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By Managing Editor Molly Barrieau

This year, I have the opportunity to share a column with our readers. Back in 2010, The Nav infamously published a Nav-a-Sutra column that included some less than savoury how-to suggestions in the bedroom. This led me to avoid such topics for fear of our younger readers and their parents.

Yes, we are a student newspaper and our demographic should reflect that, but when Diana, our fearless Copy Editor, pitched a sex-positive Q&A column, I was nervous. Was it going to be racy and too inappropriate for the community audience? Were we going to get complaints?

No, because as a gender studies major, Diana saw the opportunity to dive into the subject with class and an easy approachability that allowed me to get excited for what I was providing my readers: answers to relevant issues surrounding sexuality.

So, dear readers, every two weeks you will find a new topic on page 10, and we encourage you to send in your anonymous questions to Diana at <column@thenav.ca>.

This issue, “Dirtyin’ The Nav” covers the controversial conversation on consent. And this got me thinking about last week’s incident, when a 15 year old woman was jogging in the residential neighbourhood by Country Club Centre. She was taking a break from her jog, headphones in, when she was pulled into the bushes off the road by a man.

She managed to fight him off and ran home, and I applaud her for her strength (check out Campus Rec’s Street Self Defense class Tuesdays/Thursdays 4-5 pm).

As long as we have to hold our keys between our fingers, and shift uncomfortably in our clothes, consent and sexual assault education must be a top priority.

How often do we hear about a grabbing, smacking or brushing up on a woman, in a crowded bar, a taxi cab or a lonely street? “Man exposes himself to 9 year old girl”, another headline reads, scaring just about every parent in the city.

As much as consent is about your intimate partner and yourself, it is a necessary discussion in our everyday lives. Same goes to you, men; never feel like you aren’t a part of this. We all need to understand that everyone has their own physical boundaries, and understanding that is the beginning to respecting them.

If you’re looking for more on the issues surrounding sexual misconduct, the VIU Status of Women Chair Kathy Page is working with the VIU Sexual Violence Steering Committee on creating our own legislation on sexual misconduct on campus. Here’s to VIU for creating a safe space for all students, but as for the rest of Nanaimo…

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