“There’s no place for the state in the bedroom of the nation.”
Pierre Elliot Trudeau is famously quoted as saying that it’s none of government’s BI business what kind of sex people enjoy and with whom they enjoy it. Somehow Jian Ghomeshi and his lawyers in their infinite wisdom decided to stray from normal legal documentary procedure and preamble his statement of claim against his former employer, and did so with that quote.
Not the first time Ghomeshi has strayed from the norm though. In fact, it’s old news at this point that he likes to live an “against the grain” lifestyle. He is now pointing fingers and lawyers at CBC claiming they’re a bunch of prudes who fired their golden egg from one of their most lucrative radio and television shows because he likes kinky sex.
Sounds plausible and just like something I’d think a government-funded organization with the best lawyers and who is notoriously hard up for cash would do.
There is, to date, nothing we know for sure beyond this: on Friday, October 25th, Ghomeshi announced that he is taking a leave from his job at CBC to deal with personal stuff. Two days later, on Sunday, CBC says “that leave of yours is permanent.” It was pretty much immediate that the Twitter world was abuzz with accusations and questions and many different forms of “I know something you don’t know, do da. Do da.”
One Tweet by an industry person said something to the effect of “many people are shocked. But many many people aren’t even a little bit surprised.” So clearly something was afoot.
And then the shoe dropped.
Ghomeshi, who had hired a PR agency specializing in crisis management, announces a pending $50 million lawsuit against CBC for wrongful dismissal and boom, his over-length over-share that details his side of the story, frankly in too much detail.
We’ve all heard it by now. He likes BDSM, likes it rough, likes young ladies, lots of ladies, and they like him, until he dumps them at which point they cry abuse. Because, you know, they’re scorned “jilted exes.”
On Monday, The Star ran Kevin Donovan and Jesse Brown’s co-written piece about what they know and what they’ve heard, which is that, among other things, 4 women, not one, not a pair but four women, claim to have been victims of some pretty terrible abuse at the hands of Jian Ghomeshi. And not BDSM styles. Just good ‘ol beat the crap out of women styles.
Response on social media was funny to watch. Pre-Ghomeshi statement, speculation was rampant and actually expected. But once Ghomeshi came out with his side, not what necessarily happened mind you, just his alleged jilted lover defence, people were all too happy to say “shame on CBC!” and throw around Trudeau’s quote. To a disturbingly large contingent of people, Ghomeshi’s diatribe was good enough to convince them that 4 alleged victims of sexual assault at the hands of Jian Ghomeshi were lying. Just because he said so.
The jilted ex excuse seemed to hold more than enough weight. What these people said in no uncertain terms is “that is a reasonable excuse and a likely enough reason to claim assault that I’ll buy it outright. SHAME ON CBC!”
Four women claimed Jian Ghomeshi beat them; Ghomeshi denies it; CBC has canned Ghomeshi; he is suing them (aka the Canadian taxpayer) for $50 million.
And that is all we know for sure.
Here is what does not at all matter: The educational and financial standing of the alleged victims; whether they are into BDSM; that no charges were laid.
Here’s why none of that stuff matters, even a little bit.
Rich, poor, smart, not so smart, no woman is immune from sexual assault, nor more likely to be assaulted. That they’re educated doesn’t make their story more believable Mr. Donovan. At least it shouldn’t. It speaks volumes that he thinks it was worthy of mention.
Sex is sex. Violence is violence. The problem with the outside world looking into something so taboo as BDSM, is that people assume that there is no point at which a line is crossed from fun into violence. But there is a line. And by all accounts, these ladies claim it was crossed. Leapt over in fact. So the fact they might be into BDSM proves nothing to discredit their claims.
The fact charges weren’t laid is meaningless. And I’ve heard from many people, including people who I know to be smart, compassionate, educated and enlightened, that because the four women did not go to police their credibility is damaged. The fact is most women don’t report their assault to police. It happens more often than I think any of us could possibly believe and the reasons to keep quiet are many, but if there is one thing recent events show to all of us, to our sons and our daughters and to people who may assault or be victimized, it’s that people will call them liars, or say they asked for it. And victimize them all over again.
I don’t know that Ghomeshi is guilty of what he is accused of. No one except those four women know for sure. But I do know this. If those women were victimized by him, they will likely never come forward now.
All of our sons and daughters who are old enough to see and old enough to ask, are old enough to learn how scenarios play out when a man is accused of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of an ex. And it’s a not a lesson I think any of us want our children to learn.
This popped up in my newsfeed and is worthwhile food for thought.
“I will say this. Usually when someone has outrageous allegations levied against them, those that know him rally to defend his name and those who’ve never met him grab their pitchforks. Stop Blaming The Victim In this case, judging by my social feeds, it seems the exact opposite is happening.”
One has to question why that is. I know I do.