Posts tagged ‘Toronto Police’

April 3, 2011

Toronto’s Slut Walk

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All images by Paisley Rae @PaisleyRae on Twitter. Used with permission.

Slut Walk took over the streets of Toronto today as large numbers of people turned out to protest a remark made by a Toronto Police Officer which suggested that women could avoid rape by not dressing like “sluts“. That the statement was made during a safety briefing at York University is even more stunning.

The remark prompted activists to organize Slut Walk on April 3, 2011 to demand greater sensitivity from the Toronto Police. While I am a supporter of  the Toronto Police Service (my brother has been an officer in it for almost two decades and I even worked for them briefly) there is always room for improvement. Very proud that the people of Toronto always demand better.

From the Slut Walk site:

As the city’s major protective service, the Toronto Police have perpetuated the myth and stereotype of ‘the slut’, and in doing so have failed us. With sexual assault already a significantly under-reported crime, survivors have now been given even less of a reason to go to the Police, for fear that they could be blamed. Being assaulted isn’t about what you wear; it’s not even about sex; but using a pejorative term to rationalize inexcusable behaviour creates an environment in which it’s okay to blame the victim.

Historically, the term ‘slut’ has carried a predominantly negative connotation. Aimed at those who are sexually promiscuous, be it for work or pleasure, it has primarily been women who have suffered under the burden of this label. And whether dished out as a serious indictment of one’s character or merely as a flippant insult, the intent behind the word is always to wound, so we’re taking it back. “Slut” is being re-appropriated.

We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.

We are a movement demanding that our voices be heard. We are here to call foul on our Police Force and demand change. We want Toronto Police Services to take serious steps to regain our trust. We want to feel that we will be respected and protected should we ever need them, but more importantly be certain that those charged with our safety have a true understanding of what it is to be a survivor of sexual assault — slut or otherwise.

We are tired of speeches filled with lip service and the apologies that accompany them. What we want is meaningful dialogue and we are doing something about it: WE ARE COMING TOGETHER. As people from all gender expressions and orientations, all walks of life, levels of employment and education, all races, ages, abilities, and backgrounds, from all points of this city and elsewhere.

Visit the site here.

There is another picture gallery on Flickr here.

November 3, 2010

Ricky Martin on Oprah and an important PSA on cyber bullying .

A touching interview in which Ricky Martin talks about his kids and coming to terms with himself. Watch it while it is still available – I suspect  there will be a takedown notice soon enough.

Via The New Civil Rights Movement


And here’s an interesting video on cyber bullying I found via @TorontoPolice on Twitter. It is an unpleasant reality for so many kids today.


October 7, 2010

Life out loud…

My brother , who is a Police Officer in Toronto,  sent me a text earlier to say “There’s a march going on through my division right now in relation to suicide by gay kids.” Knowing him he would have been right there protecting them. Mind you, it isn’t usually an issue in TO but I pity any bully he happens to run across.

This evening I saw Anderson Cooper interview Chris Armstrong , the university student who is student assembly president at the University of Michigan and is being cyber-bullied by the peculiar  ( can you say issues boys and girls?) Michigan Asst. Atty General. He said he didn’t want to be speaking out about a personal matter but the spate of suicides such as Seth, Asher and Tyler made him think he should speak out. So in many ways the tragic loss of these young and potentially beautiful lives has not been in vain. It has encouraged activism and thanks to the media ( of which I am part and now happier than ever to be part of)  significant and unrelenting coverage of the long standing issue is getting attention.

Today it also came to my attention ,via Facebook and my dear friend Alvin, that some strange US based “His Way Out”  Ex-Gay group is coming here soon. They plan to run around spreading hate to the few who will listen  and even have a meeting planned with the new Port of Spain Mayor whose party isn’t exactly known for its spirited stance on diversity. Great timing fools!  If the US has a problem with suicide and they are a lot more  advanced – how do you think that will affect kids here where they feel even more isolated? Oh right – they don’t give a damn. Any young blood spilled will just be collateral damage in their quest to change human nature. I will not even dignify them by linking to their god awful site.  Apparently, though, there is a protest planned so that will be a first for T&T.  I hope they realize they are probably going to hell too for eating shrimp – it is an abomination – from the same Leviticus they love to quote.

As a result of this development my pal Alvin posted his views and people commented – resulting in this exchange:

Naturally, I responded with this:

I know I shouldn’t be so brash …oh wait…I should.

On a lighter note I missed Margaret Cho on DWTS . This is not surprising as I don’t watch the programme – but I love her humour. It seems dear Margaret decided to go all out in her last venture :

Way to live loud Margaret!

Don’t forget on October 20, 2010 – wear purple in honour ( honor for my American friends)  of those countless kids who have died as a result of bullying and to celebrate Spirit Day. I will be wearing it on camera.