Queen's University student attacked after threats over feminist activities

Queen's University, Kingston, Ont. (QMI Agency file photo)

Queen's University, Kingston, Ont. (QMI Agency file photo)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:11 PM ET

KINGSTON, Ont. — Police are investigating after a man allegedly beat up a Queen’s University student who says she received threats for her support of feminist activities on campus.

Police say they haven’t dismissed the possibility the attack was a hate crime.

Danielle d’Entremont said the attack occurred late Wednesday night as she was leaving her home. In a Facebook post, she said the suspect punched her in the face repeatedly, breaking one of her teeth. A selfie posted on Facebook shows her with a swollen left eye.

Police haven’t said whether the fourth-year student’s campus politics are linked to the attack, but she wrote that her attacker was a man and knew her name.

The Queen’s Journal reported d’Entremont was "actively involved in opposition” to an event hosted by the Men’s Issues Awareness Society (MIAS) Thursday night.

The student-run club organized a talk by Janice Fiamengo, an English professor at the University of Ottawa and a former-feminist-turned-men’s-rights activist.

The event caused much debate and controversy because Fiamengo is known to question the existence of rape culture. The concept proposes society doesn’t do enough to discourage sexual violence against women, and in fact often blames the victim rather than the aggressor, and that popular culture makes light of and normalizes such violent behaviour.

Some students and members of the community expressed concern on the event’s Facebook page because they felt the talk created an unsafe space for victims of sexual assault, as well as women in general on campus.

The opposition to the event was so strong that a motion to de-ratify the MIAS was presented on March 18 to the student government.

The motion was dismissed on the grounds that no club at the university has ever been shut down based on ideology and that it could set a dangerous precedent for the future.

On Thursday, MIAS president Mohammed Albaghdadi wrote on the event page: “We would like to state that the MIAS condemns the recent attack on a Queen’s student, and violence in general. There have been various comments associating MIAS with this attack. Please know that these claims are unfounded and untrue. Our sincerest thoughts go out to the student who was attacked.”

A similar statement was released by the Canadian Association for Equality, which was presenting Fiamengo’s talks in Kingston and Ottawa, stating “All acts of violence undermine our shared goal of fostering meaningful conversation on some challenging but vital questions. A productive dialogue can only happen in a safe environment that is conducive to open exchange of vastly different perspectives. Therefore we stand in solidarity with any victim of violence, bullying or discrimination.”


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