Letters to the editor: March 31

Letters Opinions

The acquittal of Ghomeshi renewed hopelessness for survivors of sexual violence. The evidence of how the justice system is rigged to favor rapists has never been clearer. Either all women need special training in formulating their rape accusations or all men need radical training in healthy relationship development. Jian is socially ruined but his retaliation lawsuits will likely succeed. Men have learned that they are beyond reproach when it comes to sexual assault. Meanwhile women have learned to say nothing because the justice system will inevitably fail them. What terrible outcomes! Accusations of sexual violence are scary but punishment seems easily dodged. Institutionalized attempts to curb toxic masculinity are too polite to get through to their target audience. Men’s sexual behavior has never been more scrutinized, so now is the time for radical education about masculine sexuality and rape prevention. To spare women the trauma and to spare men from accusations, we need all men to deeply understand the impact of sexualized and domestic violence. Prevention is the only viable course of action. Government will have limited success at reaching men; change must come from within masculinity itself in a way men understand.

Ryan Levis

Author of Dick Loss Prevention Vol 1: Make Sure Your Dick Doesn’t Fall Off Before You Die Drunk And Alone, a book about Masculinity, Mental Health and Feminism.


Re: “Climate change strategy in the works” 

Please write an article explaining to us readers how taxing the average citizen and reducing their quality of life will reduce their CO2 emissions or heat captured by already existing greenhouse gases.

Furthermore, what’s the moral rationale of collectively punishing the entire population for the (ongoing) mistakes of a very small number of powerful people? These collectivized taxes will not make a dent in the bank accounts or lifestyles of the real movers and shakers of pollution; either the Trudeau government is incredibly inept and have no idea what they are doing, or they are hoping to cheerlead their way through global warming and make a couple bucks while protecting their rich polluting friends. Which is it?


Not Buying It

Re: “Sexual assault survivors criticize university over treatment”

To the Editor;

We all recognize sexualized violence is a serious, pervasive problem across our society. We who work and study at UVic know that sexualized violence is unacceptable on campus or anywhere. Our university community shares a commitment to change social attitudes and behaviours to prevent and eliminate sexual assault and misconduct and to deal firmly and fairly with offenders.

Nobody should be subjected to sexual violence and our university’s individual and collective principles are based on mutual respect and dignity for all. Student counselling services exists to help students deal with their problems. We provide support and assist survivors of sexual assault to process their experience. Students can report their assault in many ways, but we realize that it is a survivor’s choice whether or not to disclose. Sexualized violence is a complex problem that is vastly under-reported.

It is tragic that anyone would feel unsupported or discouraged about discussing their experience. We put our full effort behind everyone who comes to us to offer safety and assurance that they are being listened to and validated. Our professionally trained and credentialed mental health therapists include registered psychologists, social workers and clinical counsellors. Some have worked and trained at the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, and we provide professional, free, and confidential counselling as well as information about additional campus and off-campus resources.

Your editorial makes reference to the need for the university to improve its processes and procedures. Many on campus are aware of the recent statement by President Jamie Cassels about sexualized violence. As a learning community, we look forward to the upcoming review of UVic’s current policies and the vital dialogue that follows.


Rita Knodel,

Director of Student Counselling Services