Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A Few Good Women ...

When my daughter was 8 years old, she expressed a desire to work for the RCMP. Back then - and it wasn't that long ago, folks - some Canadians still took pride in our national police force. It was a collective romantic delusion.

Had she persevered in this interest, I would have supported my daughter's choice but I would have feared for her psychological and physical well-being. Even then, I knew that sexism was rampant in the RCMP, a systemic disease.

Flash forward a decade or two. Early this month, RCMP Corporal Catherine Galliford went public with her experience of the sexual harassment unofficially tolerated and sanctioned within the organization.
She has accused a supervisor of exposing himself to her, and says she suffered other unwanted sexual advances.

"I went to every boss I had at the time and I kept on saying, ‘Please don't make me work with these people.' And they didn't do anything," Galliford told CTV News.

She claims that several senior officers were responsible for the harassment.

On one occasion during the Pickton investigation, she says that a supervisor told her: "I have a fantasy about Willy Pickton escaping from jail and tracking you down and ripping your clothes off and stringing you from a meat hook and gutting you like a pig.'"

"My supervisors were laughing," she said.

The Mounties released a statement Tuesday saying that it could not comment on Galliford's allegations but that harassment "is not tolerated." [...]

According to police psychologist Mike Webster, however, complaints like Galliford's aren't that uncommon in the world of policing.

"This remains a man's world. It's very difficult for females to get by in that man's world," he said.

Galliford is scheduled to testify at the official inquiry into the Pickton investigation.
Galliford, 44, is slated to testify at the inquiry in January, but says she won’t be testifying for the RCMP, but rather on behalf of the victims.

In an interview, and in a 115-page statement given to the RCMP, Galliford said top Mounties had “enough evidence for a search warrant” of serial killer Robert Pickton’s farm in 1999. From 1999 to 2002 14 women were brutally murdered by Pickton, a fact that haunts Galliford.

She says she will testify that both RCMP and VPD officers, even after the Missing Women Task Force was formed in 2001, engaged in sexual liaisons and harassment, watched porn and left work early “to go drinking and partying.”
This is the work environment my daughter would have had to endure, had she signed up to become a RCMP officer.

More about that official inquiry into the Pickton investigation at Dawg's Blawg.

Grand merci to Antonia Z.

5 comments:

Alison said...

It was just over a year ago that Rona Ambrose surreptitiously announced the end of the Sisters in Spirit by disappearing their missing womens research project into a new $10-million RCMP initiative.

RCMP and Con MP Shelly Glover, Parliamentary Secretary for Indian and Northern Affairs said at the time:
"That project was finished. Don’t mix apples and oranges. That project was finished, now we’re working with them to pursue other projects."

I'm guessing the Sisters in Spirit didn't spend a lot of their research time watching porn movies at the office.

Niles said...

"I have a fantasy about Willy Pickton escaping from jail and tracking you down and ripping your clothes off and stringing you from a meat hook and gutting you like a pig.'"

The misogynistic veiled threat in that alleged statement certainly speaks to how high the disappeared women were on the RCMP senior radar and how valued women in the ranks are, that statements of that 'shut the fuck up' calibre would be used against one.

Not to mention what sounds like the bingo game of 'pay no attention to these whiny women, they're really off work for MensRightsBible reason x and y' coming out of the official statements in rebuttal

deBeauxOs said...

While some might "defend" the officers' incompetence as negligence and ignorance, it's obvious to me that they were complicit in allowing the continued predation and violence against Downtown Eastside women.

Many cops share the same misogynistic views on women that serial killers have.

Anonymous said...

@deBeauxOs - "many cops share the same misogynistic views on women that serial killers have"......are you serious? is this a proven fact, or your own expert opinion?

deBeauxOs said...

*Anonymous*, you seem shocked.

Strangely enough, it jives with the observations my father had when he worked as a police officer back in the 50s.

And my own, as well as most of the people who have had to work with cops in the context of violence against women.

I didn't say the majority do but those who are gynophobic are just as twisted as Willy Pickton and Paul Bernardo. They're basically all potential Russell Williams.

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