I delegate responsibility to someone else, usually in more of a position of authority. Do I try to ignore the situation, hoping someone else will do something or that it will somehow resolve itself? I try not to. When I do, for whatever reason, it haunts me.

In terms of the article I linked to ([url=http://captainawkward.com/2012/08/07/322-323-my-friend-group-has-a-case-...) we've got two women talking about two men in their social circle. Both women describe, to varying degrees, how deeply uncomfortable they feel around each of the men, because of the man's behaviour in terms of sexual innuendo, harassment, and outright assault. Both women's big, big problem has less to do with dealing with the man (women have to manage that all the time) and more to do with how the men in their social group support and validate and excuse and minimize the noxious behaviour of their buddy.

And as "Captain Awkward" says, these two letters "are pretty good examples of what Rape Culture is and why it is so insidious."

We know that men are much more likely to take it seriously when another man says "dude, not cool" or the equivalent thereof when a guy is being predatory, harassing or misogynist.

When a woman says it, so often she is told she is over-reacting, uptight, a bitch, a slut, a cunt, a cockblocker, anal, jealous, ugly, a whore. And if the guy she's saying "not cool" to doesn't happen to use any of these words out loud, we can sure tell by the way his eyes glaze over that he's either thinking them, or for that matter just ignoring the chick-speak. La-la-la-la ...

So, guys, in spite of that, women are still speaking up and saying "dude, not cool" even though we know that so often we're just going to get ignored or abused. Want to be the one to step up to the plate? Because your buddies are more likely to listen to you. The women in the letters were being doubly betrayed, because they guys who should have had their backs instead prioritized maintaining an unrfuffled friendship with their harassers/assaulters.

Think this is unusual? Nope. Bros before hos, right?

Think guys learn how to deal with this far-too-common scenario effectively? Nope, not yet.

That's why I'm keen on the bystander training. It focusses on the behaviour, it teaches people to raise issues in a constructive rather than a confrontational way, and it encourages people to think about what they're doing and how it may be harming others. And it supports the people (women, in this case) who far too often feel like their entire society is taking sides with the guy who wants to attack them.

And another neat-o thing. There are a lot of guys out there who are just appalled by sexual assault, but don't really know where to start or what to do about it. Bystander intervention, including getting training on how to talk to your buddies about their behaviour, gives them the tools to do something practical and concrete about it.

Now. Right away. In any situation in which misogyny and sexual assault are being enabled.


ETA: Bacchus, there's nothing wrong with intervening and discovering that nothing's wrong. As I said above, I've never once done that and found that the person was anything other than thankful that someone was watching out for them. And what's the worse that can happen if you take a minute to ask a woman if she's okay with what's happening? Me, I'm fine with pushing my comfort zone a bit, in order to check in with someone.

And maybe it's because I've been a bit sensitized but I found the predator in the NZ ad pretty darned obvious ...


ETAA: In terms of those letters. Let's change things up. I'm writing in, I'm black, and in my social group there's a white person who is constantly saying racist things, complaining about black people, verbally harassing other black friends of mine, and in one case actually assaulted me for being black. The other white people in the group, including my partner, keep telling me it's no big deal, I'm being too sensitive, they want to keep hanging out with him because he's fun, the racist is an old friend and they don't want to wreck the friendship. Or they don't really believe me that he's being racist.

Unreal, eh? Not if you're a woman.


[Waves happpily at Maisie!]


I can understand that Tehanu and honestly Im seeing it as someone who worked in the biz (bartender and bouncer) and how hard it would be to spot that, especially as there has never been training for that sort of thing (there should be but then security guards, bouncers etc are not really ever trained)


And I do not believe in bros over hos and have no problem speaking up , especially after a few years on babble here (and enmasse and bread and roses) about racism or sexism. Evil will flourish when good men do nothing.




Hey B -- of course I know you don't believe in bros before hos ... I'd hope that none of the men on babble would. I used that expression because its sheer offensiveness and pervasiveness illustrates so well the problem raised in the letters. But I do know that it can damn hard for men (and women) if they don't have background/training/awareness to pick up on signals, words or actions that could alert them to situations that could lead to assault, let alone to know how to deal with it, even if they do. (Rape culture, again. It would be groovy if we spent the same resources around rape prevention as we did on drunk driving prevention.)

Wouldn't it be cool if servers, bartenders and bouncers DID receive training on sexual assault prevention?

I think it would make a difference. Research on repeat sexual predators has shown that alcohol is far too often used by them to facilitate an assault, and to get away with it. They know that if a woman is drunk she is more vulnerable, and is also much less likely to be able to press charges successfully.Too bad women can't go out and enjoy themselves without worrying about this, eh?

So bars and clubs are key locations for sexual assault prevention training.

And if folks are in a bar or a club, or are at a party where people are drinking, why not commit to keeping an eye out, and intervening if something's going on that doesn't seem right.


I agree. But if its busy, there is just too many people for that amount of scrutiny (prob why its a fave choice of creeps) and they tend to look for things that appear out of the crowd so to speak.


Training and more staff would be best but as I said, even security guards get basically no training (a quick 5 question test by the OPP and you get your license) and bouncers/bartenders/servers/waitstaff even less


And you need management support so that if there are complications you have support otherwise you wont do jack shit unless it threatens profit if you want to keep your job


I agree. But if its busy, there is just too many people for that amount of scrutiny (prob why its a fave choice of creeps) and they tend to look for things that appear out of the crowd so to speak.

Well, let's explore this, since I'm thinking of the drunk driving thing. There's host liability and a duty of care for bars with respect to impaired driving and over-consumption, isn't there? Servers and bartenders are expected to spot if someone needs to be cut off, no matter how busy they are.

What if there was host liability for sexual assault? As in, if staff knew that it was their responsibility to keep an eye out, because they and their employer could be held legally liable if they reasonably ought to have known that something was wrong?

I don't actually think liability is the way to go, but it's an interesting thing to consider.


Tehanu wrote:
So bars and clubs are key locations for sexual assault prevention training.

Good idea. Bars are good places for women to have their drinks spiked with date rape drugs, like GHB, Ketamine, ecstasy, etc. And rapists may well be staking out their victims at bars.

But apparently bars are not where the majority of rapes actually occur.


Sexual Assault Statistics


  • One of every 17 Canadian women is raped at some point in her life

  • A woman is sexually assaulted by forced intercourse every 17 minutes in Canada

  • Girls and young women between the ages of 15-24 are the most likely victims

  • 80% of assaults happen in the victim's home

  • 70% of rapes are committed by a perpetrator who knows the victims (relative, friend, neighbour, colleague, or other acquaintance)

  • Approximately one half of all rapes occur on dates

  • 62% of victims are physically injured in the attack; 9% are beaten severely or disfigured

  • Statistics Canada has found that [color=red]one in four girls[/color] and one in eight boys have been sexually abused by the time they are eighteen

Rapists tend to like their victims young and at home.


I think the courts extend duty of care owed to bar customers only so far. What is reasonable?


I'm going to take some deep breaths here, because it's an emotional topic for me and it's hard to keep talking about it in a detached way. Fidel, I'm sure this wasn't intentional, but your comment at the end of a long list of horrible statistics that:

Rapists tend to like their victims young and at home.

... was really hard for me to read.

What is reasonable? What's reasonable in terms of over-intoxication or drunk driving prevention? Is it unreasonable to ask for and expect the same level of care around sexual assault prevention?

I don't think so.

And I think if that level of care was implemented it would make a big difference.



Sory, Tehanu. I was summing up the statistics. I didn't know what else to say. There is a horror show happening in some large percentage of Canadian homes today, tonight, tomorrow, the day after that and so on. Young people are suffering and probably in silence for fear or embarrassing themselves or ruining the reputations of family and friends. What can we do about it?

I think young people need some kind of rape prevention training in school. They need to know how to avoid compromising places and scenarios. And when that fails, they need to know how to hit their attackers in key places with everything they've got. They need to know that their bodies are their own business, and that suffering in silence is the wrong thing to do.


Very triggering but nice written and powerful, thanks T


Thanks, Fidel. Yes, it is horrifying.

Keep in mind that kids do get told their bodies are their own business and that they should tell someone. Lots of kids don't. Lots of reasons that happens.

[I'm about to write some things that may be triggering.]

The abuser is a close male relative and they know (and/or are told) that telling will bust up the family.

They love their father/stepfather/uncle/brother/stepbrother/family friend/teacher in spite of the abuse and don't want him to go to jail.

They love their mother and don't want to destroy her marriage or relationship if their abuser is her partner. Or they love their mother and recognize how hurt and horrified she would be if she knew her partner was abusing them (yes, mothers get blamed).

They know their family is financially dependent on their abuser.

They are told they will be hurt or killed if they tell anyone, so they live in fear.

They are told that nobody will believe them.

They are told that this is what happens when someone loves them, their abuser loves them, this is normal.

The thing is, educating kids about boundaries is important, just as educating women about safety is important. Both drive me a little nuts, though, because at some level it puts the onus on the kids/women to prevent shit from happening, and that they are the ones who have to deal with the fallout if it does happen.

Child sexual abuse is certainly part of rape culture, but I don't think it's enabled in quite the same way. When feminists talk about rape culture, we're usually referring to the pervasive denial, enabling, ignorance, jokes, and dismissal about rape that women constantly face. We're talking about normalizing male behaviour and attitudes that are misogynistic, and which mean that men who rape are rarely called on it, let alone face any consequences ... including at the very least social disapprobation from their male friends. 

Which is why I keep circling back to the importance of as many people as possible thinking about the different signs that are out there which signal individuals or situations that could lead to sexual assault. Thinking about the signs, recognizing them, challenging them, educating others. The more we all do this, the more we're countering that culture.

We know that this kind of effort can bring about spectacular change.


Tehanu wrote:
And another neat-o thing. There are a lot (hopefully the majority) of guys out there who are just appalled by sexual assault, but don't really know where to start or what to do. Bystander intervention, including training on how to talk to your buddies, gives them the tools to do something practical and concrete about it. Now. Right away. In any situation in which sexual assault is being enabled.

Yes! This thread is the first I've heard of this type of training, but I can think of situations I've been in where it would have been helpful. You mentioned this is just starting to take off. I notice the green dot organization appears to be based in Virginia, but I'm wondering if there are other groups who have started doing this sort of training closer to home.


my concerns with alcohol backed confrontation have seemingly worked themselves out after getting reminded of that statisticly high likelihood of knowing the attacker which makes educating individual friend circles that much greater the priority. I was still hung up on that Mr Glass scenario from the article, where no amount of intervention was working and he wasn't even drunk. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

thanks tehanu

..i've had that green dot site up for a couple days now. i don't want to close it. i keep finding really interesting stuff there. it's very empowering and has a community self help thing about it. i'm going to look for training here in van. an adventure!


onlinediscountanvils wrote:
Yes! This thread is the first I've heard of this type of training, but I can think of situations I've been in where it would have been helpful. You mentioned this is just starting to take off. I notice the green dot organization appears to be based in Virginia, but I'm wondering if there are other groups who have started doing this sort of training closer to home.

Yay! Where are you based? A number of universities are starting to use bystander intervention training for suicide prevention (SafeTalk and Assist), and I know the University of Toronto in particular has [url=http://www.healthandwellness.utoronto.ca/greendot.htm]brought in the Green Dot program[/url] and trained a lot of people. Suicide intervention training is more widely known at this point than other forms, and if you go to the LivingWorks website they list [url=http://www.livingworks.net/training/find]upcoming training sessions[/url] (they cost money but if you're working maybe your job could help cover it, or if you're a student your school could bring it in). A lot of the SafeTalk training can be adapted for other situations. Also, more and more schools are doing bystander intervention training for kids around anti-bullying.

Techniques for raising a concern in this type of training are often similar to those used in conflict resolution situations, so there's a fair bit of overlap. So I'm also working with some other folks on a more general bystander training that can be applied across the board and delivered as a primer.

There's a whole bunch of different resources here: http://www.nsvrc.org/projects/bystander-intervention-resources and if you Google "sexual assault bystander intervention training" you'll find more.

If there's limited in-person training around where you are, you could consider contacting a community centre like the YWCA, or a local college or university, and seeing if they'd like to sponsor a train-the-trainer program. Green Dot will come onsite and train people to deliver the program, although they have a pretty formalized system which you may not find totally adaptable, and they of course have expenses, so it's not exactly cheap. 

The thing that I've found most helpful in all of these trainings is the following:

- Thinking about and discussing my barriers to feeling comfortable with intervening. Then thinking about and discussing strategies to overcome those barriers.

- Looking at different scenarios, including videos, and what are the warning signs, and discussing with the group how to recognize them. On Google, and YouTube, look for "bystander effect" (for some really interesting stuff on how we are affected by the people around us) and for example, the "What Would You Do" [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieYm0sKoqkY]video[/url] of a man abusing a woman in a park. Thinking about and discussing what the different approaches are, what would work and what's less effective (e.g. escalating the confrontation), and what might work for me.

- Thinking about different ways to intervene in a situation. Green Dot calls their approaches the 3Ds: [url=http://www.healthandwellness.utoronto.ca/GreenDot/What-can-I-do-.htm]dir.... Direct is for when you're comfortable talking to a person about the situation. You can ask if everything's okay, you can use an I-statement ("You know, it makes me worried when you're talking to her like that, because it doesn't seem like she's comfortable"), you can say to the guy "hey, this isn't appropriate," or you can ask the person you're worried about if you can talk with her for a second, in order to check in with her and to break up the situation. And so on, whatever you feel comfortable with. Distract means introducing another element -- a phone call, knocking something over, telling a person that there's an emergency and you need to talk to them, whatever. Delegate is for when you think the situation is something you can't deal with, so you get someone else to help, depending on where you are. In a bar it could be a server/bouncer/bartender. Getting an authority figure involved. Calling 911.

The training runs you through different scenarios and it can be really, really helpful to role play it (you can do this with friends), because then all of a sudden you've already done it. In fact, I'd argue that acting out the interventions is pretty essential for increasing your comfort level.

- Similarly, you can use that approach when challenging misogyny/rape culture norms, although I'd be more focussed on direct if you've got the social capital, or delegate if you have allies around who would be better-suited to dealing with it. Another key point that is helpful is to try and encourage empathy -- if the guy who's saying/doing something misogynist can understand the impact, that's great. Sometimes enlisting the thought of women he does care about can help: "you know, that's pretty harsh. How would your sister/mother/girlfriend feel if someone said that to/about her?" or "when you say something like X, I can't help it, I think about our friend Y and imagine how she'd feel if she heard that."

- There's also a fair bit about changing social norms around sexual assault (or the social problem that is being addressed, in other bystander training). It's hard to challenge attitudes, especially in social situations when it's important for people to maintain their standing. One of the things a good training will discuss is how to enlist allies, how to address issues effectively, how to recharge yourself if you feel you're fighting the tide. Anti-oppression training resources (another rich Google result) can also be helpful for language and approaches.

So if you can get a group of friends together and run through these things, in effect you're doing the training yourself! I'd be very interested in hearing how that worked out ...

[Edited to add: Thinking about it, the New Zealand video would also be an excellent training tool. Run it up to the point before they start flashing back and discuss the different ways that people could have intervened, and what they could have said/done. Then compare your group's answers to the ones provided in the video.]


Thanks for clarifying, ryanw -- I didn't realize you were talking about the [url=http://captainawkward.com/2012/08/07/322-323-my-friend-group-has-a-case-... in the comments[/url]. What Dr. Glass didn't do right at the beginning was check in with the woman to see if she was okay, if she wanted any assistance, and if so, talk to the guy directly. Me, I still have to steel myself up for a direct approach, but it's always worth it. She could have spoken to the guy herself, but it sounds like he was threatening her. So if she'd wanted help with him, Dr. Glass could have said something to him like, "hey, can I talk to you over here by ourselves for a minute. Listen, this isn't an easy thing to say, but you're making X really uncomfortable and that's why she's been avoiding you, to the point where she doesn't feel like she can tell you herself. It would be great if you can demonstrate that you're a good guy, by understanding that she needs you to leave her alone." Or something. Instead it sounds like he just hovered around her protectively, which didn't really accomplish anything.


Tehanu, your posts here are amazing!  Thank you so much.


Thanks, Michelle! Laughing

It's really neat for me to hear from folks reading about bystander intervention that they want to put it into practice, too.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Tehanu already knows I'm a fan, I hope, but at risk at repeating myself, damn it's nice to read your posts, Tehanu, particulalry on this topic.

But there is so much good stuff in this thread. I love that NZ rape culture video too Michelle!


I like that video but I find it interesting that it didn't present the cab driver as someone in a position to intervene.


Campus security at UNB is defending that stupid Twitter message, completely missing the point of the video AGAIN.


Security officials at U.N.B. say students should see the video, which was produced in New Zealand, about the dangers of excessive drinking and the potential for sexual assault.

“There’s no doubt, I’ve been led to believe and told to believe that sexual assaults, the majority of them are alcohol related,” explains Bruce Rogerson, head of the university’s security. “When you send out a strong video like that, it’s out there for people to interpret, but it’s also there to generate discussion.”

And of course, stupid CTV doesn't even bother to mention that the point of the video ISN'T telling women not to drink, it's about what bystanders can do when they see a dangerous situation unfolding for someone who can't consent. 

It's one of those situations where the comment section is more illuminating than the article itself.  Love "Jaden's" response:


Thank you Steve! I was wondering if I was the only one who noticed that! Also, the video isn't even saying that alcohol overconsumption leads to sexual assault, its message that is bystanders can be the difference between a rape happening or not happening. The fact that UNB security missed this point and jumped straight to "alcohol overconsumption = sexual assault" honestly frightens me a little bit.



And Maclean's gets it wrong too, even when it's clear they're trying to get it right!


1. “Alcohol overconsumption = sexual assaults,” Tweeted University of New Brunswick Security last week. Anyone who has followed the issue of sexual assault lately can imagine the indignation that followed. Lee Thomas of The Brunswickan put it this way: most reported sexual assaults have male perpetrators, “so I would expect UNB Security’s “Males = sexual assaults” Tweet any day now.” Except, of course, that would be a crazy generalization. Thomas goes further pointing out that “it’s not the victim’s responsibility to ensure that they don’t get attacked; it’s the rapist’s responsibility to ensure that he or she does not rape.” He’s obviously right that it’s wrong to blame the victim. A better Tweet would have been “Alcohol overconsumption = occasional bad decisions,” although that’s a separate issue.

Uh, no, that would not have been a "better tweet" because when someone isn't able to consent, they're not making a "bad decision" - they're not "deciding" to get raped!


Yo, campus security: You're making it more and more unlikely anyone's going to call you if they've been drinking and someone rapes them. Think about that. Is that a problem for you? It sure should be.

It's pretty astonishing about the widespread comprehension fail about that video, isn't it? Even the student newspaper, while catching the victim-blaming, kind of missed the bystander role. Which is too bad, because it really is a great demo on how easy it is to jump in.

Why do they think the clip is called "who are you?" As in, who are you in the scenario and what can you do to help? And all this in spite of them saying quite clearly "you can be the difference in how the story ends."

Some of the CTV commenters are saying that it's hard to tweet about such a complicated issue in 120 characters. Um, no.

- Great video on how you can help stop rape

- Watch some ways you can help prevent rape

- Help stop rape: tips here!






Hey Catchfire, thx for the nice words!


Tehanu wrote:
It's really neat for me to hear from folks reading about bystander intervention that they want to put it into practice, too.

When I was in the Katimavik program, one of the female participants in our group had been left by herself talking to a guy in a bar. Not that leaving her alone was a good thing, but once we realized it, a few of us went back and we brought her home.


Great ad - thanks for posting!  Unfortunately, the dickwit who posted it on YouTube captioned it, "Basically Don't Dress Like A Slut".  Charming.  Rape culture, indeed.



Not that it has much to do with this dire subject, but I liked the fact that the pretty lass was a little more plump than the usual "attractive" images out there. Also liked the (ridiculous) deadpan dialogue between the lass and the shop assistant.


Our rape culture is entwined with our imperialist economy.  The "best companies" in Canada cannot protect women from their employees and security forces.  And the CEO of Barrick has the audacity to blame the people being exploited and brutalized.


Following allegations of a series of gang rapes at its Porgera mine, Barrick devised a strategy the company says will help fulfill its promise to the surrounding communities: "We will uphold your rights and we will protect your dignity."

But a group of NGOs from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. says that the resulting document, far from protecting rape victims, requires them to waive their rights.

The framework document stipulates that in exchange for remedies such as access to counselling and micro-credit, "the claimant agrees that she will not pursue or participate in any legal action against [Porjera Joint Venture], PRFA [Porgera Remediation Framework Association Inc.] or Barrick in or outside of [Papua New Guinea]. PRFA and Barrick will be able to rely on the agreement as a bar to any legal proceedings which may be brought by the claimant in breach of the agreement."

MiningWatch Canada's Catherine Coumans said the NGOs "do not believe women should have to sign away rights to possible future legal action in order to access the types of remedy Barrick is offering these victims of rape and gang rape."

NGO claims 'erroneous and misleading': Barrick

While some of the alleged rapists were company employees, others were members of the police assigned to provide additional mine security. But the NGOs say the material support Barrick provided to these police officers blurred the line between employees and non-employees, and they want the company to assist women raped by either category of security forces.

"We are also concerned that Barrick is not offering remedy to those women who have been raped and gang raped by members of police Mobile Squads who are being housed, fed and supported by PJV on PJV property," according to Rights & Accountability in Development's Tricia Feeney.

Barrick has issued a statement responding to these "erroneous and misleading" claims and arguing its remediation package "fully accords" with the voluntary UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The company offers community programs including "a variety of health, counselling, and medical care to victims of sexual violence" which are open to all members of the local public. And the filing of a claim does not affect a woman's legal rights. Any agreement over individual remedies, however, "settles the claim against the PJV and Barrick and the claimant may not then pursue further legal action against the companies." Barrick calls this limitation "the norm for companies in the practice of settling grievances."

Barrick named 'most sustainable' Canadian mining firm

In stark contrast to the NGO criticisms, Toronto-based Corporate Knights last week included Barrick Gold in its Global 100 list of companies that "squeeze more wealth from less material resources while honouring the social contract." And late last year, Corporate Knights anointed Barrick the most sustainable Canadian mining company.

"In the mining industry, strong sustainability performance is not just a nice-to-have -- it's an essential condition for survival as a business," according to Corporate Knights' Doug Morrow.

And yet, controversy has plagued Barrick projects around the world, from fatal shootings in Tanzania to shrinking glaciers on the Chile-Argentina border.

In 2011, its Papua New Guinea operation found itself in the international spotlight after Human Rights Watch released a report on the Porgera mine, filled with grisly details such as a woman forced by guards to swallow a condom used to rape two other women.

A couple of weeks later, Barrick's founder and chairman Peter Munk told the Globe and Mail that in Papua New Guinea "gang rape is a cultural habit." To which the man whose name adorns the University of Toronto's school of global affairs added: "Of course, you can't say that because it's politically incorrect."



Gang rape is a "cultural habit" in Papua New Guinea?  You don't say.  Guess what, Pete?  It's a "cultural habit" everywhere, including here in good ol' North America.

What an asshole!

Open Hand

"Our rape culture is entwined with our imperialist economy".  That has to be the stupidist comment I've ever heard.  Rape exists in every culture, every political system, every country on the face of this earth.  Men rape because they can.  Rape is used as an act of war, an act of agression, an act of complete disrespect for women.  When women are considered without worth, without power and without status, then it becomes acceptable to rape them.  Just stop raping.

susan davis susan davis's picture

i know i don't chime in over here very much but something has been nagging at me for the past few weeks and it relates in my mind to this topic.

the constant barrage of male enhancement drugs...be bigger, be harder, do it longer....a real man does it and does it harder, longer, bigger....

is it just me or does this hyper sexualization not contribute to the way men behave towards us? there is so much pressure on men through this kind of.... brainwashing...i can't think of a better word....and all in the name of the almighty dollar...i wonder if this is contributing to the experiences described here...

sorry, its just been bugging me and thought i would add it here...



Open Hand wrote:

"Our rape culture is entwined with our imperialist economy".  That has to be the stupidist comment I've ever heard.  Rape exists in every culture, every political system, every country on the face of this earth.  Men rape because they can.  Rape is used as an act of war, an act of agression, an act of complete disrespect for women.  When women are considered without worth, without power and without status, then it becomes acceptable to rape them.  Just stop raping.

I think I said our rape culture not someone else's.  Some men have always raped women but some societies incorporate violence and dominance  into their culture while others work towards equality. In our culture the exploitative economy that marginalizes women and the war machine that we use to steal the resources of other countries are entwined in our culture of violence.  In an imperial system violence is the predominate method of achieving power.  Rape is violence and imperialism is the ultimate power trip on this planet. 

Open Hand

You need to understand, Susan, that rape has absolutely nothing to do with sex.  It is all about violence, power and humiliation.  The sexual enhancement ads have nothing to do with men wanting to rape.  It's just another product, whether it's Viagra, beer, cars or after shave.  Women face a barage of improvement ads, too, whether it's botox, bras or weight loss programmes.  I think both sexes are under a lot of pressure to always try to make themselves better to attract someone.  It's difficult, but not impossible, to tune the noise out.  And I know a few men for whom Viagara has been beneficial, so it's not all bad news.  Men rape because they can, because they feel it's their right to perpetuate violence toward women.  In every culture, in every socio-economic society rape exists.

susan davis susan davis's picture

i believe the response was to me....cause my names susan.....

ok, and i also know men who have benefited from viagra. i just felt like it might be a contributing factor. the way the commercials are framed and in my experiences with men who become violent or angry because the couldn't achieve an erection or a recent post online about a worker who accidentally laughed at a man's "size" and experienced violence in his reaction....

i wonder how often a man feels he is "inadequate" somehow as a result of the ads etc, and then plays out his anger at his inadequacies in violence against women....and if there is something we could do to adress that aspect....

thankyou for answering me, i am not as informed about general issues facing all women as i am about sex work....





Proof that sexual harassment is no big deal even to lefties who claim to be in favour of women's rights.  Groping a woman in a bar doesn't stop you from being the business partner of the runner up in the NDP leadership race.  "Sexual assault who cares?" seems to be Brian's world view.


The strategists are using their varied political backgrounds as a selling point, according to their website, which uses a hockey analogy to describe Mr. Boessenkool as the “right winger,” Mr. Guy as “our centre” and Mr. Topp as their “left winger.”

They’ll also be offering their services to advise on political campaigns in other countries, sources say.

Until recently, Mr. Boessenkool and Mr. Topp were working on opposite sides of the political divide in British Columbia.

Before he left her office last September, Mr. Boessenkool served as Ms. Clark’s chief of staff for about eight months.