Lindsey Stocker: “Teach boys that girls are not sexual objects”

by: Obert Madondo  | June 1, 2014

Obert Madondo, Editor, The Canadian Progressive

Obert Madondo, Editor, The Canadian Progressive

Canada has a serious women-hating problem. One that’s directly responsible for our perennial scourge of sexual violence against women. And to headlines like these:

One in five Canadians think women encourage sexual assault when drunk

Canada blocking UN efforts to address sexual violence against women

Last week , a 15-year-old girl from Quebec, was send away from her high school for refusing to ditch her jean shorts.

Lindsey Stocker, a grade 11 student at Beaconsfield High School, wasn’t the only one wearing short shots. But she was singled out and shamed.

“In front of all my peers and my teacher they said I had to change,” Stocker said. “And when I said no they said I was making a bad choice. They kept shaking their heads. In front of everybody.”

Instead of walking away in silence, Stocker launched a public protest. Her message to the rest of humanity is simply this:

“Don’t humiliate her because she’s wearing shorts. It’s hot outside. Instead of shaming girls for their bodies, teach boys that girls are not sexual objects.”

Stocker’s call to “teach boys that girls are not sexual objects” is especially poignant because we’re in complete denial about sexism and other forms of sexual violence against women.

Not long ago, four male members of the University of Ottawa’s student federation viciously attacked Anne-Marie Roy, the union’s president. They allegedly referenced the sexual activities they hoped to engage in with her, including anal and oral sex. One of them wrote: “Someone punish her with their shaft.” Another responded: “I do believe that with my reputation I would destroy her.”

Former Governor General and University of Ottawa chancellor Michaelle Jean responded to these sexist attacks.

“What we were just brutally reminded of this week is the pervasiveness of misogyny, of women-hating, of words and attitudes that contribute to gender and sexual violence and I’d like to say that such incidents are the tip of a systematic iceberg,” she said. “They are part of a continuum of violence in our society and in our world. A continuum of violence that extends from locker room – where abuse may be spoken in jest – to actual physical violation.”

As if that wasn’t enough, Canada lacks a coherent national policy to end violence against women.

Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow me on Twitter: @Obiemad

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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based independent journalist and progressive political blogger. He's the publisher and editor of The Canadian Progressive.