Let’s Talk It Out: From the Top

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, part of what triggered my most recent weeks-long depressive episode was the realization that I had been lying to myself about experiencing another sexual assault. I am going to talk about some of the fallout from that, in terms of my mental health and how that actually ties into my politics and my identification as a feminist. Which in turn, ties into the process of how I came to identify as a woman. Funny how component parts of our identities are still so interrelated. Almost as if we are complete and complex beings.

Obviously, for those of you who feel you need a content warning for in-depth discussions and analysis of emotional and mental trauma as a result of sexual abuse in various forms, this is it.

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Jian Ghomeshi and Institutionalized Rape Culture

Sexual assault is a terrible thing that can tear apart lives, families and even whole communities. I don’t think I know a single person who would disagree with that statement (out loud). However, if you have been following any sort of discourse around the treatment of sexual assault victims, it should be obvious that we as a society don’t always treat them very well. We disbelieve them, ostracize them, ridicule them, shame them and blame them. Growing up as a young girl I was constantly warned about the dangers of men and encouraged not to trust men I didn’t know. As a grown adult woman, I am still advised not to walk home after dark; that I should be careful living in the neighborhood I do and might consider moving; that I should look into self-defence classes; that I need to be careful of what I wear.

A lot has been written about rape culture and how it is continually perpetuated by small acts of microaggression such as catcalling, and larger acts like body/clothing policing and slut shaming. This piece is not about microaggressions. This is about several recent failures of the Canadian judicial systems to protect sexual assault victims and reinforce the status quo of rape culture in Canada.

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