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Updated on Monday, October 6

#19906

OMG: It's been 3 years since the hate speech poster campaign hit UW. It's worth reminding ourselves what happened, what got resolved, and what remains.

91 comments

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    1. Careful, or you'll knock your fedora off

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    2. Why'd 1 react like that?

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  2. ^not resolved I'm guessing

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  3. From the crap posted (now gone) against women on omg19893 this omg's timing's good.

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    1. Not just that omg. There are other concerning ones...

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  4. Someone placed posters on campus that targeted women. Many were placed on top of female Feds candidates' posters.
    The posters had the heading "The Truth" and had a picture of Marie Curie with a nuclear bomb superimposed beside her. The caption was "The brightest woman this Earth ever created was Marie Curie, The Mother of the Nuclear Bomb. You tell me if the plan of Women leading Men is still a good idea!"

    Whoever committed these crimes was never caught. You can see what the offending poster looked like here.

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    1. 4, this is accurate enough, but I seem to recall they arrested somebody.

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    2. ^link please.

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    3. Where do you get your information from?

      http://www.therecord.com/news-story/2595711-man-admits-harassment-over-threatening-messages-at-uw/

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    4. ^ has the perpetrator's name which may be useful to find other articles about the incident's immediate aftermath.

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    5. It is scary that this is considered hate speech.

      The person is a moron for sure, but there is nothing about this poster that should be considered a crime.

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    6. ^and yet, it is.

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    7. 4e it wasn't the posters so much that were considered hate speech. That was just the defacing of public property.

      It was the somewhat threatening e-mails sent to select females on campus that crossed the line into hate speech, IIRC.

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    8. ^the different posters were far worse than just defacing public property. This was not targetless graffiti. But yes, their harm was compounded by the rest of the hate speech campaign.

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  5. 1 hr 45 min audio of the Feds town hall with many speeches by reps from the police and other campus groups, followed by a long Q&A. Was a full house.

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    1. Transcript of a 2 hour Fed town hall, seriously? For one, it wouldn't fit here.

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    2. 2nd, who'd do it? Ain't nobody got time for that.

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    3. Even the Secretariat wouldn't do that.

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    4. Really interesting to hear this mp3!

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    5. I may transcribe this town hall. It'll take a while though. If I do, any advice on where to host a text file anonymously?

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  6. Related emails looked from UW's president but weren't. I don't see the contents. Here's a UW bulletin, under the heading "Noon 'hate speech' event; other notes".

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  7. Here's a good article by Christine Cheng on this topic. The Fourteen Not Forgotten and Sexist Posters at Waterloo

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    1. Informative essay on sexism surrounding the crimes. Has links to the hate speech emails and other UW posters that targeted women.

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  8. A UW Women's Centre coordinator wrote an insightful blog entry about several issues surrounding the incident.

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    1. Insightful?

      It basically was a diatribe with the same point "Even though this is an isolated incident it actually represents some kind of campus wide conspiracy that makes me a perpetual victim".

      The person is an idiot, but one idiot does not indicate a "cultural problem".

      I feel like this passage should be pretty telling about the kind of person the author is:

      "who else is going to decide call me a dyke for having a vulva patch on my backpack"

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    2. Wow that was an excellent article. The above comment shows little has changed. I'm surprised by its anger against the writer.

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    3. Anger? Where was the anger you speak of?

      Or are you trying to put words into my mouth because you cannot come up with a valid criticism?

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    4. 8c, your original comment itself was utter drivel - the sort of thing that doesn't merit a level response whatsoever.

      Speaking as a guy here (I hope that doesn't make anything I'm about to say less valid), there is a serious systemic apathy towards what is seen as "mild" misogyny of any kind in society. There is a pervasive attitude that insinuates "major violence towards women is bad, but we can just overlook mildly degrading stuff," thereby condoning a certain level of... acceptable hate towards an entire gender.

      This is unacceptable. Nobody is suggesting it's a 'conspiracy,' but it absolutely IS systemic.

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    5. 8d well said. What you say is no less valid due to who you are. It's needed.

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    6. 8d, good distinction between conspiracy and systemic.

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    7. There is an acceptable level of hate for pretty much everything in society.

      If you can't handle dealing with people like that you are going to have a hard time operating in the real world.

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    8. 8g, the 'acceptable level of hate' towards women goes far beyond what is acceptable in other areas of society. The fact that this promotion of abject hate speech didn't really get a response on-campus until it began to receive press attention is particularly telling.

      I'm not suggesting we should be living in some idyllic society where everyone gets along, all the time. That'd be ridiculous. But it's far more ridiculous to suggest that the line for what constitutes 'acceptable hate against women' in the eyes of society, should remain as relaxed as it currently is.

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    9. 8g, acceptable hate - new oxymoron. Hate all you want inside. But when what you say or do targets women, don't be surprised if some people around take real issue with that. We're operating now, and dealing with "people like that" by speaking out against this shit.

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  9. "It's worth reminding ourselves what happened"

    An individual, who very likely is dealing with some form of a mental illness, walked around and placed posters of a factually incorrect statement to incite a negative response from individuals across campus. The UW campus erupted in uproar over the posters, and an unbelievable amount of shit was slung by multiple groups of people towards multiple groups of people.

    "...what got resolved,"

    We found out who the individual was, he was banned from UW and Laurier's respective campuses, and he will likely be undertaking psychiatric treatment/has undertaken psychiatric treatment for his condition.

    "and what remains."

    What does remain? It was one isolated incident which pales in comparison to a whole slew of new situations that continue to pop up (conscious awareness of 'Gamergate' and what is ongoing with female representation in gaming [because although Waterloo doesn't into football well, it does into video games].

    We have gone full circle, and will continue to hate each other with frothing vaginas and swinging penises.

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    1. It was a targeted attack against women. "Factually incorrect statements" my ass. Treat it like what it was.
      The campus did not erupt in uproar, and that's the problem. Most of the campus paid it no attention, and the admin didn't begin to really respond until after it got press attention from the people who WERE making a big deal of it.

      Glad you mentioned Gamergate though. Now THAT'S a true cesspool of systematic misogyny.

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    2. 9, I'm inferring you think the responses were worse than the posters and email campaign. Is that accurate?

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    3. This is exactly it, isolated incident, guy got punished appropriately, things should have been left alone.

      I don't see why the campus should have been in uproar. Is seeing something like that, deciding it is stupid, then removing it not enough?

      Gamergate is an interesting one, and from what I can tell the only winners are the trolls. Them and the few making bank off of the sympathy they are gaining. (Although it is probably more on the deserved side for a few of them)

      But My issue with the amount of stink "Gamer Gate" is kicking up is the same as the poster response. The actions of a small number of trolls (in comparison to the millions of gamers) are being applied to every male gamer no matter how undeserving. Not to mention that if you look at the hate thrown at Tony Abbot you can see that it is not really a new thing.

      People are looking for "systematic" issues where no exist. Things like tailoring your game to your primary demographic are being construed as harmful.

      Not to mention the absolutely rampant intellectual dishonestly in a few of the pieces of media that seem to have turned into talking points.

      Anyways, people are going to get all pissed off over these things, and flame even if the actual "problems" have other explanations.

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    4. 9c,

      The campus was in an uproar BEFORE the incident was dealt with. After the guy was arrested and punished, it really died down.

      The uproar emerged when the media got wind of the situation and began giving the university negative attention, and the university hadn't taken steps to deal with the issue yet. That literally IS systematic, since the reason it took so long to catch the guy is that the SYSTEM tolerated it until the press decided it didn't.

      As for Gamer Gate, it would be an irrelevant joke if it wasn't for the fact that two women were forced out of their homes and placed under protective detail because of the rape and death threats they were receiving. It was a reaction to a public realization amongst a group of misogynistic gamers that a) there were females with feminine viewpoints in gaming, who weren't okay with gaming's treatment of women and were trying actively to change it, and b) those female gamers had active sexual lives. The response: unfettered rage. It just happened that a few clever and evil people disguised this rage using the pretext of "journalistic integrity." Take a good look - basically every example out there of journalistic corruption is a red herring, and every explanation shows that these people don't understand how the gaming industry works, or what "integrity" actually means.

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    5. Following up on 1 thing above didn't the UW prez come off sounding more concerned about his reputation than campus women's safety?

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    6. That's just how Feridun always sounds; you get used to it after a while.

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    7. I still don't see how you are getting systemic from the actions of one person.

      I assume there was a period of time needed to investigate the incident.

      Not doing something is not evidence of something being done. Why would the university want to draw attention to an embarrassing incident?

      Anyways, I have serious doubts about this conversation simply because you embody some of my exact issues with gamergate.

      What I saw was a group of trolls getting people worked up as they intended with some SJWs getting their agenda pushed into the forefront at the same time, all while the people who actually enjoy games get crapped on because of the actions of a very small number of people.

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    8. 9g, regarding your last paragraph... I saw that too. At first. And I won't deny that there is still an aspect of that which exists.

      'Gamers,' that is to say, people who play video games, aren't the problem, and early on the word 'gamer' was used as a pejorative far more than it should have been.

      But that is no longer the case, and gamergate persists. The loudest voices that remain are those who can hardly conceal their abject hatred of women in gaming like Anita Sarkeesian or Zoe Quinn. The best they can do is to construct thinly veiled statements about 'journalistic integrity' which show through their content that they know next-to-nothing about what that actually means. Some of my favourites: "gaming journalists should be required to disclose all projects they back on kickstarter" (as though donating to a cause is somehow a conflict of interest); "the purpose of a game review is to make a fair and balanced recommendation to the audience regarding whether or not they should buy a game" (forget about critical thinking and personal opinion, apparently); or my personal favourite "games journalists should be required to disclose any personal interactions with game creators" (because apparently networking is too social a thing for it to be right with the gaming industry).

      Look, I like video games, and I'm enough of a nerd to COMPLETELY understand why a great deal many people absolutely LOVE video games. I respect that love, and for that reason I would never criticize gamers as a whole. But gamergaters (or "gomergaters" as many non-gamergaters on twitter now call them to avoid summoning their blatant scorn with a hashtag) stand for something else entirely, and that something ain't pretty.

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  10. Women are half the fucking population. Can you stop feeling like some sort of targeted minority? Thanks. I can't believe these posters are considered a "hate crime" holy melted fuck.

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    1. i have no idea what this whole thing is about, but this is a wrong way to think

      the insect population outnumbers humans by the godknowswhatmultiple, but it's only the interaction (direct, indirect) that counts, not the absolute number

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    2. Male here (fully believing that fact doesn't discount what follows).

      Are women a minority? No. Are they often the targeted victims of abject hatred? Yes. Is that acceptable? Not officially, but it's often unofficially treated that way, and that's the problem.

      The majority of the Canadian population may be white and of European descent, but if someone printed and distributed anti-white propaganda, promoting hateful views against all white people, the subsequent outrage from EVERYONE (be they white or not) would be fully justified. The same is true of the targeting of women.

      Now, women of colour are generally targeted more frequently than caucasian women, but that's a different discussion for a different time.

      The point is, hate speech is a hate crime. If you speak, write, publish, or distribute material that actively promotes hatred of a specific group based on ANY personal characteristic (see: race. GENDER, religion, sexual orientation, etc.), you ARE committing a hate crime. And it should ALWAYS be met by the local community with the utmost severity, as something COMPLETELY unacceptable and intolerable. To do less is a statement of poor morals in and of itself, plain and simple.

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    3. I don't think you're wrong, but I think we should be careful about making claims of "hate speech" in the context of the incident we're all talking about. It wasn't some sort of organised systematic campaign of hatred, nor was it necessarily a reflection of broader cultural ideas. It was one person, acting alone, and while it is true that issues of discrimination remain in our society, a society many like to think of as being beyond such things, I'm not sure that the focus of attention on this act is in scale with the severity of it.

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    4. 10c, the focus isn't on the act. The act itself was an isolated incident. Nobody has been trying to pretend otherwise. The concern is on the sluggish response to the incident. Nobody on campus took down the offending posters. Nobody got outraged, other than groups like the women's centre, who take it upon themselves to stay vigilant about this sort of thing. Nobody cared - until the University got some negative press attention for it. THEN the University SLOWLY started to condemn what was being done - far too slowly for what it was.

      That slow response to a hateful act, that is the problem here.

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    5. 10b, good points, and no it doesn't invalidate what you say. Thank you.

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    6. 10d, I'll accept that the focus isn't on the act, but the response should be appropriate to the act. I'm not sure that it was a moment when people really should get outraged. Obviously, the University had to start to say and do something when media got a hold of the story, but most of what the media does is meant to sensationalize and is not necessarily representative of the issue at hand. I think the point I was going for was that we don't have a problem on campus with hate speech directed at women. What we had was one person who put up posters, and the administration was slow to respond because there was nothing to respond to. If there was an admin response to every poster put up on campus that offended someone or was somehow construed as hate speech, they'd always be putting out fires.

      Sometimes incidents like these can be more divisive than anything else.

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    7. 10g The media publicized a UW campus women's safety and hate speech concern that UW's executives had not addressed.
      UW should have acted BEFORE media highlighted their neglected duties, not just after, and not just as reputation damage control.

      Educated women were being publicly targeted and no one knew the source or what was next.

      This was not like every other poster on campus and I challenge you to find a likeness.

      Your efforts to diminish the harm from the targeting of women campaign as an instance of "incidents like this" and your proposal that the damage is due to divisiveness -what, from women overreacting? - is quite concerning and victim-blaming.

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    8. 10d here.

      I'd respond to 10g, but 10h already did so with better words than I could've come up with myself.

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    9. 10d....who do you think pulled down all the posters? You? Maybe the Women's Centre?

      And the Women's Centre execs did more to blow this out of proportion than the media ever did.


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    10. 10j, the response, once delivered, was appropriate. But those posters weren't exactly pulled down the day after they went up. IIRC, they were left up there for a couple weeks. Thousands of students walked past them, and didn't care. I find that troubling.

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  11. 9f, what utter bullshit.

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    1. That seems a little harsh... it's a little insecure, maybe. Perhaps overly PR-focused. I wouldn't go so far as to call it bullshit, though.

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    2. ^9f looks like a cop-out line to me too.

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    3. 9f here,

      I was just stating a fact, not making an excuse. It really is how Feridun always sounds. You can make of that whatever you will.

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    4. ^are you okay with how he sounds on these issues?

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    5. So let me get this straight. The prez sounds like he cared less about campus women's safety AND delayed acting to protect them, with UW's board of director's continuing confidence, and the onus is on _us_ to get used to it? That's fucked up in so many ways.

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    6. 11e, what you're saying is very subjective and open to interpretation.

      The President has stated on many occasions that he cares deeply about both campus safety, and women's issues on-campus. He even appointed a special advisor on women's issues to report directly to him.

      The Board of Governors meets 4 or 5 times a year, and they aren't about to oust the President on hearsay from some students who insist that he doesn't sound 'convincing' enough to them.

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    7. ^he cares deeply? Pacifying hollow words are no substitute for not acting when he should have. People say about his loose speech that's just the way he talks. You can't have it both ways.

      Oust him for not acting to protect campus women when they're targeted. Shame on the board of governors for not calling him to task.

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    8. 11g, I actually don't know if this issue ever even came up at a Board of Governors meeting. It may have been discussed at a Senate meeting though.

      Technically, the President DID all he was expected to do: speak on behalf of the university, publicly condemn what had been done, and affirm that the university is committed to avoiding such a thing happening again in the future. When asked "what is being done" he's simply expected to recite talking points that come to him from the people in charge of security and safety. The Board (whose sole duty is to the best interests of the University, period) can't and won't cause a BIGGER public scene by ousting him for not "sounding like he really means it."

      You want to blame someone for not taking action? Blame the head of Police Services, and the head of the Safety Office. It's their job to determine how to keep the campus a safe place, and to take the necessary actions. They don't even report directly to the President!

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    9. 11h, that's baloney. So UW's Board hires a person who can't talk, into a role that's no more than a talking head. They call this dude with no power president and have everyone else report to him, except the people who were really responsible for the inaction? Baloney is flying out of your post.

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    10. 11i, that's not what I mean. Of course everyone - including police services - ultimately reports to the president. But his job is pretty clear cut:
      -Make high-level policy decisions;
      -Act as the University's "fundraiser in chief" by promoting the institution around the world;
      -Protect the University's image by speaking on its behalf on all major issues.

      As for what he *actually* did with this issue:
      -He said everything he was supposed to say on the issue;
      -He held a town hall meeting to allow anybody on campus to voice their concerns;
      -Police Services took action by launching an investigation (which would have been INDIRECTLY at the President's request, and because that's their job), which ultimately led to the arrest of the person responsible;
      -He advised the Provost to ban the offending individual from the campus indefinitely, which the Provost did.

      These are all things that DID happen. So what grounds exactly does the Board have to fire him in this situation? Because the tone of his message at the town hall *suggested* that maybe he was possibly somewhat more concerned for the university's image (the thing he's directly responsible for protecting) than he was about systemic social issues?

      ...Yeah, that's not grounds for firing ANYONE.

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    11. ^these posts read like the governance version of three-card Monte

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    12. accountability fizzles away in the effervescent thin air of UW senior executives

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    13. 11l was that supposed to be 'deep' or 'meaningful' in some way?

      Learn how the system *actually* works, and if you're not happy with the way it works, then presumably you will have learned enough about it to make changes, at least in some small way.

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    14. That's the bloke's point m8, the system actually isn't working, to the continuing harm of women who are on this campus.

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    15. ...three years of sweet fuck all.

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    16. 11n, I respectfully disagree. The system has its flaws, granted - most of which are systematic flaws you'll find at every level of the public sector, in every large organization, and in every government. To a certain extent, those flaws are changeable. To a larger extent, we kind of have to grin and bear it (I know, that's a cynical way of looking at things... but 'cynic' is just the word an idealist uses to describe a realist).

      I dispute the notion that there is a 'continuing harm of women on this campus.' Waterloo, by and large, is not a place that systematically oppresses women. In fact, being as public-sector as it is, it's critical to its public image that it NOT be oppressing women.

      This was an isolated incident, admittedly dealt with very sluggishly by the university. But it WAS dealt with eventually, and appropriately.

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    17. 11p, you're so fucked up I don't know if we can straighten out your head. Sadly it's like it's riveted on crooked permanently. The priority should not be its public image, but to not to oppress women. Trying as hard as UW is to appear to the public like it's sufficiently protecting campus women's safety when it doesn't does not fool all of the people all of the time. Least fooled are the women who UW's failed to protect.

      Three years ago campus women spoke out at the town hall not only about the hate speech campaign, but of UW's chronic failure to take women's safety seriously. Sadly their message was lost on UW's executives, board, and senate. It was not lost on us, not forever. Which brings us to where we are today.

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    18. 11q, my mistake. I thought the University's priority was to be a prominent educational institution.

      But please do enlighten. What is the "chronic failure" on the part of UW to take women's safety seriously? What failings does it have that differ from any other large institution/landowner/government.

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    19. This person's confusing ambition with principles.

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    20. 11r, for answers listen to the town hall audio including its q&a. Link's at post 5.

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    21. 11h - how is this even the fault of the Police? They identified, arrested and charged the idiot responsible...sounds like they did their job.

      As for the Director of Police Services - ultimately answers to the president, so I'm not sure what you are going on about.

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    22. 11u soooo... in other words, the whole situation was handled perfectly, and nobody is at fault except the bastard they arrested?

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    23. 11v - Bad guy identified, bad guy arrested, bad guy charged and convicted...problem solved.

      And I ask again - how is there any fault for the Police?

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  12. People who get offended so easily are the ones who have issues imo. The guy who did this was a moron with poor sense of humour but he did not commit a HATE CRIME nor did he deserve to get BANNED from UW.

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    1. 12, the courts beg to differ. What he did was quite clearly an act of hate speech under Canadian law, and he was punished accordingly for it.

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    2. 12.a :that poster looks like something straight out of the Onion, not a serious argument someone would make to inspire hatred towards women. I'm pretty sure it was just a troll response to the feminist poster it was covering and not a "hate speech poster campaign" as the tumblerinas are spinning it. Immature and of very bad taste, sure, no one is arguing that! But I see no point screwing some teenager's life over it.

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    3. 12b, it wasn't covering a feminist poster.

      It was the middle of the annual Feds election. There were some candidates for council who were women. It was placed on top of all of their posters.

      And it wasn't just the posters - it's that this same individual went out of his way to send threatening e-mails to several women on-campus.

      The guy wasn't a teenager either - he was like 25, and a recent drop-out. How about you learn the facts of the case before you claim that everybody's conclusion was wrong?

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  13. 11o, 4 this February.

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  14. Good to see you're still out there Zoe Miller, spreading the same filth and bullshit.

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  15. Three years ago the perpetrator viewed female feds candidate posters as feminist to be countered categorically.

    With the original acts being minimized and tolerated that view persists today. Work remains.

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  16. Am mostly done transcribing the town hall on targeting educated women on campus. Where can I post it? It's big.

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