Death threats. Racist taunts. Vows of violence. Inside the increasingly personal attacks targeting Canadian female journalists and commentators. They target women who openly disagree with a culture of silence that exists within our media, and have been doing so for years.
The attacks have been relentless, but our women journalists have always found a way to survive this constant barrage, and to move on with their lives. But now, some of these attacks appear to be targeting women, specifically, who have spoken out critically about a particular male-dominated media, a misogynistic culture and the ongoing assault on women’s rights in Canada.
The latest attack hit the headlines on May 2 when a video from the Toronto Sun, posted earlier on YouTube, was viewed more than 2.4 million times and widely discussed on social media. The video details what seems to be a “rape scene” that was allegedly committed by a former journalist at the Sun, the Toronto Star and Global News.
I know it sounds crazy. But hear me out.
If the video is true, then you can understand the outcry from reporters, politicians, and celebrities alike. You can understand the fury from people who feel threatened and harassed by “rape apologists.” And most importantly, you can understand why my colleagues have received threats, and how they feel about it.
But you can’t understand it unless you first understand what happened behind the scenes to bring it all together.
The video of the “rape scene” was originally created for an article in The Sun, written by one of Canada’s female reporters, Jennifer Doyle-Wentworth, who was also writing an opinion piece. The article was published on August 7, 2013 with Doyle-Wentworth’s byline on the page.
The video was first posted to YouTube on April 11, 2013, just a month before the publication of Doyle-Wentworth’s article. It was taken down shortly after being made public. There