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Cat Calling and Sexual Harassment: CAFE Participates in Panel at U of Guelph

CAFE was invited to participate in a panel on “Cat Calling and Sexual Harassment” on October 28, 2014 at the University of Guelph. The event was organized by the student group “Multi-Disciplinary Round Table presents” and featured the following speakers:

Amber Sherwood-Robinson
OUTline Volunteer (http://www.uoguelph.ca/~outline/), a gay and lesbian campus group

Sergeant Kyle Ueberschlag
University of Guelph Campus Police (https://www.uoguelph.ca/police/)

Sheila from the Guelph Resource Centre for Gender Empowerment and Diversity (http://www.uoguelph.ca/~wrc/GRCGED/GRCGED.html)

Justin Trottier from Canadian Association For Equality.

Here’s the video and a few observations:

– Amber of OUTline advocates that victims “don’t report criminal acts to police!” as police are apparently not to be trusted
– Sheila of Guelph Resource Centre for Gender Empowerment and Diversity explains “I’m white and I’ve been called in and told I haven’t been a good ally. Being an ally means apologizing and recognizing our privilege, advocating against our own privilege, cis-gendered men were born with privilege and sometimes that means taking knocks for systematic patriarchy and contempt for women.
– An audience member complains that men wouldn’t know what it’s like not to feel safe in a dark alley, neglecting the fact that men are more likely victims of schoolyard bullying
– Event ends when panelists and audience members accuse men of “taking up too much space” at the event, ” Without any sense of irony this statement followed right after men in the audience were told to avoid using the “gender binary.” How much more binary can it be to conclude that any man who dares to speak at a sexual harassment event is wasting everyone’s time.
– “Men are making the discussion about them”: it seems to be ok to have men the focus of the discussion provided its to blame men, but when anyone introduces a more nuanced perspective on the role of men that’s  a problem
– “men and women” binary language is only corrected when Trottier and 2 other men fall into this politically incorrect talk, while the whole concept of “male entitlement” which most of the audience takes for granted presupposes there is a well defined “male
– Men in the audience are told to “be a good ally and don’t defend” ie. being a good ally means conforming and voicing no disagreement

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