The Walrus Blog

Society

A Curfew for Men

A great idea from the future

Published on November 2, 2012
Comments

November 2, 2032

Good morning, distinguished guests.

My name is Ms. Anh Dri, and I’m honoured to be speaking here at Great Ideas: A Conference about Solutions, Not Problems. I’m here on behalf of the Legitimate Rape Reduction League in Toronto, Canada. This is a very special day for the LRRL, marking both the twentieth anniversary of our organization and the fifth consecutive year that Toronto has had fewer than ten reported sexual assaults.

It’s an unbelievably low figure, I know, and one that all of you have been trying to emulate, with little to middling success, for two decades now. I’m here to remind you that Toronto’s model of Legitimate Rape Reduction requires a certain moxie that none of your governments have yet summoned. It requires vision. It requires courage. It requires severely limiting the rights and freedoms of half of your population.

To recap: in 2012, the issue of Legitimate Stranger Rape came to a head in Toronto after a series of high-profile sexual assaults. At least one rapist was breaking into the homes of sleeping women, while a downtown park became a site of fear and dread, and a woman was brutally murdered while walking home from work one night. Standard responses—such as increased police presence, and terrified women restricting their activities—had little effect. And so, a group of female lawyers, anti-violence activists, politicians, policy makers, and rabid, feminazi man-haters joined together to form the LRRL.

In early 2013, the LRRL proposed a simple solution: a curfew for men. Every male person over the age of thirteen would be legally required to be accompanied by at least one female person over the age of eighteen when leaving his home between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The LRRL argued that any respectable male would be able to find a female friend or family member to accompany him on any reasonable outing after dark. A man who couldn’t find a female chaperone was either embarking on an unnecessary journey, or, very likely, planning an errand of ill intent. In our view, a curfew would allow police to find and track these obvious suspects.

Unsurprisingly, the Legitimate Rape Prevention Curfew for Men Act-Bill 227 caused a stir when it was introduced. It was fought over bitterly, and repeatedly sent back to various committees for adjustments and amendments. Then, in fall 2013, Krista Ford, niece of the city’s then-mayor and daughter of Canada’s current Minister of Foreign Affairs, was catcalled by a group of men early one morning as she walked the family’s bichon frieze. It was 5:45 a.m., and Ms. Ford was wearing a baggy, egg-stained tracksuit. Her hair was unbrushed, as were her teeth. In her rush to calm her yelping puppy, she had left her mace at home. Ms. Ford was so shaken by the obviously unprovoked incident of almost-LSR that her father and uncle made passing LRPCMA-B227 a priority of their time in office. By January 2014, it was a city-wide reality. That fall, both Fords won over 80 per cent of the female vote.

Let me confirm what you already know: the curfew has been a phenomenal success. It has reduced its intended target—LSR—by over 95 per cent. Limiting men’s movement after dark has also resulted in a significant decrease in just about every other type of violent crime. Encouraged by this new zero-tolerance approach to sexual assault (and, by 2020, a majority female police force), the city’s women also reported thousands of cases of Legitimate Family/Friend Rape. Initially, this deluge created a substantial law-and-order backlog, but as of the 2026 Canada Census, Toronto has reduced LFFR by 38 per cent.

Punishments for violating the LRPCMA-B227 curfew include driver’s license demerit points, community service, and fines. Repeat offenders may face jail time and permanent travel restrictions. Severity depends on the offender’s criminal record and the discretion of the prevailing judge. Liberal judges often issue mere $15 tickets to men caught travelling to and from nighttime shift jobs alone.

Of course, some sentences have been controversial. In February 2015, soon after the law was enacted, a twenty-three-year-old first-time offender was arrested while walking alone at 11 p.m. His eventual sentence was a full week in jail. This kicked off city-wide protests by the young man’s advocates, who argued that his backpack containing a laptop and numerous heavy textbooks proved his defense of a study session at his university library, located three blocks from his apartment. We at the LRRL sided with the judge, who opined that his clothing incriminated him. Freezing rain and below-zero temperatures notwithstanding, his navy blue jacket, black gloves, and large, face-obscuring wool toque suggested a desire to disguise his identity and travel unnoticed.

Human rights are important to the LRRL, and we have compromised on certain compassionate amendments to the original LRPCMA-B227. As of 2023, gay men (either cis- or transgendered) age twenty-five and over can apply to use a smartphone-based GPS system that feeds their location to a police database, allowing them to travel without a chaperone. An extended curfew time is available to male parents with children enrolled in government-approved nighttime activities who are willing to affix a rapidly blinking blue light to both the front and back of their person. Many fathers have expressed enthusiasm for the curfew, and I’d like to applaud them as loving, self-sacrificial parents for whom the safety of their daughters is paramount to their own freedom.

Thank you for giving me the time to outline Toronto’s two decades of Legitimate Rape Reduction success. I urge you to enact similar laws. Yes, some people will always argue that LRPCMA-B227 is an unjust form of gender profiling that punishes innocent non-offenders. My refutation is anecdotal: when I travel outside of Toronto, I revert to my pre-2014 psyche with frightening speed. As night descends, I become distrustful of cab drivers, strangers in elevators, and, really, the majority of men. Certainly history—and the rape statistics in your own barbaric cities—has shown us that an unfortunate percentage of the male population is unable to exert self-control.

This conference is about solutions, not problems, and a curfew is the best solution we have at this time. If restricting the movements of half its population is humanity’s only good tactic for reducing sexual assault, we at the LRRL are proud to advocate limiting the half most likely to do harm.

Denise Balkissoon is a freelance journalist in Toronto. She co-founded The Ethnic Aisle, a blog about race and ethnicity.

Subscribe to The Walrus Donate to The Walrus Foundation
  • Me

    Instead of curfews, let’s just fix our justice system. Remember there people like Karla Homolka…

    • thebluepanther

      oh but women don’t do bad things!!

  • disqus_Nhq1JsIfQQ

    Very smart piece. Hard to use humour when it concerns this topic. Well done!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jameslandrith James A. Landrith Jr.

    The overwhelming vast MAJORITY of rapes are perpetrated by people known to the victim and without the use of physical strength to subdue the victim. This piece is promoting the “stranger in the bushes” model as the norm. That is a gigantic rape myth and quite harmful to survivors who did not experience this form of rape.

    Do a little more research next time instead of trying to be so cutesy.

    Further, As a male rape survivor myself, I find the idea that I need to be escorted by a woman when out of the home to be incredibly offensives as well. I was drugged, raped and blackmailed into silence by a serial female rapist.

    This attempt at satire is a gigantic bit of fail in my opinion.

    • http://twitter.com/balkissoon Denise Balkissoon

      Hi James,

      First, I’m extremely sorry about your experience. I’m not a rape survivor, and it’s fair enough that anyone who is might find any attempt at humour or satire around the topic falls short.

      I actually wrote this _because_ I know that most sexual assaults are committed by people the victim knows. I, too, am really tired of the stranger myth taking up the most airtime. To me, Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” b.s. is an extension of that – it certainly seems to me that he’s suggesting that a victim who knows their perpetrator is less likely to be “legitimately” not interested in sex. So one of my essential ideas was that stranger rape is much less prevalent, and probably much more preventable with political and justice system will. Not through a curfew, obviously, but through better lighting, and police patrols, treating arrests and charges seriously in courts, treating victims who come forward with compassion and respect and really, basic law-and-order. So let’s deal with it and move on to the harder stuff.

      I don’t know if you made it through the whole piece, but about halfway through, it says that this new zero-tolerance approach to stranger rape emboldened victims who knew their assailants to come forward. It also says that while stranger rape was reduced by 95%, known assailant rape was only reduced by 38%. This was my attempt to show that yes, I know that most assaults are committed by non-strangers, and also, I think that it is much, much harder to combat, because the perpetrator might be someone the victim’s friends and family–or even the victim themselves–wants to protect.

      Along with male victims, the curfew idea doesn’t help same-sex victims much either. It does have holes. It’s an imperfect solution because it was written as a talking point that helped me blow off some steam, not a real policy proposal.

      • Samyaka Verma

        Thank you for participating in the discussion. Most authors don’t take the time to do so, and I’m appreciative that you did. I thought the piece was well written. And I’m sure you know this well enough: even when “A Modest Proposal” was written, it put many people off, and still continues to.

  • http://www.obliqueideas.com Michael Hopkins

    Came here from the MetaFilter deleted posts plugin (too many Metafilter members would have taken it to be a serious proposal and argued to ridiculous lengths about it, so it was deleted. This is the forum where it was seriously suggested that a third of male pregnancies be aborted because women commit fewer crimes. I digress.)

    Very well done! I think I would have liked a paragraph in which the speaker described in more detail the way the society changed. I can think of several good and bad unintended consequences. Again, I suggest this only to flesh out the thought experiment.

    • http://www.facebook.com/donald.smithies Donald Smithies

      A clever piece of work that exposes our lack of consideration for women’s rights and their right not to be violated. As a male I have never had to deal with sexual interference as such, but I would resent any implication that my behaviour was responsible for the actions of anyone who violated me in any way.

      • http://twitter.com/DevilRejected Cory D McDonald

        Its one to respect women and theres another for women to respect men. Why should the majority be punished for the actions of a few ? Its morally wrong and demonizes one gender.

        • Samyaka Verma

          Or victimizes entirely the other. The pendulum swings both ways.

          And in Asia, 4 in 10 men admit that they have raped. This “very small minority” is becoming larger and the “blame the victim” game is doing nothing but opening paths and roads for the rape culture to spread.

          • thebluepanther

            liar.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003141921799 Jennifer Davis

    Why curfew? It doesn’t solve the problem. All males should be castrated at twelve. After all all the problems in the world are due to the testosterone. This way there would be no wars, no rapes, no problems at all. Of course there could be semen stored, only if the males were suitable for reproduction. Naturally there are the odd bands of Amazon types and they could be suitably neutered. I mean, one does it to dogs, so why not men? My own dog is much nicer now that he has had his nasty pieces removed.

    • Entertained

      Do you have a mental disorder? It’s people like you that contribute to the discrediting of real feminism. You are a disgrace to humankind. Go get an education and spare the world from your horribly disgusting and unwanted views.

      Testosterone is not exclusive to men by the way.

      • thebluepanther

        if you read this board, “real feminists” seem to be closer to this than the opposite.

    • http://twitter.com/DevilRejected Cory D McDonald

      Jennifer, its women like you that really need to be sterilized from giving birth cause i don’t want to see children to be such ignorant as you. You blame men as a majority for actions of a minority. I believe you really need to get educated on how many women in history started wars against male kings. Not all men rape, not all men abuse, not all men think women are objects. Go back into your hole.

      • Samyaka Verma

        Then those men should readily start participating/supporting women in getting more freedoms, more rights. And most of all, stop calling women feminazis for wanting rights.

        Also, in most parts of the world today, there is a very strong rape culture. All men and women may not participate or condone rape, but there are many who prefer being bystanders, hushing up what happened, or all together choosing to ignore the situation. And all of these things are even worse as they allow for a rape culture to become stronger.

        • thebluepanther

          maybe you should show respect to men who claim to be raped instead of saying “imagine whowomen feel”
          you are the rape culture.

    • thebluepanther

      I love how this got 9 votes! how many feminists get the IRONY of this comment!?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004577887621 Kim Dolla

    Fuck these piece of shit cunts:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_2LpLhOsc4

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jordan-Bates/100002421990053 Jordan Bates

    I figured this was an entirely ironic piece, and to be honest thought it quite good. Then I read your comments and realized you seem to still take the idea seriously. You refer to the proposal as an “imperfect solution” but a solution nonetheless. Of course it has holes, the idea itself is a big hole and entirely inhumane. This suggestion is offensive. I was willing to give you a pass because of my assumption that you were being ironic.

    I can’t believe this filth passes as journalism nowadays. You disgust me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/delilahjoemckitte Christina Delilah Isakitty

    First off, I read this as a scathingly sarcastic article, so I didn’t find it offensive given the nature of satirical pieces.
    The first thing that came to my mind while reading this piece actually was the attempts made both in the past and present around the world to attempt to supposedly cut down on rape prevalences by restricting the freedom of the victims by imposing curfews, regulating dress codes, and requiring a (typically) male escort outside of the home.
    I thought the article highlighted the absurdity of the mindset of people who support these kinds of measures by demonstrating that it cut down on “Legitimate Stranger Rape” which is about a grand total of less than 10% of all rape iirc.
    Love the parody of “legitimate rape”: All rape is legitimate; I also enjoyed the critique of the man’s clothing, which is something we see a lot of within cases of rape, and the absolute absurdity of some of the measures.
    What could have made this better? I would have liked to see that your “LFFR” statistic remained the same or rose, because I don’t agree with promoting the idea that this would reduce that rape in almost any way. It was also difficult to discern exactly what your message was with the satire, which is generally a very good thing to avoid, because unless it’s clear, people can end up offended or misunderstanding your intent, as is demonstrated in the diversity of comments below.
    Thanks for the read!

    • Samyaka Verma

      While I agree with you that this idea shouldn’t be promoted, when a government finds itself imposing curfews on women to protect women, I think it is a great idea to put this idea beside it to ridicule restricting women to protect them.

      • thebluepanther

        actually, there are more curfews on men world wide. do your homework and stiop hating men.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Heather-Downs/100000598132664 Heather Downs

    the reactions to a fairly mild piece of satire tell their own story.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jameslandrith James A. Landrith Jr.

      “Mild” satire, or not, as a male rape survivor I object to the ridiculous notion that I need a female escort, lest I commit rape. It does not seem like such a “mild” piece of satire when viewed through the lens of my own experience. But hey, it’s satire, so to hell with what anyone else thinks. That makes the ideas expressed unassailable and crazy solid.

      • Samyaka Verma

        First of all, let me say that I’m truly sorry that you went through the trauma you’ve been through. I’m glad that you’ve overcome the obstacles and are in a place where you’re willing to talk about it freely.

        Secondly, I’m glad the satire made you feel this way. Now imagine how women all over the world feel when they are forced to be restricted to their own home and escorted by a male escort who may actually be their molester/rapist.

        The point of a satire is to ridicule. The ideas presented in it are only as valid as the idea that women should have curfews, men should be their legal guardians. There are countries today that mandate this legally, and there are many more countries that understand this as social law–coming from one of those countries, the social law sometimes can be more important than legal law.

        • thebluepanther

          you are brushing male rape victims under the rug while advocating stopping rape culture.
          How dare you you entitled princess.
          first of all… “Imagine how women all over the world feel” is your way of denying hatred against men. how dare you trivialize4 a male rape victims.
          why don’t you try asking men what it is like to be men instead of protecting a bigoted article in which you clearly support.
          You enjoy the satire because you hate men.

          • Samyaka Verma

            I agree with what you’re saying, and if you look below, I’ve written a better apology.

            Rape victims are rape victims. And all abused victims, regardless of gender, are not protected as well as they should be. I think the article just took the majority stat (more women are raped than men).

            When I wrote what I wrote, I was thinking about places like Yemen and Morocco (and one other place that was in the news recently and I can’t remember). I was thinking about how if a woman is raped she is forced to marry her rapist (and slut shame the victim). And then the rapist becomes the rape victim’s guardian. This article took that at its heart, flipped it and exaggerated it.

            In contrast, if a man is raped, he isn’t forced to marry his rapist–at least I don’t think so. I don’t know anything about the slut-shaming about men who are raped, but I don’t think there is much “well you were wearing a tight shirt–what do you expect?” Then again, male rape is talked WAYYYYY less about than female rape, and there are WAYYY less number of institutions set up to deal with male rape, and the social taboo around discussing it, to admit it has been done is unnecessarily insurmountable at times and in some places. None of this gives anyone the right to trivialize male rape and its survivors/victims, I 100% agree. But I wonder, did the author make a conscious decision on showing that rape victims/survivors could only be women, or was she reacting to stats/”popularity” in the media of rape of women over rape of men (i.e. you rarely hear about men being raped as a news story)?

        • James Landrith

          So, I should feel like my own experience would be nothing and fodder to mock me as a potential abuser based solely on gender? Wow. I’m glad that makes you glad. PTSD is something to be “glad” about for you, I guess. I’d rather not deal with it myself, but hey, you keep feeling “glad” about it. I actually do work in survivor advocacy and have for several years. I don’t need a lecture on sexual violence. Google me for a minute and stop being “glad” about triggering rape survivors. That’s callous and misses the point. I guess it is easy to be “glad” when you don’t have to deal with the triggers and PTSD.

          By the way, I was drugged, raped and blackmailed into silence. Being “glad” about the idea that an escort of the gender that raped me got me triggered is a bit malicious, don’t you think?

          • Samyaka Verma

            I truly do apologize if my comment came out like that. I can remove it if you like. It really wasn’t my intention to say that I am glad that you were raped or even reminded that you were raped. And now that I re-read the comment, I see that it’s very easy to see what you saw, and not see what I meant. So I’ll change that.

            What I meant by the “I am glad” comment was that I feel like you can identify and relate with a problem that affects women as well. I didn’t mean to reduce what happened to you, and I really apologize for that.

            I don’t think the point of the article was to stereotype–i.e. that only women are raped. I think the article was just acting on stats and taking the majority situation (more women are raped than men). It was a commentary on the laws of many countries, and the systemic abuse within the justice system of denying justice to rape survivors and slut-shaming them, and misidentifying the problem. I know, as hard as it is for women, it’s harder for men who get raped.

            I’m sorry this article triggered a memory of something you’d like to forget. I really am. It was 100% callous of me to write what I did.

            At the end of the day, I like this article. And anger is actually a natural reaction to satire. And sometimes that anger can lead to change. I mistook your anger and thought it was for minimizing what we should do to help rape survivors. Instead, I realise now that it was because you wanted to address the rights of male rape survivors. And I agree with you there. This article does not address male rape survivors, just female rape survivors.

  • Harry

    I
    don’t believe a curfew is a good idea, It seems to me like a reverse of Burqas. Safety of women or for that matter everyone is better ensured with better criminal processing system. There simply aren’t enough criminal court judges, prosecutors, forensic investigators, and jails to resolve this vast number of crimes, just in Richmond alone. It is costly to prosecute one criminal and even costlier to keep him in jail. I’ve he ard that it costs over $100,000 annually to keep a person in provincial jails.

    We can prevent crimes if criminal believe that it will be impossible for them to get away with it. A better surveillance system can guaranty better proofs against criminal and higher conviction rate. This will result in lower crimes and freedom for Women and elderly. ? What is the compelling solution, then? According to a postie who has seen 20 years or repeated break-ins in our area, it is as simple as a Smartphone-accessible $250 security camera system, which he
    convincingly demonstrates on Internet video sharing sites. You’ll find his demo with a video search for “postman demonstrates $250 security camera” or “Postie demo $250 multi-camera system iPhone alerts for Westwater Views strata break-ins.”

    Video surveillance can reduce crimes. One such example would be as per the Richmond News and Vancouver Sun articles on the “cruel theft” of WW2 veteran Harry Hamlyn’s electric scooter theft from his condo parkade stated, those scooters are easily stolen. Unfortunately, the
    will be an electric wheelchair (aka mobility scooter) in our future, for all of us, as we get older and weaker.

    What is required, then, for municipalities, to protect its senior citizens, in particular the elderly, like 91-year old Harry Hamlyn? Aren’t we are all going to be old, like “Harry Hamlyn”, someday? We will need to deter crime in our condominiums, then, won’t we?

    If organizations for the elderly, such as CARP, aren’t already lobbying their municipal councilors for mandatory condo security cameras — but, they should. At Harry Hamlyn’s 75-unit
    condominium — a condominium without cameras and it has been estimated that an “incident” happens here every two weeks, on average. Proof that cameras stop crime? The only time that Hamlyn’s condominium was incident-free was when a $200 “deer camera” camera took automatic photos over his parkade entrance. Like other condominiums, Hamlyn’s parkade has several “security holes” here. (You’ll find one such “security hole” by surfing the ‘net for “Westwater Views security hole”. Municipalities should enact a bylaw requiring video security cameras in all condos.

    Every municipality, become truly pro-active, and require all condominiums, with common garage areas, to install video security cameras. You’ll find many Richmond condo owners already endorsing security cameras, with a Google video search for “Westwater Views condo security camera solution”.

  • thebluepanther

    wow. hate is dangerous when a group of people possess the PRIVILEGE to openly hate another group…then claim it as satire or a political message.

    rape culture proponents aim to define an entire group of people based on the latent potential for sexual violence. these individuals who obsess about rape culture do so out of disgust for male sexuality, and men in general, rather than a concern for women.

    the fact that this article has been written, and defended, is a reality check to ATTITUDES AGAINST MEN. this puts valerie solanas or andrea dworkin to shame.