The awful story that came out of Montreal and Kingston yesterday, still renders me gobsmacked.
I know it's not the first such killing and know too that at this point, we have charges laid, but no real idea as to what happened, but the police chief certainly used enough buzz words to suggest that this was somehow planned. So, without harping on the specifics of this case, I just wanted to note a couple of things that have been running through my mind.
A short time ago I complained here about the phrasing on a funding announcement made by Helena Guergis.
This project aims to promote equitable, non-violent behaviour in the romantic relationships of adolescents by targeting the hypersexualization of girls as a root cause of dating violence.
I was roundly taken to task by someone who supports the program. Further investigation caused me to see that the program was much larger than this announcement would suggest, but I stand by my criticism for including that line.
You see the problem for me is this is considered a tiny little thing that people brush off, but they have a huge impact on developing a mentality that is just plain wrong. The victim is never, never, the cause of abuse because of gender, dress, attitude, etc. Yet lines such as the one included in the release reinforce that attitude.
It's more prevalent in this society than is realised and the last thing we should be doing is reinforcing it, especially with young women.
Did anyone see this story? Once you get past the horror of what happened to that little girl, consider the mindset of a family that would actually blame her for what happened. And lest you think this just happens with new immigrants, think again.
I listened to a call-in yesterday on the subject and was shocked as to how many callers barely avoided saying that they agreed with the incident in Kingston, but did take the stand that women are responsible for the actions of men.
One woman caller, a Canadian born Muslim, defended women being relegated to the back of a mosque, because after all, if they were together or in front, men couldn't control themselves from looking at them as they bowed to pray. And before you get too smug and think that this is a Muslim thing, the next caller was an orthodox Jewish woman, who basically said that women were segregated at Temple because men were unable to control themselves and women would just be too distracting. That's just the way it was.
Now those two examples hardly equate to the horrific stories I refer to here, but they illustrate a dangerous way of thinking imo.
The thought of 'honour' in anyway being associated with these crimes is abhorrent, but it's equally sad to know that some women in Canadian society would believe that they were responsible for another's thoughts or actions. The line in the announcement reinforces that thinking.
The horror of the first two stories has to do with tribalism and surely that is something that we can address openly and honestly in this country, without attacking religions or whole swathes of people. We must.