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article imageOp-Ed: Truth about Jian Ghomeshi may lie between disturbing and criminal

By Marcus Hondro     Oct 28, 2014 in Entertainment
It seems Canadian cultural hero Jian Ghomeshi, once of the CBC, was caught with his pants down and maybe also with his fists poised. Do note the word "seems" though, but also note a hoary old cliche: where there's smoke, there is often a blazing inferno.
Allegations of violence in Ghomeshi bedroom
There are allegations of Ghomeshi having sexual trysts of a violent nature with women who say they did not consent. I have not once read of Ghomeshi being the one hit and choked, it's the big man doing the hitting and choking, allegedly. In a lawsuit he filed Ghomeshi claims he did nothing but engage in acceptable behaviour and had consent. He's claiming the CBC is trying to determine what kind of sex he can have.
Bollocks! The CBC does not give a damn about his sexual behaviour! As it often is in a case like this, having done the firing and being the one sued, the public broadcaster can't respond to Mr. Ghomeshi's accusations. Nonsense like this, taken from Mr. Ghomeshi's lawsuit directly:
“Engaging in BDSM is part of the normal continuum of human sexual behaviours and engaging in BDSM would not be seen as either shocking or scandalous to informed North Americans. Based on the CBC’s antiquated perspective, the CBC terminated Ghomeshi’s employment and made comments about Ghomeshi that contained damaging innuendo."
Toronto Star story: framed in violence
But no, they don't care about your sex life, Jian (and they didn't make any "comments" about you, either) they just don't like violence against women (allegedly). The Toronto Star story is the piece that framed all of this as a story about violence and we'd be remiss in not including quotes here:
"The three women interviewed by the Star allege that Ghomeshi physically attacked them on dates without consent," the Star story reads. "They allege he struck them with a closed fist or open hand; bit them; choked them until they almost passed out; covered their nose and mouth so that they had difficulty breathing; and...were verbally abused during and after sex."
Here's a direct quote from one of the woman in that Star story: “I thought this meant he would want to pull my hair and have rough sex. He reassured me that I wouldn’t be forced. (Later) he attacked me. Choked me. Hit me like I didn’t know men hit women. I submitted.”
The by-line on that story had two names, Kevin Donovan, a highly-regarded journalist with a reputation for doing his homework, and Jesse Brown, a former CBC radio host himself and one of Canada's most respected freelance journalists, known for getting the real story. Had they the testimony of only one woman okay, call off the dogs. But they had 4 (and counting)?
(Note that as of Wednesday the number of women with accusations had risen to 8, one of whom, an actress and Captain in Canada's military, revealed her name).
Leave the Ghomeshi victims (allegedly) alone
Many are clamoring for these young women to come forward. Not me. Not if they don't want to. There's a lengthy piece on all of this on The Cunting Linguist blog by Steff, who has the correct take on what would happen if one of these women, 20 plus years younger than the 47-year-old Mr. Ghomeshi, were to make themselves known:
"First you need to contend with a well-sculpted public persona," Steff writes. "Then you need to lose credibility in the press as some nobody...who’s got 'everything to gain' (except a career, respect, trust, or friends) from making accusations. Then you need to deal with the cops investigating you, and finally, your mom, dad, and whole family being embarrassed...all of this is before it ever reaches a court. This is all in WEEK ONE of a drama that could conceivably drag on for years, all with you at the forefront as the evil bitch who’s wrecking the career of everyone’s favourite cultural radio dude."
If these women were abused then, as Steff writes, why subject themselves to more from Ghomeshi and his slick PR firm, Navigator Ltd.? Elizabeth May, who tweeted support for Ghomeshi and Christie Blatchford, who hates the CBC and loves the controversy, seem scandalized the women hadn't come forward. Well, it's up to them, no one else.
Ghomeshi and cult of personality
This is at least in part about the cult of personality. The man is an icon. Were it Justin Bieber whacking women in the head then other than family and Rush Limbaugh no one would stick up for him. The U.S. would start another campaign to send Bieber home and Canada would disavow him faster than it pointed out Ben Johnson's Jamaican roots when he tested positive for steroids after winning gold at the '88 Olympics.
Finally then here's this: you do not punch or choke out someone who has not fully, unequivocally agreed to be treated that way. That is not about sex or BDSM (a dubious practice itself, but that's another story) it's about violence. This story is not likely to play out in a court of law (watch for him to drop his lawsuit) but in my view, Mr. Ghomeshi has indeed been caught with his pants down and his fists poised and swinging, with malice.
He shouldn't be looking for women to punch - he should be looking for help.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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