So the Vanessa mentioned in *THIS* article is a friend of mine from way back in high school, and when she found out this guy had put her personal facebook information on his forum in a post titled “Operation Insemination”, I took some screenshots and discussed her going to the police (which she did when her parents got threatening phone calls). Specifically her, for no reason I can think of. I don’t think it’s a “notch on her belt as an activist” (which was said intending support, but it also dismisses her situation, and kind of perpetuates the system), but a serious threat to Toronto, and everything I care about (and you, too, I hope).
See, she ISN’T a famous activist, nor even a lead organizer for the events, but based on apparently random selection he put her information out there and advocated that his minions try to seduce and inseminate her and other feminists… AND PEOPLE LISTENED!!! The idea that it’s so easy to get even random wackos to commit crimes against strangers and their families baffles me. This isn’t activism from him, or an opposing view of women’s rights, but thuggery.
This is unlawful behaviour that threatens Toronto at its core: we exist because of rights, including the right to safety and dignity. Rape and violence from men or women is unacceptable. Male or female, white or black, rich or poor, there can be and must be no difference in right to life and liberty. Power as expressed by this person, or the IS in Iraq (against family friends, now, men and women), is anti-human, anti-rights.
Worst, this is a widespread issue: Yale had that march of male students yelling “No means Yes, Yes means Anal”. This morning we see even more reports out of Iraq of women sold AS SLAVES in the IS. Literally an area the size of Indiana that loudly advertises sex slavery!!!
As a white male I’m aware of the privilege I enjoy, as well as the (lesser known) discrimination against my “demographic” by those who’ve faced oppression from my “kind”. I’ve tried to use my privilege to advocate for people who don’t have it, due to race or gender; and I’ll continue to do that. I don’t like having to: I hate that people don’t see themselves and myself as equal citizens, as having the same human worth. What I hate most of all is that the good things that I love (for example, I’m big on rational thought and logic, on reason) are seen as “white male perspective”, or that trying to help is reduced to “white rescue”. Honestly, I’m interested in getting to the point where we’re judged based on merit, not skin colour or gender.
I don’t feel safe around rapist types. I’m too nice, too smart, and worst of all I prefer reading books to burning them. I’m a person of faith who wants to love, and thinks even those of other beliefs (religions, cultures, even (gasp!) political factions) are amazing people who deserve life, liberty, and happiness. These guys (and gals, sadly) go after people like me first, so I can’t call them on their bull.
I state, here and now, that I’m in support of reason, of the rights of women AND of men. I believe we are a binary, FEMALE AND MALE, and that the suffering of one not only affects the other, but IT IS THE SUFFERING OF THE OTHER, TOO! I don’t think life reduces to endless conflict (sorry Hegel) between men and women. I believe power means nothing without responsibility, without service to others.
As a male, my safety is the safety, my freedom is the freedom, and my life is the life, of the women in my home, my family, my community, and my world. And I believe theirs is mine. I don’t *have* to be a radical feminist *or* a rapist. I am, rather, radically for females and males as humans, as a connected whole.
I’m asking you to act on this binary: support women in need, EMPOWER them and believe in them, because doing that is to support a real society.