What's Current: The same argument you have with every dude on the internet, also 'restorative justice,' our collective asses

So, those violently misogynistic Dalhousie Dentistry students were suspended for a few measly days. The university then came up with this “restorative justice” plan as a way to deal with the incident. Basically, the male students will have a discussion about their feelings and say they’re sorry. That’s it.

The female students who were targeted at Dalhousie are unsurprisingly not happy with this “restorative justice” approach. In an open-letter to the president of the university, they write: “The university is pressuring us into this process, silencing our views, isolating us from our peers, and discouraging us from choosing to proceed formally.”

Why did the US Senate swimming pool bar female senators from using it? Because some of the male senators liked to swim naked (not a joke). Stories from women in the US Senate.

Toronto artist tweets illustrations of missing and murdered indigenous women to Stephen Harper.

Elaine Frieda Alook, 35, disappeared on May 11 outside Fort McMurray, Alta. (Evan Munday)
Elaine Frieda Alook, 35, disappeared on May 11 outside Fort McMurray, Alta. (Evan Munday)

Ghomeshi had three new charges of sexual assault added today. The next court date is Feb. 4th.

“Ontario sex-education curriculum will include consent, says Premier Kathleen Wynne.” Hmm, does that include teaching girls to consent to ‘maintenance sex?’

Internet conversations with “That Dude” :

Woman: We need to work together to prevent rape.

Dude: If you really cared about rape you’d go stop rape in Somalia.

Woman: But —

Dude: SOMALIA

Susan Cox An American expatriate who fled to the wonderland of Canada, Susan Cox spends most of her time writing, reading, and cooking.

Got a great article you think should be included in What’s Current? Send it to Susan Cox: cox[dot]j[dot]susan[at]gmail[dot]com

Susan Cox
Susan Cox

SUSAN COX IS A FEMINIST WRITER WHO LIVES IN NEW YORK. SHE EARNED HER MA IN PHILOSOPHY IN 2014.

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  • Laur

    Does this school use “restorative justice” for any other crimes–or only rape?

    • susan

      There’s no info on the university website when the “restorative justice project” was implemented and for what offenses it has been applied. Let me know if you find anything.

    • C.K. Egbert

      This “restorative approach” (which seems popular among liberals for men who brutally violate women–society should just give them therapy, victims should forgive their abusers, being angry at men who hurt women and want them to actually suffer consequences are being “vengeful”) probably only applies to rape, because they don’t think that raping women is wrong at all.

      Plagiarism, on the other hand, will get you sent to the dean’s office and possibly expelled at a university. Because copying and pasting from the internet is a real offense in their eyes.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Oh but shouldn’t we all just sit down in a room with our abusers and have a nice, productive chat? DOESN’T THAT SOUND NICE?

        BAAAAARF. Makes me wanna barf.

      • “Plagiarism, on the other hand, will get you sent to the dean’s office and possibly expelled at a university. Because copying and pasting from the internet is a real offense in their eyes.”

        So true! Reminds me of how bullying was treated as no big deal at my high school and I was told (by my friends, none-the-less) to shut up and cope with being bullied and not “let him get to me”, meanwhile I got detention for being late to class and for ditching class. Somehow no one ever connected the dots and came to the conclusion that my unwillingness to go to class may have had something to do with my bullying.

        Then there is the fact that every minor violation of the unspoken laws of liberalism, by radical leftists and feminists is seen as a serious offence and (in some cases) proof that such movements should be banned or at least cleansed from “progressive” movement so that such movements can look good in the eyes of reactionaries. The fact that liberals care more about what conservatives think of them than about what their supposed allies think of them tells me that their movement is all about power, not changing the world for the better. They can call themselves tolerant and “inclusive” all they want. I call them power-hungry.

        “This “restorative approach” (which seems popular among liberals for men who brutally violate women–society should just give them therapy, victims should forgive their abusers, being angry at men who hurt women and want them to actually suffer consequences are being “vengeful”)”

        I think there is some merit to the idea of trying to redeem criminals. I do not think people are born evil and the idea that men are born aggressive and dominating has caused a lot of harm to women. Violent men need to learn that not everyone behaves that way. It is not that I believe in the fluffy nonsense that men will magically be redeemed if women show them love, but when men think everyone is violent, they use this belief to justify their violence. They need to learn that not everyone is violent, so that they will not have that sense of validation.

        I think any punishment men get for raping or abusing women should make it clear to them that such behaviours are wrong and that they need to stop engaging in them. Having the victims forgive their abusers obviously is not going to do that. It will validate their behaviour in another way and I am sure most victims of rape and violence never want to see their abusers again. This is another case of liberals trying to shove positive-thinking down everybody’s throat instead of trying to actually stop rape and abuse.

        Abusers should be punished, so that they do not get the impression that they will get away with violence and that society thinks it is okay, but I would not want the (mostly male) people whose job it is to punish abusers to sink to the same level as the abusers. Not because I feel sorry for the abusers or am concerned about the prison guard’s souls or whatever, but because I do not want prisons to be yet another space in which men are indoctrinated into masculinity.

        • Elizabeth

          in response to independent,I have been surrounded by ‘nice christian people” who still treat me AS IF I am the problem.I did not commit the CRIME of sexual assault and yet for all of muy life I am treated as if the only real problem is that I just need to forgive the perpetrator and ‘go on with my life”.One police woman said:He’s never even had a parking ticket”(I have had many)The local police have tried to built a case against me and to ‘criminalize” me when I know that I know that I am not a criminal and Yet they seem to want the criminals who commit sexual assault to be let go to roam free and Never Really hear or validate the victims and many suffer for an entire lifetime.
          Get Over It philosophy…some people never do get over it…the Best is to Get Past what you may never get over.Seeking Justice is tiring since no one supports me anyway.

      • Elizabeth

        Hmmmm, it is sounding as though NOT much has changed in the last 50 years in Canada?! When I had the misfortune of being driven down a dark road against my will and sexually assaulted against my will as a teen;silencing and No justice and no support and no Voice was common. It is beginning to wound very similar.
        ALLOW women’s voices to be heard.
        Allow women to speak.
        To Dalhousie University :Is this the Dark Ages or is this 2015?
        Restorative justice IS about the women having their Truth heard and voiced.Too many men still believe that women are Not Human and thus they can say anything and Not Get it:Women are Human Beings with feelings and rights just like men have feelings.But when emotions overtake another human being without Respect and regard for the other’s Autonomy and rights and feelings then the male dominance attitudes Must Stop.
        This is 2015 not 1910.
        Dalhousie:GET WITH IT.
        (PASS THIS ON TO THE ‘ADMINISTRATORS…THEY WILL BURN FOREVER if ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS THE MONEY AND THE REPUTATION OF THEIR BELOVED UNIVERSITY WHICH IS NOW GOING DOWN WITH HALF OF THE HUMAN POPULATION ANYWAY.

    • C.K. Egbert

      According to this article, the offense was threats of rape. Not that it makes their approach any more justified. Also from what I can glean from the reports (granted I didn’t read them very thoroughly) it sounds like this was an ad hoc move that is separate from the formal procedures.

  • susan

    On the link: “Stories from women in the senate,” the article really made me think of Meghan’s recent piece on “man spreading.” As she said, women on public transit are on the edge of their seats, wary of the next time they’ll be harassed. While men, on the other hand, treat it like their living room.

    It seems that it’s no different for one of the spaces in the highest echelon of power and prestige in the US, the senate. As illustrated by Gillibrand being groped, and the male senators letting their dong out in the pool, it’s a man’s space.