theQuestion: Does Premier Christy Clark’s revelation about her personal experience advance a better understanding of sexual assault?*
In my first Duel three years ago, I shared my support for the BC Liberals in the last election because more often than not their positions align with my own. That support holds fast as long as the party and its leaders remember the disasters wrought from wading into divisive social politics as ex-Premier Bill Vander Zalm did.
Premier Christy Clark penned an open letter describing her personal experience with sexual assault. She has every right to share her story and promote the message that victims of sexual violence should feel safe reporting incidents when attacked.
However, there is much about the premier’s letter to be concerned about. While the details of her experience are not open for debate, what’s implied is disconcerting and doesn’t advance a better understanding of the issues.
If you read between the lines, the premier is siding with a radical feminist dogma that says if you expand out the definition around sexual assault then essentially all women are victims. Clark writes, “over the last few weeks, I’ve shared this story with female friends and colleagues. Almost every single one of them also had a story.” Are we to believe that almost every single one of the premier’s friends and colleagues in Victoria has been a victim of sexual assault?
No, the premier and her government lawyers have artfully confused, by mixing use of the criminal term “sexual assault” with “sexual violence,” “sexual advances” and “frightening things of a sexual nature.” Most do not give careful reading, therefore they come away with the belief that all women have been victims of some form of violent sexual attack. It’s simply not true and irresponsible for the premier to proselytize that false impression.
More subtly, by advancing a wider conception of sexual assault, the premier is reinforcing a gender feminist dogma that the majority of men are capable of committing these violent acts against women. When more kinds of behaviour are defined as sexual assault, then more men become perpetrators. Meaning, you should fear all men whether at school, work or at home.
The premier represents all British Columbians, but she failed to acknowledge that the majority of men in this province are not sexual predators. Instead she chose to use gender politics as a weapon against her political foes — leaving men to twist in the wind.