Tag Archives: violence against women

Little Rabbit Foo Foo

“running through the forest, scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head…”

I’m feeling disconcerted. Angry. A bit scared.

Apparently there is someone going through the downtown market here in Ottawa, sneaking up on women, and hitting them on the head.  With a hammer. In the middle of the day.


The purpose is unknown.  The women aren’t robbed or molested, just struck on the head. For some reason this bothers me most of all.  It seems like pointless violence (well, most violence is pointless, true), but I am puzzled and alarmed that this is happening, and also that it has been happening for some time and the police have just thought to notify us now.

I’m angry because their response is to tell women not to wear IPODs and to keep aware of who may be following them. Once again, it’s up to women to guard themselves from men, not up to men to stop beating up on women. It’s hard not to get frustrated with this.  Already we women are counselled not to walk alone in the dark, not to walk alone on bike paths, not to live alone in first floor apartments, not to drive long distances alone, not to speak to strangers, not to dress in a “tempting way” (defined differently depending on religious position), etc. etc., etc. as the King of Siam would say.

Now we are not to listen to music while walking in broad daylight in a busy market area? Come ON.  Where will it end? Perhaps that is the motivation for this man’s attacks – to start more fear amongst women. What will he do when just hitting the women once isn’t enough? Who else will think this is a fun idea, now that it’s hit the press? And why the hell are we paying increasing amounts for policing when this sort of thing is allowed to go on?

I’m tired of it.  In winter, I’m tired of feeling that frisson of danger whenever the sun sets and I’m out walking alone (or with my fierce protection poodle Chutney, who can growl up a storm). I’m fed up with a lifetime of restricted activity just because SOME men are knobs and some police are not doing their jobs. I’m tired of men just not understanding this restriction because they don’t ever ever think about it, where we women have to have it in the corners of our minds all the time.

I’m a pretty fearless gal, but I’ve got to admit the thought of some guy sneaking up on me and whacking me on the head with a hammer in the middle of the day is disconcerting. It makes me wish for a Good Fairy.


“Little Rabbit Foo Foo
Running through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head!
Down came the Good Fairy, and she said:
“Little Rabbit Foo Foo
I don’t wanna see you
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head!
I will give you three chances,
And if you don’t behave, I will turn you into a Goon!”  (hare today, goon tomorrow, har har har)


So what about it, women?

Read in a newspaper a few weeks ago two stories – one was about a massive turnout of police for a fellow policeman’s funeral. The other was a story about a woman and her mother who had been killed by an angry boyfriend. I sent the following as a letter to the editor of our local paper, who, strangely enough, didn’t print it…;-)I sympathize with the losses in both of these stories, although I remain astonished at the huge turnouts to police funerals. From my understanding, people attending en masse from other police forces, etc are there to show solidarity, to empathize with the family, and ever so gently to imply a threat – if you kill one cop, we are all against you. We will find you, and hold you to account.
Wouldn’t it be a novel approach if every time a woman is killed by a disgruntled former partner, women from all walks of life showed up at the funeral? What if we crowded the churches, massed out onto the street, blocked traffic and required rerouting, summoned the media? Imagine what a crowd we could generate if women (and supportive men) made it a priority to do this. We are a bigger crowd than the police forces. And, while the men and women of our various protective services (police, military, fire prevention) are prepared for the violence in their professions and are trained to deal with it, most women go into relationships with men with little violence preparation.
We’d be offering solidarity, support for those women who were killed by those they once loved and trusted, support for the families.
And we’d ever so gently imply a threat. We’re watching you. We will hold you to account. You attack one woman, we are all against you.

People know that to attack a police officer is a serious serious thing. We need to let them know that to attack any woman (or man) is equally serious.