Dr. Mandi Gray on 'Suing for Silence'

Wednesday, March 20, 2024 7:00 PM
Shelf Life Books, 1302 4 Street Southwest #100, Calgary

The arrival of the #MeToo movement was long overdue, putting sexual violence in the spotlight and opening up public discussion of the problem. It also sparked a global anti-feminist backlash. In Suing for Silence, Mandi Gray critically examines how abusive men use defamation lawsuits as a weapon against anyone who attempts to hold them accountable. Mandi Gray will be discussing the book with University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine, Sexual Violence Educator Kiara Mikita. There will be an opportunity for audience Q&A and a meet and greet with the author.

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Dr. Mandi Gray is an assistant professor at Trent University (Sociology/Criminology). She is also a long-time anti-violence activist.

Dr. Kiara Mikitia is a Sexual Violence Educator at Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary.



Suing for Silence is a groundbreaking examination of how abusive men use defamation lawsuits as a weapon against anyone who attempts to hold them accountable. As Mandi Gray demonstrates, Canadian defamation law is being employed to silence survivors and advocates who speak out about sexual violence, perpetuating the myth that false allegations are common. Gray draws on media reports, courtroom observations, and interviews with silence breakers, activists, and lawyers from across Canada to examine the impact of so-called liar lawsuits on those who report or are thinking of reporting sexual violence, and on public discourse. Her meticulous work reveals the gendered underpinnings of defamation law, which has long protected men’s reputations at the expense of women’s sexual autonomy. Suing for Silence argues that such suits ought to be recognized as Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs), whose purpose is not to achieve justice but to intimidate, silence, and drain the financial and emotional resources of those who speak out against sexual violence and even report their own assaults – and to discourage others from doing the same. Sexual violence discourse must have adequate protection if it is to be heard.

Posted by Megan M.
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