Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Earning Shame

"Alexandre made a mistake that he has apologized for and resigned from a position he was very committed to. He regrets the hurt he has caused. We ask you to give him the chance to learn and make amends."
Kingston Police Chief Gilles Larochelle

"I am proud of the work I accomplished during my tenure and the success of fundraising initiatives we carried out for several charitable organizations. My immediate apology and attempts to resolve he recent situation with as little hurt and disrespect as possible have not been successful. I deeply regret my comments (meant to be private) and despite my commitment to the students I no longer feel I can represent you."
Alex Larochelle University of Ottawa criminology student
Alex Larochelle
Alex Larochelle, one of the men allegedly involved in one of the uOttawa scandals this week, is the son of Kingston's police chief.
"The fact that the five men could so casually discuss and joke about me and the position students have elected me to hold in such sexually violent ways points to how normalized rape culture, misogyny, and sexism are on our campus and in our society."
"This kind of behaviour has clear impacts on women. It creates an environment that is intimidating, threatening and toxic. Women on this campus and in our society deserve better."
Anne-Marie Roy, University of Ottawa Student federation leader
 Ottawa student leader speaks out on rape culture
Anne-Marie Roy, president of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, speaks at a May Day rally in Ottawa on May 1, 2013. (Bew Powless)

Five men, university students in their twenties, fully engrossed in a sexist culture of violence against women, despite all the public, social attempts to convince young men that mutual respect between the genders goes a long way to civility and self-respect.

The University of Ottawa students, seemingly mature and public-spirited enough to put themselves forward for election to responsible positions in the university's student federation -- politically aware, but socially immature enough to post an ugly Facebook conversation -- Michel Fournier-Simard, Alex Larochelle, Patrick Marquis, Robert-Marc Tremblay and Alexandre Giroux claimed in an apology they had no intention of harming Ms. Roy.

Exculpating himself, Alex Larochelle uses words and phrases that he knows by rote, but fails to recognize as a guide to his own personal behaviour: raising funds for charitable organizations, establishing his position as a responsible, compassionate social being; expressing 'as little hurt and disrespect' toward his victim, while he was one of several of the five who mouthed an unforgivable phrase that could be construed as a goad to rape; 'deeply regret ... comments (meant to be private), as though their intimacy forgives the sin.

Pathetic in the extreme. The University of Ottawa's English-language student newspaper, Fulcrum, published the actual words used in part of the back-and-forth messages of the "boys will be boys", five-way tete-a-tete:
"It begins with Tremblay, who writes that the “president will suck me off in her office chair and after I will fuck her in the ass on Pat’s desk.” He then clarifies that this is in reference to Roy.
“Someone punish her with their shaft,” says Larochelle.
The conversation turns to doubts about Roy’s city of origin, before Giroux remarks that “if you fuck Anne-Marie, I will definitely buy you a beer.” Marquis says he’ll “get a 24 for Bart if he does it.” The documented part of the conversation ends with two of the men debating whether Roy has a sexually transmitted infection."
The first impression of an onlooker to this sordid event is that some parents did not adequately provide the kind of early familial environment of established values through exposure to everything that matters in human relations, neglecting or overlooking the need to pattern their children to observe the manner in which their parents live, in practising daily regard and respect for one another and those they come in contact with in the world outside the family environment.

Can this be true of a parents who distinguished themselves in a long history with area police forces? Kingston's Police Chief Gilles Larochelle was an Ottawa police deputy chief. His son Alex is mere weeks from graduation from the very same school criminology program where his father earned his own master's degree, carrying him forward in life as a man respected by all his colleagues, a man of many talents and responsibilities.

"His words do not reflect his true character or values" stated Chief Larochelle co-jointly with his wife, Tessa. While their son had made a "mistake", he has been "vilified" in social media. Vilified? When Ms. Roy confronted the five men after having received an anonymous emailed copy of the Facebook conversations assailing her in the most vile terms, they insisted she not make the situation public, threatening to sue her for invading their privacy.

That's some indication of contrition, right there. It was only later, when the matter became public and garnered news and condemnation of the men, when University of Ottawa professors issued a joint declaration of disgust and determination to fight the prevailing culture described as "rape culture" within the sanctified corridors of higher education, that the five withdrew their threat to sue.

These men-will-be-boys may eventually mature enough to fully understand how deserving they are of the censure and shame they have brought upon themselves.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

()() Follow @rheytah Tweet