The burden of telling your story

We are living in the era of TMI, countless personal essays and first person narratives masquerading as news.

I don't think that's a bad thing. But it's definitely a thing. 

And an unfortunate side effect of this new culture is that people assume that privacy = shame. If you're not talking about something publicly, it's because you're riddled with shame. If you're not joining the chorus of people saying #BeenRapedNeverReported or #MeToo, then you've either never experienced sexual violence or you are as sick as your secret. (We can thank AA for that one, too).

This is particularly troubling when you consider that sexual assault victims have notoriously bad boundaries.

Not a popular thing to say, but we gotta real talk about it because folks, I'm tiiiiiiiired. 

Rest in power, Kate

First of all, fuck cancer. Fuck cancer right to hell.

Doctor Kate McInturff is (fuck your past tense) a national treasure. She hates that I call her that and said that it would send Nicholas Cage after her, but it’s true. She is incredible.

It’s hard for me to form a sentence let alone be articulate, but I really want you to know how amazing Kate is because she’d be the last person to tell you herself.

So, between sobs, here it goes:

On being a media source

I've been attending and organizing protests since late 2003. By 2007-2008, I was leading them. 

That means I've spent a solid 15 years talking to the media.

In the last decade, I've averaged 100s of them a year. 

Even though I originally applied to Carleton for journalism and media studies, I hated it and switched to Women's Studies and Canadian Studies. 

I have zero formal media training. Zero.

But practice makes perfect and I've had a lot of practice.

And as any ballerina or stand-up comedian will tell you - making it look easy is a sign of being good at your job.

Unfortunately, we live in a culture that views visibility as currency. We think "paying people in exposure" is a legitimate form of payment and we think that every time we see someone in the media, that's a cheque in their pocket.

Nah, babe. Not even close.

This is what being a media source really entails: 

December 6

Today is Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Womyn.

It happens on this date to commemorate December 6th, 1989 when 14 university womyn were murdered at school by a man who hated "feminists" and thought that his own rejection from the school was because womyn had taken his place in the STEM program.

Does this sound familiar? 

Keeping the peace

[Warning: This post contains discussion of sexual violence and intimate partner violence]


It's Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Ontario and right on cue, Jian decides he is going to agree to a Peace Bond in return for having his charges dropped. 

If you're here, reading this, you know that already.

But it seems that what many of you don't know is what a Peace Bond is or what the process is like. I know that because Google was bumping with searches for the words "Peace Bond" this week and I got asked a million times by a million different people to explain it to them.

If you want a brilliant legal perspective on what a Peace Bond is and its use in sexual assault trials, listen to the latter half of my radio show, recorded May 10th, with feminist lawyer Pamela Cross. You can listen here.

Because I am a woman. Because I have been raped. Because I was in an abusive relationship. Because I've worked with sexual assault survivors. Because I'm an empathetic person who gives a shit about the well being of the world. For all these reasons: Jian Ghomeshi's trial of the century has been really, really tough.

I thought the worst of it was over. That we'd have to endure another "Not guilty" verdict this summer. That we'd have to endure the trolls screaming "SEE! BITCHES LIE!" and then we'd all go back to the daily grind of trying to end rape culture.

But I got thrown for the most major of loops with the news that he would be signing a Peace Bond. 

I tried to get a Peace Bond and it was the most humiliating experience of my life.

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