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Sexual assault – defining consent, round 2
by Shari Graydon
“Feminazi”, “President, Bitch of the Year Club” and “you dog-faced slut” – these are among the monikers I collected during my three-year stint as an out-feminist columnist with the Vancouver Sun. Most of the insults came from readers, but occasionally a columnist from another paper – or even my own – would be so stuck for meaningful material that he (and yes, I’m afraid it was invariably a “he”) would devote his 24 inches to slagging my apparent failure to find sexism funny, or permit other people to just “have a good time”.
My skin thickened over those three years, and I really grew to appreciate that the attacks helped expose the ignorance behind them. Moreover, I had the opportunity each week to challenge the dismissive or insulting characterizations of me with words of my own.
Women who don’t have the luxury of a regular column often feel personally bruised by the sometimes personalized and gratuitous word-assaults still regularly leveled at those who defend a woman’s right to say no, even to her partner.