Tag Archives: blood

Does the Reaction to the Stanford Rapist Signal a Cultural Shift?

By now you’ve probably heard that Stanford student Brock Allen Turner was sentenced to only 6 months in prison for raping an unconscious woman at a party. You’ve probably also heard his father shamelessly attempt to downplay Turner’s actions as “20 minutes of action”.

Hopefully, you’ve also read the letter written by the rape survivor. In it, she breaks down many of the myths around rape, myths Turner’s defence used to attack her testimony and represent Turner as some kind of victim instead. Her heartbreaking personal account has broken down the defences of almost everyone who has read it (except Turner and his father, it would seem). According to Buzzfeed, one of the main sites to release her letter, her words have “gone viral” in a way few conversations about sexual assault ever do.

And as the word has spread, almost everyone has gotten behind this brave woman. Her story has brought light to the problem of systemic injustices, like light penalties for many cases of sexual assault and disproportionate penalties based on racial or economic background.

More than anything her story has prompted a united public outrage. Every comment I have read expresses distain and anger towards Turner and sympathy for his victim. Even internet trolls who would normally find a reason to challenge the victim’s story (i.e. some members of the Men’s Rights Reddit page) admit that “outrage over this issue is legitimate” (although their comments inevitably lead back to criticizing feminism).

In some ways it’s encouraging to witness the attack on Brock Turner. It seems like we’re experiencing a massive shift in the way we talk about rape and sexual violence. As this story has unfolded we’ve seen few if any attempts to slut shame or victim blame in the media or public conversation.

As glad as I am that this conversation has come out in favour of the victim, I can’t help but wonder if the public condemnation of Turner actually signals for a yearning for justice, or if perhaps other factors are at play. I’ve been struggling with two questions in particular. Continue reading

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If We Really Want to Celebrate Motherhood, Can We Stop Being so Afraid of Boobs and Blood?

Mother’s Day is around the corner. Soon we’ll all be out buying flowers and chocolates for our moms and trying to make up for the way we talked to her in our teens (or is that just me?).  If we aren’t already out buying something for mom, then a whole bunch of really emotional commercials are going to try to guilt us into doing so.


While we often see mothers celebrated in media, usually for their hard work and dedication in the home, these ads tend to avoid any of the messy biological stuff that tends to go hand and hand with motherhood. You want examples? Well how about breastfeeding and periods? Continue reading

Shame Day: Johnny Depp and The Lone Ranger

I feel like I shouldn’t have to say too much about this. Really, this feels, to me anyway, like it hardly warrants an explanation.

Johnny Depp, a white actor, playing Tonto, a character traditionally portrayed as being of the Potawatomi tribe, in Disney’s upcoming The Lone Ranger is really dumb. “Dumb” is but one of the many four-letter words I could be using to describe it.

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Really, though, I should let Mr. Depp speak for himself. He’s an actor a lot of people greatly respect given his extensive acting career, and I think that he should be given the opportunity to explain (1) why he took on the role, and (2) why his character appears the way he does. Continue reading