Now that the tumult over the deaths of 17 people in France-apparently fueled by the “hurt feelings” of some Muslims over cartoons is subsiding, it’s time to return to the serious issue of the “hurt feelings” of the Dalhousie women and their followers caused by the notorious “Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen.”
This event at Dalhousie has been a shot in the arm for the feminists like Lyndsay Kirkham an English professor at Humber College; Letitia Meynell associate professor in the Department of Philosophy and Gender and Women’s Studies Program at Dalhousie University; Pam Rubin, a lawyer and counselor who has researched restorative justice; and Françoise Baylis, Canada research chair in bioethics and philosophy at Dalhousie University. It is manna from heaven and has resulted in a real feeding frenzy. No more talk about microagression and the statistic that one in five women are sexually assaulted on campus (A statistic that has been disputed-and rightly so). The women finally have a real bone to chew and it is promising to increase the employment of feminists across the country.
Pam Rubin said the restorative justice process, that was discussed early on, has a history of being ineffective. She said in the U.S., victims are suing some schools and saying they have been retraumatized by the restorative process and were unable to continue their studies.
“I’m not sure what asking them to participate in a long, secretive, potentially retraumatizing and ineffective process with their abusers or harassers is going to accomplish that is better than that — which is simply accepting the fact that the harassment has occurred and it’s had impacts, asking women what they need, now, and providing it,” she said.
What harassment exactly? And what retraumatizing? Were these women traumatized earlier by these men? Prior to the disclosure of the thoughts of these men, had any of the women in the dental programme lodged complaints? Or felt uncomfortable around their fellow students? They had been together for more than four years. Would it be wrong to assume that they had shared meals with them? Or study groups? Or maybe a date or two?
So what do these women want if talking as a first step isn’t good enough? Revenge?
Rubin said there is a very significant public interest involved in patients who use Dalhousie’s dental clinic, which is served by fourth-year dental students.
“Right now, women are telling me — especially if they’ve had a history of sexual victimization which many women do have — that they are not going to be able, ever, to go back to that clinic.”
Really? Had any of these women expressed fear before the revelation of the thoughts of these men; that they had been uncomfortable around them?
What course will feminists develop to teach women which men to trust and which men to fear as more often than not women are not privy to the private thoughts of the men around, especially about the women they are “admiring” at that moment?
We now have the opinions of the expert feminists. Now I want to see the studies that have been done that show a direct line between male sexual abusers and their thoughts. How many men who have expressed similar thoughts in the past ten years have gone on to abuse? More importantly how many men who have not expressed similar thoughts have gone on to abuse?
There is no doubt this debacle at Dalhousie will bring changes. The “fembiz” will explode. Dalhousie’s Françoise Baylis wrote , “The response to the systemic causes of sexualized violence must include the appointment of an Independent Committee of Inquiry composed entirely of external members to investigate, to consult with all relevant stakeholders, to issue a public report, and to make recommendations to all appropriate institutions and organizations. Only in this way might we be able to ensure the safety and success of students, faculty and staff, and begin to regain public trust in the Faculty of Dentistry and Dalhousie University.”
And now the university has decided to have an external investigation, by Constance Backhouse, into the environment at the school, a presidential task force led by Kim Brooks will be initiated and there is speculation that the university Senate will set up a third party investigation, all because of the thoughts of men on Facebook.
If this is going to take place at Dalhousie I have no doubt the idea will spread like wildfire throughout the university system in Canada and without doubt the USA if it isn’t there already. This will be a bonus for the women’ studies department and all those feminist specialists around the country from law to ethics to therapy.
And if that isn’t enough to get business booking there’s “manspreading,” which according to Lyndsay Kirkham, an English professor at Humber College, “ is about so much more than manners. It’s another example of the arrogance, disrespect and microaggression men inflict on women. It’s a metaphor for that larger space-taking that happens. You don’t have to be a feminist to recognize and agree with the fact that men are given permission to take up more space in our society.”
Kudos to all of you. From the true feminists, the real brave women who stood up to men and fought for the right to vote like Emily Murphy, Irene Marryat Parlby, Nellie Mooney McClung, Louise Crummy McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards, to those who fought for the right of women to have their own bank accounts and credit cards, women like Norma Rae and Crystal Lee Sutton who fought for the unions, and the first generation of women who sat on corporate boards and ran companies, we have arrived at a place where our feminist leaders are encouraging our young women to find solace in cults that revere victim-hood and victimization.
It is now a badge of honour to stand up and call oneself a victim. Instead of standing proudly as empowered women actually capable of speaking up for themselves and participating out in the world, we are raising marshmallows.