Easily the most vile story of the day comes from Toronto, where four young (and I use the term extremely loosely) men--two youths who cannot be named plus a pair of shitheads named Philip Perry and Barton Reeder--raped an unconscious young woman. And they videotaped it on their cellphones, presumably to forever treasure the memory of their action and show it off to their friends. They probably would have even told themselves that she was asking for it, since she didn't say "no" and all.
This is the type of story that should make every decent human being shudder in disgust. I know that since I first saw the headline in this morning's Post and subsequently read about it again in the G&M and saw it on CTV, a fury has been building inside of me. It is the type of thing that makes me want to call the Minister of Justice's office and repeat the calls from all corners of the country to get serious and impose some serious punishments for this type of violent offence against the integrity of the person. Sure, stiffer penalties may not deter everybody from committing crime, but they will make at least some potential perpetrators think twice. Getting locked away for 20 or 30 years would no doubt affect the thinking of some potential rapists who would no longer feel as though it was worth the risk.
Of course, we probably have to take another step back. If groups of young men are patrolling the streets looking for passed-out women to gang rape, we're already in a world of trouble. Kids such as this already have such hatred for women that they're actively looking for targets to express that hatred and assert their lust for domination. The parents, the schools, and the system have already failed by this point. And the ones that have to suffer, as is often the case, are women. Women bear the main brunt of male hatred.
How many will it take until people stand up and say "NO MORE!" We're already at a point where 1 in 3 women in Canada will experience male violence during the course of their lifetimes. Does it have to be 1 in 2? 2 out of 3? 3 out of 4? 4 out of 5? All of them? At what stage of things do women and men--particularly the latter, since it is ONLY MEN WHO CAN STOP RAPE--collectively say, "Enough of this bullshit. It is well past time we took action against those who rape and inflict violence against women simply because they are women." Because clearly 1 in 3 isn't enough.
A 16-year old girl, who had no agency or ability to defend herself in this circumstance, was assaulted by a group of males who hated her for what she is. Will they face the appropriate consequences? Seemingly yes: they are being charged with sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, gang sexual assault and manufacturing child pornography. Philip Perry is also facing a charge of uttering death threats, while one of the 17-year-olds is facing an additional charge of possession of child pornography. If convicted, they will face jail time, a not insignificant amount of it. The young woman, however, will have to bear the scars of this assault for the remainder of her life. Whatever their intentions were, these men have profoundly affected, for the worst, the life of another human being that they didn't even see as a person. And it is for that reason, I conclude by asking: will the consequences, if any, amount to justice? On that front, I fear that the answer, as it so often is, is no.