We haven’t been sure about how to talk about women’s security and rape. We’ve had personal conversations about it, but haven’t been able to articulate anything in a meaningful way.


Above photo: Rehtaeh Parsons, from the Facebook memorial page created by her mother

When I read Glen Canning’s letter about his daughter, Rehtaeh Parsons, who took her life after suffering through the public ridicule and disinterest in her rape, I cried. I felt helpless. And angry.

While none of this is new, social media has given new meaning to rape and assault, where women are attacked over and over online, everyday.

From Glen Canning’s letter:¬†“My daughter wasn’t bullied to death, she was disappointed to death. Disappointed in people she thought she could trust, her school, and the police.”

I’ve read poignant articles by women like Harsha Walia, Urvashi Butalia, Nilanjana S. Roy, Anupreet Sandhu Bhamra and Alexandria Goddard,¬†that make a start of looking at the complex issues around women’s bodies and patriarchy – but how do we change an entire global system?

Do we watch films about girl power, yell “women’s empowerment!” from the rooftops, donate to education initiatives around the world, participate in “slut walks” or engage in conversations with our peers? Teach our children differently? Insist on changes to school curriculums?

I don’t know. I’m looking for answers.

Read Glen Canning’s letter about his daughter and the Nova Scotia justice system.