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Mustafa Ururyar found guilty of rape

Media and public reaction to verdict says much about how far we have to go when it comes to talking about sexual assault and believing women

Hillary Di Menna

In late July, Mustafa Ururyar was found guilty of sexual assault against Mandi Gray. I have goose bumps just writing that sentence. Justice Marvin Zuker read his decision out loud in court from a 180-page prepared document. He started with recounting both Gray’s and Ururyar’s respective reports as well as relevant cases from Canada’s legal […] More »

Gender Block: Canadian universities and sexual violence

Why do universities have such a laid-back approach to sexual violence on campus? Plus, CBC's documentary School of Secrets

Hillary Di Menna

On Monday night, CBC’s The Fifth Estate streamed the episode School of Secrets (still online). The episode featured Mandi Gray of Toronto’s York University and Glynnis Kirchmeier of the University of British Columbia. Both women have filed human rights complaints against their schools for not responding to reports of sexual assault by alumni. Since her […] More »

Gender Block: rape is still rape even when you like the accused

Why we need to stop victim-blaming and letting celebrities off the hook when they're accused of sexual assault and rape

Hillary Di Menna

Earlier this month LA-based 90s treasure L7 played the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. Named for one of the band’s more famous songs, a “Shit List” was made and displayed in the venue’s women’s bathroom. On this list were names of men who have assaulted women. The list came with extra paper and pens for people to add more […] More »

Gender Block: She Asked For It

Hillary Di Menna

I decided I need to become better at public speaking so I’ve started subjecting myself to the horror of, well, public speaking. I started as a guest speaker at a Durham Rape Crisis Centre volunteer training session, my second and most recent attempt was a literary reading at Oshawa, Ont.’s The LivingRoom Community Art Studio. […] More »

Throwback Thursday: Rape’s Progress

Kelsey Braithwaite

In the last decade, the definition of sexual assault has grown to encompass more hateful or taboo acts. Most Canadians now recognize terms like incest, molestation, pedophilia, rape, and victim blaming. Many people even recognize these words can be a painful trigger to victims. Unfortunately, this does not mean we know the meaning of these […] More »

WTF Wednesday: Game of Thrones and why we still don’t recognize consent

Kelsey Braithwaite

Water is still wet, the sky is still blue, and “first-world” countries still have trouble calling rape, well, rape. Spoiler alert for all Game of Thrones fans who have not seen the episode “Breaker of Chains,” and a trigger warning. The word “rape” is used often. On Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones (GOT), fans […] More »

The sinister power and deep historical roots of the word "slut"

hilary beaumont

Weighing in with 57,184 votes, the most popular definition of the word “slut” on Urban Dictionary is “a woman with the morals of a man.” If we strip away the male punchline, hasn’t “slut” always meant that? A woman who pursues her own pleasure in spite of a pervasive double standard? The SlutWalks are challenging that […] More »

The myth of Peak Masculinity

Graham F. Scott

Last spring, Dockers launched its stupefying ad campaign based around the core message of “Wear The Pants.” (In a move that nicely reinforced the tone-deaf idiocy of the campaign, it premiered on International Women’s Day, March 8. Classy.) The whole series, which is still running in a slightly diluted form, rests on the premise that there […] More »

U.S., U.K. move to stem "conflict minerals" in Congo, while Canada undermines reform

jesse mintz

As I type this, I am complicit in the funding of rape and war.  You probably are too–sitting on your laptop, listening to your mp3 player, texting on your smartphone–even if you don’t know it. But that could all change with the passing of Barack Obama’s sweeping financial reform legislation by Congress in July. While […] More »

Tori Stafford and Tara Lyn Poorman: violence in silence

kelli korducki

Ever the  moral hinterland, the U.S. state of Texas has recently been in the news for an exceptionally despicable practice: charging victims of sexual violence up-front payments for their own rape kits, which pack a financial wallop of up to $1800. No one has conducted an official poll on the matter, but I’m fairly confident […] More »