Canadian Judge Confirms Rape Culture Is Real
Politics and Activism

Canadian Judge Confirms Rape Culture Is Real

Judge Camp asked a sexual assault victim "Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?"


A Canadian Judge, Justice Robin Camp, may lose his position on the bench over an inappropriate comment made to a sexual assault victim in 2014. Camp asked a female 19-year-old who was in court pressing charges after being sexually assaulted "Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?" He also asked her why she couldn't simply "skew her pelvis" or push her bottom into the basin of the sink. If you think about the shape of your average bathroom sink, there is basin and a faucet. Imagine someone trying to keep their knees together once their bottom has been pushed into the basin, and their back is most likely being forced uncomfortably against a faucet fixture. Keeping your knees together would be difficult, if not nearly impossible to do in that situation.If one is pushing their bottom into a basin, it is going to force their legs upward in the small space. Even if the sink weren't involved, skewing one's pelvis would be difficult while also holding one's knees together as well as trying to fight off a sexual assault.

Camp's accusations only confirm what we already know, rape culture is real and continously at work. Camp put the blame and responsibility of not getting sexually assaulted onto the victim, rather than onto the assaulter, who was acquitted of the charges in the case by Camp. Camp instructed the assaulter to "tell your friends, your male friends, that they have to be far more gentle with women. They have to be far more patient. And they have to be very careful. To protect themselves, they have to be very careful." Camp implied that is more important for assaulters (particularly male in this case) to not get caught, then it is for them to just not rape women. It also implies that if you are gentle and patient, you are going to get that woman to sleep with you eventually. This is a damaging state of mind that only perpetuates rape culture. It does not teach people that even if you are very patient, and very gentle she still might not want to have sex with you, and there is no obligation for her to have sex with you just because you behaved gentleman-like.

Camp also said another damaging thing that perpetuates rape culture, and whether or not intentionally, attacks the credidation of sexual assault victims. Camp said, "Young women want to have sex, particularly if they're drunk." as well as "Some sex and pain sometimes go together...that's not necessarily a bad thing." This fails to take into account that if a woman says she doesn't want to have sex, sober or drunk, she doesn't have to have sex. That is her right to refuse. This also fails to take into account that if someone is drunk they are unable to give consent, whether they are conscious or not. Camp also implies that pain in sex is expected. While there are people who enjoy pain during sex, it is only okay if they have consented to that pain. People have the right to choose that their sex is painless, and can rightfully stop having sex if it is to become painful.

Camp tried to defend himself by claiming that he has only a limited knowledge of Canadian law, and focused on bankruptcy cases and contract cases. He also claimed that he had never been trained on how to properly handle a sexual assault case. Despite training or not, everyone should have the common sense that sexual assault is not only morally corrupt, but also illegal. Everyone should have the general knowledge that a person's body belongs to them only, and the have the right to refuse anyone touching it. This does not require years of training. However, with officials in positions such as his, this is being ignored. Officials like Camp are generating the idea that a sexual assault is okay as long as the woman is drunk, and the man is gentle with her. Despite the insidious words of Camp, sexual assault is never okay, regardless of the situation.

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