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Ignorance and Resistance:


Karly Rath, MA in Critical Sociology

“My thesis explores how society purposefully ignores the clitoris, how women and trans people resist this through learning, and what most people still don't know about this pleasure organ. Are you cliterate?”


In September of 2014, a group of students at Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford campus, began analyzing all of the policies at all 20 universities in Ontario. We wanted to see how well their policies measured up to the Ontario Women's Directorate's comprehensive recommendations on how they should be preventing and responding to sexual violence.

We found that the university-wide average score was 15.8%. Laurier only fulfilled ONE criterion--which was that they at least had a definition of sexual harassment. We were dismayed, and so the Toronto Star's investigation that broke later that year, unfortunately did not surprise us.

We also conducted a social media scan to find out if sexual violence on was something students were talking about (as this was before #MeToo, Brock Turner, and other stories that have been largely in the public eye). We found many student collectives and sites were made across Ontario, which showed us that this mattered to students. If universities weren't going to step up, then students took it upon themselves to act. And that is just what we did.


Beyond our ongoing work as community organizers, many members of ASCC are embedded in long-term academic projects surrounding topics of sexual health, consent, trauma, pleasure and gender. Researchers within our collective span across disciplines such as sociology, social justice education and social work. We are actively engaged in turning our research into practical resources to support our communities.

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