Ending rape culture requires more than just banning offensive chants, but a critical look at the way we construct gender and the values in our society. CASE VP External Emily Leedham wrote an article in the University of Calgary's independent student newspaper, the Gauntlet, highlighting the more nuanced ways to approach the issue. Here's an excerpt:
"In fact, according to the Statistics Canada report cited earlier, 58 per cent of sexual assault victims did not report their experience to the police because they did not feel it was important enough. What we really need to end is not simply rape chants, but trivialization of women’s everyday experiences: the microaggressions, the jokes, the calls for women to calm down and not take things so seriously."
Read the rest here.
Friday, September 20th was a busy day for CASE! We spent the day at our Clubs Week booth and were so excited to see the positive responses and students who became members. Later in the evening we held our first event, a potluck-picnic at Shaw Millennium Park before Take Back the Night! We're so thankful for the members who came out, old and new. Each person's presence matters when it comes to showing solidarity at public rallies, so we are very proud that CASE members did their part to create such an amazing turnout for Take Back the Night.
Photos by VP Events Tonie Minhas.
Our club president Ellen Bolger had the opportunity to talk with David Gray on the CBC Calgary Eyeopener this morning about CASE and our mission to provide consent education to students in Calgary, both secondary and post-secondary. We are thankful the CBC gave us the opportunity to go into detail about our goals and why we believe our work is so important. Check out the interview here.
CASE was recently featured in the Calgary Metro newspaper. While we are excited that the mainstream media is talking about rape culture, we are also a little disappointed the focus was on short snippets of rape culture evidence instead of focusing on positive activism, which is what we are all about. We believe that sexual assault prevention should focus on creating a culture where consent is asked for and respected instead of "he said, she said" arguments. Hopefully the Metro article will draw more people's attention to the positive work we are trying to accomplish.
You can check out the article here.
Orientation Week 2013 has come to a close and we're thrilled for the many positive responses we received at the Orientation Week Resource Fair. We had a bucket full of buttons and completely ran out of them so we're excited to see students wear them around on campus. We also handed out flyers that explained what consent is and why it is essential in sexual relationships. The dessert images were created by the talented illustrator and animator Morgan Shandro for our "Consent is Sweet" campaign. We would also like to thank the Calgary Sexual Health Centre for lending us their button maker!
We had a largely positive response - except for a small handful of young males who openly laughed at our display. This is discouraging and we hope this attitude quickly changes. Considering the recent news that students from Saint Mary's University in Halifax and across the country at the University of British Columbia have been documented chanting endorsements of sexual assault, campus safety is an issue all students should take seriously.
If you have encountered any chants, activities or slogans that perpetuate rape culture at the University of Calgary, please get in touch with us. Email us here so we can work together to make campus a safe space for everyone.
We're looking forward to a great year! We have plenty of events planned so follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up. You can also subscribe to our mailing list for volunteer opportunities here.