Glen Canning, father of Rehtaeh Parson's, tells the story of his daughter's injustice
“Real Men Don’t Rape”: Glen Canning, father of Rehtaeh Parson’s, tells the story of his daughter’s injustice
Tune in Wednesday Morning After, 7-9am, October 9 on CKUT for the full lecture and discussion.
For the first time, Glen Canning shared the story of his daughter, Rehtaeh Parsons, with a large crowd. Not 60 people. Not 100 people. But the 300 people that made it Thursday night to McGill campus as part of Another Word for Gender series with the Centre for Gender Advocacy of Concordia. The audience, many brought to tears, stayed the whole two and a half hours and lined up for hugs after.
Glen spoke from the heart and described with an impressive calm the many details, the many failures of justice and his unconditional love and support for his daughter. He spoke about the need for educating youth about consent and healthy relationships: “you don’t legislate the problem away, you educate it away.” He articulated the terrifying realities of youth having access to online audiences of hundreds. He demonstrated that rape culture and victim blaming are ever present. He showed us what being a good father can look like in crisis.
This talk came at an interesting time. The night after, hundreds gathered to meditate on the loss of hundreds to thousands of Aboriginal women across the country between fiery speeches and performances calling for action. Glen’s recounting of Rehtaeh’s battle with the so-called justice system and police mirrored the story of so many Aboriginal women who never had the opportunity to have their stories in the press; women’s whose public legacy were mired in stigma and ignored by police, told they probably just ran away, only to be found buried years later in some forgotten lot or forest.
Take the time to tune in, or stream the audio after. It is worth it. We need to look ourselves in the mirror and move forward together. We must educate violence against women and girls away, sooner rather than later, and pressure police and government to follow suit.