Jian Ghomeshi Round Up

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A collection of articles so far…

Owen Pallet on Facebook

I too have heard endless rumours that he’s been a bad date, and have heard stories of shadiness and strange behaviour.

I have heard about his ridiculous pick-up lines and have (to my shame) tittered about them with my friends. But I have never heard, until today, that Jian Ghomeshi beats women.

I am skeptical of arts reporting. I am skeptical of Canadian journalism. I am sensitive toward shaming of people who are so-called sexual deviants.

But let’s be clear. Whether the court decides that predatory men are punished or exonerated does not silence the voices of the victims. It does not make victims liars.

Whether our culture continues to celebrate the works of predatory men is another issue. It does not silence the voices of the victims.

Nothing in Winnipeg – “Do You Know About Jian?”

God, we ask so much of victims. On one side, we tell them that the price of our belief it to spend a lifetime chained publicly to an incident they usually want desperately to escape; we tell them that the price of our belief is that they make their name public, or take it to police. If they pay that price, we don’t believe them anyway. Instead, we simply charge them with trying to make hay.

Andrea Zanin, Sex Geek – “Why the Jian Ghomeshi ‘Rough Sex’ Scandal is Not About Rough Sex”

A danger inherent in this kind of media-message success is that the “don’t hate me for being kinky” defence will be used by people who perpetrate non-consensual violence, and that we, as a community, will stand by uncritically – or worse, cry out in support – as victims of violence are once again silenced. I don’t wish to be complicit in someone’s misappropriation of BDSM terminology and codes as a shield for rape and assault.

A petition to show love and support to survivors who have been hurt by Ghomeshi and to all survivors.

You should know first that there are so many of us who believe you. We understand why you fear coming forward, and want to offer a counterbalance of public support and understanding. Jian Ghomeshi’s tactic of using his massive personal platform as a public figure to preemptively silence and discredit his victims is shameful.

Culturing Alternatives – Five Ways Ghomeshi Reveals Rape Culture

Part of rape culture is the persistent tendency to cast perpetrators of sexual assault as unredeemable monsters, and rape as an exceptional event.  The frenzy surrounding Ghomeshi reflects this: it is dramatic and revelatory, antagonistic and isolated. Either Ghomeshi a guilty monster or a hapless victim of slander.  Sexual assault is terrible, but it’s also pervasive.

The Toronto Star – “Jian Ghomeshi: 8 women accuse former CBC host of violence, sexual abuse or harassment”

“He did not ask if I was into it. It was never a question. It was shocking to me. The men I have spent time with are loving people,” said DeCoutere, who, when she is not acting on the television show, is a captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force in New Brunswick.

Huffington Post – “Why I Can’t Remain Silent About What Jian Did To Me”

So why didn’t I do anything?

This is the part that I think is so important to understand if we are ever going to change the context in which rape culture and violence against women is perpetuated. I didn’t do anything because it didn’t seem like there was anything to do.

Huffington Post – “What Kind of Woman Doesn’t Report Sexual Assault”

So what kind of woman is reluctant to report sexual assault? Anyone who consumed drugs or alcohol before the incident, who was intoxicated; who flirted with, has a relationship with, knows, or has significantly lower status than the perpetrator.

Any woman who’s had an abortion or messy divorce. Anyone who might be in a custody battle. Anyone with a sketchy social media history. Anyone who’s sexted nude photos or has unorthodox sexual tastes.

Any sex worker. Anyone who initially consented to sex. Anyone with addiction issues. Anyone afraid of her assailant. Any First Nations woman. Anyone from a minority or immigrant community. Anyone who’s been raped before and not been believed.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Independent – “The Real Story We Need To Be Talking About”

If people have either the perception or fear that they can expect to face public ridicule, harassment, and potential danger (toward their selves, their reputations or their careers) in order to file complaints of abuse, this reveals a severe defect in our justice system.

No one should be afraid to seek justice. Whether charges and sentences are warranted, will be the decision of a judge or jury accordingly. But for our justice system to function fairly and freely for all, it is vital that anyone be able to pursue charges of sexual assault against anyone else without fear of the consequences.

Harsha Walia posted to her Facebook:

Still waiting on the feminist response to Gomeshi and rape culture and ‘why women don’t report’ that goes beyond the generic feminist (read: white middle class) answer of fear/disbelief/stigma. that is of course true but a holistic and grounded response about why women don’t report includes a very real threat of not just state underprotection but overt state violence – whether incarceration, deportation, child apprehension, homelessness – that Indigenous, migrant, racialized, poor, trans*, sex working women encounter if we/they report sexual violence. Furthermore, the state is actively complicit in creating the conditions that makes certain women more vulnerable to systemic sexual violence – like forcing migrant women to live with employers, continuing to dispossess Indigenous women from their landbase, criminalizing sex work etc If the horrific misogynist violence of Jian is exposing the epidemic of rape culture, then we have a responsibility to push the conversation to center the reality of those most vulnerable to sexual violence to avoid perpetuating the exclusions of all those feminist ‘waves’ before us.

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