The Real and Should-be Obvious Lesson While We Await Ghomeshi’s Guilt

The bigger story is that the 4 women making the allegations will not go on the record, because we the public already have the audacity to tell them how to feel about what's happened to them

What’s more shocking than this week’s breaking news about Jian Ghomeshi’s dismissal from CBC is the reality that, allegedly, upwards of 4 women are afraid to go on the record against him for fear of being shunned and attacked by Ghomeshi and Q fanatics.

Maybe he did it, maybe he didn’t, but a fear of being shunned by the public should never be a woman’s reason not to speak up, and the fact that thousands of people are already calling these women horrible people — before we know the facts — only reinforces the sentiment among many assaulted women that they should stay quiet to avoid public persecution, especially in high profile cases.

^ This reality for women is what we should all be talking about this week. Why do we do this to women? Besides, who are we to speak before the judge cracks their gavel? You’re going to feel awfully horrible about the hateful words you’re spewing to these women if (and it seems, when) Ghomeshi was indeed guilty.

Time will tell if Jian was “smeared,” so let’s wait and see. But, just, stop. Notice this: time has already shown us why so many women keep quiet about cases just like this one.

Recently, a friend confided in me that she found herself in a similar position. Initially, things were consensual, until the man became violent and did things against her will. She chose not to go public or to the police. Initially, hurt and outraged on her behalf, I regretfully told her what I thought she should do, as if I had any right to tell her how to deal with this.

“That’s why I didn’t want to tell you, or anyone,” she said. “I don’t want the general public commenting on how I should deal with my emotional duress, and the decisions I made, and whether lines were or were not crossed.”

Until we definitively know whether Jian is a creep or not, his guilt isn’t the bigger story here. The bigger story is that the 4 women making the allegations will not go on the record, because we the public already have the audacity to tell them how to feel about what’s happened to them, and even worse, what their actions did to a man who might indeed have assaulted  them.

To be clear, since the comments below are getting out of hand, as are the hateful emails, this article is not a stance on Jian’s guilt or innocence. That seemed obvious. It’s a piece on victim silence, and how women are seeing the consequence of speaking out about assault. It’s a piece about what we can do to lessen victim silence, and if Jian is the stand-up guy you want to believe he is, he would agree with this sentiment. This article, if you read it how it was intended to read, isn’t even about Jian. 

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  • It’s a sad fact that, there are more than 50,000 social media comments on Jian Gomeshi’s Facebook page (about these allegations) . . . yet only 144 comments here. To me, this is one of the most sensible commentaries yet (related to the whole Jian Gomeshi story)!!!!

    • I’ll say it one more time 😉 This post is not about Jian nor his NINE accusers. It’s about why many victims of assault keep quiet — just look at all the negative comments in this thread.

  • Has there been injustice against Jian? How do you know? CBC has not received any complaints from these women that Jian speaks of. You do not know why CBC fired him – neither does he apparently. Jian just wrote an article expecting you would believe he was fired because he knew some women were about to make formal complaints. They haven’t yet. So, the ONLY thing we know is Jian is worried about something, and so is the CBC, and Jian felt he had to hire public relations specialists to “get in the first punch”. I agree with your statements Chad Pelley – it is true, that many people, not just women, feel victimized if they try to report a sexual crime against them. As for Jian, no one knows any facts, only a well written article by a publicist that wants to lead us to believe that CBC fired him due to insinuation and hearsay and in fact, they might have some completely different thoughts that what Jian has told us.

  • Thanks for writing and sharing this. We should as a society be ashamed and I have no problem fessing up to the fact that I’ve jumped back and forth on “sides” in this one. The bottom line to me is consensual or not, he hit these women and possibly they hit back or first. Call me a prude but that to me is demeaning to both sides and I am sorry for the shame it’s caused all around.

  • Hello,

    I was a victime of abuse. I spoke out, and so did my abuser. He faired much better than I did. The campaign he launched against me was so painful and relentless that I was eventually diagnosed with PTSD. I don’t know that in the future I would advise another victim to undertake the very difficult and trying task of pursuing justice. I foolishly thought that I would be heard and supported. I was instead put on trial, but not only by the courts, but also my friends, and much more gravely, my family. I had been a very honest and truthful person my whole life. Strangely, the evidence against him was obvious and sound, it was very apparent what he had done. The more troubling outcome was the reaction of the observers, it seemed to me they passively welcomed his campaign to discredit me. I could not understand how for an intelligent observer this form of malice could not make it even more obvious this was the work of a manipulator. Why would I endure the shame and offer funds I did not have to bring this to light, if I was simply a devious vengeful woman. So, I sat in utter disbelief as the jury went out in all directions of my life.

    I know why these women stayed anonymous, if I could have I would have done the same and spared my social life and everyday comforts. And I would like to point out that this is not the work of single jilted ex girlfriend, this a group of women, and there have been earlier accounts of his misconduct. My assumption is that he had been warned about his behaviour in the past, and had done nothing to improve it, so this was unfortunately the last straw. I thank you Mr. Pelley for writing an intelligent piece about how very difficult it is for a victim to speak out.

  • Assumptions, presumptions, judgments, criticisms, it’s really nobody’s business but those who are directly involved, get over yourselves and on with your own lives – the truth will out in due course – seriously ….

  • I find it interesting that this media circus, inhibiting the victim’s voice, was started by Jian himself on his facebook page. No doubt, as a mature, rational, intelligent media professional he would know the implications both legally and from a media frenzy point of view of airing this dirty laundry in public. His facebook post was orchestrated quite carefully I would say and for a variety of reasons; to solicit sympathy and to discredit his opponents. His legal team would have advised against this but he took a risk, (in keeping with his personality) to play a game (like he normally does) to see how far he can take this without anyone getting (too) hurt… He started this media frenzy. He could have just played this out through the courts quietly (ish) and with dignity but he chose to beat everyone to it and write what he wrote. As a media professional he is more likely to be able to handle this kind of publicity than his partners who no doubt are now confronted with this scary world of controversy. I’m sure all they want to do is hide and want to make it all go away. It will take someone very strong to stand up to this kind of situation. I hope that for all involved it doesn’t get out of hand. This is the kind of story that has the ability to deeply affect many many people.

  • For me, I believe that they should speak up and file charges if they have a case and that should be decided in consultation with a lawyer or lawyers … and perhaps there can be some sort of anonymity granted them under the law though I don’t know how easy that is to grant for adults.

    I also believe that the CBC should have allowed due process to occur and the worst they should have done at this time should have been to put Ghomeshi on leave by whatever means the union contract stipulated. Perhaps he is guilty; perhaps he is not … but being punished PRIOR to evidence being presented in a court of law is not the way we do things in this country, even if you have done something horrendous like killing three police officers. We have due process and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    The CBC turned Ghomeshi into a victim by firing him … and that action in and of itself might end up indirectly preventing the women from talking it; it is as if the women fired Ghomeshi by a transitive property and that is not the way that this should be playing out.

  • It’s horrible that many women feel that they cannot come forward about this issue, but as a man who’s been on the other side of the coin it’s almost impossible to defend yourself against such allegations. I was accused of horrible things by an ex girlfriend that I hadn’t seen for almost 20 years and that since that time had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. It took me involving the police in the matter and lots of long discussions with my wife to resolve the issue. I felt really bad for my ex and her complicated medical diagnosis but I have to tell you that when you have to defend yourself against accusations that are false it’s not fair.

  • Actually, the real take away message of this whole ordeal is that social media, and internet news reporting are not to be taken as truth. To assume that the allegations are true, as this article clearly leans towards, is equally as unjust as assuming that Ghomeshi is innocent by his own, admittedly intense, revelations on Facebook. People are suddenly way more entitled to feel as though they are part of the judicial process because they think are more aware of information. Almost all the info we have is biased and unconfirmed. In reality, until actual allegations are made by the women that the Star suggests have things to report, then no-one can make any determination of guilt and should not, in good faith, imply it. This is equivalently as important a message as the “take away” message the author suggests. We are not the judge and jury. In some ways this whole affair brings shame on to Canadian public as well, for knee jerk reactions and opinions that do no justice on either side. The only positive in all of it is that it is bringing some of these important issues to light.

  • Hey, this just in from a friend of Jian’s!
    Canadian award-winning musician Owen Pallett.

    I was challenged by a friend to say something about the recent allegations against Jian Ghomeshi.
    Jian is my friend. I have appeared twice on Q. But there is no grey area here. Three women have been beaten by Jian Ghomeshi.
    I have sat with Jian over drinks and discussed our respective anxiety disorders. We have been photographed hugging on camera.
    Just ten days ago, I helped him find musicians for his father’s funeral. Three women have said that Jian beat them without their consent.
    “We will never really know what happened.” Yes we do. Jian beat, at the very least, three women. Three women said so. “They were jilted exes.” Maybe so. They were beaten by Jian.
    “They were freelance writers looking to get ahead.” Three women were beaten by Jian Ghomeshi.
    At no point here will I ever give my friend Jian’s version of the truth more creedence than the version of the truth offered up by three women. Anonymity does not mean these women do not exist.
    “They were engaged in BDSM role-play.” This: this is something I need to talk about.
    The beauty of BDSM relationships is that the power is always in the hands of the sub. BDSM and choke play is a subversion of male violence.
    To hear that anybody has been abusing the BDSM power relationship for the purpose of engaging in non-consensual violence-against-women is horrifying.
    That is not the point of BDSM. BDSM is in fact about the exact opposite thing. It is about repurposing acts of violence into creating a power dynamic of fucking EQUALITY.
    As for the rest. I have seen my Facebook feed littered with comments about how “for years we’ve known Jian to be a shady character.”
    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.
    Jian Ghomeshi is my friend, and Jian Ghomeshi beats women. How our friendship will continue remains to be seen.

  • I don’t understand if they won’t go on record, why speak out at all? It is sad when people won’t speak out because they are afraid of being shunned. I have been there. I was involved with an authority figure. The relationships was semi abusive. I take part in that as well. It ended very badly. But, I never spoke of it again and I did not try to ruin his career. But, I hated that man and still do. A couple months later, he got in trouble with another student and stuff happened. He was a professor at my school. But, that had nothing to do with me. So, I think you should speak out no matter what fear you have on scrutiny. But, I don’t understand, why go half way. Why make a claim but then say I don’t want anyone to know who I am. The process has been started anyway. If intent was that these are women scorned and they wanted to ruin his career, then they were successful. But, if they really want to protect other women and let people know the abuse they endured, go on record!!! You will help so many other women!

    • If intent was that these are women scorned and they wanted to ruin his career, then they were successful. But, if they really want to protect other women and let people know the abuse they endured, go on record!!! You will help so many other women! …………Well spoken.

  • Has it occurred to anyone that the girl did not make these allegations until they broke up??? Now, the the relationship is over she seeks out people to turn against him? It is completely insulting to women who are actually abused to make false allegations to get back at an ex. If you are engaging in those types of sexual activities but you have some restrictions they should be stated right away. If she felt violated she should have left the relationship and dealt with it as she pleased at that time. By implying that these women were to afraid to speak out you are implying that they have something to speak out about which no one but Jian and the women know.

  • I have never heard of this guy, so I’m not emotionally invested and perhaps able to be a little more objective. Sure, BDSM between consenting adults is okay (freakish but okay) … but punching and asphyxiating unsuspecting women as they walk in the door speaks louder of a misogynistic man with a real hatred for women. The guy said it himself to a CBC colleague, “I want to HATE-F#@K you”. Many serial killers have been described as soft-spoken and charming, this douche bag needed to be taken down before someone ended up dead.

  • “The bigger story is that the 4 women making the allegations will not go on the record, because we the public already have the audacity to tell them how to feel about what’s happened to them, and even worse, what their actions did to a man who might indeed have assaulted them.”

    Since the accusers are anonymous you and have no idea why they are not coming forward. It could just as likely be because their stories would not stand the light of day. Your article assumes you understand the reasons behind their lack of willingness to come forward and you simply don’t know what they are.

    So we are all left guessing.

  • There are so many things wrong with this post. Conjecture, bias, straight out lies, the list goes on.
    Women aren’t scared to enter into relationships based on physical attraction, but they are because of it’s possible ramifications? Jian is still the hero despite the breach of privacy, career loss, and immediate public humiliation? You need to think this through again.

  • You say “…the fact that thousands of people are already calling these women horrible people”. Can you cite your sources on this? Personally, I have read the articles as well as Mr. Ghomeshi’s Facebook post, and although I do see a lot of support for him, I don’t see the general public calling these anonymous women “horrible people”. The CBC however is getting a pretty good blasting.

  • Maybe these women are unwilling to go on record because they aren’t telling the truth. The truth will set them free and ensure fair treatment for all.

  • Hi Chad. Great piece. Truly shocked that some commenters aren’t understanding your message and the greater issue at hand, but oh well. Well said and important commentary.

  • Great article. I wish the true issue was being addressed as the article had intended. However the writing in and of itself illustrated to me the fundamental problem with this quote:

    “Had we waited until a trial to judge these women, maybe they wouldn’t be rightfully citing fear of public harassment as their reason for not going on the record.”

    Perhaps we should leave “judging” at all to those tasked to do so. An actual judge or jury will be charged with determining where the truth lies. This is how our system is supposed to work. That said the process of revealing your participation (or not) in the proposed activities is tantamount to social suicide from either perspective. It is this “judging” that prevents the truth from coming out at all. I very much doubt that there will be justice in this situation for any of the parties. History is a a fine teacher and moving forward I am confident that we will be doomed to repeat this scenario ad nauseum until we learn patience and have the wisdom to hold off developing opinions on situations about which we know nothing. Based on the maelstrom of opinions and judgements put forth in the social media and elsewhere we will remain ever ignorant to the truth of these events as it will be drowned out by the supposition of public opinion regardless of which position it supports. As if it was any of our business to begin with.

    • All this “we’ll have to wait and see before we judge ” nonsense, like it is our right to do so, like it is really any of our business. The Real issue for me is what right does an employer have to fire an employee based on their personal life? In this info crazy world how much privacy gets to be invaded and “judged” by others as acceptable or not?

      • Lucy, your comment is 100% wrong. They’re was a complaint at work about Jian grabbing a fellow employee’s but and telling her that he wants to “Hate f_ck her”. That isn’t personal life stuff that’s work related and Jian deserves to be fired if those accusations are true. For me Jian looks really bad because you have 5 women who have come out. If it was one women then I would be a lot more open minded but 5 women don’t usually conspire false facts.

  • I respectfully disagree. the women clearly want to punish the person who made them feel disrespected and scarred through the media rather than the justice system. By taking it to the public they are outing the man’s negative sexuality without having to account to their sublime relation to it in practice. This is retaliatory justice, not deterrent justice or rehabilitation centered justice. Just procedures of information gathering are critical to justice outcomes. While its embarrassing to find yourself in a situation with a saddist, it is not surprising to know that most people in positions of power enjoy this form of sexuality; its what keeps the sex industry going. I am shocked that someone with power would risk it all; but what these women did by hiding behind a media wall does not prevent this from occuring again- nor give women skills for dealing with a predatory situation in a fair way.

  • “Had we waited until a trial to judge these women, maybe they wouldn’t be rightfully citing fear of public harassment as their reason for not going on the record.”

    Is there something I missed? Is there actually going to be a trial? I haven’t heard any news that Gohmeshi was charged with anything. If these people want to duke it out in the court of public opinion, they are probably going to end up wishing they had pressed charges. Anonymity is fragile and the ‘wait and see’ approach has, for many, been taken off the table along with the due process of a trial (which I haven’t heard anything about.) Not saying I agree with it, but I’ve been on the Internets long enough to guess how things will play out.

  • All we ‘know’ is that the man lost his job on the basis of complaints made by four anonymous sources, none of whom are willing to come forward. We also know he lost his job because of things which happened outside the workplace, none of which are, at this point, criminal. Where’s the line? What if your employer thinks that gay sex is abhorrent to their market? Or your birth control choices? Welcome to the world you’re not only creating, but cheering into existence. Henry Ford would be proud of all of you. Unions stop this kind of employer abuse. That is all. Enjoy.

  • I wish I had a nickel for every time someone tells someone else of this forum to “Be ashamed of yourself” Not that I don’t get the fervor these questions bring up. Just interesting to watch homo sapiens in their current natural habitat. Cognitive psychology and comparative biology have shed a lot of light about how closely human moral judgments are related to more primitive disgust reactions that H sapiens shares with other species. You can almost see the upcurled lip, the tongue pushed forward in the mouth, and the wrinkled nose each time someone admonishes another commenter. To: “Be ashamed of yourself!” The same reactions we have when we open the fridge smell something that has crossed the boarder to the putrid. Which are in turn the same reactions that our ancestors, both in our species and in our more distant primate and mammal relatives that helped the block the nasal passages from potentially harmful spoiled meat, effluvium from another sick animal and prepares the animal to expel from it’s mouth anything “disgusting” it might have eaten.

    Luckily among all these directives to be ashamed, there is substantive discussion going on about the important issues here that need to be sorted out. just interesting to observe some of the processes at work here. Emotion and reason. Always involved in steps our more recent ancestors took toward increased empathy toward groups that had previously been considered “them”s and more clearly articulating the reasons why things ought to change that don’t privilege any particular person’s sound reasoning over that done by others that is similarly sound.

  • This is the second article I’ve came across, it reeks of journalistic righteousness by the way of using a situation to pose themsleves as the balanced and logical ones, but I have to say.. overall sloppy and careless.

    Sorry, but it’s not “maybe he did, maybe he didn’t”, its, “he didn’t do it, he’s innocent” because thats how our legal system works, you know – innocent until proven guilty. There is no balance to be had here. He is innocent because there have been no charges laid and thus no conviction. (Period).

    It does not matter if there are 4 women, 5 women, or 100 women because each one could be hoping to cash out from false allegations. The higher the number doesn’t equal likelier guilt – under that legal method, many many black people were wrongly accused and in some cases executed.

    Victim shaming/silencing, interesting term to use. For them to be ‘victims’, wouldn’t Jian have to be guilty? They aren’t and can’t be victims because they haven’t filed charges as a victim of a crime and even if they did file charges they wouldn’t be victims until Jian was proven guilty. They are accusers.

    Good job writing an article that tilts an innocent man as guilty.

  • Why did these women not go to the police if they believed that he did something wrong? Especially in the context of how they instead engaged in what is a very public way of dealing with it.

  • Nice, brave guy telling battered women to not be afraid. If the accusations have been made, Jian has been investigated and dealt with, what is the need for these women to put forth their names. Victim silence is that they did not go to the police, the CBC worker did go to her superior and got reprimanded herself. Even if they went to the police their names are not necessary. I do not see the point in asking these women to put themselves through undo duress to satisfy your basic level, male empowered, vision of feminism. If the matter has been brought to light, if he is suffering the consequences of his actions, the women have defended themselves. Wanting to use these women as a mantle for whatever, clearly not well thought out, feminist statement you want to make (all at their expense of course) is a load of bullshit, and you need to seriously consider whose the position of the victims involved before you write such off the cuff responses.

  • Nobody commenting here knows anything yet, not the truth about Jian Ghomeshi’s actions or the truth about the women accusing him. What is true is that it seems impossible for people commenting here to disagree or discuss things in an adult manner. The diatribes and hateful comments are what makes me sick about this situation at the moment, not whatever may or may not have happened.

  • From Ghomeshi’s own post, the CBC didn’t fire him based on any info from the women or the Toronto Star story (as yet unpublished, then). They backed him for months and then fired him based on what he himself told or showed them. So it’s not really about who to believe — something he admitted to made him toxic. He’s simply claiming he doesn’t think it should. Perhaps (speculation) he’s too deep into entitlement to see how bad what he was doing really was, especially if it includes preying on fans he met due to the CBC.

  • Thoughtful, cogent piece on the larger issue of why victims are too afraid to press charges. Thank you for writing it.

  • In fairness, the women didn’t not come forward because the nation told them not to. The blowback since Jian’s firing and Facebook post have been in the past three days. The Star investigation goes back months, and it would seem the allegations the women are making go back several years. Their decisions not to go to police or go public are concerning, but can’t be explained by the recent hubbub.

  • Agreed, this is more than a “No means No!” issue. This is a “Yes means No!” issue and it is very complex. The women involved have to find a way to frame their case so that it’s clear.

  • I have attended workshops on various aspects of sexuality and BDSM, having dated more than one woman who was/is, “kinky.” Hey, I felt the need to become informed. One of the most useful things I learned was something experienced male and female participants in Domination/submission (power exchange) relationships do to assure communication is clear and that consent is mutual, is to share (usually via email) a list of what the other party agrees is “on the menu.” In practice this is usually the sending of a check list of (virtually) all imaginable kinks from the dominant partner to the submissive, who checks off what they’re open to. This is useful to the submissive because it makes explicit what they are and are not into (e.g., “caning” yes, “anal penetration” no), and it helps the dominant know what the sub wants. (There’s a saying in the BDSM world that the “submissive is always in control” which is really code for the fact that many or most dominants are actually a bit insecure about how far to go, what to do, and what their submissive really wants.) Being in a high profile media job, one can only hope Jian Ghomeshi obtained this kind of written agreement from his kink partners. If he did, that will provide a stellar defence if his dismissal goes to court. If he did not, he was naive and may well lose in court, as well as the court of public opinion. While he appears right now to have got ahead of the story, PR-wise, about being wrongfully dismissed, it won’t look good on him if three or four women testify under oath they were smacked around without their consent, and he has nothing in writing. The BDSM community has seen this drama a thousand times, which is why these protocols were developed. Time will tell whether Ghomeshi was an educated player or a novice. If it’s the former, the CBC may have to pay millions. If it’s the latter, Ghomeshi will pay the price. I have to imagine the CBC’s lawyers aren’t fools; they have seen the unpublished Toronto Star allegations and have likely concluded they would win in court.

  • Ghomeshi’s preemptive share had four brazen scars that give me pause:

    1) Good Soldier quote. Pithy, manipulative and in a plea for our collective imagination to equate him with “heroes.”

    2) My Beautiful Dead Father quote. Manipulative, unnecessary and a mockery to those in private mourning for their loss right now. Anybody just back from a funeral in the last 24 hours would read right through that using a coffin as emotional distraction as a tactic.

    3) Not telling us the “dates” he made were through proactive outreach he made through FB.
    Anybody know any artists here?
    How corny are they to look up people on fb in order to procure time alone with them, yet still want the instantly gratifying respect of the nation.
    OK, it’s not illegal to target people who like your fb fan page to have private meetings, but as a public Figure he isn’t intelligent/aware of the optics of doing so?
    Yes, I am shaming any public figure who mines the crowd for strangers with a predisposed crush on them. Yes there is a disadvantage at play–as anybody who has had a crush could tell. Or anybody who’s been crushed upon could tell. The imbalance gives the emotional advantage to the crushee. By scrolling FB Ghomeshi is having us a hard time convincing us to take him seriously as a news gatherer and presenter of culture.
    Its called “standards” to ensure we don’t get into murky situations… Oh wait…

    4) He wanted the story out that no real allegations have been made ever at all anywhere.
    It turns out there is a litany of chatter pointing to “nefarious” behaviour while he quotes the title of a universally-panned-for-terrible-writing Novel as a shelf to bookmark his credibility as National spokesperson on culture. Shame! As they say in parliament, cozvto say ‘liar’, is a crime in The House. On top of that, there is a shop steward who might have a thing or two to say.

    Innocent till proven guilty? He just wrote his confession in textbook response to “baseless” allegations ripped out of the damage control handbook.
    Most non-sociopaths want to clean up ALL the mess before preserving their self-image–because of what they owe ‘The Great Team” they work with.

  • I frankly wish that we could all wait before we assail Jian, OR call these women liars. I have seen both sides of this coin in the past, and it is very easy to mouth off in a completely uninformed and stupid way. Kinda like the guy who wrote this did.

  • Great article and I’m really dumbfound by all the people who don’t see it for what it is. I do have one point I’d like to bring up about Jian as a side note though that I find interesting. For a man who states he has lawyered up and states he is innocent he sure seemed to roll a lot of details of what happened off in his “report” yesterday. Most lawyers I’ve dealt with tell you to clam up until there is a trial and everything has been taking care of. Signs of guilt or innocence? I don’t know? You decide.

    • There’s lots of good quality speculation from law and PR experts suggesting that the Facebook post and the lawsuit are both PR moves to garner sympathy, prevent the CBC from presenting it’s side, and possibly intimidate accusers from coming forward. Of course it’s easier for some people to believe that 3 women would collude to wreck the life of the nice guy and a major newspaper and a major Canadian corporation are all falling for it.

  • If I took this much comment thread abuse for merely posting about this subject, I can only imagine what it’s like to be a woman being told “you’re only doing this for attention.” To be clear, this is a St. John’s paper, uninterested in the “attention” the article is getting from people in cities who can’t even pick up a copy of the paper. Think about it.

    • You are getting a tiny percentage of the abuse for merely posting about this subject than women get when they talk about their own stories of trauma and abuse, you’re so right. And this much abuse and hate is still awful. I feel sure you knew this was going to happen to and so I double applaud you for having the guts to go ahead and post it anyway.

  • The author here is working with the assumption that these three or four women are afraid to come forward for fear of reprisal from Ghomeshi fans, however, is failing to recognise that Ghomeshi detailed for everyone a campaign to have his character assassinated by a jilted ex-lover. So much for the presumption of innocent until proven guilty. Or in light of the above comments. So much for the presumption of the women being victims, because they seem to be coloured that way, here. Too many “journalists” feel a need to write a so-called informed article to ride the wave of a media frenzy, case in point this article.

    • You’re assuming the author’s intentions, you moron. How do you know what this person’s motivation to write the piece was? God, these comments! You’re also a moron for having misread the article and lost its point, btw.

    • Actually, the women have stated that they are afraid to come forward out of fear of reprisal. In fact they cited the case of Carla who wrote about going on a bad date with Keith (Keith is assumed to be Jian Ghomeshi) and subsequently received thousands of harassing emails, and a Youtube video calling her the worst person on the Internet.

  • I have only read about one woman not four and I know the one and she is upset she didn’t get more out of the relationship which she fully participated for two full years. Get all your facts before you write

    • Right back atcha Kathy Martin, you fool. Here are “the facts” you’re after. And there’s actually FIVE allegations, one from a CBC employee. You idiot.

  • It’s touchy, and please educate me if you disagree. I just don’t feel people should be obligated to come out and say “I’ve been raped!” in the name of feminism or human rights if they don’t feel comfortable doing so. Especially when the whole country is watching… It’s embarrassing you know? and not in a “I’m ashamed i was raped I’m a horrible slut” kind of way, but simply because I don’t want people imagining me being raped or abused in a kinky dungeon that I may have consented being in in the first place. It’s awkward. If I was raped, I wouldn’t be silent, trust me, but I also wouldn’t come forward to 100,000 fans of Ghomeshi who are clearly on his side, let alone an entire country about it. I don’t blame them for wanting to remain anonymous. We’re now shaming these girls for feeling ashamed for not coming forward, in hopes that they will come forward so we can shame them… for coming forward. That is what is going to happen. The world is so fucked.
    I’m sorry if that makes me fall into the category of “men get away with rape because women are afraid to come forward!”. Everyone just needs to realize that standing up in front of an entire country to claim you’ve been raped/assaulted/abused is not an empowering feeling for all and can actually be QUITE NERVE-RACKING. And of course, being an intelligent person who can see all the sides to a situation, that’s where it gets tricky and that’s how a famous guy can get away with this sort of thing if he indeed assaulted these women. That fear of the situation becoming so extremely public. But don’t you think there could have been a far more private way to handle the situation? The girl who brought this story into the light wishes to remain ‘anonymous’, so couldn’t there have been a way for her to go to the police privately about this? Or is it inevitable that this would be brought into the public? Gah I dunno…
    Either way he isn’t going to win his lawsuit against the CBC entirely. It is against the law in Canada to assault someone, even under consent, in any circumstance, including in the bedroom, so they’ve got him there. I know it isn’t right to blame a girl for being cat called if she chooses to wear high heels and a short skirt, but what do you do when you give someone consent to choke you but they choke you just a couple seconds too long? Is it really that wrong to say “you asked for it!” in this type of situation?
    It’s alleged that one of the women walked in to his residence, then he smacked her in the back of the head and choked her. If he did this without her initial consent or knowing of his kinky aggressiveness then yes OF COURSE he’s a huge dick. But for all we know at this point that could have been the initial foreplay.. We’ll see how the story plays out.
    I’m glad this kinky stuff is being brought into the light as unfortunate as this situation is. This is relevant to all of us because anyone who has ever had sex knows that we are ALL part of the BDSM ‘community’ some way, some how. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like a nice spank/hair pull/neck grab here or there. Sex isn’t much without the ‘D’ in BDSM for most.
    Be careful HOW you sleep with folks people!

  • Great points, although I thought your article was already clear without the added explanation at the end. Thank you.

  • We should not judge until all the facts are in, but people can (and will) make some reasonable assertions based on what is already known.

    Here are some facts…
    1. No charges have been brought (at this stage).
    2. None of these women made any official complaint before this became news.
    3. There is money to be made telling your story, once it becomes news.

    Personally I cannot help but see a connection between those last two points.

  • There are two disturbing cultures at play here: one where four (or more) women are scared into silence, and one where (countless) media apparently knew of this kind of behaviour and were similarly circumspect. I can understand why a victim would keep quiet. I’m less generous with those who seemingly stood by, tittered behind the curtain, and said nothing.

  • I agree with you R. What bothers me, in Ghomeshi’s situation is the way that the woman (or women) went about telling the story to others, her intentions behind. In comments I read above, some are talking about how to speak up when you’re an assault victim, so it’s about assertiveness at some point but in this case, it seems that the person was able to be assertive to a degree but the technique was definitely misused…or too strategic for the means we’d think it’d reach. Why doing it in a way you know it will hurt someone strongly, instead of using a more moderate and direct way then? It looks like it’s a passive-agressive behavior….

    • The women went to the Star for the same reasons that Jian has hired a law firm, and a PR firm. They are young women in their 20s that don’t have the knowledge or the resources make their case, get their message out, and protect themselves from being pulled apart by a powerful media personality, his massive law firm, his massive PR firm, and his thousands of upon thousands of eager fans. It’s the same reason most people won’t fight a traffic ticket without calling a traffic lawyer. The reason these women didn’t hire a law firm is probably the same reason you wouldn’t hire a law firm, money. You have to remember that the Star only released in response to Ghomeshi’s Facebook posting, and we don’t know the women plan to press charges, or if they simply want to get the message out. Since by their account he has been using his status at the CBC to seek out his alleged victims.

  • I think that there is more to this story than we are being told. The CBC has poured a lot of money into Jian and his show. Not to mention that as part of a union, it would be fairly difficult to fire him without reasonable grounds. Now, if it is indeed because of his wild – but consensual – sex life, then I do not think that he should have been fired. But, given that he has been a big investment for the CBC, I think that there is more to this than his preferences in the bedroom.

    On the other hand, the fact that these women were able to approach the media, but did not want to file official complaints with police, is also suspicious. I agree with this article that victim blaming is not the way to go until we know details of the story.

    Whatever the case may be, we are not getting all of the details. There is something fishy here, and I don’t think the case is as black and white as Jian has painted it to be.

  • To be fair, I have read a LOOOOOOOOT of posts that are assuming Ghomeshi’s guilt and calling him some pretty vile names as well. I couldn’t possible offer a statistical analysis or anything but in my small sphere of reading, I have found more of those posts than ones blaming the victims.

  • Absolutely what we should be talking sbout. It’s a sad comment on society that people who have been taken advantage of, bullied or otherwised victimized are afraid of being vilified for speaking up. It’s perpetrators, if anyone, who should be vilified.

  • I agree with your article but I think there’s another issue to be addressed and that is how the women went about trying to reveal his guilt (if he is guilty). It is really awful that they feel they can’t come forward because of being harassed and it is entirely likely that they would be harassed if they pressed charges. The only problem I have is that they went to a publication to get the story out. While I agree that you can’t tell someone how to go about addressing abuse, I am convinced that the way they went about it is completely wrong. Going to a publication automatically calls the intentions of these women into question. There’s several reasons for this: it’s not a legitimate way to get something done about the abuse that may or may not have happened, it sensationalizes the issue, it makes it everyone else’s business when it could be handled more personally and without so much scandal and it gives the (alleged) abuser a chance to get his ducks in a row on P.R. and have a story. Women shouldn’t feel shamed and this is an issue with our justice system and our society as a whole which would rather victim blame in order to preserve the position of the potential abuser or in order to oppress women (depending on who you are). In the end all we can do is keep our noses out, I think because no one really knows what happened and if it turns out that he did do it, then we have to support the women during a time where they will most likely face abuse from people who don’t know them as well as people who do.

    • Realistically, there IS no legitimate way to get something done about the abuse. Certainly not without revealing their identities. Going to the media did accomplish SOMETHING. It got him removed from his position as a radio personality. That’s more than the police would undoubtedly do for them.

  • Well, based on unfounded gossip a man has been suddenly terminated. Not one formal complaint that could be tried judiciously to determine guilt or innocence according to our centuries of experience with rules of evidence and fair procedure. Anonymous double hearsay, secret collusion among solicited complainants, judgment by media speculation. Becsuse women are too weak to endure the public process of seeking justice fairly they lower themselves to these tactics? BS.

    • John Davies: The public doesn’t know the official reason why he was fired.

      And one of the supposed victims is said to have been a CBC employee who reported the events that happened to her to her union rep, who spoke to her supervisor, who then asked the woman how she could make the work space less toxic for herself. No formal complaints might mean shit all if the people who were in charge of processing the complaints didn’t follow through on their responsibilities.

      • Do you find it odd that SHE is the one being asked to see what SHE can do to make the workplace less toxic. SHE is responsible for avoiding his actions. HE had already left the conversation.

    • Thank you, John Davies, for submitting a comment which so precisely demonstrates the problem Chad is trying to discuss. By offering your misinformation (and how could it be anything else?) as “fact” and as basis for judging those involved, and by sharing publicly your negative attitude towards women, you have so clearly shown what type of verbal attacks are routinely aimed towards those who would, as a result, choose to remain silent. Bravo.

  • Chad, Thanks for this article. I don’t pretend to know what did, or did not, happen where Jian and the women are concerned. But your point about women – the fear of speaking up about sexual assault/abuse, and the slut-slamming that often occurs when they do, is a discussion we as a society need to have.

  • So: Silence is Golden / mind your own business. Probably good advice …

    … but then of course, this should include the media, shouldn’t it? I’ve seen a hundred pro-blog texts about this controversy floating in my feed-stream today, whipping the masses into a frenzy of speculation.

    Why couldn’t you resist being a part of that? I guess that may be the same reason why everyone else puts in their 2cents as well.

    It’s really a circular problem.

  • Thanks, Chad, for contributing such a reasoned piece to the discussion.
    I share the concern of Shari and others that so little, if anything, has changed in peoples’ attitudes toward such situations over the years.
    Through a more thoughtful consideration – such as can be engendered by your writing – perhaps the very real societal problems can move toward reform.

  • This is a piece about ‘what we can do to lessen victim silence’ — so WHAT can we do? I can’t really pull that out of the text.

    Are you suggesting that everyone out in audience-land should immediately speak out in support of any victim who steps up with an accusation? I don’t think so. Are you suggesting that everyone just mind their own business, stay out their opinions, and just let the courts handle it? I don’t think that’s what you are suggesting either.

    Chad, what ARE you advising here???

    • The latter, and certainly not the former (I had a friend once proven to be falsely accused of rape after an affair and it destroyed him). The article is advising that we should wait until the country feels the truth is 100% out there to judge the women (AND Jian!).

  • With respect to the writer of the article, I am not sure why one should take advantage of a news to deviate and write on somehow, a different topic, as we don’t know yet if the allegations are true or not. Not to diminish assaults towards women but calling this article “The real take away message” is way too early. The real message could be many things; psychological harassment towards men (which we don’t hear about all too often) or a more neutral title that does not tend to blame either sex for the moment; where to draw the line when engaging in hardcore sexual practices, etc. I think I’d prefer no article to be written while waiting to know what really happened or I find it is a waste of ink, especially that the topic on women assaults is still being covered by other journalists who are involved directly in the subject.

    • That’s a fair comment. It was written with the sentiment that perhaps as we await the truth of it all, let’s have the conversation of victim silence, because I was surprised how many people had an opinion on the allegations without any sort of trial, etc. It’s something I have heard women discuss, and then this situation proved to be a real eye opener on the matter.

    • Based on all that I have read and the bantering back and forth I think this comment from Lea hits it home for sure. I agree 100%.

    • Agreed.
      The article ignores the immediate injustice – that someone has lost their job and been smeared for something that may not be true.
      Every person is due their day in court and the right to face their accusers.
      To be tried through the media is the most immediate injustice.
      The issue of the fear that women have when coming forward in cases like this is a serious one worth exploring. But it’s not the primary issue here.

  • More than 35 years ago, I was sexually harassed over many months by a supervisor and later assaulted by a senior manager at a work function. I did nothing to encourage either situation, though I felt too ashamed and fearful of backlash to report the abusers. It is horrifying that nothing much has changed. Thank you, Chad Pelley, for so eloquently describing how and why those who have been abused are still reluctant to come forward. (By the way, I think your original post made it abundantly clear you were talking in general about the issue of victims’ reluctance to report, not specifically about the Ghomeshi situation.)

  • I’m surprised that readers can’t delve deeper into the message of this article to understand that the author is neither talking about Jian’s guilt nor the women accusing him. Read again and understand that he is referring to women who are in fact victims being afraid to speak out due to slander and bullying. (whether these ones are or not is not the argument)

  • Thank you Chad Pelley. I tried to write what you just wrote last night, while resisting peer pressure to “like” Jian’s FB statement, without knowing anything. What left me reeling was the number of really smart, feminist women I know in Canada who RAILED against the CBC and the supposedly jilted exes. I guess it’s hipper to cyber-ly support the issue of a public person’s sexual privacy than to stand back and, at the very least, not contribute to the (also very real) issue of victim silence.

    • Ugh. You can’t be serious. His FB status asked CBC employees to walk out until Jian was reinstated. Fence sitter or ass kisser, or both.

      • “Kmel” I was initially told, and had no reason not to believe, that “Jian was fired by CBC because his sex life was unbecoming of a CBC personality.” If that was/is the case, that’s HORRIBLE. But then I went and read Jian’s Facebook announcement, and realized there was more to the story, and no longer have a personal opinion on Jian’s guilt or innocence.

  • I know what it’s like to be a victim of assault, and I by no means intend to blame the women by my comment. I guess what I’m asking for is equally opportunity to keep an open mind….to me, a line like “we have the audacity to tell them how to feel” implies that you, as a journalist, believe their version against his. You are making your opinion clearly known, and I’d suggest we await the truth. Whether we’re blaming those women who were allegedly victimized or blaming a man who allegedly assaulted them (although he hasn’t been charged due to what…? fear of the court of public opinion?) it’s STILL blaming.

    • Okay, I understand you now, and I honestly wasn’t trying to imply he is guilty here. I really don’t know if he is, how could I? I was implying that while we await the truth, let’s use this as an opportunity to reflect on the reality that many people are afraid to speak up about assault because they don’t want to deal with months of strangers reacting to their case. the fact that, already, ten thousand people are posting on Jian’s wall about what a bitch this person is, well, maybe she is, but, if she WAS assaulted, and she’s seeing this public reaction from all of us, that’s sad, and, reinforcing the way 1000s of women feel about speaking up.

      • Thanks Chad. And I guess I wasn’t fully aware of the public response, such as the comments on Jian’s Facebook wall. It is a shame if it reinforces the already mixed messages victims get about speaking up.

  • All are victims – morals change the way we view things with the passages of time. Fifty Shades of Grey changed attitudes. Celebrity worship allows tolerance until the celebrity attachment ends. Employers want to be viewed as innocent by remaining uncommitted until too late. Who wins?

  • I agree with Jessica. If you don’t know what has happened – and none of us really do – why would you refer to them as “assault victims”? See below:

    “I don’t yet know what he did or didn’t do, but I do know there are numerous instances of assault victims being crucified online….”

    • Oh, that sentence isn’t referring to the people alleging Jian assaulted them, it’s referring to other women who have spoken out and been crucified online.

  • So these women won’t go on record because they fear being judged. Like you just did with this article. Completely biased reporting, perhaps just not a fan of the man or his work and a chance to jump…

    • That’s an awfully presumptuous and biased comment. I don’t have an opinion on Jian, because I don’t know him. I certainly hope it’s not true, for Jian and the women’s sake, don’t we all? This article merely suggests that, as we await the truth, let’s stop the online hate towards these women. Because it encourages women who have been assaulted to keep quiet and avoid comments like yours.

      • Shouldn’t you also be advising people to stop making presumptions about Mr. Ghomeshi’s supposed guilt? He’s a human being too and I’m certain he is going through the kind of stress and strain that most people are lucky if they avoid in their lives. Personally I don’t care if he is guilty or not or weather these women have legitimate claims or not; the crux of your article should have actually been ‘until the truth comes out we should only assume two things to be true – 1) we all know nothing because we didn’t witness any of the alleged actions and 2) everybody lies and/or has a reason to lie.

        • If you want to play neutral on this, then “everybody lies and/or last a reason to lie” needs to extend to BOTH parties.

          If these women are lying, there are a lot of potential reasons behind that.

          If Gian is lying, then he has a lot of reasons to lie too.

          Someone’s not telling the truth. We don’t know who it is. If you’re serious about going for the middle ground then everyone has to be honest and suspect until proven otherwise.

        • Maybe if you think that is how an article should be written then YOU should write it. I like Chad’s article just the way it is.

  • This article is already biased.

    “The bigger story is that the 4 women making the allegations will not go on the record, because [of] [..] what their actions did to a man who may indeed have assaulted them.”

    By writing that last line, you’ve already implied that Jian is guilty.

    • Bingo! Guilty or not, Chad’s pronounced him so. It’s a fine, and some would argue semantic, line but it’s been crossed. The point applied to women in general is valid. Applied to these four women as he has done implies guilt.

    • So being open-minded about the claims of alleged assault victims is now implication of guilt? Jesus, you’re the definition of the problem this article is talking about.

    • “May indeed” does not imply guilt, it merely acknowledges the possibility of the scenario having occurred. For example, I may indeed have read your comment and thought that you seem like a reasonable person who wouldn’t use paper thin excuses to misconstrue well intentioned journalism. It is possible that that occurred. I’ll leave it to you to decide if it did.

    • Considering that our point of view on this is convoluted at best (we have no real information to go on, that is), no one can assert guilt on either side. This article in no way asserts judgment, nor is it written through the lens of a biased opinion. This article is about victims who are afraid to come forward because of the potential repercussions in the public eye (including the media). As well: The quote you referenced does not imply guilt. “may indeed have” is speculative (as a possibility), and not a judgment. I know someone else mentioned that this is a semantic argument, which is not entirely true either. If read closely there is no varied interpretations here of words or phrases. Thank-you Chad for writing a progressive view on this matter, and for taking an unbiased approach while addressing a larger issue that stems from this debate.

  • Shame on Juan if he did it, and shame on those girls if their story is a lie. Shame on those who don’t know the facts and write articles with their thinly veiled opinions.

    • Amy: if you’re implying Chad did anything to be ashamed of with this article, you should be ashamed of yourself. While the rest ofthe country writes about CBC being jerks or Jian’s wild sex life, he’s finding the humanity in the story, and proposing we think about and discuss how many women don’t speak out about being sexually assualted, because thousands of people, who don’t know shit, turn on them. Shame on Chad for trying to end that? No, shame on you. I can see hundreds of women on Facebook sighing a breath of relief that at least one paper is putting the right spin on this — let’s not slam Jian or the women, until we know who is guilty. I’ll be more sad than anyone if Jian is guilty, I adore(d) him for years, but I’m distraught you’re saying we can’t use this story to highlight how many women (like my sister) suffer severe harrassment online for speaking out about a popular person having harrased them. Please clarify why you’re saying shame on Chad here? He didn’t say if anyone was guilty or not here, only that we’re all guilty of being presumptuous wretches before knowing any facts.

      • I’m surprised that readers can’t delve deeper into the message of this article to understand that the author is neither talking about Jian’s guilt nor the women accusing him. Read again and understand that he is referring to women who are in fact victims being afraid to speak out due to slander and bullying. (whether these ones are or not is not the argument)

        • But the story of this case is about a victimized man. Not victimized women. Where is the concern for a man whose life has been destroyed by 19th century morality in the workplace? All the evidence points to a smear campaign and a witch trial. Yes, women should speak out if they have been wronged. But we as a society need to ask what force will prevent the pandemic of predatory false claims and the dangerous knee-jerk punitive measures which can destroy men’s lives.

          • We actually have no idea yet if Jian has been “victimised.” He claims that he’s been smeared by a jilted ex, but that’s what HE says. Maybe he’s telling the truth, and maybe he’s not. If he’s not, and it’s the women who are telling the truth, then it’s a story about five victimised women, and the powerful media personality who lied his ass off to get away with sexual abuse and harrasment. I don’t know which, and neither do you.

            At any rate, his life is not “destroyed.” He lost a job. It happens – even to dedicated, committed people who have poured a lot into their jobs. That’s not to say that it was justified, because I don’t know if it was or not (and again, neither do you.) But it’s not the end of the world, so let’s not blow it out of proportion.

          • “the pandemic of predatory false claims and the dangerous knee-jerk punitive measures which can destroy men’s lives.”

            That actually made me laugh out loud. Pandemic? What pandemic? You’ve managed to turn one situation that is anything but clear at this point into a larger sinister trend, some escalating conspiracy that’s poised to systematically destroy the lives of men everywhere?

            Give me a break. Are there instances where men are victims? Sure, absolutely. Specifically males with something to lose? I have no doubt. But that the immediate assumption is that they’re the victims of some pandemic of male slander is comically absurd.

          • How do you know Jian has been “victimized” and these four women have not? You are making that assumption and using that assumption by which to judge the women. You chose to define the women as victimizers the instant you described Ghomeshi as “victimized.” So you have already passed judgement on them, without even waiting to find out whether or not he did anything to them. Your mind is made up ahead of time.

          • “All the evidence…” you say.

            What evidence? There’s no evidence yet for either side, merely claims.

          • @ JD:

            You should ask how life is going for Brian Banks (google him) or the Duke Lacrosse team, even after they were found innocent of an alleged rape.

          • @ Brad
            Wikipedia suggests that despite having tragically served time in prison on false charges (which has not happened to Gomeshi) Brian Banks has nonetheless gone on to play on two pro football teams, and now has a successful speaking career. Forgive me if my heart does not bleed for him.
            Briefly googling the Duke Lacrosse business, I learned that at least one of the accused has had difficulty getting a job on Wall street because of an email in which he “joked” about murdering women and getting off on it – an email which he did, voluntarily write, even if he didn’t foresee the consequences. Luckily for him, he got a job from one of his buddies’ dads, and he’s doing fine. My heart’s not bleeding there either.

      • Although I agree with your sentiments, I don’t believe Amy was referring to the writer of this article. You should be ashamed for your inference and ill-informed conclusion.

      • Um, I read in Amy’s comment that it was “shame on” the online writers who are the problem – the quick-to-judge without all the facts, perhaps the ones who will blindly support their hero without allowing that he may have left victims. I don’t think Amy meant “shame on Chad”.

      • You need to read the actual article……his language implies which is almost more damning than actually saying it…to those that don’t read with a discerning mind,,,,

      • “please clarify why you’re saying shame on Chad here”
        “…guilty of being presumptuous wretches before knowing any facts” Please take that last statement into consideration.
        I did not say I was directing a comment specifically to Chad, shaming him, as you assumed.

      • To Am a put that so well. I applaud Mr. Pelley’s article. As for the poster, it is not Juan, it is Jian.

    • Why would these women lie? They’ve kept their silence, most likely in fear of the smear campaign that will be launched on them and is already being actively launched against them. Why would any one who is a victim want to be victimized repeatedly by the media and commenters like ourselves. He’s already called one a jilted ex with an axe to grind. And what we do know is he did hand pick these women, sought them out of FB and contacted them, in that behaviour alone in a theme/element of predation.

      If they have lied, if they really are so ill/evil as to all have colluded together stories that seem to be similar all against a man who is seemingly very popular, wouldn’t they be in need of even more of our sympathy and help to get themselves sorted out?

      • Careful Jenn, I’m sensing some bias here. Take care not to judge from a snippet of what you read. Let the truth come out. Lawsuits are pending, so more facts may come out.

      • Why would this man beat women? If he really has beaten women, if he is really so ill/evil, wouldn’t he be in need of even more of our sympathy and help to get himself sorted out?

        • No. Jian is clearly not mentally ill.
          If the acts were, as he claims, consensual, there is no harm done.
          If he is criminally sadistic, the law can deal with him.

          • Jian is clearly mentally ill if the allegations against him are true since no sane person would ever conduct themselves in the manner he is alleged to have acted. Society mistakenly puts people like Charles Manson in prison when they should be in a mental hospital. Few would dispute that anyone who has an instinct to punch their partner must certainly be mentally ill. Though paradoxically at the same time: there are no lab tests that can even prove the existence of mental illness as it is all based on guesswork.

      • Being a “victim” of human predatory behavior is no picnic especially if it’s sexual. I can tell you from my own experience that our system offers nothing. Putting away a criminal only satisfies the public, possibly, but this doesn’t help a “victim”. As a child who went through the process of convicting someone on behalf of the crown, the procedure and process was as, if not more traumatizing that the acts committed against me. And that was before the internet, so I can definitely relate to those not wanting to come forward. Jian claims on his facebook posting that the woman wished to recant her story, “(the ex has even tried to contact me to say that she now wishes to refute any of these categorically untrue allegations).”, so where is she? He also states “And so, with no formal allegations, no formal complaints, no complaints, not one, to the HR department at the CBC “, which is not true because a woman complained to the union rep about being ass grabbed, it was brushed off and she quit a few weeks later. After reading much of the posts by supporters of him and their perceived possible nefarious motives of the women it’s not hard for anyone with a brain to see why they may be reluctant.

        • As a social worker who has sat with many children in court when they go through this – my thought was always “I don’t think I could do what they are doing.” Similar to your sentiment, I felt the child was being victimized again (and again) through the process of the justice system. It didn’t take long for me to come to the conclusion that the law and justice are often mutually exclusive. And like you say, even when the convictions come, it’s often cold comfort to the person who continues to be impacted throughout life.

      • “And what we do know is he did hand pick these women, sought them out of FB and contacted them, in that behaviour alone in a theme/element of predation.”

        Uh wow. I guess I am a sexual predator myself. I hand picked a woman by seeking her out online, and contacted her. If that makes me creepy well I guess I’m creepy. But it has worked out well for me. My GF and I have been together for 5 years now.

      • In the same breath that we ask “Why would these women lie?”, we have to ask “Why would Ghomeshi go public?” Someone is not being completely truthful and we don’t know who or why. It makes no sense for these women to lie about their relationship with him. And if they didn’t wish to go public with it, why would they threaten him with it? Or why go for public shaming of Jian instead of going to court? Or, if they did not threaten to make it public, why would Ghomeshi open the the affair and take these consequences?
        Nobody is winning here. A mess.

    • When you wake up in the morning, what is it like knowing you are a literal monster? Does it get you hard when you think about the people you hurt? Does it give you a deep satisfaction to make the world a worse place to live for everyone else?

    • Yes- well written. one thing to be mindful of, of course, if that the statement:

      “I don’t want the general public commenting on how I should deal with my emotional duress, and the decisions I made, and what lines were and were not crossed.”

      could easily be made by innocent people who are accused, as well – only here we have a case where Gomeshi has come out quite intimately and told how he feels.

      i am glad that the article allows that there are always 2 sides, and that nothing has been proven yet. We all know how harmful it is for real women who have ben victimized when women falsely accuse, or take something public out of spite etc. I read an article on this topic today that says that Gomeshi’s girlfriend tried to retract her accusations, not out of fear, but because she didn’t expect this to go so far and was just hurt- we’ll see how it pans out. sigh.

    • If it’s not about Gomeshi why mention him or the issue, keep the issue about People not just women that are afraid to come out and talk about abuse….this is not just about women…that is so old….as a man you should realize it is just a prevalent for men not to come forward… Natives, Men, Women, Children no one owns the issue it is a Human issue, it has no regard for race, sex or age…..abuse is abuse….if that is what you want to talk about fine….if you want to discuss the Gomeshi issue and I’m not a fan, then lets here how easy it is to accuse using social media with no burden of proof and ruin a persons career! My wife loves to rant that journalists and I guess Bloggers qualify, Who What When Where How?????? the basics check facts don’t regurgitate tweets and FB BS…..what happened to legit journalism?????

      • Tim: this IS real journalism — it’s making us think and react. While most publications focussed on what BSDM is, or whether Jian has been wronged, Chad asked us to hold our horses, for the sake of a bigger cause, so women never feel like they’ll be publicly shamed fro speakini up about assault. This thread prooves women are right to keep quiet, doesn’t it? Look how many peopel are calling them liars or cowards! And what “facts” hasn’t Pelly reported? You’re nuts, his point is there are none to report, and his article IN ITALICS! expresses that this isn’t even about Jian, dumb bum. Please re-read for the sake of the women in your world.

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