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Robyn Doolittle asks what's fair in the #MeToo movement

By Kobo • March 06, 2020Kobo in Conversation Podcast

"Someone has a right to confront their accuser, to speak up, to be heard, to have their claim treated seriously, to be investigated properly. I also think that someone who's been accused of wrongdoing has a right to [...] due process.

Those aren't controversial thoughts—you can think both things at the same time and still be very supportive of #MeToo."

Content warning: this episode discusses sexual assault, specifically how reports are handled in the justice system and society. Though there's nothing explicitly violent mentioned, this episode may not be suitable for all listeners.

Investigative journalist (and 2015 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize winner) Robyn Doolittle doesn't waste time or mince words. When she came by to talk about her latest book, Had It Coming: What's Fair in the Age of #MeToo, it didn't take her long to get to the big questions:

What do we do with people who've committed harm?

Is redemption possible?

What about due process?

What about this obsession with false allegations?

And over the course of her discussion with Michael Tamblyn she pulled at the threads of each of these, picking apart ethics, law, and culture to highlight where we've made progress, where we're likely to be disappointed, and what that might mean for the cultural shift underway.

Had it Coming: What's Fair in the Age of #MeToo? by Robyn Doolittle

For nearly two years, Globe and Mail reporter Robyn Doolittle investigated how Canadian police handle sexual assault cases. Her findings were shocking: across the country, in big cities and small towns, the system was dismissing a high number of allegations as "unfounded." A police officer would simply view the claim as baseless and no investigation would follow. Of the 26,500 reported cases of sexual assault in 2015, only 1,400 resulted in convictions.

Had It Coming is not a diatribe or manifesto, but a nuanced and informed look at how attitudes around sexual behaviour have changed and still need to change.

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