Written by Natalie Hill (WAVAW volunteer). Natalie wrote this piece in response to CBC’s radio program, Q, and their segment titled “does rape culture really exist?”. Natalie submitted this piece to CBC and it was read out loud, along all the other comments by other listeners, on the Q show.
“By arguing that women attend university with their parents’ backing, therefore rape culture doesn’t exist, Heather Macdonald actually disproved her own thesis.
Rape culture, by definition, normalizes the prevalence of sexual assault in our society. It makes the risk of experiencing sexual assault an accepted inevitability, and sexual assault a normal part of women’s lives. That so many young women go to university with their families’ support – despite the fact that there is a high risk they will experience some form of sexual assault while there – proves that rape culture exists. I would argue that the fact so many young men attend university, with their families’ support, without taking the time to ensure they understand sexual assault and how not to commit it, also proves that rape culture exists. The sexist foundations of so many men’s understanding of masculinity, sexuality and power, constructed very early on in life, often go unchecked and unquestioned, enabling men to perpetuate violence against women, largely with impunity and especially so on campuses.
Beyond her false logic, Heather Macdonald’s arguments were steeped in victim-blaming, and served to perpetuate countless myths about rape sexual assault. While I appreciate the desire to have differing opinions in a debate, it’s a shame that Q gave airtime to someone who repeated the dangerous myths upon which rape culture relies.”