Ms. Dolson, having taught defensive tactics teenage sexual assault survivors, I appreciate your input and encourage you and the Centre to continue to be vocal in educating the public.
A woman's point of view
"I can't believe it's been almost 20 years since I was in secondary school and teenage girls are still being singled out publicly by teachers for so-called inappropriate attire.
Every year, I read in the newspaper stories about a girl being singled out, shamed and embarrassed by someone who should be more concerned with teaching than a kid wearing a dress. Every year, someone from the school or the teachers’ association agrees this is not behaviour they stand behind and that they will investigate.
Well, it's been decades of investigating every year whenever one of these stories gets published (and for every one that does see print, countless other incidents don’t) and nothing has changed.
In fact, the only new development is teenagers are now much better at organizing in protest and articulating directly to adults that dress codes are rooted in misogyny, used to shame girls and disrupt their education and contribute to victim blaming.
I'm glad some members of Generation Z at NorKam secondary walked out of class in protest and are standing beside one another the way my generation did not. I hope they start naming and shaming teachers who are shaming them for — horrors — wearing a dress over a turtleneck.
Teachers need to do do better. In this day and age, with how much we've learned since I was a teenager, there should be no excuses. Teachers can be part of the solution or part of the problem. It’s their choice.
Are Sexual and domestic abuse the result of
sexualizing girls in high school?
NO MEANS NO
"What part of 'No means No' don't you understand?" is a question to which some men have no answer. In British Columbia 1,000 women are either physically or sexually assaulted weekly and only 10 percent of incidents are actually reported. Over 60 percent of British Columbians know at least one woman who has been sexually or physically assaulted. In 2010 there were 582 known reports of missing or murdered Aboriginal women in Canada with British Columbia recording the highest..."Highway of Tears" www.missingnativewomen.org/bc.htm. This reflects a huge problem that requires a resurgence of social conscience.
"If a woman indicates she wants sex, and then changes her mind, I'm still going for it regardless" is often the reply some men provide. They haven't a clue as to the personal violation to which they are admitting or the criminal ramifications of their decision. Some men have no emotional connection to a woman/teen who is raped or the female violation experience. And many of these men have no interest or desire to learn.
"Don't Be That Guy" is a law enforcement campaign aimed at males between the ages of 18 and 25 with the message that, "Sex without Consent is Sexual Assault" for which the assailant will be prosecuted. Research indicates that assault against women crosses all social, educational and age categories with alcohol and drugs often playing a key role in the crime. That may be a "duh" but the emphasis needs to be made that control of your environment decreases with alcohol/drug consumption.
Law enforcers are being pro-active and are concerned with the rising trend in sexual assaults, particularly during the holidays. The campaign's components include:
Posters aimed to shift accountability to offenders and away from victims and are designed to reach males with the message that Sex without Consent is Sexual Assault.
The education of tavern/pub staff to increase their awareness and to help them identify those who are vulnerable due to the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs.
Law enforcers targeting predatory males who prey on vulnerable women.
Educating women of all ages, whether they party in bars or privately, to limit their consumption, not to assume that knowing all those present ensures their safety and to understand the date rape drug GHB-Gamma hydroxybutyrate and its ramifications.