* Note: See important editorial postscript below. –DE
On February 24 2014, Crime Prevention Ottawa, with the complicity of University of Ottawa’s Community Life Service posted bilingual versions of the infamous “Don’t be that Guy” posters. I immediately saw the obvious bias in these posters, as there are no other crime prevention campaigns currently visible on campus, and these posters target only males as perpetrators, and only males of one race. But even if it had “diversity” and targeted males with darker skin, it still would be unacceptable and against Ontario’s human’s rights code. Here is the code:
As a person of multiracial background myself, the racist and sexist hypocrisy of these posters is obvious.
The rules for posting at University of Ottawa include the following:
“13. Persons or groups of persons whose posters compromise the Rights or the reputation of another person or group of persons will be denied posting privileges. Furthermore, with regards to the parties involved, Community Life Service cannot be held responsible for damages resulting from such postings, be they authorized or not.
- Posters with words or images that incite violence or confrontations will be denied posting privileges.”
You may judge by yourselves if those posters violates any of the mentioned rules.
I decided to complain at the Community life Office, The following Chain of email followed.
Sent: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 1:43 PM
To: Geres, Kristen Cc: Demers, Francine N
Subject: RE: Poster Request University of Ottawa – Crime Prevention Ottawa
Good afternoon Kristen, We had someone come to our office to complain about the posters. I didn’t think his complaint was founded but here are the points he brought up:
-No racial diversity (EI: The aggressors on all 4 posters are white, mostly white female)
[Author's note: I only said that there was no diversity.]
-Factually incorrect (EI: A drunk women CAN give consent and it is not wrong to sleep with her.)
This guy would like to have your input on his complaint. His name is **********. He’s a first year student in Arts and his email address is *************
I told him that I would bring up this matter with you but that I didn’t see anything wrong with your posters and refused to remove them. It would be nice if you could CC me when your respond to him.
Thank you and have a great day.
Commis aux réservations et à l’affichage / Reservation and Posting Clerk
Service de vie communautaire / Community Life Service
Université d’Ottawa / University of Ottawa
From: “Worsfold, Nancy”
Re: FW: Poster Request University of Ottawa – Crime Prevention Ottawa
I am sorry that you don’t like the “Don’t be that Guy” campaign. “Don’t Be That Guy” is an internationally successful behavioural marketing campaign, developed by Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton. It sends the message that sex without consent is sexual assault. The Ottawa Hospital and Crime Prevention Ottawa are supporting this campaign locally because it sends a visual message to men clearly demonstrating their role in ending sexual assaults. The images are stark and edgy and get people’s attention but they are not sexualized or pornographic. We are aware that it makes some people uncomfortable.
Nevertheless, only by talking about sexual assault and bringing it out into the open, can we end the isolation of survivors and work toward prevention. The engagement of our community is absolutely vital in ending sexual violence.
I agree that more diversity in the posters is a good suggestion – in fact it is a suggestion that I have made to the folks in Edmonton. Nevertheless, they have been extremely generous in sharing the material with us and many other cities.
With regards to your concern about the law: drug facilitated sexual assault is an assault that is committed upon a person rendered incapacitated by alcohol or drugs thus being incapable of giving or withholding consent. The Canadian courts have been clear on this, even if the general population has not. The posters were developed in partnership with the Edmonton Police and the Ottawa campaign is supported by the Ottawa Police Service, the posters are factually correct.
Fast Facts about Sexual Assault:
• The majority of sexual assault victims are young, in one StatsCan study over 50% were under 18.
• Sexual assault is a common occurrence. 1 in 4 girls will be sexually assaulted before they reach 18. The lifetime probability of a woman being raped is 1 in 17.
• 9 out of 10 assaults are never reported to Police. We cannot ask Police to solve this problem; we all have a role to play in ending sexual violence.
• The vast majority of men do not commit sexual assault. When they are engaged in ending sexual assault, true progress can be made.
Executive Director/Directrice génerale
Crime Prevention Ottawa/Prévention du crime Ottawa
To: “Worsfold, Nancy”
Re: FW: Poster Request University of Ottawa – Crime Prevention Ottawa
You are using shaming tactics to promote misandry and the hatred of men, with no empirically proven results. Having more allegation being made doesn’t mean more crimes are being reported. You are oversimplifying a complex issue and creating an environment of hatred, distrust and fear. Men aren’t idiots, they know what consent is. Maybe we should start a campaign that helps ni**ers understand that stealing bikes is not ok? Or maybe we should teach Jews that fraud is a crime! What about teaching Muslims not to blow their self’s up? [Author's note: Although undoubtedly there will be fools who think I believe those hateful examples to be true, I do not. I was using them to illustrate the obviously hateful hypocrisy of the campaign.]
“My concern with the law” comes from a clear concept: it’s not because you are under the influence you can’t consent. If it was the case, our prison would be filled with white women who assaulted men. “9 out of 10 rapes aren’t reported to the police” k. No false rape allegation are ever prosecuted by the police, even if they constitute an enormous part of all allegation. “Sexual assault is a common occurrence. 1 in 4 girls will be sexually assaulted before they reach 18. The lifetime probability of a woman being raped is 1 in 17.” I wanted to be respectful in my answer to this patronizing morally depraved message, but your level of ignorance of basic math is sincerely scary. You can’t have a 1 in 4 chance being raped during childhood, then switch to one in 17 for your entire life. Your first ensemble is include in the second, id est the second has to be as big or bigger than the first one, therefore demonstrating that at least three of your statistic are entirely pulled out of someone’s ass. You can’t know how many people get raped and don’t report it to the police, if you don’t know how many people get raped, and you can’t know how many people get rape if your statistics on the subject contradict basic rules of quantitative methods. I am tired of misandry and gynocentrism being justified by pseudo-science, I have being falsely accused of rape twice in my 19 years of life, and I can tell you that because of this witch hunt, nobody believed my innocence until I was proven innocent.
There are real rapists out there: they know what their doing and by implying otherwise you are encouraging presumption of guilt, and helping actual rapist into manipulating their victims into not reporting it to the police. Maybe you should start a “don’t be that girl” campaign where we teach women not to lie about rape? Maybe the staff at crime prevention would learn something from it.
(Took me 5 min after I woke up without doing any research to write this, basic logic defeats your reasoning, go back to the drawing board.)
I invite anybody who takes issue with the “Don’t Be Guy” campaign at Ottawa University to write to the Ombudsperson Office of the university, to the directors of Crime Prevention Ottawa, or any members of the city council.
Editorial note: any enterprising students, staff, or faculty at the University of Ottawa feel like checking out our poster page? –DE
* Important editorial postscript: In the hours since this article was published I received a phone call from Jean-Pierre informing me that it appears someone has been tearing down the “Don’t Be That Guy” posters. As has always been our repeatedly-stated policy, we do not endorse vandalizing or tearing down posters whether we agree with their contents or not. We support free expression, and that includes hate-speech like the “Don’t Be That Guy” posters. What we do support is expressing opposition in a peaceful nonviolent manner. We would like to suggest that anyone who has impulsively removed posters put them back, and instead consider putting up posters with our own message on them, so as to be part of the market of ideas and not to censor anyone. –DE