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Lecture 7

SOSC 1350 lecture 7.doc

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 1375
Olena Kobzar

Most important points from the previous lecture: • The crucial difference between formal and substantive equality (exam) • Undertsnading the difference between the bill of right and the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms • Judicial review and how it works • The problems with the formal equality approach. HELP! HOW DO I START ASSIGNMENT #2? 1. Finish all readings relating to both topics (if you have not done so already) 2. Read Bliss and Ewanchuk 3. At some point during #1 or #2, decide upon your topic 4. Write a point form summary of your case 5. Topic 1: brainstorm how Bliss relates to formal equality reasoning Topic 2: brainstorm how Ewanchuk relates to rape myths 6. Topic 1: brainstorm about equality litigation vis-à-vis challenges faced by mothers in Canada Topic 2: brainstorm about pros and cons of litigation for sexually assaulted women SEXUAL VIOLENCE (PARTS 1 AND 2) Virtuous women, like young girls, are unconsenting, virginal, rapable. Unvirtuous women, like wives and prostitutes, are consenting, whores, unrapable… One day they cannot say yes, and the next day they cannot say no. —Catharine MacKinnon (1946-present) 1. Masculinities, Femininities and Sexual Violence a. clip from Jackson Katz’s “Ted Talk” • katz starts the talk by talking about the mythical norm • He is talking about how the arguments focus on the victims rather than the perpetrators and he highlights victim blaming. • Some man resort to sexual and physical violence as a way of performance that is part of hegemonic masculinity b. discussion of “John” and “Mary” 2. Overview of Sexual Assault in Canada a. reporting rates • conviction rates of reported sex assault are very low • logan ( a police officer) stated that you have a high chance of getting away with sexual assault and his comment is proven to be true. • There are about 460 thousand sexual assaults in Canada each year but only about 840 are convicted each year • Sexual assault cases – 90 % are not reported to the police • Today 5-10% of sexual assault cases are reported to the police • This figures are actually a huge increase in percentage of women that are actually reporting to the police. This is because women are starting to realize that rape is legally wrong and is not just a part of being a women • Women don’t report sexual assault because of the following reasons: o Aboriginal women, colored women, women who are not citizens yet and women with disability are less reluctant to report o Aboriginal women, especially living on reserve, don’t report rape because they don’t believe that the police will provide protection o Women that are not yet citizens are afraid of deportation especially if the assaulter is their sponsor. In Canada, women that are not permanent residence actually have a chance of being deported if they report assault o Disabled women are more targeted by man when it comes to sexual assault and violence. Their assaulters are usually someone they are dependent upon like family or care givers. 40% of disabled women are subject to assault. b. treatment of sexually assaulted women i. persistence of rape myths ii. Aboriginal women iii. immigrant women without citizenship iv. women with disabilities c. conviction rates remain low i. women not believed; credibility questioned • the more a women deviates from the mythical norm the less likely she is to be believed. ii. not investigated properly iii. higher burden of proof in criminal law • criminal law has the highest burden of proof, the defence doesn’t have to prove innocence they just have to establish reasonable doubt 3. Rape Myths a. rape myths as gendered, racialized and heteronormative mythologies • prevalence of the rape myths in the criminal justice system play a large role in both women’s reluctance to report and the difficulty in obtaining conviction • rape myths are a way of delegidimizing women that were sexually assaulted • rape myths are motivated and relate to problematic assumptions of race, gender and heterosexuality b. some rape myths i. rape is impossible ii. rapists are always “creepy strangers” with weapons • the idea that the rapists is someone the woman knows doesn’t enter into the equation. There is also a presumption that a weapon is involved • usually the rapists is a family member, partner and/or someone in the social circle • this myth is a standard stenerio that is seen as legitiment in the criminal system iii. women want/“ask” to be raped • wearing provocative clothing, out on a date, kissing, making out, flirting, drinking alcohol, not sticking with female friends at parties, walking alone at night, living with a man they are not married too or have children out of wed lock, or if you are married to them. • Rape in the marriage was legal until 1983 iv. women and children cannot be trusted (e.g. John Wigmore on evidence) • because they make up stories v. rape is a sexual act • having to do with the image of masculinity and that sex is a natural part of masculinity and not something that man can control vi. “no” means “yes” • The idea that if a man forces himself on her she will at some point start to enjoy it. vii. “no” is not enough • A women must do anything she can and fight back as much as they can, so if there is no evidence of scars and bruises of fighting back then she is blamed for what happened to her because she didn’t demonstrate her unwillingness enough. viii. women must be constantly on guard against rape • if women are not always on guard then they are asking to be raped • instead of having women constently on guard, we need to shift from ‘don’t get rapeed’ to ‘don’t rape’ ix. if yes to one, then yes to all • the more sexual partners a woman has had, the more rapable they are. x. if yes once, then yes always • date rape, relationship rape and marriage rape xi. rape doesn’t really hurt women • unless she ends up with signs of violence then she wasn’t really raped. c. women as liars and/or sexual temptresses • women lie about being sexually assaulted because they somehow consent to sex and then rejrect it so they cry rape • although this rape myths don’t have any real foundation, they play a huge role in court, if we didn’t have myths, socially any form of sexual penetration would be considered rape. • Although myths have limited foundation in reality they are very important in courtrooms d. the influence of rape myths • the further a women diviates from the mythical norms the more rapable she is seen to be. • The more a men corresponds to the mythical norms the less likely he is to be a rapists. • Rape myths are tremendaselly influencial when looking at rape in courts. i. legal doctrine ii. strategies utilized by lawyers in court 4. A (Brief) History of Rape/Sexual Assault Law in Canada a. Rape Act (Britain, 1275) • 1275, in common law, these early rape laws were designed to protect mens property rights. They were used by rich people • Used by fathers, brothers and husbnads of womens who were raped. Women who were raped were unmarriagable and hence were dependent
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