"The romanticization of Aborginal peoples that she describes is part and parcel of infantilizing them. This paternalistic approach capitalized on taking away Aboriginal rights to self-determination, culture, language, environment, dignity and hope for the future."
It is worth noting too that the European culture Wente is putting forward as superior is the same one that for hundreds of years has been breaking treaties to steal lands from Indigenous peoples, and calling it legal.
I would be remiss, and sexist, if I did add to this critique that Wente's sort of thinking has been prevalent at the Globe and Mail for years, and put forward largely by men. The most clear contemporary incarnation of this may well be Jeffrey Simpson, who is adamant that First Nation readings of treaties be ignored, and that their resources must be developed by settlers.
Defending Rape Culture
Next stop on the Wente timeline: 2015. Dalhousie University is shaken when it is uncovered that the men of the Dentristy Class of 2015 have been discussing raping unconscious women and "hate-fucking" classmates. Understandably, a media frenzy ensues. Thirteen students were suspended for their conduct.
At a protest on the campus in early January, Dalhousie Student Union Vice-President Jennifer Nowoselski tells the crowd, "We deserve to sit in a classroom where our peers have not discussed raping us," the Chronicle Herald reports. At the request of women in the program, a restorative justice approach to working through the problem is embraced by the university.
Wente could have taken this moment to help confront rape culture and work through it while supporting survivors. Maybe her thinking had changed since arguing two years prior that rape culture was an over-hyped issue because reported cases of sexual assault and rape at universities were down.
No. She turned the Dalhousie incident to around in her column to argue: "We need to stop monsterizing men." Her conclusion was that men will behave badly and there's no stopping that, so we should give up trying to make women feel comfortable in our culture.
This is the culture she previously claimed was superior to all Indigenous ones. Recall that, in some First Nations (Mohawk, for example) which operate in a matrilinial system, women are revered community leaders, not property, as was the case in European culture until quite recently.
Anne Kingston took Wente to task in Maclean's at the time. "Protecting those accused of abusive behaviour is a hallmark of rape culture. So is dismissal of those subject to abuse."