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article imageAnonymous threatens to 'out' misogynistic male Dalhousie students

By Megan Hamilton     Jan 8, 2015 in Crime
Halifax - Anonymous is taking action against Dalhousie University and demanding that the school take steps to expel members of a misogynistic Facebook group called the 2015 DDS Gentlemen's Club.
In a statement, the group said if the university doesn't comply with this and other demands, it will release the names of all 13 members of the club; especially the ringleaders and most active members, Herald News reports.
Anonymous also promises to post names of Dalhousie staff who didn't act on the case, and this includes those who were celebrated by club members. A dentistry professor who allegedly played a bikini video in his class has also been implicated.
For the last several weeks public pressure and calls for expulsion have been building up and the university finally suspended 13 dentistry students who were members of the Facebook group that posted offensive rape jokes and sexist comments, Vice reports.
Protestors demanding action against the students involved in the hateful behavior.
Protestors demanding action against the students involved in the hateful behavior.
YouTube screen grab
The university announced on Monday that the students were suspended from clinical practice, but it's unclear if they will be allowed to attend classes, which resume next week.
Anonymous is not happy with the rather nebulous response.
The group specified that it wants to know why Dalhousie's administration swept the case under the rug until it was made public last week, per Herald News.
In a statement released in late December, Anonymous said:
"We want to know why this case was ignored until made public. Dalhousie University will immediately begin a thorough, inclusive, independent, and transparent investigation into the institutional practices of Dalhousie University as it pertains to human rights, misogyny, rape culture, and gender justice."
In referring to the 2015 DDS Gentlemen's Club, the group also said:
"The active participants of this group displayed a clear pattern of misogyny and homophobia. These individuals were targeting students of your school in conscious attempts to strip them of their humanity, dignity, and power. When this problem was brought to your attention, your reaction was to ignore it until it went public."
In the statement, Anonymous also said it had learned about other incidents where the university allegedly suppressed complaints of outward sexism, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. It noted that in one case, a victim of sexual assault "was pushed to change their class schedule rather than pursue a formal investigation."
"These are not isolated incidents. These are pronounced flaws in the system that governs your institution. We will no longer tolerate policies that sweep uncomfortable matters under the rug. We will no longer tolerate your callous disregard for the dignity and safety of your students."
Anonymous then invited the public to join in a peaceful protest to show solidarity, which was held Monday in front of the building where the office of university president Richard Florizone is located. About 200 people attended and expressed dissatisfaction with the handling of the case, collectively raising their middle fingers towards Florizone's office, Vice reports.
"We need the university to take immediate concrete action," said Jennifer Nowoselski, vice president of the Dalhousie Student Union, via a megaphone at the protest. "We deserve to feel safe on this campus. We deserve to study on a campus that is free from all forms of oppression. We deserve to sit in a classroom where our peers have not discussed raping us."
Prior to the winter break, the university announced that the male students involved and the female students who were affected would take part in what it called a "restorative justice process," but the decision was met with public ridicule. That's likely due to the fact that the administration didn't consult all the women targeted by the Facebook posts, Vice reports.
One woman, who was affected by the offensive posts told CBC News that she wasn't consulted by the university's administration before the decision on restorative justice was made.
"I'm frustrated. It's unacceptable," she said. "It's not representative."
CBC News promised to not reveal the identities of her, or her father, who is also upset and calling for action.
"I find the president's response to this crisis in the Dal community to be absolutely inappropriate, ineffective, and not truthful," he said. "To my knowledge, he has spoken to two of the young dental female candidates — there are at least 20-plus to my knowledge, many of whom do not know the circumstances and the content of the offensive Facebook pages that are an issue," he said.
This puts women in the program "in the very awkward position — being worried about their grades, about their exams, about their graduation, and about the repercussions that any active opposition to the president's proposed strategy will have on their specific and individual life and career," he said, per CBC News.
He also added that he is outraged, and that it is up to the university to take responsibility and "take swift, decisive action to root out the apparent culture of disrespect for young women and provide a meaningful response." He is also calling for an independent investigation.
"If Dal's not going to take any concrete steps, then somebody has to, is what I keep thinking over and over again," said one Anonymous member who was at the protest, per Vice.
The men involved should be expelled not just for moral reasons, but because their actions violated the university's Code of Conduct, which, the Anonymous member said, clearly states student's shouldn't harass, threaten, or discriminate against others.
"It's important to release the names because it certainly seems very clear that Dalhousie's not going to expel them," he explained. "I think the best-case scenario at this point, in my personal opinion, is we might see one or two people expelled, and I don't think that's acceptable. I think that people have a right to Google their dentist and find out whether they're skilled, whether they're safe."
On their now-deleted Facebook page, the so-called "Gentlemen's Club" posted questions asking members to vote on which female classmates they would most like to "hate f—k," and joked about drugging women by using chloroform and nitrous oxide, Vice reports.
In another post, someone wrote:
"Penis: The tool used to wean and convert lesbians and virgins into useful productive members of society."
Given what the men wrote in these posts, it is entirely unlikely that women would feel safe if these guys were their dentists, or if they were male colleagues at work.
Those who are skeptical about this might want to ask:
"Would I feel safe sending my daughter to this dentist?"
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