Politics / Sex / Social issues

How Not to React to Jian Ghomeshi’s PR Statement

Well. It’s been a hell of a week in Canada.

Canadian feminist blog + jian ghomeshi
I read the xoJane article about Jian when it was published, in June 2013. Since then, I’ve heard numerous similar stories about general creepy behaviour. I stopped listening to Q, because even though I wasn’t a big fan of his before, I could no longer listen to Jian Ghomeshi’s voice without hearing him as a huge skeezebag. But I never thought it was anything more than that – just icky, skeezy behaviour that women are already all too used to. I didn’t see a story there, so I didn’t write anything about it. What would the title be? “Famous Guy Has Big Ego and Thinks Women Are Objects” … yeah. Super original content, there.

Yesterday all of that changed. As soon as the CBC announced that they fired Jian because of new information that had come to light, a lot of people began discussing the possibility that it was a result of sexual assault allegations.

…Is that normal? When other public figures are fired, do people start assuming it was due to assault issues? Or was this something that everyone already knew, or had heard rumours about, and yet no action had been taken? If everyone already knew that his behaviour was more than just skeezy and gross, and was actual assault – why did everyone seem to let it go on?

Twitter was exploding with accusations and defenders alike. A #TeamJian hashtag was started before any information on why he was let go was released. Many Canadians loved Q, and couldn’t see Jian Ghomeshi as anything other than the sweet, somewhat self-deprecating radio show host that they had listened to for the past 8 years.

And then Jian and his newly hired crisis and reputation management PR company released an extremely long, bizarrely detailed version of what he called “the truth.” It was impressive in how quickly that PR company put that statement together – they knew they had to be the ones to frame the story. But I’m asking you to please, please not let them do that.

Don’t let them frame this story as a “crazy ex-girlfriend” problem. Don’t let them make this seem like it’s about a girl who was jealous and upset and started making false accusations, against poor innocent Jian. We know why they would create that narrative – it’s because it works. It’s because it’s so easy to discredit a woman as just ‘hysterical’ or ‘jealous’ and then see all of her actions through that light. It’s easy – because it is indicative of how our society sees women. Don’t let them do that.

Don’t let them frame this story as “the CBC fired me for being interested in kink!” When in fact the CBC fired him because four separate women have come forward with accusations of violent physical and sexual assaults.  Don’t let them make this an issue of BDSM and a prudish national broadcaster, when it is an issue of violence against women.  This is not about kink – this is about abuse. Yesterday on Twitter, many (many many many many. So many.) people were quoting Pierre Trudeau’s infamous line: “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” But this is not that. That was about abortion, about divorce law, and about homosexuality. This is about physical violence and sexual assault. The state very much does belong here. Protecting victimized and silenced women is exactly where the state belongs.

Don’t let them make Jian’s side of the story the only side of the story. Don’t read his carefully and expertly crafted PR statement and immediately discredit the four women you haven’t heard from. As of right now, Ghomeshi’s Facebook statement has 102,492 “Likes.” There are countless comments from people cheering him on, offering support against his ‘wrongful dismissal.’ So many people who are willing to accuse the four women of lying, without hearing a single thing about the other side of the story. Jian Ghomeshi said everything was mutual and consensual, that someone was out to ‘smear’ him, that an ex of his was ‘painting herself as a victim’, and that his statement was the ‘truth.’ Do not think that you have to believe him, just because he, and his powerful team, have said that that is what you should believe.

Don’t – and this one is important – don’t assume these women are lying because they didn’t file charges with the police, and wouldn’t agree to go on the record. Victims of abuse all have their reasons for whether or not they choose to come forward. No victim of sexual assault has any kind of ‘duty’ to report their case to the police. While going through the process of filing a report with the police, and dealing with the court system is a useful way for some women to heal – for others, that isn’t something they want to relive. In high-profile cases like this one, coming forward would mean immense public scrutiny over you and your actions. MRA “activists” on the internet are known to threaten women who come forward publicly with claims of assault. The woman who wrote the aforementioned xoJane piece was viciously attacked for her claims – and those claims were much less severe than the ones that have now been released. It would mean risking threats from those who refuse to believe you – those who have already believed Ghomeshi’s (and his PR team’s) account that all of these allegations are false. Coming forward with an assault or abuse claim is an uphill battle for women – and especially for those who would be fighting against someone as powerful as Jian Ghomeshi. The system is designed to make them lose.

There is so much to be said about this. Victim-blaming, rape culture, issues surrounding and within the BDSM communities, misogyny in the media, in our court systems,  and so much more.  My biggest hope is that this situation leads to serious, detailed and important conversations about these issues happening throughout Canada. That we can learn to react properly, and to see more than just one side of the story.

If you’d like to share your thoughts or opinions about this issue – please comment below, or submit your own article to ellebeaver@gmail.com. As always, we’d love to hear from you – and we don’t want the conversations around this issue to just slide away from the public eye.

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173 thoughts on “How Not to React to Jian Ghomeshi’s PR Statement

    I don’t know WHAT, WHY or WHO Jian has been doing and frankly I DON’T Care! The issue I see here is; Jian is being dismissed without a trial or even Criminal Charges being laid….WTF.
    A cornerstone of Canadian Justice has always been INNOCENT until proven GUILTY, What happened to this little procedural step of being found guilty in a court of law? Jian has only been found guilty in the court of public opinion and social media. Why?
    Let’s get one thing straight, I have no tolerance whatsoever for violence against women or any other member of society for that matter. However in my experience the justice system operates with a huge gender bias against men. I find it very disturbing to learn that a prominent Canadian broadcaster or any member of society for that matter can be dismissed on nothing more than the ACCUSATION of a physical assault against another member of society. Oh and since this member of society happens to be a female the entire justice system operates in a completely different manner. Should the accusations of these women’s truly have merit why were criminal charges not laid? There seems to be a deliberate rush to judgment in the media, and as an experienced broadcaster and media personality jian seems to be attempting to get out ahead of this storm. Right or wrong it’s clear he knows how to manage the media, but is this influencing the justice system too? But who is fooling who here? it seems one woman has built a campaign around her dissatisfaction, and we all know misery loves company, has she simply found 3 additional birds of a feather? Again I don’t know what has happened, all I know is that the process is hugely disturbing and all men need to be aware of their imminent guilt on nothing more than accusations. As a recent divorcee I find it very interesting when many contemporary divorce lawyers now offer legal counseling to recently divorced men advising them of the potential exposure to litigation by disgruntled female partners. After many years of being unprotected victims women have learned to work the system now to their own advantage. Men beware!
    Jian fight the real fight! – the process is flawed and the law, as its being applied is most certainly unconstitutional and is certainly unfair.

    • This isn’t about Canadian justice or criminal charges or “innocent until proven guilty”. It’s about being fired from a job, and the reasons why, which we don’t know, because the employer hasn’t disclosed the reasons. Beyond that, all we have is “he said/she (and she, she, and she) said”. For all we know, it could be as simple a situation as Ghomeshi creepily harassing every woman at the CBC, and them saying, “enough is enough”, and firing him. Employers are allowed to dismiss employees for lots of reasons that don’t involve trials or criminal charges being laid. The CBC might have no opinion whatsoever about Ghomeshi’s admitted fondness for sexual sadism in his life outside of work, and no opinion whatsoever about the accusations against him by the women referenced in the Star article, or of his preemptive response to those accusations. But they definitely do have a say in how their employees conduct themselves in the workplace.

    • Even if what he didn’t do is illegal, CBC Radio has the right to punt an on-air talent if they see that person’s actions or beliefs as being contrary to their interests/brand. What if Jian Ghomeshi was a Neo-Nazi? It’s not illegal, but I’m sure few people would be say “He’s done nothing illegal, dude!” So whether what he did was legal or illegal is a separate issue from what CBC decided to do with his employment contract. That’s an issue for his union and CBC to determine.

    • I wonder what the public reaction would be if a situation were to occur and a non-consenting woman was seriously hurt by a person who worked at the CBC? How would the public react upon finding the CBC was informed about possible devious behaviour by an employee and had done nothing about it for years? Could the woman if she had proof then sue the CBC? One could be damned if they do and then damned again if they don’t.

  2. It is great that this forum has used this story as another chance to reopen the dialogue on rape and consent. However, articles like this one (and certain feminist forums in general) need to be a little bit more careful and honest about how they associate victim blaming with misogyny (e.g. “misogyny in the media, in our court systems”). Victim blaming intersects heavily with topics of gender, but to say that it is inherently misogynistic and is perpetuated by misogyny in the court system is misleading. In fact, while men are statistically more prone to blaming victims of sexual assault, male victims are also more likely to be blamed than their female counterparts (with gay men and male victims of female assault being the most likely to be blamed of all groups). If we want to talk about direct gender discrimination in our society’s handling of rape cases separate from the more general issue of victim’s rights vs. due process for the accused, the more appropriate comparison is the difference between how male-on-female and female-on-male rape cases are handled. In this comparison, statistics show that the male victim receives more blame AND the male accused receives less due process, so if there is “mis-(anything)” in our legal system, it is misandry not misogyny. Now this does not take away from the argument that if we do more to protect all victims of assault, that this will benefit women as a whole (it will also benefit men). Additionally, research suggests that the incidence of victim blaming in a society correlates with the degree of separation of gender roles and inversely with general measures of gender equality, with Nordic countries leading the way in both regards. So the take-home message is: protecting victims and improving the status of women are mutually reinforcing goals that men and women should support, but the default of painting all aspects of these gender issues as misogyny is sometimes incorrect and often counterproductive. If we are going to get the next generation of men and women energized by feminism and gender equality, we need to debunk the stereotype that feminism is “man-hating”, and sometimes that means looking inwards and realizing when we are needlessly adding truth to that stereotype.

    • First of all, misandry does not exist. There is no system that reinforces hatred of men or does the dirty work of oppression against men.

      Second, since when are men who sexually assault given less due process in rape cases? In case you didn’t notice, there was a gigantic outpouring of sympathy for the Steubenville rapists and how their lives were ruined blah blah – they chose to rape somebody! Meanwhile these people don’t address how the victim’s life was affected by the assault. This is part of a system, not a one off incident. Thousands of rape kits go untested for years – where is the due process for these victims?

      Last, the article did not conflate victim blaming and misogyny. the author merely listed them both as factors in this issue. Your derailing is not appreciated.

  3. Shelagh, I’m so happy to hear some common sense and “hey hang on a second” sensibility being brought to this issue. I’m not judging anyone for any lifestyle-related preferences. I really don’t care what people do in their bedrooms. But I do care about the possibility that a man in Jian’s position would abuse his position of authority and power and (yes, believe it or not) glamour to take advantage of women in his circle of influence.

    His story doesn’t pass the sniff test, in my books, and I will observe that Jian’s rush to get out ahead of this story, and to frame the issue as “poor beleaguered alternative lifestyle guy victim of crazy ex-girlfriend” smacks of a package all too tidy, and all too tailored, for Jian’s preferred hipster audience to consume. Why is it so difficult to imagine that there are women who have been victims of various sorts who have chosen not to speak out? Would anyone if their future might be jeopardized by criticizing someone who many people believe is beyond reproach (and while we’re at it, has anyone heard of Bill Cosby?)? Unfortunately this smacks of the same victim-blaming, head-in-the-sand perspective we often take when traumatized women choose not to speak out about what has happened to them. They made a choice not to enter into a system that all too often does what is being done now — blame the victim.

    Is Jian’s rhetoric about a conspiracy the flip side of victims seeking assurances, and perhaps evidence, that they were not the only one? That’s not a conspiracy. It’s just a mounting body of evidence that this “crazy ex-girlfriend” was not alone.

    And a lawsuit for $50 million is in the “shut this down quickly and settle it out of court” territory… designed to intimidate and bully the CBC into submission. I for one hope they stay the course and protect my tax dollars, as well as the reputations of the victims that Jian is so earnestly working to sully.

  4. While I can understand the women not wanting to come forward in the face of the article a year ago it should be remembered that the article did not mention who the man in question really was, just insinuated. The woman signed her name but by only insinuating I guess she didn’t leave herself open to slander.
    In this case with Jian if the women
    pressed charges they would be able to ask for anonymity by the courts and it would be granted.
    I am a feminist and I abhor violence against anyone but I also abhor gossip and innuendo which is what this is until it is brought before a court of law and settled.
    Right now the only known “victim” here is Jian. Let’s get this out in the open and find out who the real victims are.

    • Well, actually – the author of that xoJane post did confirm that it was Jian in the comments to that article. Not sure if the editors of the site left that up or not, but I remember from the day it was posted that it was there. I don’t think that any women have any duty to the public to come forward ‘out in the open’ and prove that they are victims.

      • Uh, yeah. If they’re going to put forward, by name, someone they allege assaulted them, they most certainly are obligated to report it in a forum by which he can be allowed to provide a defence. That forum is not the media, and your ridiculous and unprofessional hackery is good example of why. You report criminal activity to the authorities, not the media. If you don’t wish to deal with the police and courts, share your story all you want, but don’t pretend it’s ok to name someone who hasn’t been charged or convicted, because then you’re purposefully denying them the opportunity for an impartial hearing. These accusers have no interest in formally complaining, and no interest in even getting the story published, which is why they refused to go on the record or be identified by the Star. They knew the Star wouldn’t publish under those circumstances (they likely would have been ok with anonymity in a published piece so long as they could privately confirm identity). And they did know this. The Star reporters would have told then right off the top, and the CBC writer already knew it. That’s all first week of first year Journalism 101. That leaves the purpose of going to the media as an attempt to spread gossip through the industry circle he was employed in. Not ok. Not even close. Report legitimately or don’t report. Smear campaigns in place of the justice system is repulsive. I hope he sues them for defamation individually. They can kiss anonymity away, then.

    • These women will need to come forward. In our justice system, we have the right to face our accusers. What’s the charge? Where us the evidence? Testimonies of 4 women who are fearful of cyber bullying? Women all over the world are brave enough and many are in countries where they are persecuted by the state and their own families should they come forward…yet they do. In Canada, no one is above the law. If Ghomeshi did commit a criminal offence. ..charge him and be on with it!

  5. One of his “friends” in Parliament was quick to retract her support after reading the allegations which is not to say that she thinks he’s guilty; just waiting to see. Another attorney interview said of course the CBC has the right to let anyone go if their brand is “tainted,” by the person. Jian himself is the one who brought the detaills out into the open and I was inclined to believe him until I read the allegations. He said himself that the CBC fired him after he showed them “proof” that the sex was safe and consensual. I assume that was a videotape but I don’t know so don’t quote me. After viewing Jian’s proof, the CBC did not want him working for them anymore. Now, we all know that Jian is a cash cow for them so it begs the question: Why were they so anxious to let him go? Also the Star has been interviewing these women who have accused him; read their stories. Probably as in most things, somewhere in the middle of Jian’s statement and the women’s lies the truth, but I am afraid the middle ground truth may not be pretty. Don’t get me wrong; I believe TOTALLY in privacy and the right of anyone to practice what they want in their homes as long as it doesn’t infringe on anyone else. His sexual practices are his business as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. Another attorney wrote an article about this stating that Canadian law states that “no one can give consent to an assault,” so even if it was “consensual,” it is breaking the law. A lot of people break the law in many ways privately in their homes so that is not the issue; practices coming to light through allegations of abuse are. Hopefully, the truth will out, but doesn’t always which could be bad for either side or both. I still think perhaps how well worded Jian’s statement was: he shouldn’t have been so forthcoming; I’m afraid it may hurt him eventually.

  6. “No victim of sexual assault has any kind of ‘duty’ to report their case to the police.” Absolutely true. However, pursuing revenge (not that I believe that this is what it is, doesn’t matter), for a criminal act is vigilantism. If someone steals from you, you cannot walk into their home and take whatever you think is fair retribution. If the courts and the process are unpleasant and revictimize the victim, then let’s deal with that.

  7. The police have no intention of investigating this. Why is that? Because they can’t take it seriously if no one comes forward. The women are anonymous, protected. Why is that? They are afraid of vicious attacks online. Why is that? Words can’t hurt you. No one is going to attack them physically. Make a case. Come forward. You have no right to terminate someone’s career with accusations you will not back up.

    • Words can hurt an awful lot. In fact, in the last century words have destroyed the lives of many men and women. It strikes me as incredibly naive and not a little bit heartless that that argument keeps being thrown up in this mess. But less surprising that 90% of the time it comes from men. Maybe you have a daughter? if not, imagine you do. Maybe she goes on a bad date – do you advise her to throw her life into the he said/she said hell of a lengthy trial against a well-loved celebrity? Hmmm, hard one. And if not, and some time later, after the impotent frustration of not having done anything about a real violation against her body and soul has been festering, a reputable journalist comes knocking for her story and a chance to heard would you expect her to keep silent?

  8. I am as feminist as they come, but I also do so critically and open-mindedly. While I tend to be more on the side of women in rape cases, I don’t think it’s right to automatically blame either party based on assumption unless we have all the facts.

  9. Reblogged this on Wilo Can Do ANYting!! and commented:
    version of what he called “the truth.” It was impressive in how quickly that PR company put that statement together – they knew they had to be the ones to frame the story. But I’m asking you to please, please not let them do that.

    Don’t let them frame this story as a “crazy ex-girlfriend” problem. Don’t let them make this seem like it’s about a girl who was jealous and upset and started making false accusations, against poor innocent Jian. We know why they would create that narrative – it’s because it works. It’s because it’s so easy to discredit a woman as just ‘hysterical’ or ‘jealous’ and then see all of her actions through that light. It’s easy – because it is indicative of how our society sees women. Don’t let them do that.

    Don’t let them frame this story as “the CBC fired me for being interested in kink!” When in fact the CBC fired him because four separate women have come forward with accusations of violent physical and sexual assaults.

  10. It is remarkable how may people have so many opinions with so few ‘facts’ in evidence. Perhaps when we actually know something, it will not be as much fun to speculate on all the possibilities. But people keep saying “the four women who came forward”. In fact, they did not. They talked anonymously to a reporter who, for several months, had no reason to print the story. How is that “coming forward”?

  11. Why would these women come forward to a reporter but not go to the police, the proper avenue for accusations of sexual assault? If you have been assaulted, you go to the proper authority , not to a person’s employer. If he had worked at , say, McDonald’s, would they have gone to his employer? No.

  12. Good article on many points. I absolutely agree that these complaints need to be taken seriously, thought I’m not sure what process we are meant to follow in reaching conclusions, if not a judicial process. If he is going to be tried in the media, we at the very least need to keep the facts straight. You write in bold that “four separate women have come forward with accusations of violent physical and sexual assaults.” Actually three women have come forward with such allegations, the fourth with allegations of sexual harassment in CBC office.

    You also write, “Don’t let them frame this story as ‘the CBC fired me for being interested in kink!’ When in fact the CBC fired him because four separate women have come forward with accusations of violent physical and sexual assaults.” Do we know that? His contention has been that the CBC accepted that the encounters were consensual, but fired him due to a concern about the optics. The CBC has not clarified this point, to my knowledge – am I wrong?

    On the issue of these women facing reprisals, my understanding from op-eds is that the identity of victims of sexual assault are protected by publication bans.

    I think we’re already into fairly Kafkaesque territory when we start trying people in the media on the basis of anonymous accusations. Maybe you’re right that we should take anonymous accusations seriously, notwithstanding. But at the very least we need to be accurate about what’s been alleged.

  13. Jian Ghomeshi knows, and is counting on the fact that the CBC, legally, cannot tell its side – which means those details of why he’s been fired. So, he’s on a high-stakes campaign with Navigator PR to frame the narrative and manipulate public opinion. His pop act Lights called him a Super Hero. My Super Hero is not Jian who’s responsible for the mess, it’s Owen Pallett – who’s shining a light to the way out:

  14. Don’t assume they’re lying, just assume they want to be perceived as lying by coming forward long after the supposed events, subsequent sexual encounters, and the end of the relationships.

  15. The part of Elle Beaver’s comment that I find puzzling is the sarcastic, dismissive tone and words she uses to characterize the PR company that represents J. Gomeshi. Interesting to see how people express their already made up ”judgment’ about this situation while trying to appear objective. The people’s court is the worse court particularly since social media and Facebook have taken over the tower I mean the Babel tower!

  16. I would never for a minute ‘assume’ the four women ‘made this all up’. I do have an issue with the fact that they haven’t come forward or had charges laid. And before that riles many readers, note that having counselled women survivors of assault, I fully understand the system in place being very much an up hill, almost impossible battle to ‘win’, for lack of better words. I also understand why women don’t come forward, sometimes ever. I fully understand how they just don’t want to relive the trauma. But my question is this > If that is in fact the case, then why would they relive it in the media and under so much public scrutiny? Why come forward in that kind of an arena?

    I am struggling with that fact alone. But there are so many more facts that we don’t yet know and much we never will know.

  17. Character Assassination.
    Until the four women that you repeatedly refer to (or anyone) actually comes forward with a formal complaint, this entire event is simply a character assassination. Nothing more. If there are real facts and real complaints then bring them into the light and we can hang the bastard. Until then, there is nothing to discuss other than the successful vapor campaign to destroy someone’s career. CBC management should be accountable for acting without facts. In this writer’s opinion.

  18. For me the bottom line is how is how his ‘behaviour’ reflects on his employee (a crown corporation); not whether it’s ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. I have clause in my employment contract about publicity and ‘unbecoming’ behaviour. Again, I work for a private company. Crown corps (and all their associated benefits) are definitely subject to higher scrutinization.

  19. I was not aware of any rumours about JG’s sexual preferences or history. So all I see is 4 unknown (to me) women making claims about something that either did or didn’t happen. The problem is, how can anyone disprove those claims? How can you un-hear those claims? No matter what happens, JG is tarnished. Maybe rightfully so, maybe not. Shouldn’t there be a better way of dealing with an issue like this? “Trust me, he’s a creep.” does not cut it.

  20. You have to consider the impact from an organizational perspective. During the hiring process CBC has the right to ensure that the value system of the individual applicant closely matches that of the organization. It is like having a standard of Personal, Professional, Ethical and Business conduct all rolled into one. I applaud CBC for having standards and sticking to them. After all, everyones conduct has an impact on family, friends, society, organizations, business, customers and themselves. Clearly Jian believes he shouldn’t be held to any standard.

  21. Story completely ignores the possibility that Jian was “abused”, if you want to call it that, as part of the relationship as well. Most “kink” relationships have a dominator/dominated relationship to be sure but until there is conclusive proof that Jian only ever inflicted harm instead of also being harmed himself, this story is sexist on the polar opposite end — overstating the female as a victim.

  22. I used to know him. In fact I went on a few dates with him. There’s a big reason why I stopped seeing him. I got scared. Once we were kissing and he slapped me right across the face ( although it wasn’t hard) As time went on he was becoming more and more aggressive. Slapping me harder which I wasn’t into, but I figured he was so I guess I was ok with it. What broke the camels back was when he started putting his hands around my neck. This is while we were making out. Weird. He choked me so hard that I woke up on the ground. I was freaked out!!! Never did I see him again after that. A friend of mine forwarded the link to his fb post and I felt shocked. I believe her and the other girls who came out about it!! Happy I got out when I did. I’m sure there are other girls out there who have experienced similar experiences. I didn’t want to make any comments, but let me tell you how much better I feel. Not that what I experienced was traumatic…well the whole waking up on the floor was, but that’s when I got the hell out of that situation. Interested to see where this case will go.

      • WOW, thank you for sharing. I am so sorry that you went through that. I too have a friend who dated him, and he was a super douche bag creep. It is funny, at first she was attracted to him because he was famous, cute and a feminist (or so she thought)……but after two dates, she was soured before they actually made it into the bedroom. The things he said to her were wacked. He displayed very strange behaviour and said very strange things to her. Red flags immediately went up. He definitely displayed sociopathic behaviours.

  23. It is very concerning that people feel they need to use the media to get some sort of justice instead of reporting crimes to the police. Don’t Canadians alleging they were assaulted have the right to ask for and get a publication ban when they come forward? If not it seems this should be put in place.

    • Really? Do you think four or more “educated and employed” women reporting violent behaviour to the police would not be given consideration? Wow, what avenue are people left with when the accused isn’t rich and famous? I have slightly more faith in our system than that. I would not forego any chance of true justice and improved safety for others in society based on this way of thinking. There might be other reasons why people are not coming forward.

  24. Pingback: On Jian Ghomeshi and Violence Against Women: Where Do We Go From Here? | Elle Beaver

  25. I would love to see an article and/or discussion on BDSM from a woman’s/femenist perspective. I was once talked into a session of role play by a very politically active woman who works very hard fighting racism and gender inequality. As it turned out, I performed rather laughably in the department, unable to raise even a pink spot on her very lovely porcelain complexion. When the relationship went sour many months later over a completely unrelated, nonsexual incident, one comment during the course of an argument led me to erase all contact with her, someone I considered a very close emotional friend for years.

    My opinion on this matter with JG is such, and based not only personal experience in another nonviolent sexual practice is such: I believe BDSM is legitimate sexual practice which requires a whole lot of pre-conditional conversation before it is acted upon. If JG did so without very clear consent, then it was assault. If he was “testing” the waters, so to say, with women who were new to or unsure of the practice, even lightly, then he was/is spectacularly stupid.

  26. Pingback: » Jian Ghomeshi, Rape Culture and the Road to Peace. Vox Newman

  27. if this isn’t about abuse, then it IS about “kink”, and discrimination, and an issue regarding sexual freedom in an open society.

    I STAND for feminism first – but I wouldn’t want to see the second topic go without being addressed, in the (seemingly unlikely) event that he’s telling the truth.

  28. Charge this guy. There are more young women out there who will succumb to this predator. “Sexual freedom in an open society”…..blah, blah, blah This is the poster boy for a rape culture.

  29. IF these things are true about Ghomeshi, and it looks like they are, are we hearing the worst? That is, given the level of violence and the rage exhibited in these encounters, it is possible that a deliberate or accidental fatal injury could occur. Even if it hasn’t, the police need to start a serious investigation, immediately, and not just wait for women to come forward.

    The idea that a public and respected man cannot be guilty of heinous acts should have been dispelled completely after the Russell Williams case.

    And I find the ubiquitous assumption that Ghomeshi – or anyone who commits such acts is – must be mentally ill, as if treatment will make them better. Savage, cunning men love that idea because then they can portray themselves as victims.

    And as far as the musician who wrote about being Gian’s friend and believing Gian did attack those women. Instead of everyone thinking he (the musician) is such a hero for calling out Ghomeshi, his “friend”, why aren’t they asking him – Why the hell are you still calling him (Ghomeshi) a friend? Shouldn’t the fact that he is a savage woman hater make you want to rethink your friendship. Duh.

  30. Wow, look at all the energy and focus going into this gossipy media schlog. Dissertation after dissertation. No wonder the entire western society is in a tailspin, countless victims go unnoticed and we plod on oblivious, bent on bending each other to see this garbage ‘my way’. I am still waiting to read the public statements from these nameless women. I want to see how they describe their half of the BDSM relationship as non-consentual. Then I can weigh the two sides. As long as they remain anonymous with no sharing of the story their accusations carry no weight on the balance. (just a fact)

  31. Well, it seems there are now nine (NINE!) different women reported to have made allegations against him, and ONE of them (finally!) is not anonymous. Additionally the PR firm he hired has terminated their relationship with him, saying that he lied to them.
    I am still very concerned that blogs like this one, and especially anonymous Internet comments rushed to judge him on hearsay and “gut feeling”, and I still think it is essential for charges to be filed officially. However the bad news is starting to stick to him.
    That doesn’t make the public lynching or the misinformation being posted in comments any less reprehensible, though.
    I wonder how it is possible for management at CBC to have let this go on for so long. Reports I’ve read in the news from CBC staffers “taking turns crying in the washroom” due to his behaviour are shocking.

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  33. Instead of telling me that I should blindly believe the girls’ stories, why not let me decide for myself based on what evidence has arisen (none)?

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