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Episode 04 Slut or Nut: The Podcast – Special Edition – Canadian Women Call In


just a word of caution this podcast does
contain material related to sexual assault which could be upsetting to some
listeners please make sure you’re emotionally resourced and seek help from
a trauma specialist or medical professional if you need it it’s hard to
feel that the times are truly changing when this hearings been proving that we
can’t even trust every man who’s close to us to actually hear us or listen to
us or believe us enough to see that adequate change isn’t coming without an
active measure on their part hi and welcome to slut or not the podcast I’m
Kelly sugar and I’m the director of slut or nut the Diary of a rape trial which
is a feature-length documentary film exploring what it is like to report rape
and following activist Mandy gray as she fights to change how victims of sexual
assault are treated by the criminal justice system you can also find the
show notes related to this episode on our site and more episodes of sleddin at
the podcast on Apple podcast Spotify stitcher and on our website at www.jennychapin.com please email us at
slut or nut the movie at gmail.com for this episode which is the third part
of our three-part miniseries on Brett Kavanaugh I decided to see what things
look like from the great north looking down in the United States I talked to
several Canadian women about their impressions of the Cavanaugh Senate
confirmation hearing and subsequent appointment to the Supreme Court about
the me2 movement and about dr. Ford’s testimony a sexual assault over the next
thirty minutes we’ll hear from five different women on how they felt
watching the Cavanaugh hearing the first woman we’ll hear from is quarrel she’s
27 years old lives in Toronto and works as a makeup artist and cosmetic manager what the Cavanaugh hearing is brought to
light for me is a sense of profound disappointment in some of the men in my
life that I thought I knew the men who have made this about themselves the men
who have taken it upon themselves to be the Crusaders against women who have
something to say the men that have laid out their previously dormant
misogynistic views for the whole world to see and it feels like nobody even
cares I’ve had several conversations just this week where men have turned
women coming forward into a list time about how juvenile women are being by
not reporting their rape or assault right away as though immediately after
being raped you just want to go to the police just for them to not believe you
or turned into debate about whether the roughly 2 percent of men who are falsely
accused are more important than the hundreds of thousands of women who’ve
experienced a rape or trauma if they live with daily that never sees justice
because a man’s word is more valuable than a woman’s it’s brought up the
perpetual fear that women live with daily that we suppress into these
normalized behaviors like walking with our keys in our hand when we’re walking
through a parking garage because god forbid you’re assaulted and then asked
what more could you have done to protect yourself you should have known better this whole kavanah thing has brought men
another would work who feel like they’re genuinely being attacked on a personal
level rather than simply making an honest attempt to understand where women
are coming from or perspective in life that is entirely standard around men
already and women taking the backseat and the brunt of responsibility and
proving that we were assaulted in the first place because ultimately what
they’re saying is that the 2% stat of false claims makes 100 percent of women
suspects in a false claim when four out of five women will be salt assaulted in
our lifetimes it’s hard to feel that the times are truly changing when this
hearings been proving that we can’t even trust every man who’s close to us to
actually hear us or listen to us or believe us enough to see that adequate
change isn’t coming without an active measure on their part change isn’t gonna
happen until men want to make a change so yeah the cavanaugh hearing has made
me feel profoundly disappointed and frustrated next I spoke with a Naas okay
my name is Nance I’m part of a group that does courts enforce a core watch
group as well where we actually study what really unfolds in a courtroom as
opposed to was supposed to unfold so I I sat in on a number of sexual assault
trials and we would take notes on the conduct of the judge and the lawyers we
had a rape Smith bingo it was a little bingo sheet that we would check off
every time a rapist came up that we thought was relevant and it was actually
funded by the government and I want I also watched Cavanaugh testimony
actually I was at a waiting room in a hospital of all places everybody in the
waiting room was seemed transfixed I watched part of her testimony but found
that I couldn’t watch it in its entirety in one sitting because it was quite
upsetting I found her testimony believable to be
quite truthful and I found that I found it to be
quite different actually from a criminal trial and that justice Cavanaugh’s was
able to go quite off topic and he was able to avoid questions he was able to
give answers that should have been either a yes or no um of that completely
dyslexic from what he was being asked and being a judge he should know that
legally his some of the things that he said are not considered an answer and
they wouldn’t be accepted but it was interesting I think it’s quite telling
what kind of conduct is expected of women as opposed to a kind of conduct is
allows for men doctor for it was very composed
she was very respectful and her answers were more complete whereas justice
Cavanaugh they spoke over the person who was questioning him and he actually man
strange to her at one point if a witness who is being cross-examined for having
been sexual assaulted having been sexually assaulted rather behaved in the
way that he did she would probably not be considered a credible witness or at
least would be told to behave herself under the threat of being removed from
the court and I’ve actually witnessed that another thing that I think is
important is that one of the redirects that he used was acting as if a great
injustice had been done to him by making him wait what was it ten days for this
hearing when he said that he was ready to answer to the allegations immediately
he he went on about that for quite a while and I thought that was really
something and the reason why I think that’s so interesting is because as a
judge he should know that the court system and government systems it was
bureaucracy there are a lot of moving parts and so things take time if this
was a criminal court proceeding you would probably have to wait several
months to a year for this hearing being a judge he shouldn’t throw that so the
fact that he believed that ten days was not a sufficient fast-track for him
showed his privilege and showed that he has a sense of entitlement
whether he’s aware of it or not I think that’s also one of the other major
reasons it’s not talked about why a lot of survivors don’t report their sexual
assault is because it takes so much time they have to put their lives on hold
often for years and it takes time away from their family from their career they
don’t get paid for that time as well the time that they spent in court at the
time they spent preparing or the time of distend rebuilding after that I also
read a story in the news actually today saying that dr. Freud’s family has had
to leave their home which I’m not surprising to have all these other
senators and other people in the legal system come forward in support of
justice Kavanaugh even after he’s having or while he’s having this toddler style
meltdown and what’s essentially as a call back for a job is telling of the
lack of support survivors getting I asked an S what she thought it would be
like for Cavanaugh on the Supreme Court her answer was simple I think she’ll be
amongst friends let’s leave it at that it does seem to happen all will be
amongst friends as all the justices came for his confirmation while the current
justices can’t speak about Cavanaugh retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul
Stevens a longtime Republican did speak out about the Cavanaugh hearing
he said Cavanaugh’s performance at confirmation hearings should disqualify
him the senators should pay attention to this I do wonder though privately what
the rest of the Supreme Court thinks about his behavior during the hearing I
suppose we’ll never know and everyone will do their best efforts to remain
impartial and not to appear partisan the next woman I spoke to Charlene Cheung is
going through her own trial process after her sexual assault she filed a
human rights complaint and it’s being heard by the Human Rights Tribunal or
the HTR now I’m Charlene I’m actually studying at the University of Windsor in
their juris doctorate and master’s in Social Work program so I actually am
going through the age rightio process in and of itself as well regarding my own
sexual assault that happened two years ago with a student-athlete we were both
on the varsity team for rowing at UOIT and I think I was also a survivor as
well it’s been very difficult to see this on the news constantly so you know
it’s it’s all over Facebook is on Twitter Instagram wherever you look it’s
been talked about in classes as well so I think it’s important to have space for
survivors to also talk about you know how this impacts them and on a daily
basis it’s you can see so many parallels and and you can see how like it’s
impacting our legal system and I don’t know if you also saw on Twitter one of
trumps administrators said that she was a sexual assault survivor but that you
know it’s up to women to take responsibility of their conduct so you
see how law and politics kind of come into play and it’s it’s been pretty
enlightening especially being a JD MSW student seeing how it’s not just a legal
issue and it’s not just a social issue but it’s actually an intersection of you
know what’s been going on today survivors are trying to seek justice in
other avenues the criminal justice system yet there
they’re not going anywhere because there’s so many institutional barriers
and they’re like there is no justice I know Maddy eloquently put at one time
like you know she’s not winning the rape lottery – like there is no winning and
that’s just the most frustrating part is that where Ken’s virus get justice
especially if we’re stuck in this adversarial process where it’s so
combative for the victims who are coming forward and trying to take up space and
trying to tell their story it’s pretty sad are you allowed to talk yeah yeah
yeah what did you definitely talk about it yeah because I don’t think a lot of
people are familiar with the process that you’re going through
mm-hmm and also maybe I’m yeah just give us a little bit of an overview of your
personal situation and why it’s more even more relevant for you sure so I
graduated from uit in 2016 and I was dating another teammate we were both on
the UOIT rowing team and one night when we were in Windsor because I was trying
to look for some housing apartments for my time like when I got into law school
for the upcoming September we went back to the hotel and we drank
I remember feeling really sick I was throwing up all over the washroom and I
went to bed the next day my underwear was soaked in blood like mattress sheets
they’re covered in blood he end up omitting to doing it yeah I have a text
message on Facebook with his name that says you know I’m sorry what I did was
wrong like you were unconscious there was no consent so I have this and I end
up taking it to Windsor police services I
a detective who was very combative she didn’t believe in my story and it was
really apparent that she didn’t believe in it because I waited too long she
didn’t believe me because we were in an intimate partner relationship and she
ended up making it unfounded On January 4th of 2018 this year so it’s been months yes it’s been unfounded she
doesn’t call unfounded detective Crosby is adamant that is just
a no charge because she doesn’t believe that it was that there was no consent
even though I was unconscious and intoxicated yep there was a confession
and I actually brought it to you I DS attention under the campus security so
they did investigate him and they end up ruling that there was no consent so he
was suspended I’m athletic for about a year and he was just not allowed to
enroll in class and he was supposed to write a two thousand word essay on safe
communities and sexual relationships something to that effect of like you
know what no means no yes means yes kind of thing they decided an essay would be
a valid punishment I requested to read this essay they have declined to give me
this essay citing CIPA so I don’t know if he actually wrote this essay I’m
giving them the benefit of doubt that he follow through with the sanctions but I
don’t think you know I think that was the thought one a slap on the wrist I
don’t think an essay is gonna do anything I actually wanted him to be
actually suspended or expelled because he shouldn’t have been able to continue
it in athletics as well as school while he was under investigation they actually
never had a sexual assault policy in place when I brought for my complaint I
was fighting for to have a policy and to have Mike
playing through that process as opposed to a student code of conduct because
sexual assault is not an academic issue we took it to the Human Rights Tribunal
it’s being is being appealed right now because of course
uit would love to waste people time and continue to drag out this process longer
the mediation failed even though they recognized that they didn’t have a
policy in place at least it’s really great though that you’re kind of being
open about it you’re taking it to a higher court I really appreciate that
and I think it’s you know an amazing example and women like you and women
like dr. Ford are mm-hmm I think you guys are heroes for what you guys are
what you ladies are doing I shouldn’t say for you guys but for what you for
what you ladies are doing and I was thinking about it today I was thinking
about slider nut and you know this is this stereotype of like you know we
named the film slut or not because the most common way to try to discredit
victims is by you know saying they’re sluts or saying they’re like mentally
unstable and so their character isn’t good because they’re crazy and exact as
I’m watching dr. Ford I’m like the days of this are over because mm-hmm now
women are more educated than men there’s more women going masters degrees than
men the chance is a highly educated woman coming forward with this coming
forward and reporting sexual assault has dramatically increased and the ability
for people to discredit women coming forward is rapidly shrinking mm-hmm and
you were just making I was just thinking about that as you were talking as well
to be pursuing and sociology at the same time that
you’re going through this you know we see the me to movement in waves right we
see there’s like a big push and then all sudden there’s a few months or a few
years whatnot and it just it goes silent and then we get another surge of
something really bad really something pressing happening and then all sudden
after that it goes down again so it’s just like would this is just another
point where it goes back into a surge and then it brings back the backlash but
for me the question is just like why can’t we keep this going right like why
can’t this movement continue to be an everyday conversation because I don’t
think it it is in a way I think on a media level it is but on an everyday
societal level you know it’s it’s rarely talked about it’s only talked about when
it comes off in that sense so I’m hoping this is the final push where we’ll make
you know sexual assault survivors a space to be able to continue this
movement and to not let this the energy die had announced the capital of Canada the
next woman I spoke with is Kahless back who lives and works in Ottawa oh my name
is Kayla I you see they pronoun I live in Ottawa and Canada my day job
is anti human trafficking but I kind of just fell into that on accident and I’m
also part of the feminist twins which is a grassroots initiative here in Ottawa
started by my twin and I to basically just have like more feminist queer
anti-oppressive events and try to help other organizations to do the same type
of thing so feminist twins on our website is www.pevs.com and it’s one
word and was there I mean obviously in your line of work I would think you
would have interest in following this hearing is there anything in particular
that you want to talk about that really drew you to watch me or if you didn’t
watch or if you’ve been reading or just what your general thoughts are on the
situation especially I think it’s interesting to look at what it looks
like from Canada from the outside looking in I think you guys with me too
happening I want to say we’re holding men more accountable or we’re trying to
make more accountable and I don’t even know if that’s necessarily true at least
for having those conversations on why can’t a bit of accountability look like
and what we would recommend to these men but I feel like there’s just so many men
getting away with it regardless especially in the States right if you’re
white Christian educated man like you didn’t get away with anything
nothing bad really happens to the person right like Roy Moore I mean he’s kind of
like a laughing joke but it’s not like you know he go to jail go through a
trial or anything like that and there’s a lot of other people other politicians
will obviously in the state’s day of trial but
they kind of turned this into a pond because it’s like oh the president likes
them so if the president likes em he’s probably not a good person because the
present tense like knocker people so yeah I turned into kind of I would say a
political pawn time kind of thing so then it’s like if you believe him then
you’re a Republican if you don’t believe them you’re a Democrat you even though
it’s like it’s ridiculous that you know there’s so much nuance into the story I
kind of feel like that’s how it plays out in the States and obviously want to
transfer it over in Canada I think we can look at it without putting those
political ba-bye blinders on we can look at what it is and just say like this is
the Fox like there are multiple women now that have come out and accused him
of doing things whether or not it’s recent I mean these
are like really awful nutritious things that he vehemently denies and then
because it’s this age and they like to turn things into kind of a shit show
circus they ask them you know how long he’s been a virgin and if he’s ever been
blackout drunk which is like it’s kind of funny because these are the type of
questions to see the media asking women and it’s just funny to see him being
asked this and I think a lot of people just think of this hold me to thing as
like kind of like a meme or a joke or we’re just looking to start our angry
mob but it’s from years and years of not being able to come together and to see
this I mean like in the past and women secretly saying to other women like that
guy is a creep like don’t you know don’t be alone with them or don’t sleep over
this place and now with the internet we have more of a platform to do that and
then we’re just tired of like keeping it secret and I think the conversation
we’re missing is that you don’t just do these things when you’re a young guy and
you care too much in your college or high school or whatever like these
tendencies that are underlining are always going to be there unless you
press them and you hold yourself accountable
that’s awful where you secretly want women to be dominant our star submissive
you want to be the dominant person you’re always going to think you’re
slightly better you’re always going to think you deserve more and these
attitudes are always going to come out in one way or another and this is why I
really wish we had more conversations about it doesn’t matter the time of year
are the side of the times that go by it’s just what are we doing to be more
stuff aware even if something happened last year last month yesterday and I but
yeah I think about people in my life that well people who are no longer in my
life because I needed them to help me in a situation where I was sexually
assaulted and they knew about it and they were authoritarian figures that
could have helped me and toes not you and I also think about the the men in my
past that have on me and I do think about like did one of them particular he
really wanted me to accept his apology and I really think there was an empty
apology because of this you thought that one day when you least expect it expect
it I’m going to come out of the woods and just trying to like slander him or
something I think that’s what he thinks I’m going to do and so he really wanted
me to accept his apology but I don’t think it yeah it was a good apology so
yeah that kind of hits close to home too because people out there who are washing
them loose who are men who think about like bullshit when I was young or even
now I do these things was I should be to women
did I take advantage of women they’re drunk or or did I were power them with
my friends and that sort of thing and yeah I’m hoping that when young people
watch the news to have conversations with their family about this sort of
thing and it’s not just like trying to cover up like his wife’s been very very
quiet and within itself has been really
heartbreaking to watch and I just hope some good is coming out of this and more
people especially young people and their families are having conversations about
this I don’t know I still I’m still waiting for more accountability like I’m
still waiting for a breakthrough moment where it’s like yeah we actually like me
too me too turns into like justice now or something
I don’t know I think yeah maybe we do need a stray 24 hours like Iceland is in
1975 I think that it’s going to affect midterms and more women are getting into
elections whether it be you know in their city or state or province
depending on whether they are because of Trump so I think that momentum is going
to keep building we can’t just take it back feature this we have to stand for
so I’m sorry that you had to also an experience an assault and I’m even more
sorry that authority figures in your life didn’t protect you or help you
after the fact but I think you’re right I think the men at home watching this
and questioning their own actions are feeling the fear right now and that’s
the that’s the feeling they should be feeling and there’s some that might be
questioning and there’s some that know for certain that they did something
wrong and I’m glad that those men are feeling that anxiety and feeling that
fear because that’s the feeling that they those are the feelings that they no
doubt left their victims with anxiety and fear absolutely well thank you so
much and I hope to talk to you soon thanks for having me to end this episode
the co-producer of this podcast and also the subject of the documentary slaughter
not the Diary of a rape trial mandy gray has sent in a feminist rant on her
feelings around Brett Kavanaugh let’s listen now I was traveling
everyone on the airplane on the transit to the airport everyone was talking
about it I’m not just demonstrates like how big this is and that it is speaking
to larger international audience that impacts people beyond just the United
States of course it has a differential impact for those within the United
States but it is having a profound impact here in Canada the hypocrisy of
it is what’s really getting under my skin and that’s what hurts the most
people keep framing this as like a Republican issue that of course the
Republicans believe her they just don’t care um
newsflash that’s common logic so you know how often people will say to me
that insert their boyfriend mom friend professor believes my version of events
they just don’t think what happened to me with sexual assault or could have
really any impact on me or what’s the big deal and this isn’t from
conservatives or Republicans this is from like so-called progressives and
liberals so I think really framing this as or like oh of course the Republicans
responded in this way no it’s not just Republicans it’s all your liberal
favorites it’s Margaret Atwood there are so many people that have this frame of
mind and it’s because of the larger ideas about what sexual assault looks
like and what constitutes a legitimate sexual assault and what does not it’s
not about partisan politics at all like this is just rape culture it doesn’t
matter where it happens look at you know time’s up and Hollywood look at what’s
happening on campus so it’s really easy to support and believe people when it
benefits you in terms of there was no actual real consequence for supporting
these people yet when it comes down to people being accused within your own
social circle there’s very often little support especially with people with
power and why this speaks to the hypocrisy of it all is
just a few months ago Margaret Atwood had a full op-ed in The Globe and Mail
talking about the need for due process because one of her colleagues has been
accused of sexual assault Margaret Atwood has been absolutely awful to the
women that have come forward in a case at UBC she hasn’t supported women that
within her own community yet jumps on the opportunity when she doesn’t know
the people involved which is so typical of this hashtag
I believe survivors movement it feels so good to tweet all the Canadian feminists
who have been awful to me who have been awful to my friends and who are now
tweeting like believe her and like this is so important that we listen to her
and these are the same feminists that have either actively discredited my
friends or do fuck-all to actually eradicate sexual violence in their own
communities could you imagine if Margaret Atwood supported the women at
UBC how much her cultural capital could have supported them yet she chooses to
strategically only support women that aren’t known to her then after that is
this like drying of Lady Justice the Bruce MacKinnon I just don’t find it
provocative at all I mean I’m so tired of male artists sexualizing or depicting
violence against women and calling it provocative like we’ve seen these
imagery since the dawn of time I don’t think it’s empowering for women in fact
it’s a credibly disempowering it recreates the experience that so many of
us have of sexual violence I would much prefer to see imagery of like women
speaking out and speaking back and fighting back because that’s just
exactly what’s happening right now and another side of the spectrum is the
dudes primarily dude it’s not all dudes but hashtag not all and then also a lot
of women who are like have such an obsession with due
process and the only knowledge they have of the legal system is maybe they
watched a Jordan Peterson video and Jordan Peterson doesn’t have a law
degree he’s a psychologist and a discredited one at that or they’ve been
watching like Fox News and all the sudden things are experts on the issues
when in fact they are not and it’s like they want to quote-unquote debate but
it’s actually not a debate because there’s like no reasoning with these
people and especially people that don’t have any knowledge a of sexual violence
or be of the legal system and are continuously conflating criminal law
with what is happening right now which is not a criminal process so this
innocent until guilty is so irrelevant in these circumstances and it just goes
to show that people care more about men’s reputations and that is at the
first and foremost concern for a lot of people which is really scary well so
many people are calling this like oh you know timing and it’s like for political
gain on her on her behalf but I mean she’s a very well respected psychologist
she really has nothing to gain from this the only thing she is gaining is death
threats having to move from her home putting her family at risk I really find
it a stretch to say that this is about politics and I think that a lot of us
who have experienced sexual violence are putting ourselves in her shoes and
really thinking like if that was the person that raped me or tried to rape me
what would I do and although maybe the stakes aren’t as
high in a majority of cases I see this time and time again is that people come
forward with information because they don’t want any more victims and it’s
really to protect others and they are under the impression that they
come forward maybe their story can corroborate other evidence and then they
end up becoming the face of what’s happening and are the ones being
discredited and threatened and experienced so much lash back when all
they really wanted to do was they was come forward because they felt they had
a duty to and at the end of the day and like this is how I feel about my own
cases like I get to say at the end of the day that I came forward I spoke my
truth and if you don’t like it fuck you although there are significant
consequences I would not ever regret it and I’m not I can’t speak for dr. Ford
but she gets to live her truth and you can also follow us on Twitter
Facebook and Instagram at sledded at the movie and please subscribe to our
YouTube channel where these podcasts will also be posted thank you for
listening

Stephen Childs

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