It’s not just “talk”

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Like so many others, I found myself greatly disturbed by the recently leaked video of Donald Trump essentially referring to women as his play things. What has been equally, if not more upsetting, is the throng of people, including women, who are simply dismissing the talk as “locker room” antics that are somehow acceptable if kept private. Perhaps it bears reminding that kissing and groping women without their consent is a form of sexual assault.

Let me be abundantly clear: On no level, private or otherwise, is it acceptable to speak of or treat women as anything less than human beings. The sort of thinking that sees girls and women as objects of men’s whim is what gives rise to the issues that Voicefound is working so hard to remedy and heal. Sexual exploitation, aggression and rape are rooted in a mindset that continues to permeate society today.

We can thank Trump for bringing it into our current discourse. We now need to firmly and resolutely express our absolute abhorrence of such “talk” and behaviour. It doesn’t matter who is saying it, it is wrong. We have an opportunity now to rise up and put an end to such talk and perhaps it will eventually seep into a very disturbed mindset.

It is not only words. It is deeply upsetting and feeds the thinking that often results in abhorrent behaviour. There are reportedly 460,000 sexual assaults in Canada every year. According to research by University of Ottawa Professor Holly Johnson, only 33 of 1000 assaults are reported to police. Of those, 29 are recorded as crime, with 12 charges resulted. Final convictions: 3.

It is 2016. Time to see girls and women as human beings on an equal footing with men. Women are not play things nor are they put on this earth to satisfy men’s urges. If you know this, then speak up. If you don’t, take a lesson. This sort of “talk” must end now.

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