A Feminist Disses Ghomeshi-gate

A Feminist Disses Ghomeshi-gate

I’m concerned by Jian Ghomeshi’s alleged victims taking to the media instead of using proper legal channels. If even one had reported her assault to an authority, like a rape crisis centre, things may have turned out differently.

In my 20s, I took a Women’s Studies course at the University of Toronto. It was taught in a large theatre classroom where about 200 of us would squeeze in. Only one male student was brave enough to join us.

Around midterm, an explosive idea was raised and, like a stadium wave, it travelled around the room accompanied by indignant cries and foul language. That idea had a profound effect on me, but instead of stirring my anger, it signalled the beginning of the end of my love affair with conventional feminism. Students wept when they heard that a dissident feminist, in an act of unspeakable treachery, proclaimed it was possible for victims of sexual or any kind of assault to “get over it”.

The class’ reaction was troubling: three years earlier I had experienced an “intimate” assault. I fought off my attacker, but the incident left me shaken. I took up Women’s Studies in the hopes of putting my experience into a rational framework and filing it in the mental basement of my mind.

My intentions were good, but the solution wasn’t. The problem with much of what passes for contemporary feminism – the sort taught in universities – is that it can put pressure on women to turn their victimhood into their life’s work. Far from finding peace, my anger over the assault was reawakened; I needed hours after each class to decompress.

Eventually, the larger conflict became this: I wanted to participate, wanted to make change in the world. What I didn’t want was to reinvent my life as a perennial victim just because I’d had the misfortune of encountering one bad man. So a tension grew between the theoretical framework I was absorbing and the reality of my life. In the end I felt urged to prolong my victimhood, not because it was good for me, but because it was good for the cause. My solution to that was dilemma simple: just as one becomes a lapsed Catholic, I became a lapsed feminist. I’ve never looked back.

Ghomeshigate

The events unfolding around Jian Ghomeshi remind me of that class full of indignant women. The contagion effect of potent anger is unfolding here too – first an ex-girlfriend spoke up and now there are nine women claiming they were assaulted. It’s only now, after days of building tension and concerns over scant evidence, that some of these women are actually pressing charges. In my opinion, it’s about time.

A Feminist Disses Ghomeshi-gate
Nancy Friday

The overarching theme of the Ghomeshi spectacle is that women are naturally afraid to speak up after an assault. The thinking goes that victims fear they will be assaulted again, emotionally, by a society that will judge them. I sympathize, but must add that these women’s voices aren’t the only ones being silenced: women like me, who have also experienced assaults, and have gone through official channels to deal with them, are being pilloried for daring to ask for proof. And if we’re wondering about proof, you can rest assured men are wondering too. The difference is that because they are men, they’re not going to ask.

In my case I reported my assault, but not right away and not to the police. I went to a rape crisis centre at the urging of a campus counsellor. Through that crisis centre, I filed what was then called a “third party report.” These are documents that report the details of an assault, and are kept by the police, but are not used immediately in a legal sense. They are there to bolster subsequent reports of assaults if the perpetrator is the same, and to help those subsequent victims know they are not alone. Subsequent victims can then ask previous victims to come forward to file multiple charges with them. This makes winning a case easier.

What bothers me about Ghomeshi’s accusers is that they have taken a very public route, one that sensationalizes their encounters with him and has the definite scent of retribution. The reporting done by the Toronto Star’s Kevin Donovan and Canadaland’s Jesse Brown isn’t helping. Despite minimizing evidence of complicity, it’s clear that for some of these women, their status as full-blown victims is at best unclear.

And that’s because given the rights, freedoms and resources women have these days, it’s hard to understand why some of his accusers kept going back or walked straight into trouble when they knew it was likely. Ghomeshi’s claims that the violence was consensual is questionable too, but the behaviour of his victims, unfortunately, raises more questions than answers. I’m not the only one wondering if some of those encounters weren’t just episodes of mutual incompetence.

Back to the 80s

A Feminist Disses Ghomeshi-gateDuring that class, when everyone’s ire was raised over the “women get over rape” sentiment, I was sitting next to another woman who was a lot like me. She too grew up in rural Ontario, around farmers, and had witnessed a division of labour that looked fairly equitable.

Farming is a difficult business and in some seasons, all hands are required on deck, male and female. I had grown up in such a family and it was that work ethic, and especially the non-gendered aspect of it, that made me feel I could do anything.

So that day, as I pondered whether recovery from assault was possible, I’m sure a bereft look crossed my face. That’s when my friend, who knew about my experience, leaned over and suggested I read Nancy Friday. At the time, I had no idea why she said this, but do wish I had acted on her advice sooner.

That’s because several years later, a short relationship with a difficult man had me tearing my hair out. I had come to the realization he was a womanizer and knew I could not carry on. The break-up was amicable, but what followed were months of strange encounters with mutual friends. When I discovered he was spreading unflattering stories about me, the encounters made sense. A confrontation wasn’t in order – it would only make things worse – so when I wandered into a used book store and came across a book of Friday’s, I remembered my friend and picked it up. The book seemed germane to my problem.

It was. What Friday did was put my ex’s actions in an anthropological framework. Men, she posits, are afraid of jealous feelings and so often “mark” women territorially so that in the short term other men will consider them off limits. This is a short version of a fuller version of this theory Friday explored, with considerable depth, in her book Jealousy. Discovering Friday was a revelation. In an immediate sense, the resentment I felt toward my ex evaporated. In a general sense, her theories offered an alternative feminist framework that suited me.

Now, in 2014

A Feminist Disses Ghomeshi-gate
Caitlin Moran

Feminists like Caitlin Moran are right when they say young women aren’t interested in feminism. But the reasons cited by Moran and other feminists are incomplete. Another issue can be found in quotations like this one, taken from the online publication, MIC. This was about a presentation made to American university students:

The presentation included tips from the school’s Substance Abuse & Violence coordinator Cory Rosenkranz, who advised students on how to dress, how much to drink and how to use body language that would lessen the chances of assault. Students expressed outrage over what was seen over a misguided effort to shift the burden of sexual assault onto victims.

“She was saying that women need to watch their body language and that women should practice how they articulate their face [in a social setting] by practicing in the mirror,” student Brandon Molina told the Ramapo News. “My thought the whole time was maybe women shouldn’t practice how long they’re blinking, men should just not rape people.”

Complaints like this appear on social media with depressing regularity. The problem? What this brand of feminism offers is a glimpse into the future, into a hypothetical world where safety for women is unconditional. It’s a world where men have finally gotten the hang of feminism and have stopped assaulting us. What it doesn’t promise, and what is more important to women right now, is any sort of payoff in the present. Current feminism, when it comes to issues of consent, demands we carry our anger around with us to make that future possible. Not all of us — as I realized all those years ago — are prepared to be martyrs for the cause.

Back to Ghomeshigate

This is when looking at another troubling aspect of the Ghomeshi case helps. Women like Reva Seth, a lawyer and author, have written articles about Ghomeshi with titles plucked straight from the National Enquirer: “Why I can’t remain silent about what Jian did to me.”

Well, I can think of one reason why she should (although I take it she has a book to promote). On the evening Seth claims she was attacked, Seth and Ghomeshi both became highly intoxicated. They drank alcohol and smoked pot. There is nothing wrong with indulging in alcohol or drugs, although I generally don’t recommend mixing them. The thing is, if a man or woman indulges in these substances, gets into a vehicle and kills another person, our legal system holds them responsible. Gone are the good old days when driving while impaired got you a free ride home in a police car. Now jail time, suspended licences and community service are the norm.

Read: l’affaire Ghomeshi

Read: Jian Ghomeshi Gets Spanked 

Seth is a highly accomplished woman yet she diminishes the role substances played in her evening with Ghomeshi. In fact all that’s missing is a Gallic shrug when she mentions pot. So here is a newsflash for those of you who don’t already know: Drugs and alcohol are dis-inhibitors. People of both genders do incredibly stupid things while taking them: they walk off the end of piers and drown, they express inexplicable hatred for people they love and they mistakenly believe the sexually available person sitting across from them is up for sex — now. Women make the latter mistake too, as I have heard to my amusement and the victim’s (usually male) mortification. Anyone who doubts this can just google “dates from hell” and this fact will be confirmed.

So the presence of drugs raises other questions: I’m sure Seth is not the only woman who imbibed with Ghomeshi, so do drugs explain why so many women became intimate with him so quickly? Or were they willing to overlook troubling signs because of Ghomeshi’s celebrity status?

A Feminist Disses Ghomeshi-gate
Click here to read “Jian Ghomeshi Gets Spanked”

Rules belonging to other communities can be helpful here. The BDSM and the swinging communities, when one looks at them closely, are surprisingly conventional. BDSMers maintain safewords and conversations that hinge on consent and do so contemporaneously; that is, participants are encouraged to check in with one another frequently. In swinging, participation is by couples only – with few exceptions – and the swapping aspect of the lifestyle is predicated on the coupledom structure. Husbands and wives are free to experiment, but only with the blessing of their spouses.

Read: Ghomeshi, Feminism and Clickbait

Read: Ouch! When Sex Goes Terribly Wrong

Here are two communities, considered by most to be risqué, that use strict codification to maintain individual safety, both physical and emotional. Ghomeshi’s accusers, by contrast, entered into an intimate situation that was not codified. And in the absence of a safe code, being intoxicated while visiting a sexually available partner, under unsure circumstances, carries risks for both genders. If the BDSM and swinging communities acknowledge that dangers exist, I don’t see why less colourful folk shouldn’t also.

Saying there were implicit risks does not excuse Ghomeshi’s behaviour, but it does, at least to my mind, mitigate some of his guilt. Torontonians laughed at Rob Ford’s admission that he acted while in a drunken stupor, but let’s face it, if we had to dismiss every person who has ever gotten drunk we would be leading very lonely lives. So the rules quoted above, in the presentation designed to keep all students safe, are not stupid or offensive. They are based on social contexts that exist right now, this minute, and not on fantasies coming from the land of Should-be.

This brings me to my last point. A conventional view of sexual assault compresses all transgressions into one hate crime against women. So in Sweden, Julian Assange is charged with rape for not wearing a condom; in Canada, Jian Ghomeshi is publicly vilified over allegations of hitting and slapping. These may be considered forms of assault, but are not on the same scale as those committed by the tormentors of Rehtaeh Parsons and Amanda Todd, the two teenagers whose images were posted on the internet and were used to humiliate them at tender points in their lives.

A Feminist Disses Ghomeshi-gate
Ruth Spencer, a Canadian working for the Guardian media outlet.  She now speculates that she was being “groomed” while dating Ghomeshi, even though nothing happened. This is an example of Ghomeshigate gone truly amok. To read her article click on the photo.

And this conventional perspective causes other problems. The emotional response of my fellow students, in that classroom almost 30 years ago, reveals why. A zeal for a no-holds-barred feminism, the kind that asserts recovery is impossible, is what holds us all of us — men and women — hostage and makes honest conversations about degrees of sexual assault impossible. Reva Seth, in her article, lists reasons why some women don’t report sexual assault. One of them, that a victim might think, “Well, it wasn’t that bad,” is worth looking at. Seth brings it up as a defence against the very concept, but I myself, when I speak about my own ordeal, am careful to state that it was an attempted assault. I do this to differentiate it from more comprehensive attacks, a nod to and recognition of the fact that some women have endured worse.

I have no doubt the women Jian Ghomeshi hurt were unsure and possibly afraid. But I also think his high profile rendered him less dangerous than an anonymous attacker. These women were also of age and I suspect enthralled by his celebrity status. What else can explain the varying degrees of their own complicity? We are no longer living in the dark ages when making the link between drug use and sexual assault should be rejected just because the victim is a woman. I think we can all agree there is a huge difference between a drunk 14 year old and a stoned 26 year old without stirring up a controversy. The irony is that not discussing these differences leaves more women vulnerable. In that regard, sensitivity is not always our friend.

The end result of events like Ghomeshigate do not bode well for our civil liberties. If a woman can take multiple risks simultaneously and then expect the law to protect her in the eleventh hour, what will this create? Pierre Trudeau spent years getting the state out of our bedrooms. Conventional feminism, it seems, wants to let it back in.

Read: Suffragettes, Medicine and Passive-Resistance

 

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43 Replies to “A Feminist Disses Ghomeshi-gate”

  1. Another load of man-hating diatribe. Deal with your issues instead of coating ALL men with your stinking vomit.

  2. Interesting that you quoted the Parsons and the Todd cases along with all this Ghomeshi stuff. The Parsons case was certainly not as clear as the Press would lead us to believe, and the Amanda Todd story is almost completely mythological. However, all three stories concern general dumbass behaviour – Ghomeshi’s simply proves that it’s not limited to kids who may not have been mature enough to cope with the consequences of their actions.
    Ghomeshi will be hanged, drawn and quartered for having ‘peculiar’ sexual activity, the dumbass women involved will congratulate themselves on eventually coming forward rather than dealing with it at the time and through proper channels, and the feminists and freaks will have a right old period of indignation. Fifty Shades of Ghomeshi?

  3. I once heard a fictional TV judge say: “You know you’ve made the right judgement when neither party is happy”.

  4. A sudden smack in the head during an evening where sexual intercourse is anticipated and consented, is assault. Any judge or jury can find that.

    Nice job, though. A thoughtful, pragmatic and reasoned analysis, with many valid conclusions.

  5. What’s interesting about the 8 stories published by The Star – along with the 2 interviews on CBC Radio 1 – is the shock of the women involved. None of them expected Ghomeshi’s alleged actions and they didn’t expect it because it didn’t happen to them before. At all. Lucy DeCoutere quite explicitly stated that all of her relationships with men have been “loving and kind.” Except for one. Here in Halifax a well known CBC Radio personality has called for the silencing of men who don’t agree with the bio-feminist party line (i.e., “support for the cause”) because “sexism and misogyny are everywhere.” In the midst of a wholesale panic project fueled by endless statistics (none of them cited, ever), and revolving around one man and 8 women (A 9th woman disingenuously claims in The Guardian that she was being “groomed” for violence. No violence happened. Ergo, it’s impossible to say if she was being groomed at all.) you would think, Irene, that you could break through the noise. Not possible. Bio-feminism – as opposed to your more pragmatic version – is a deeply ingrained ideology that incessantly consumes its own confirmation bias and brooks no dissent. And while they keep saying that fear is the enemy they exert a tremendous amount of effort promoting fear and panic. Perhaps one of the great symbols of the bio-feminist project is the “Take Back the Night” marches and slogans. What’s absurd is that women (and men) have never had the night. That’s when the monsters come out. Congrats Irene on your “two bits.” It may take courage to report sexual assault, but it takes even more to stick your neck out when everyone just wants you to repeat empty slogans and statistical falsehoods.

  6. Andrew Coyne’s retweet sent me here (but how come Andrew?)

    After reading a lot of posts the last few days by women victims at the Twitter hashtag #BeenRapedNeverReported , mention of a particular drug came up repeatedly: But it was not pot, crack, meth, ecstasy, LSD, or heroin. I don’t recall any of those getting a mention in the context of rape accounts posted there. Suspected other “date rape” drugs got but a few mentions.

    No, it’s good old legal alcohol that kept coming up again in the rape accounts:
    The perpetrator was drunk, the victim felt guilty ’cause she’d passed out drunk, or was too drunk to stop him. Or, the assailant apparently felt he could get away with it with a drunk girl.

    I wish this article did not appear to lump drugs in general together as all being “rape catalysts.” That’s misinfo, imo. The most dangerously impairing drug is not any illicit one, it’s booze, the drug most closely associated with violence in the form of accidents, common assaults, suicides, domestic abuse, homicides – and rapes. Alcohol is the big culprit here, not “drugs” as a general category.

    I am not arguing though, as Ogrizek kinda seems to, that drunkenness kinda excuses rape
    a little bit, or makes it that drunk girls “are asking for it,” or kinda “deserve it a little.”
    I will admit though the odds of rape occurring likely increases with the amount of alcohol consumed all around.

    Drunkenness is not an excuse for a driver killing someone with his car. Drunkenness does not excuse a murder. And it does not excuse rapists either. Drunks should be held accountable for their criminal misdeeds, including drunk rapists.

    But I say if people want to chemically alter their consciousness at parties, & in other social situations, please do, but please try, where possible, to choose drugs OTHER than alcohol, most dangerously impairing popular drug.

    Btw, the only account of Ghomeshi’s attacks I recall reading that
    mention any kind of inebriation is Reva’s. Hers seems to be the exception. In other words, it appears Jian was not reported to be drunk or high as a pattern to his attacks. So,the chemically lowered inhibitions effect
    Ogrizek mentions doesn’t seem to be much of a factor in Jian’s case as an apparent serial abuser of women.
    Aside from Reva’s, the accounts reported on so far suggest he was likely sober. So, Ghomeshi’s example doesn’t seem to work well as an illustration of Ogrizek’s inebriation-&-rape theory though she tries to recruit him & his victims for it.

  7. Ghomeshi told his story, quite publicly. The women are telling theirs. He hasn’t been called a rapist. There were no accusations, at least initially, of crimes. There had been, up until the last couple of days, no criminal charges — nor government interference in his bedroom.

    “The end result of events like Ghomeshigate do not bode well for our civil liberties. If a woman can take multiple risks simultaneously and then expect the law to protect her in the eleventh hour, what will this create?”

    What civil liberties are being threatened here, exactly? The right to say things on facebook and not have your story challenged? And what risks were these women taking? Going on a date? What law did they expect to protect them? They didn’t go to police.

  8. Exactly. Drunkenness doesn’t acuse rape. At the same time, I’d tell my daughters not to get black-out drunk in the first place just for their own safety.

  9. But he’s not being hanged, drawn and quartered, in any sense. It’s not even about feminism. I’m a dude and if Jian suddenly punched me in the head while I was at his house, even on a date, I’d have a problem with it. And if my boss grabbed my ass at work and said he wanted to hate-fXXk me, well, I’d report it too.

    The women’s stories, if true, show that this wasn’t bdsm at all — and it certainly wasnt consentual bdsm, as Ghomeshi claimed. It was a guy choking or hitting them while on a date.

    Don’t blame feminists or women for this. Question why The Star should have been investigating this, sure (Was is it in the public interest before the CBC fired Ghomeshi — apparently because of Ghomeshi’s respinse to the Star investigation? ) and the role they played in getting the ball rolling.

  10. What are you talking about? This is utter gibberish.

    This story isn’t about feminism or biofeminis, or women’s studies or patriachy or a made-up boogeyman — it’s about stories of lousy behaviour reported in a newspaper (and on radio).

    Ghomeshi can sue The Star. Feminism has nothing to do with it.

  11. you should probably reread the article.
    the discussions about intoxication are with reference to the WOMAN and her ability to consent. i found nothing to the effect of how intoxication makes men prone to commit rape.

    and furthermore, the author is IRENE OGRIZEK, not “Friday” the way you keep referring to her.
    Nancy Friday is another author that irene wrote about, in the context of men being promiscuous, so that ended in, like i dont know, paragraph 10.
    but other than that, thanks for pontificating about fermentation, something we’ve come to terms with for thousands of years.
    in vino veritas…

  12. Wow, i guess, thats, um, what is called s’ar-chasm?

    You’ve managed to investigate, cross-examine witnesses, thereby confirming
    the veracity of the entire media circus,
    hence a man who hasnt been charged, is denied any semblance of presumed innocence.

    But please keep up the appearance of empirical observation, you’re obviously a savant.

  13. [I corrected the name to “Ogrizek.” Thanks].

    I think it’s you that should re-read her piece. She does seem to suggest alcohol & “drugs” as “disinhibitors” can make some men more likely to rape, e.g,:

    QUOTE: “Drugs and alcohol are disinhibitors. People of both genders do incredibly stupid things while taking them: they walk off the end of piers and drown, they express inexplicable hatred for people they love, they mistakenly believe the sexually available person sitting across from them is up for sex — now. ”

    All popular drugs should be legal & regulated just like tobacco (the most deadly popular drug. Still kills a staggering 500+K Americans each year, & 40K to 50K Canadians), & alcohol (the most dangerously impairing drug that also causes deadly heart & liver disease, cancer, & diabetes).

    It’s irrational to tolerate one set of deadly substances while unjustly demonizing & criminalizing another set of far less deadly ones & their persecuted users.

    Just like with alcohol, for almost all of human history it was viewed as a human right to take other psychoactive drugs as one so chose. Drugs prohibition is a historical & cultural aberration, just 100 years old, a reckless social experiment that has failed miserably.

    Unfortunately, today there are few legal alternatives to alcohol for people who like to enjoy altering their consciousness while socializing. If all popular drugs were legal (again), alcohol would have more competition & would likely be used far less. Arguably, this would reduce prevalence of rape incidents as the drug most associated with provoking violence (booze) would not be used as much. It’s not called “demon alcohol” for nothing.

  14. Thank you. That was one of my main points (I assume you intended: “Drunkenness doesn’t EXCUSE rape”) but I’m long winded. Wish I could be succinct like you!

  15. Hanged, drawn and quartered may be an exaggeration, but in the realm of public opinion he will, on one hand, be in tattters and on the other, have some support from the kind of people who will always strike up contrary positions. You’re right – this isn’t about feminism, but it will be taken up by feminists as yet another example of how everyone discriminates against women.
    As usual, the whole story is odd. If, as one of the stories goes, you or I had been held down and struck with a closed fist more than once, wouldn’t we report it immediately? Then there are stories of ‘He was OK with me’.
    I notice that now (as with the Jimmy Savile case and others in the UK) everyone now says ‘Well, I suspected it’ and so on. But the point is – most people won’t do much if it stays a rumour. And, as with Savile – who everyone adored – a lone voice would have been laughed at.

  16. Ogrizeck’s argument, in other words: if you drink or do drugs, you should be ready for things to get a little cray cray?

    Does it excuse someone else’s behaviour, legally?

    Again, this all seems like part of a knee-jerk reaction denying the story that Ghomeshi did anything wrong. Maybe he didn’t but ‘A-Ha! She was drinking!’ and ‘A-Ha! She didn’t report it!’ don’t establish Ghomeshi’s innocence.

    And it’s full of shoulds: they should not have been drinking, they should have reported it (because other women have reported their assaults).

    Maybe so, but how does that change the reports of Ghomeshi’s behaviour?

    I’m a guy and gay and I was once woke up, while passed out insanely, emergency-room-visit-warranted drunk at a New Year’s Eve party, on the floor with my pants off (and my own vomit all over my shirt) and a guy having unprotected anal sex with me. I was so drunk (and I still wonder if something had been slipped in my drink because I was beyond drunk) that I couldn’t actually fight back or say the words stop or no — I just started sort of groaning really loud, like a wounded animal, hoping to alert someone else, until he got disgusted and stopped — I passed out again and then woke up and just left (and had an unpleasant several weeks while I waited for repeated HIV test results).

    I just accepted that I’d fucked up and shouldn’t have been so drunk. But did that make it okay?

  17. “I’m concerned by Jian Ghomeshi’s alleged victims taking to the media instead of using proper legal channels. If even one had reported her assault to an authority, like a rape crisis centre, things may have turned out differently.”

    Except they’re not alleging rape.

    And differently, how? Even if Ghomeshi had been charged with something, we’d still be having this exact same conversation. People would be questioning how the women’s behavoiur got them into this situation in the first place.

    “So the presence of drugs raises other questions: I’m sure Seth is not the only woman who imbibed with Ghomeshi, so do drugs explain why so many women became intimate with him so quickly? Or were they willing to overlook troubling signs because of Ghomeshi’s celebrity status?”

    What? Again you’re judging these women for, what, going to his house? Kissing or getting to one (or all) of the bases on the first, second or third date? In at least two of the stories they say they were on dates with Ghomeshi, started kissing (as you do on dates) and then were suddenly choked or hit.

    You also seem to be suggesting that the poor fella had “so many” women throwing themselves at him at every turn. How do you know that? Because you like his radio show? And even if they were, what does it have to do with hitting and choking?

    Even if they dated him solely because he’s a (Canadian) celebrity, what, it’s okay to be choked?

    That might not be your intent here — but this all certainly sounds like some version of ‘these women were asking for it.’

    Decouteau put it succinctly in her radio interview:

    “I don’t think anybody cares what Jian does in his own bedroom unless he’s hurting people who don’t want to be hurt.”

    That said. Is this any of our business? I don’t know. If that’s your angle, then why not blame the media instead of these women for telling their stories?

  18. He says he’s sexually violent and it’s consensual. These women say that, in their cases, it wasn’t.

    What presumed innocence? Innocent of not lying? He made a public statement and it’s being challenged.

  19. “I notice that now (as with the Jimmy Savile case and others in the UK) everyone now says ‘Well, I suspected it’ and so on. But the point is – most people won’t do much if it stays a rumour. And, as with Savile – who everyone adored – a lone voice would have been laughed at.”

    Well, exactly. And, like at least a couple of the women said, what do you report? I got slapped in the head and choked without warning on a date, there was no injuries?

    None of them knew, I’m assuming, that he’d done this to anyone else. And they also said they were so surprised (he was kissing them, suddenly choked or hit them and then just acted like it hadn’t happened) that they didn’t now how to react.

    Look, people are complaining that these women are telling their stories anonymously — and then, when two women come forward with their names, people start accusing them of doing it for fame, attention and money…

    If anything, blame the media outlets — but don’t automatically blame these women for talking to them. How do we know the circumstances? It’s easy to assume, as many are here, that these women were champing at the bit to tell their stories in this year-long investigation— but how do we know that?

  20. “You’re right – this isn’t about feminism, but it will be taken up by feminists as yet another example of how everyone discriminates against women.”

    You don’t understand feminism, do you?

  21. Ghomeshi admits that he gets off on beating and choking women. He just claims it was consensual. Why do you believe him without question? Why are you questioning the stories of women with nothing to gain?

  22. No, not saying they are. The comment was, I think, part of the larger discussion about booze and responsibility in sexual assault. Being black out drunk is the extreme.

    And you’re right. I’m wondering why Irene brings up the drinking and pot in her argument at all, and ties it into personal responsibility.

    I don’t see how it fits in (you were comfortable enough to drink with him on your date before he suddenly choked you? What were you wearing?).

  23. Best not to be commenting on stuff you don’t have a clue about then. It makes you look silly and ignorant.

  24. The “civil liberties” reference is unclear to me too, as is her “eleventh hour” one. I know what “the eleventh hour” normally means, I don’t get how it fits here.

    Btw, aside from the fact Reva’s account of violence from Jian is the only one that even mentions intoxication, we have a new quote from The Star’s Kevin Donovan of sitting next to Jian at a dinner in September. QUOTE: “Wine was served. Ghomeshi asked for some but did not drink. That jived with what the alleged victims had told us: Ghomeshi was not much of a drinker.”

    -There’s no mention of drug use either except for Reva’ mention of pot. So, Ogrizeks’ trying to tie Jian’s assaults in with her intoxication theory seems a dubious stretch.

  25. Thanks for the thoughtful article. I, too, am a female who feels like there is more going on here than valid victimhood, and that it smacks of a joint smear campaign and fame seeking. Like you, I don’t think that Gomeshi is without fault and immorality (why didn’t he enter into contractual agreements first?, for example)…but if you research what BDSM can entail, it isn’t hard to imagine that mybe he thought this was part of the game. Then there are statements such as when asked to stop, he did. I still don’t think this excuses many of his behaviors, but want to keep it in perspective of all the facts. When considering that the 2-year girlfriend stayed that long and only after the breakup brought this out, in secret press meetings- not to police, I think she has to be after more than justice. And the public lynch mob mentality has been disturbing.

  26. Agreed. The noise of hysteria is keeping us from having useful conversations about any of this. Frustrating.

    Thanks for commenting. I’m getting a lot of faeces thrown at me on social media.

  27. “it smacks of a joint smear campaign and fame seeking.”

    How? What’s the evidence that it’s joint, other then Ghomeshi’s statement? And what’s the evidence of fame-seeking? People were decrying the lack of names — then two came forward on-the-record and now they’re fame-seekers?

    What note of hysteria? And what useful conversation are you trying to have? I haven’t read any of the women call themselves victims.

    You’re asking for Ghomeshi’s side of the story — well, he told it.

    What’s captivating people, I think, is the fact that Ghomeshi sounds so insanely tone-deaf. And he came out of the BDSM closet only for people to say they weren’t aware they were prctising BDSM. Surely that — the issue of consent — is a useful discussion. And I’m not talking about theoretical bogeyman arguments about men being wrongly accused of sexual assault after touching a girl on a college campus wihout getting written consent first — where is that even happening? That gets trotted out constantly — but it’s an intelectual argument and this is about a real situation, apparently. If you hit a woman in the face without discussing it, how do you know it’s consensual? Because she didn’t report you?

    Maybe we do have to be more nuanced in discussing this.

    It’s great that you reported your assault 35 years ago. But what’s wrong wth talking about — as we are — why women don’t always report these things, without even talking about Ghomeshi?

  28. Some had nothing to gain. Others, such as attorney Reva Seth, is also promoting a book! Why does she refer to her purported assailant so intimately now: “…what Jian did to me.” She’s not an ingenue! She and Ghomeshi both became highly intoxicated. Reva Seth is, in effect, diminishing the credibility of women who are genuinely victims of assault.

  29. What?! Where is the negativity here? Handsome celebrity accused by 9 women, 1 of whom never even dated him and another of whom is on a book-hawking tour (no self-interest there… ha!) Yet you are nauseatingly irate with Professor Ogrizek? She should IP ban you AND all the radfem apologists.

  30. Liked by Professor Ogrizek?

    Again, what does feminism have to do with any of this? Since when is it “consensual” to choke a person without warning?

  31. Actually Savannah with that kind of attitude how to you expect people, specifically men, to be open and willing to learn/understand about feminism. Don’t shut people down by name calling. Welcome, embrace and teach. And for the record.. my thoughts are with the victims.

  32. Sorry, the word biofeminism lost me. A few weeks later, I do see your argument: that expecting the world to be safe just because you’re a woman is niave at best. The Guardian piece was dumb.

    I still don’t see the Ghomeshi story as one of panic about a sexual predator. And I still think the sequence of events (Ghomeshi said he was fired for his consenual acts in the bedroom and sued for $50+ million — and then the stories came out saying ‘With me, it wasn’t consenual’) matters.

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