The best thing about being able to move a discussion forward is to learn about what some of the pitfalls might be, where the weak areas are, what is viable and what is not. During the call-in portion of yesterday’s conversation on CBC radio’s Ontario Today, the issue of rape and domestic violence was raised a LOT. Many listeners felt that “withholding” sex from men who have guns (we had to specify up front that we are talking about guns that are meant to be used to shoot other people) — saying NO to being with a man who is a negative element in our communities (aka. “thug gangster”) could result in violence against women from these men who seem to have a propensity for violence. We were lucky to have Dr. Roz (of Dr. Roz’s Healing Place in Scarborough) on hand to address this important factor.
What do you think? Does it come down to yes or no? Should women have to say YES because of what might happen if they say NO? Do we have the services and support that are needed to help women who want to say NO, who want to move on and get away from a bad situation but can’t? If you have any insight about this issue OR any valuable resources that you would recommend, please share them here. There may be someone reading this right now who KNOWS someone or who IS someone who would like to get away from a negative situation. We may not all agree on strategy BUT we can at least agree that if a woman wants to leave, she should have the support that she needs to do so.
It was also interesting that rape was presented as though it was the next logical step for a man that is not getting sex from his partner. I was surprised that this point was raised so often because I think that most men would never think of raping anybody! More likely if they were dissatisfied with the situation, they would either move on and find somebody else, or make whatever change was needed to keep the women that they really want. However I could not deny that most of the people who raised the point of rape were men so they certainly would have some insight into how a man might react.
Overall the conversation raised a lot of great points: the possibility of the rise of prostitution, mothers in denial, social programs, calling the police on your loved ones, stronger gun laws, self-esteem and mental health issues, legal gun ownership, absentee fathers, poverty, even sex as a commodity. I hope this conversation is continuing in the living rooms (and bedrooms). Especially for people who think it’s a crazy idea because they can even raise other strategies or help to strengthen other areas that the rest of us may not be looking at.