nudity does not equate to pornography
nudity does not equate to sex
nudity is not consent
nudity doesn’t give you the right to talk to about someones genitals and orifices as if they are public domain, and it certainly doesn’t give you the right to demean someone
nudity is only nudity
Why Lise Gotell Should Be Known For More Than A Petty MRA Campaign
Men’s Rights Edmonton has decided to childishly and dangerously callout Dr. Lise Gotell this week. The poster, which fits into their usual motif of infantile behavior, and the related story can be found here (http://metronews.ca/news/edmonton/796998/mens-rights-edmonton-helps-establish-calgary-chapter-releases-dont-be-that-bigot-posters/#). As a quick response to this, I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight how absolutely fantastic Dr. Gotell is both as an academic and as a person.
- Before continuing, I should note that my interactions with Dr. Gotell are limited to a few comments back and forth on Twitter, reading her work and watching her on committees at the University of Alberta.
First, Dr. Gotell is an impressive scholar. In an era where there is a desperate need to push back against the idea that academic research needs to be commercialized, Dr. Gotell’s work provides an incredible example of how the academe can return immense social / public benefit back to society. Consistently fresh and forward thinking, Dr. Gotell’s work provides critical insight into issues as they are happening in Canada. She is able to take complex theoretical and legal discussions and distill them, so that they can be understood by individuals at large. I enthusiastically recommend Dr. Gotell’s work to anyone interested in the following topics: gender based violence in Canada, gender based violence and the legal system in Canada (in particular the role that neoliberalism is currently playing) and the development and the evolution of gender studies and feminism (obviously this is an incomplete list). For a list of some of Dr. Gotell’s work I recommend reviewing her faculty page: http://www.wgs.ualberta.ca/FacultyandStaff/ChairGotell.aspx (I especially recommend “Third Wave Antirape Activism on Neoliberal Terrain: The Mobilization of the Garneau Sisterhood,” “On Denunciations and Disavowals: Feminism, Trans Inclusion and Nixon v. Vancouver Rape Relief,” “Rethinking Affirmative Consent in Canadian Sexual Assault Law: Neoliberal Sexual Subjects and Risky Women” and “Antifeminism and the Women’s Studies Classroom.”
Additionally, it is important to highlight that Dr. Gotell is someone that should be held up as a good citizen and positive ambassador for the University of Alberta. As I mentioned above, Dr. Gotell is able to take legal issues and make them easy to understand. One way that this has been reflected in her public work is the “Don’t be That Guy” campaign. Dr. Gotell was an active part of the Sexual Assault Voice Edmonton, an impressive community coalition including police services, health services, the university and community organization (http://www.savedmonton.com/). The campaign, which has now branched out around the world, is an innovative way to talk about consent and sexual violence while avoiding the victim blaming associated with traditional campaigns Also, speaking as a cisgendered heterosexual white male, the campaign was important for me to re-affirm that while not all men are rapists, we do play a role in the elimination of gendered violence and need to use our privilege to assist in the dismantling of rape culture.
Finally, and on a slightly more personal note, as someone who works to empower students to be active and informed decisions makers in Post-Secondary Education, I would argue that the academe desperately needs more people like Dr. Gotell. I have had the pleasure of watching Dr. Gotell interact on a number of university committees. The equal and high level of respect that Dr. Gotell provides to each member of the university community (whether they be students, academic staff or nonacademic staff) is all too rare and incredibly valuable. Dr. Gotell’s work at the University of Alberta is an excellent example of how Universities can be governed in a collegial manner based on respect for the input of the community. Dr. Gotell’s interactions within the university give me hope for an alternative to both further corporatization of the academe and overt government interference.
The above mentioned work has earned Dr. Gotell a high level of respect from student representatives. While I am sure that a response would have come from the Students’ Union exec regarding the absurd posters, the fervor and frustration in the tone of the SU executive is a reflection of the high level of respect that they hold for Dr. Gotell. It is admiration that she has earned as an academic, community member and active participant in decision making at the University of Alberta.
**Two of the articles I mentioned available online (not behind a paywall): ** http://www.academia.edu/505813/On_Denunciations_and_Disavowals_Feminism_Trans_Inclusion_and_Nixon_v._Vancouver_Rape_Relief