Rape Is the Least Punished Major Crime in Canada. Why?
Doe, Jane, CCPA Monitor
10 GROUPS THAT REALLY SHOULD SHUT UP:
A friend recently asked about my work, and when I told her I was editing a special journal issue about sexual assault, she said, "Aren't you tired ofthat yet?"
The thing is, Fm not. Not even a bit. I am fascinated by sexual assault, interested in all of the obvious and fugitive pieces that define and perpetuate it, and the institutions that benefit from it. I am fond of saying that, if rape didn't exist, it would have to be invented - it is that efficient and insidious a tool of fear and social control.
It works well to define and regulate space and place, and to maintain status quos - particularly regarding women's inequality. I am tired however, of the blank looks I get when I say something like that, the "there-she-goes-again" looks, and the angry ones.
I am so tired of hearing that so much has changed for the better! As if we have addressed rape in any meaningful way. As if we understand it or even have a language to speak it. As if the statistics ofthat crime have fallen or altered significantly. As if what I am saying is new, originates with me, or does not make sense.
The degree and manner to which we have - in unison, and with mutual benefit to the cultures and budgets of our institutions - erased gender from sexual assault, downgraded racism and the legacies of colonization, and ignored the lived realities and analyses of our youth on the subject, continue to astound. It's enough to make you want to sue someone.
Here, then, in no particular order, and certainly not exhaustively, are Jane Doe's:
Top Ten Groups that should shut the fuck up about sexual assault, and listen instead
* Media reporters, journalists and pundits who treat every rape as if it is an isolated incident between one man and one woman, and thus not worthy of coverage. Unless, of course, there is attendant physical injury, murder, or celebrity. Mediated by producers, editors, and journalism professors, you perpetuate concepts of "non-violent" rape, racist mythology about cultural propensity to rape, and good girl/bad girl dichotomies - in order to sell advertising.
* The police, especially the Toronto force, and their titular managers on the Toronto Police Service Board who benefit from the militaristic, regulatory requirements of their institution and willfully undermine opportunities to address the sexism and racism inherent in police investigations of sexual assault. …