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Fifth woman comes forward with allegations against Jian Ghomeshi

Today on As it Happens, Carol Off spoke with a fifth anonymous woman who claims she was assaulted by former host of Q, Jian Ghomeshi. The woman claims that she went on a couple of dates with Ghomeshi, who she describes as “a charming man.” She says during their early interactions she “did not get any indication that there was anything to worry about,” but while she was in his car, he reached over and grabbed her hair and pulled her head back, “very hard.” She got out of the car and went home, totally confused. She wondered if she “missed something,” having not dated in a while. This is a common experience for women who encounter abusers — we are so totally caught off guard, we question the...
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Jian Ghomeshi’s ‘consent’ defence shows why ‘consent’ isn’t good enough

The CBC announced yesterday that they would be ending their relationship with Jian Ghomeshi, host of cultural affairs radio show Q, and probably the most famous radio host the CBC has ever had. “The CBC is saddened to announce its relationship with Jian Ghomeshi has come to an end. This decision was not made without serious deliberation and careful consideration. Jian has made an immense contribution to the CBC and we wish him well,” the network said in a statement. Before Ghomeshi himself dropped the bomb of all bombs, via an explanatory post on his Facebook page, it was clear something sketchy was up. It would take something pretty serious in order to fire Ghomeshi. He is widely beloved across Canada and the show, I’m certain, is the most...
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Murderer, Oscar Pistorius, plans to publish book about how he isn’t a murderer

This week in Beyond The Fucking Pale, Oscar Pistorius, the man who murdered his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp on February 14, 2013, plans to write a book about “his account” -- “his account” being a long list of bald-faced lies. On Thursday,  Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa found Pistorius, 27, guilty of culpable homicide, which means, essentially, she bought that the murder was an accident, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Pistorius claimed he shot Steenkamp four times through the bathroom door because he thought “an intruder” was in there. Pistorius’ history of abusive behaviour is well-documented, as are the indiscrepancies in his version of what happened the night Steenkamp was killed. Now, not only has he gotten away with murder (Pistorius was charged with the equivalent of manslaughter and will...
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Oscar Pistorius knew exactly what he was doing

On Thursday,  Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa found Oscar Pistorius, 27, guilty of culpable homicide, “a vindication for the athlete who vehemently protested his innocence during a trial in South Africa that gripped millions around the world,” reports The Guardian. Last year, on Valentines Day, Pistorius fired four shots through the bathroom door, killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, 29, who was on the other side of the door, locked in the bathroom. “Culpable homicide” is equivalent to a manslaughter charge, meaning that Pistorius will get 15 years max. Max. There is no minimum sentence. It is unlikely Pistorius will serve 15 years. He could be punished with community service and fines. Pistorius got away with murder. He was not charged with murder because Masipa felt “It cannot be said that he...
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On Ray Rice and why it doesn’t matter if she stayed

As many of you are already aware, a new video of Baltimore Ravens running back, Ray Rice, surfaced on Monday that showed him punching his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, in the head. In May, a video of Rice dragging her, unconscious, out of the elevator he apparently punched her in, was circulated widely. Back then the Ravens chose to only suspend him for two games and had Palmer and Rice show up at a press conference in order to present an image to the public of everything being a-ok. The Ravens Tweeted: “Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.” I imagine everyone was very comforted to know that Rice’s now-wife apologized for her own part in being punched in the head....
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Violent ‘alpha male’ & mixed martial arts fighter brutally beats ex-girlfriend; claims he’s ‘cursed’

TW: Graphic descriptions of extreme violence (via Gawker) Some disgusting mixed martial arts fighter named Jon Koppenhaver (aka “War Machine”) apparently showed up at his ex-girlfriend’s house on Friday night, found another man there, who he proceeded to attack, before sending him away and turning his attention towards the woman, Christy Mack. Mack posted a very detailed account of the attack, as well as some photos via her Twitter account: At about 2 am Friday morning, Jon Koppenhaver arrived unannounced to my home in Las Vegas, NV, after he broke up with me in May, he moved out of my house and back to San Diego. When he arrived, he found myself and one other fully clothed and unarmed in the house. Without a single word spoken, he began...
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I want 140 characters which will end rape

So men, what do you want to hear? Not all men are like that? You’re not like those other men? Let’s say I tell you men that you are wonderful, kind, heroic and humble. Will these words of praise stop the girl enslavement called “child marriages?” If women change tactics from demanding the return of girl children stolen in Africa, if instead we engulf men in a cascade of compliments assuring men that we know they are decent and devoted, will men return our generosity by raising the average age a girl enters prostitution out of the early teen years? So men, if it is not flattery you want from women, what are the words you want to hear? What can women say that will cause you to finally...
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Meghan Murphy on Elliot Rodger, misogyny and porn culture

On May 23 in Isla Vista, California, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger murdered six people and wounded 13 more. Rodger, in his blog as well as on Youtube, cited women for not giving him attention, sex and love as motivation for his attack. Most media outlets have talked up what happened as the act of a deranged young man. Yet the tragedy has also prompted a larger conversation about male entitlement in a world where women face escalating threats of rape and violence, not to mention persistent gender disparities in work, education and civil society, each day. Meghan Murphy is a writer and journalist as well as founder and editor of the website Feminist Current. She has written on the killings committed by Elliot Rodger and the misogynist cultural messages we...
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Podcasts

PODCAST: Soraya Chemaly on Elliot Rodger, PUAHate, and #YesAllWomen

On May 23 in Isla Vista, California, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger murdered six people and wounded 13 more. Rodger had written a 140-page manifesto and produced a number of videos on YouTube outlining his motivation for the attack. He was angry at women. It was discovered that Rodger frequented PUAHate forums which writer, Erin Gloria Ryan, describes as such: PUAHate, as other outlets have discussed, is an offshoot of the Pick Up Artist community populated by men (and, allegedly, women) who believe Pick Up Artistry to be a sham waste of money not because women are more than “targets” and “prey,” but because women are fucking hopeless cunts who can’t be convinced to give nice guys a chance. Women, argue PUAHaters, will only go out with good looking alpha males...
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Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow think making connections between male entitlement and violence against women is ‘self-promotional’

Actor, Seth Rogen and director, Judd Apatow did not react well to a recent column by Washington Post film critic, Ann Hornaday which drew connections between last week’s mass killing in Isla Vista and movies that center around “sexual conquest.” Hornaday writes: For generations, mass entertainment has been overwhelmingly controlled by white men, whose escapist fantasies so often revolve around vigilantism and sexual wish-fulfillment (often, if not always, featuring a steady through-line of casual misogyny). She specifically named Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen’s recently-released film, Neighbors, as an example, saying: How many students watch outsized frat-boy fantasies like ‘Neighbors’ and feel, as Rodger did, unjustly shut out of college life that should be full of ‘sex and fun and pleasure?’ How many men, raised on a steady diet of...
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Podcasts

PODCAST: ‘Private Violence’ explores the epidemic of domestic abuse

In this episode, Meghan Murphy speaks with Kit Gruelle, who is part of a new documentary called “Private Violence,” which examines the epidemic of domestic violence and follows a number of survivors of abuse and the advocates who support them. This show includes clips from the film which contain descriptions of violence that may upset or trigger some listeners. Podcast: Play in new window | Download...
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On rape culture and what Heather MacDonald doesn’t understand about sexual violence

CBC Radio’s Q with Jian Ghomeshi hosted a debate on the term “rape culture” yesterday, which could have actually been interesting and productive, had producers made better choices in terms of how they framed the conversation. I do consider “rape culture” to be a useful and accurate way of describing the way in which sexual violence has been normalized and sexualized in our culture. There is simply no denying that, when we see male students “joking” about raping female students, as we did recently at the University of Ottawa, when fraternities are untouchable on campus despite the fact that the “Greek scene” is a cesspool of toxic masculinity and sexual violence, when students at Canadian universities participate in “rape chants” during frosh week while fellow students are actually being raped...
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What are our responsibilities in navigating rape culture? On R. Kelly and separating art from life

Can we separate a work of art from the artist who created it? Can we separate artists from themselves? What is our role as consumers of art in relation to rape culture? What is rape culture? You may have asked yourself some of these questions in recent weeks if you read the detailed article on R. Kelly’s history of sexual poaching and abuse of minors or if you saw Woody Allen’s son Ronan Farrow publicly accusing his father, on twitter, of sexually abusing his sister (Allen’s then seven year old daughter). There are many other problematic artists of course (Roman Polanski and Norman Mailer come to mind), but perhaps none so widely loved and heralded by mainstream media as Kelly and Allen, who’ve not only been a permitted to...
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Podcasts

PODCAST: Defending battered women on trial: An interview with Elizabeth Sheehy

In this episode, I speak with Elizabeth Sheehy about her new book, which looks at the cases of eleven women who are accused of killing their male partners in self-defense. The book is called: Defending Battered Women on Trial: Lessons From the Transcripts, and it highlights the barriers women face leaving their abusers as well as the legal issues that face battered women on trial for murder. Elizabeth Sheehy is Shirley Greenberg Professor of Women and the Legal Profession in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. She is a leading scholar on the legal system’s treatment of battered women in Canada. Podcast: Play in new window | Download...
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Press release: Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry Continue to Fight for the Abolition of Prostitution

As Indigenous women and girls who have experienced centuries of colonial male violence, the decision by The Supreme Court of Canada to strike down the existing prostitution laws comes as no surprise. Our histories, our laws and traditions, and our worldviews have been purposefully omitted from the Supreme Court decision. Once again, not only our voices, but our bodies and our lives have been dismissed as inconsequential. As women and girls indigenous to this land, who have resisted centuries of colonial oppression, we assert our right to our lands, cultures, laws, and body sovereignty. We reject any ruling that interferes with these unalienable rights. We pledge to continue in the proud tradition of our Mothers and Grandmothers and to continue to fight for our children and grandchildren.We are in...
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Elizabeth Pickett reflects on the future implications of Bedford v. Canada before the decision

Before the Bedford case comes down to us from on high on Friday, I have a few reflections. I’ve said since the case came before the courts that I think the timing of the constitutional challenge just couldn’t be worse — not just for all those women (and young men) in the sex exploitation industry — but also for women like Terri-Jean Bedford and Valerie Scott who claim to have chosen their life’s work as completely free agents (sometimes it seems they are saying prostituted women are the only truly free agents in the free market world). I say that because in these neoliberal and neoconservative times, I can’t see how even they are going to get what they want. What they want is the complete decriminalization of all...
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On ‘gendered violence’ and remembering the Montreal Massacre

Today is December 6. Twenty four years ago, 14 women were murdered at École Polytechnique in Montreal by a man who shouted: “You’re all a bunch of feminists, and I hate feminists!” Today is also the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Though some have been commenting on “gendered violence” or “gender-based violence” today, I prefer a more specific description. This is about male violence against women. Indeed, this violence is gendered, but to talk about “gendered violence” is too vague. What this term signifies is fear — and that fear exists with good reason. Feminists are targeted because they name the problem. We target patriarchy, male dominance, female oppression, and male violence against women. Men are threatened by feminism because we refuse to mask the...
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