One of my goals this year is to get back into shape - or some semblance thereof. So far, I am on the right track. I started keeping track of my calorie intake on the weekend and returned to the gym for the first time in close to a year on Monday morning and have been there every day since. I learned a few years ago that it is easier for me to go to the gym every day instead of every other day. It becomes part of my daily routine and harder to find excuses to avoid going. It has only been a few days back in this regime and I have already learned a few things.
In 1991 I was walking down the street in my hometown of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. A woman passed by on the other side of the street and as she passed by it dawned on me that she was wearing no top and I had seen her breasts. I was 16 at the time and being a straight male I immediately got an erection and passed out from the lack of blood to my brain.
For her crimes and the pain caused to me by the sight of her bare breasts, Gwen Jacobs was convicted of indecency and fined $75. [Read more…]
General Tom Lawson, Canadian Chief of the Defence Staff claimed in an interview that men are “biologically wired” to harass women.
I am going to call bullshit on that statement.
He later apologized for his awkwardly worded statement.
I’m all for giving people space to clarify their statements. Sometimes the words that come out of our mouths don’t really convey what we intended to say. Especially in interview situations when you are on the spot to come up with an immediate response.
General Lawson has had more than 24 hours to clarify what he really meant and he has not really done that in any meaningful way. So we are left to assume that he believes what he said. He seems to believe the ‘boys will be boys’ myth. The suggestion being that men are simply incapable of controlling their base attraction to women.
So if General Lawson believes that men are wired to harass women, what kind of commitment can we expect from the Canadian Forces Leadership on the issue of working to reduce and eliminate sexual harassment and abuse?
Let’s be clear. Harassment and abuse are not a biological imperative. They are learned behaviours.
Harassment and abuse are about power. They are not about biology or attraction. It is about (typically men) people using words and actions to assert power over other people (typically women).
Since these are learned behaviours, they can be unlearned and prevented in the first place.
The military can do more and in fact has been handed a guide book on how to do it.
If General Lawson and his leadership team want to demonstrate their commitment to addressing the issue of harassment in the forces, they need to announce their response to the recommendations and begin to demonstrate progress towards implementing those recommendations.
This morning I had the opportunity to appear on one of our local TV morning shows to provide some tips on how to talk with your kids about sex and sexual health.
I originally wrote this post on Kids in the Capital.
Ontario is implementing a new Health and Physical Education curriculum this fall and the revisions to the sexual health education components have resulted in a public discussion about what is appropriate for our children to be learning.
Sexual health education is challenging for many parents. We bring all of our learning and life experiences, positive and negative, to the topic. We bring our perceptions of our own bodies and we bring religious and cultural teachings. It is a lot to pack into one issue. [Read more…]