What is the Future of Gender in Canadian Society?

What is on the horizon for feminism? How has a heightened awareness of LGBT2Q+ experiences shifted our understanding about the nature of gender? Does the men’s rights movement reflect coherent concerns about masculine identity? What have been the ongoing consequences of movements like #metoo? This is a conversation about the future of gender in Canada. (Recorded live at Curious Public at Central Library on Monday, April 9, 2018.)

The Panelists

Greta Bauer is Professor in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Western University and an Affiliate Member of Women’s Studies & Feminist Research.

Michael Kehler is Research Professor in Masculinities’ Studies in Education at the University of Calgary, Werklund School of Education.

Nicole Nussbaum is a lawyer based in London, Ontario. She has a particular focus on, and extensive experience with, law and policy issues related to gender identity and gender expression.

AnnaLise Trudell is Manager of Education, Training & Research at Anova (formerly Women’s Community House & Sexual Assault Centre London).

#MeToo and the Presumption of Innocence: how can we believe victims and protect the legal rights of accused at the same time?

This conversation was born from a question: does assuming that the accused is innocent mean assuming that accusers are liars? And, in contrast, does believing a victim’s story without an investigation mean denying the accused of their presumed innocence? Does ‘innocent until proven guilty’ inherently favour the protection and rights of one gender above the other?

In this podcast, we explore the apparent gender-based differences in the ways that people experience the legal system. We question who has the power to define a ‘credible victim’ in the eyes of the law and in the broader community. We also wrestle with the fundamental question of how ‘sexual harassment’ and ‘sexual assault’ are defined (and are being redefined?) by society.

Truth be told, I don’t think we were able to definitively answer the question, “How can we believe victims and protect the legal rights of accused at the same time?” But hopefully the ideas and perspectives shared here can contribute to the broader discourse. This is a topic I am sure deserves further analysis, and it is one to which we will doubtlessly return again. As always, if you have perspectives to add to this dialogue, please get in touch or, better yet, share in the comments below. Curious to hear your thoughts.

The Panel

Kelsey Adams (@kelskadams) is a Social Media Coordinator at ANOVA, which provides safe places, shelter, support, counselling, and resources for abused women, their children, and all oppressed individuals.

Lesley Bikos (@lbikos) is a former police officer and PhD candidate in Sociology at Western University. She researches the intersection of gender and workplace culture with a current focus on policing and police reform.

Mark Henshaw (@MarkHenshaw) completed his Master’s thesis on the topic of engaging high school boys on the issue of violence against women.

Leah Marshall is a social worker and the Sexual Violence Prevention Advisor at Fanshawe College.