My response to #jian this week, this moment

I almost never repost other people’s blogs. Maybe I should do that more. This is awesome: Source: Fuck you, Jian

I have been getting increasingly angry during the coverage of this trial and couldn’t quite crystallize exactly what it is that is upsetting me so much. I think it’s the expectation embedded in the very structure of the trial system that how you behave before or after an assault defines whether or not it’s assault. We’re familiar with the pre-assault credibility questions — was she flirting, luring him on, confusing him with a short skirt, behaving in a slutty manner. I’m not sure that we’ve had such a focused look before judging an assault based on the target’s reaction *afterwards*.

I posted something about this on facebook, along with the link to the above, and as women started to like it and post on it, a male lawyer I know waded it to explain to all of us how the court system works, and why email X looked bad, blah blah blah. I thought, I wonder if he would start explaining to First Nations people why they should have a specific reaction to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

I can’t speak for all women. I’m sure there are women who, the second something felt “off” in their interaction with someone charming and hot and famous, would have left and never looked back. But I sure know that I have been in situations where something that crossed the line from “sure, I’m up for that” into “shit, wtf was that, did that really happen?” — and in my attempt to make sense of it, to normalize it, to not have to deal with the sense of violation and confusion, to not disrupt the social world we were in, I continued engaging with the guy as though it was a perfectly acceptable part of the pattern between us.

That thread of intimacy extended — I could have anyone, but you are special – can confuse our own boundaries so easily. I could be Lucy Decoutere, I could be any one of these women.

I sent the guy commenting on my post a note saying I’m sure he didn’t get that he was coming off like he was explaining to all these dumb women how the Law works. (I appreciated he removed his posts). Because the law isn’t the point — it’s how this wraps around all of us as women, pulls our most private, fuzzy and confusing experiences into the public gaze.

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3 responses to “My response to #jian this week, this moment

  1. Stephanie Creede

    Thank you for this.

  2. Thank you from me too. I totally agree with your thoughts about this. I hope that publicity around the trial helps to show how the law itself re-victimizes and shames women who are already traumatized.

  3. Excellent post.

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