Saturday, September 01, 2012

Would "dress less provocatively and use a keychain alarm" made a difference?

"Remember, nothing good ever happens after midnight. Why do you think they deliver the mail during the day?" ..... Boston Celtics Head Coach "Doc" Rivers to young rookies at start of training camp each year.

Good Day Readers:

In the age of social media inappropriate comment(s) travel like wildfire. In the case of the following article it raises certain questions:

(1) Would Ms Ford's tweet have gone viral had she used "dress less provocatively" rather than the W-word and substituted "a keychain alarm" for "mace?"

(2) What role, if any, did her public profile play?

(3) Is use of the term "heartbroken" appropriate or should it be reserved for bone fide tragedies such as the sudden death of a loved one? Would descriptives "saddened" or "disappointed" or "concerned" or "unfortunate" or "troubling" or ..... be a more more judicious choice?

(4) Is, "Everybody in the city deserves to feel safe at any time of day in any part of the city, wearing any manner of clothing ....." while a noble, altruistic pursuit realistic?

Winnipeg, like any large urban centre, has readily identifiable high crime-high risk areas even the police have difficulty at times taking back. As a parent with children, should you be concerned if regardless of gender or manner of dress they are frequenting these districts late at night or early in the morning especially if drugs and/or alcohol are involved?

Maybe just maybe "Doc" has a point.

Clare L. Pieuk  

Women's advocates heartbroken over 'dress like a whore tweet'
Friday, August 31, 2012
Krista Ford apologized for her tweet 'don't dress like a whore.' (Facebook)

Krista Ford may have apologized for advising women to not "dress like a whore" to avoid a sexual assault, but the tweet by the niece of the Toronto mayor has still raised the ire of women's advocates across Canada.
"I'm tired of having this conversation," said Farrah Khan, a counsellor at the Barbra Schlifer Clinic said on CBC's Metro Morning, when asked how she felt about the issue being raised again.

"I kept thinking of the survivors and how they feel when people say to them, 'You should have done something. You shouldn't have worn that. You shouldn't have gone out late at night.' It's never our fault, and we need to focus on that," said Khan.

On Thursday, hours after sending out the orginal tweet, Ford apologized for her remarks, saying, “I didn’t mean to cause such an alarm and I apologize if I did. I just want women to be safe."

The 21-year-old, the daughter of Toronto Councillor Doug Ford, Mayor Rob Ford's brother, is a former high-profile member of a Toronto women's football team, the Toronto Triumph, part of the Lingerie Football League.

Her tweet was sent just minutes after Toronto police held a news conference warning women about a series of sexual assaults in a downtown neighbourhood.

“Stay alert, walk tall, carry mace, take self-defence classes & don’t dress like a whore," Ford said on Twitter.

The tweet was later removed.

On Friday, Khan said that when she read the comment, she felt "heartbroken."

"A part of healing from violence is having the support of a community. So when comments like this are made, when rape jokes are made ... this is what makes it harder for survivors to heal," she said.

"Instead of teaching men not to rape, we teach women don't get raped — as if they're somehow the active participants in this," said Nikki Thomas, executive director of Sex Professionals of Canada.

"So the whole idea of 'don't dress like a slut, don't walk around late at night all by yourself' ... it ignores the fact that everybody in the city deserves to feel safe at any time of day, in any part of the city, wearing any manner of clothing," said Thomas.

Mayor says niece 'regrets' mistake

Rob Ford said Thursday evening that his niece had acknowledged her mistake, and it was time to move on.

"It’s a mistake she made," Ford told reporters at the Canadian National Exhibition.

"She regrets it, she apologized for it."

But Khan said her apology, once again, seems to blame women for putting themselves in a dangerous position.

"I really hope she thinks more about how we have those discussions .. talking about how we raise our sons, conversations we have with our brothers, our fathers, the way we have conversations when sexual assault comes up in the media when a trial is happening, how those survivors are blamed, often times," she said.

Khan said she hopes Krista Ford will come out to the annual Take Back the Night march on September 15.
"I invite [Ford] to march with the Barbra Schlifer Clinic," said Khan.


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