Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Disturbing stuff happening at the University of Waterloo

Normally I try to focus on the positive for this blog, but I think it's important to be aware of this story:

For just under a month, women at University of Waterloo have been terrorized by an anonymous propagandist who claims that women’s “defective moral intelligence” poses a serious risk to the planet. ... [The communications] have bit by bit advanced the thesis that women should not be educated as highly as men, and that universities should not teach gender equity, because woman’s deceptively weak exterior hides her evil interior. When women are educated and treated as equals, according to the propagandist, they pose a real danger to the planet.

While everyone hopes these are just delusional rantings and will stop at that, women at UW are understandably worried that this is a precursor to violence like the massacre at École Polytechnique in Montréal.

Having been the target of such ravings in the past, I really feel for the women at Waterloo. You try to convince yourself that it's not a threat to your safety so you can continue your life, but you really can't be sure. They've had to shut down the university’s volunteer-run Women’s Centre and LGBT student centre out of concern for the volunteers' safety, and that seems like the right choice to me but must be frustrating at a time when women might want more support available to them, not less.

Read more, including how poorly the administration has responded to the threats, at Hook and Eye: How we're 'celebrating' International Women's Day at the University of Waterloo