Sexism and even misogyny in Canada are prevalent and increasingly documented. Daily examples can be found in news stories, workplaces and homes—and not just on our TV screens and computer monitors. They manifest themselves in a myriad of ways: on campuses like the University of British Columbia’s and Saint Mary’s (Halifax) where frosh students sing pro-rape chants; in Air Canada flight decks where male pilots bully female pilots by leaving pornography behind for them to find; in courtrooms where charges of sexual assault are commonly withdrawn, where the victims of sexual assault are put on trial instead of their aggressors (who are not required to testify) and where provincial court judges ask rape victims why they couldn’t have kept their knees together; on billboards where a drill hovers over the vagina of a prone naked woman surrounded by flames with a tagline that reads, ‘Screwpiles. We Drill them to Hell and Back’ (Alberta); in the comment section of news stories, as well as on social media where men voice their opinion that certain premiers should be killed, etc. (Alberta). Canadian women and girls—but also boys and men—are continually exposed to behaviour, images and messages that reinforce the idea that our society condones sexism and misogyny. Thankfully, women (and men) are increasingly exposing these sexist and misogynist attitudes and behaviours for what they are—unacceptable.
© 2016 Alline Cormier