Posts Tagged ‘sexual assault’

Today, The National Day of Remembrance and Action Against Violence on Women

December 6th, 2012 Comments off

Today, on the anniversary of the 1989 Ecole Polytechiqe massacre, we remember the lives of the women who were murdered — and consequently denied the right to pursue a career in engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, alongside their male peers — simply because they were women in a traditionally male-only school and program. We also remember the lives of the other Ecole Polytechnique women who were killed that day because they were women and presumed to be engineering students. These are:

  • Geneviève Bergeron, 21, a civil engineering student
  • Hélène Colgan, 23, a mechanical engineering student
  • Nathalie Croteau, 23, a mechanical engineering student
  • Barbara Daigneault, 22, a mechanical engineering student
  • Anne-Marie Edward, 21, a chemical engineering student
  • Maud Haviernick, 29, a materials engineering student
  • Barbara Maria Klucznik, 31, a nursing student
  • Maryse Leclair, 23, a materials engineering student
  • Annie St.-Arneault, 23, a mechanical engineering student
  • Michèle Richard, 21, a materials engineering student
  • Maryse Laganière, 25, a budget clerk in the Ecole Polytechnique’s finance department
  • Anne-Marie Lemay, 22, a mechanical engineering student
  • Sonia Pelletier, 28, a mechanical engineering student
  • Annie Turcotte, 21, a materials engineering student

We also remember the lives and livelihoods of the women who are abused (be it emotionally, physically, or sexually) and murdered (with or without prior abuse) because they do not conform to archaic and restrictive patriarchal/sexist/cissexist/cisgenderist conceptions about gender, and/or simply because they are women and are deemed suitable for domination or control.
On this day, and every day, we stand in solidarity with women, particularly those who are most prone to abuse and murder. This includes, but is by no means limited to:

  • women who are assertive
  • women who are self and culturally aware
  • women with disabilities, particularly those with perceivable disabilities who are targetted because of their presumed or actual vulnerability
  • women of colour, particularly those who face the brunt of imperialism, colonialism, and racism and are targetted due to their perception as racially or ethnically inferior, and/or as a threat to White and Anglophonic dominance
  • women who are living in and/or who are coming from overtly patriarchal families and societies, as well as those who have to face patriarchal, sexist, and misogynistic mistreatment (however subtle or covert) on an everyday basis
  • women who are targetted for fundamentalist religious reasons, regardless of the religion in question
  • transgender and transsexual women, particularly those who
    • do not (and/or cannot) conform to archaic and restrictive patriarchal notions of what constitutes a so-called “real” ‘woman’ or ‘female’, and/or
    • have yet to (or have no desire to) change their bodies or their social presentation, and/or
    • were born intersex, and/or
    • are racialized, and/or
    • are disabled, and/or
    • are coming from patriarchal, misogynystic, cissexist, and cisgenderist families and societies, and/or
    • work as sex workers
  • sex workers, particularly those who are
    • transgender, and/or
    • transsexual, and/or
    • racialized, and/or
    • disabled, and/or
    • living with HIV/AIDS, and/or
    • who have willfully entered the sex industry and actually enjoy the work they do, and/or
    • who have been forced to work as sex workers against their will, be it because of
      • a relationship with an exploitative individual, and/or
      • a lack of social, societal, and institutional support structures to provide them with the ability to resist the exploitative situation they are in and/or to get out of it
  • women in living and working situations that deny them the right to fully realize themselves, personally, socially, and professionally, be it because of
    • the extra work they are expected (and forced) to provide for their (or other people’s) families and children, simply because they are mothers, daughters, or female live-in caregiver, and/or
    • the limited employment opportunities that are available to them as a result of archaic and restrictive patriarchal notions about what women can or should do, and/or
    • the substandard pay and denial of promotions many women have to endure because of their sex and/or gender, many of which are systemic, if not government-sanctioned
  • women who cannot get pregnant and/or bear children, including transsexual and transgender women
  • young women who have sex before marriage and/or no longer have (or never had) hymens
  • women who are subjected to (and/or refuse to subject themselves to) clitorectomies and other de-sexualizing and sterilizing procedures
  • women living with HIV/AIDS, particularly those who are transsexual, transgender, Black, Asian, South Asian, Aboriginal, sex workers, and consumers of injectable drugs
  • women who have no interest in having sex or establishing a relationship with men, particularly lesbian, asexual, and aromantic women
  • lesbian, queer, and genderqueer women, particularly those who consciously/politically (or not) defy archaic and restrictive patriarchal gender roles
  • intersex, sex-queer, sex-neutral, sex-nonidentifying, genderqueer, gender-neutral, and gender-nonidentifying individuals who are read as being ‘woman’ or ‘female’
  • women who consume alcohol or other drugs, particularly those in an altered state of consciousness

Indeed, we ask that you keep these individuals in mind as you go about your lives today — and for the rest of your lives.
The Queer Ontario Steering Committee

Breaking! Supreme Court of Canada Issues Decision on the Criminality of HIV Non-Disclosure

October 5th, 2012 Comments off

This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada issued two rulings on the criminalizability of individuals living with HIV if they do not disclose their HIV-positive status to a sexual partner before engaging with them, sexually.  The rulings are in response to a case in Manitoba, where a man was charged with nine counts of aggravated sexual assault based on his failure to disclose his HIV‑positive status to nine complainants (none of the complainants contracted HIV); and a case in Quebec, where a woman with HIV was charged with sexual assault and aggravated assault for failing to disclose her HIV-positve status to a partner.
The Supreme Court of Canada has effectively ruled that laying such charges on an individual who is HIV-positive, with an undetectable viral load, and who made proper use of a condom, is unreasonable because the “realistic possibility of transmission of HIV is negated” in such a context.
The Manitoba case ruling can be found here:

The Quebec case ruling can be found here:

The CBC’s report on the ruling an be found here:


Queer Ontario at the 2012 Toronto SlutWalk

May 23rd, 2012 Comments off



Queer Ontario is proud to announce its alliance with SlutWalk Toronto, and its work against the victim-blaming and slut-shaming that often accompanies — and follows — acts of sexual harassment and sexual assault.  We will be marching in the SlutWalk this Friday, May 25 in a show of solidarity, with messages opposing the misogyny, transphobia, and homophobia  that inform acts of sexual and physical violence, and the treatment many victims/survivors receive after-the-fact.
Marchers are set to meet at 5:oopm at Nathan Phillips Square, making their way up to Queen’s Park, via University Ave., at around 5:30 pm.
At 6:30 pm, a number of presenters will address the crowd, including: Kim Crosby, Jeff Perera, Tara Atluri, Judy Rebick, Morgan M Page, Michelle Chai, Jules Kirouac, and Jules’ mother, Deborah.
If you are interested in joining our marching contingent, then meet us at the south-east corner of Nathan Phillip’s square at 5:00 pm (look for the Queer Ontario banner), where we will have some materials to make signs. You can also contact us at if you have any questions or would like a run-down of our plan.
If you are interested in learning more about the SlutWalk, then visit their website at
Their Facebook event page can be found at