Saturday, 4 June 2016

Read the Powerful Letter the Stanford Victim Read Aloud to Her Attacker

It might seem strange to link to a post about rape in this blog titled "Innovations to Change the World...". But the state of rape culture means that it is an innovation to propose that when it comes to committing sexual assault, a person should have to take responsibility for their actions.

What is it about rape culture, and overall male culture, that seems to create men who are completely unable to admit wrongdoing? A genuine human being recognizes when they have done wrong, admits to it, and then changes their behaviour.

As a past victim of rape myself, what is far more frightening than the thought of being raped again (and let me be honest, that thought is terrifying), is the realization of non-culpability that is rampant in a culture where people, especially men, cannot seem to grasp the concept of consent.

So much effort is put into blurring the very very straightforward reality that "ANYTHING OTHER THAN YES IS NO". Anything! There is no excuse, ever. Yet in courts of law, we see a million excuses being used, and hear a lot of talk about how it's all such a grey area, and consent is impossible to prove. But in this case, and in many others, the lack of consent was BLATANT. That should be all that is needed. Not a process of revictimization, and a victim on trial... just an acknowledgement that consent was not present, and a sentence for the guilty party.

Men have tried to make me feel guilty, to feel sorry for them, because it is so hard to be man. Men are in shark-infested waters because they never know when a woman might turn on them, and accuse them of rape. Yes. Let's just all join the pity party for men accused of rape or sexual assault.

Maybe men are finally feeling some of the chronic fear that women learn to cope with everyday. The difference is, men's fear is about a loss of reputation if they are accused. Women fear being physically violated and possibly killed, and for there to be no justice if and when this happens because "maybe she wanted it".

Women are told to do things if they are afraid of being attacked: don't wear this, don't go here, don't act this way, don't drink that, etc. So, men, what are the things you could be doing to avoid the rampant danger of being accused of sexual assault or rape? Simple. Ensure consent. Over and over again. And stop when you are asked to stop. Stop if there is not explicit consent. Don't touch. Keep your hands and penis to yourself. Not quite as onerous as not being able to go out at night if you want to, not being able to go out alone, or wear the clothes you want to wear, or enjoy parties because of constant fear of being drugged... is it?

Sorry men, but I don't feel sorry for you anymore. And you should leave your own pity party and get a life. One in which you respect yourself and others, and take responsibility for your actions and behaviours.

Please read the statement from this victim of assault. You might be surprised at how reasonable and fair-minded she is. Especially if you have been at all influenced by rape culture and misogyny.

Friday, 6 May 2016

TIME LINE: The Closure of Canadian Government Libraries, Archives and Research Collections

Unfortunately, the closure of libraries and archives is frequently done with seeming haste and lack of planning resulting in the loss of valuable information resources. Improved planning for preservation is needed.

For more information, see the timeline article here:

Also, and interesting piece from the Globe and Mail about the closure of the fisheries libraries in Canada:

Saturday, 12 March 2016

How do I know if a charity organization is legit in Canada?

One place to check is Charity Intelligence Canada.

Their story in their own words:

"Charity Intelligence Canada (Ci) began out of frustration in 2006. We questioned if our own charitable giving was making a difference... we could not find high quality evidence-based research to help guide our giving decisions. Nor could we find an independent third party to turn to for advice. And so we began calling charities from across Canada, asking hard questions and seeking excellence."

For more information, please visit their website:

Best School Day -- funding public education in the US

I wonder if there is anything like this happening in Canada?

Through this charity you can fund a school to have the materials they need to teach. For example, maybe they want to teach from the book "To Kill a Mockingbird", but they don't have enough copies for every student in the class... you could donate so they could get the books they need.

Link to the charity website:

And how do you know if a charity is legit? In Canada we have Charity Intelligence investigating for us: