I don’t know where to start.

10 09 2013

You may or may not have heard about this rape chant thing that happened (and apparently, has been happening for a long time) at UBC’s Sauder Business School. I’ve been reading extensively on the matter today, sifting through dozens of comments left on The Ubyssey and other news sites.

I have no idea where to start.

I think that most everyone would agree that rape is bad. Yes? I also think that many, if not all, incoming students at UBC — not just Sauder students — have little to no comprehensive sex education, and probably nothing mentioning other aspects of sex, like sexual assault.

Now, I took a course at Langara College called Health Sciences 1127 (it might’ve been 1120, I can’t remember). Essentially, it was a four month sex ed course — the sex ed course I never had. Not only did the instructors cover basic things like biological and physiological aspects of sex, but the latter part of the course was focused around sex in society. Fetishes. Sex work. Sex slavery. Laws that govern sexuality, of which included sexual assault.

If I were the president of a post-secondary institution, I would make it mandatory for all students to take this course. I believed it at the time and I still believe it now. Now, it may sound silly. In fact, your first reaction might be something along the lines of, “Why would I need to know that stuff? I’m in [insert different program/faculty here].” The most obvious answer is that everyone has sex. Many young people don’t have a good understanding of sex, or only have a very basic understanding, so this course would be beneficial (not to mention, it’s a really interesting course on its own).

But more importantly, the information about sexual assault/rape, the statistics around how many women (and men) are sexually assaulted, and what they might feel/go through — that is arguably more important. It’s so basic yet so important to teach others to respect one another, to not believe popular culture’s frequent messages about what sex is, misogyny, etc. It contributes to them being a better citizen in the world.

This is turning into an op. ed. piece. I suppose that it is, since I do have a suggestion I’d like to make. But the point I want to make is that we all go to university to learn. I think most people want to learn to be better people.

This seems to be as good a start as any.

Saturday Morning Documentary: Deliver Us From Evil

5 03 2011

Even before I explain that this film is about a Catholic priest who was accused and also confessed to molesting and raping children, the preconceptions of priests has probably already popped up in your mind.  And what a sad thing that is: that we now have this stereotype of priests molesting children.  Amy Berg’s Oscar-nominated Deliver Us From Evil focuses on Father Oliver O’Grady, who molested and raped several children in the 1970s.  While this seems infuriating as it is, we get to hear and see O’Grady confessing to these crimes many years later (this film was made in 2006 so sometime then).  And he speaks with such clarity, with such softness, that we do inexplicably feel some sympathy for him.  He is not a monster.

The film also deals with the Catholic church’s repeated attempts at relocating Father O’Grady in order to cover up the growing scandals and accusations against him.  This is the real infuriating part.  Instead of stripping him of his priesthood and turning him into authorities, the church moves him from town to town, where O’Grady finds himself doing the same things to new victims.

It is easy to point the finger at one person.  But as the film shows, it is harder to point it at an entire organization — one that is clearly corrupted but is somehow able to get away with it.  A gripping, revealing look at a man’s struggle with his demons and the church that refused to let them get out.

Deliver Us From Evil