Oppression, not a male experience

By Shelly Hering

Editor, the Gauntlet,

Re: "Women’s centre not necessary," Oct. 9, 2003,

Though I was not surprised by the opinion of the article on some practical level, being that this type of statement coming from a University of Calgary student is exactly why a women’s centre is necessary, I was surprised such an article was published in a campus newspaper.

The mere fact that Jankovic addresses a need for women’s shelters due to "men have(ing) the ability to physically and emotionally dominate women," and does not see the connection between emotional domination in sexual abuse and emotional domination in other social interactions is a huge oversight on his part, to say the very least.

How can such interactions be isolated to only occur in large contexts where a shelter is needed, but not in less intimate interactions? Or in interactions where the woman may feel unsafe taking such drastic steps as to run away, losing much of her community, property and likely much more? Or must we simply wait until the interaction becomes violent and dangerous enough for the women to have no choice but to leave the man and enter the streets?

It is quite apparent to me that Jancovic could not possibly have fully thought through these scenarios, and this type of thought process may be useful before he spews off opinions such as his, in particular, ignorant opinions that he happens to be sharing with the entire campus community. I encourage him to take some time to educate himself on the next topic he writes about before writing the article, maybe even having some direct experience with the issues at hand. After all, I do not imagine he has much experience being oppressed off or on the university campus for being female. Though I would be interested to hear about them if he has.


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