Tuesday, October 28, 2014

He says, she says. Searching for truth amid changing trends.

I have wanted to do a blog on this topic for a while. Today the controversy around Jian Gomeshi provided the impetus.

For non Canadians or Canadians who have been living under a rock, Jian Gomeshi is or rather was the popular host of the radio show Q, devoted to pop culture but veering into more serious terrain quite often. On Sunday he was fired by the CBC. 

He wrote a long and candid Facebook post in which he claims the accusations that caused his dismissal were the work of a vengeful ex girlfriend and he is guilty of nothing more than a taste for kinky sex. 

I admit that at this point I jumped on the "It must be that dastardly Harper agenda getting rid of a popular small l liberal voice" bandwagon. I promptly signed a petition demanding his reinstatement. I am not proud of that, but then, the current neo con regime has been slashing at my beloved CBC with a vengeance for some time.

However, next thing I know a friend posts a blog post by another woman who had a disturbing encounter with the sexy stubbled one (I hate that look. Grow a beard or shave.). That post sounds authentic and supports the accusations.
More women are coming forward with allegations. It turns out the Toronto Star had been investigating for months.
This puts the affair in a new light.  

We are left with the dreaded 'he says, she says' scenario. 

What does this have to do with trends? Well, depending on the collective mood either one side or another will find it easier to get an honest or sympathetic hearing. 
For the longest time women could not get any justice in cases of sexual assault or harrassment. Children with abuse issues, ditto. Then the tide turned, though not everywhere at once and it certainly is not easy. But I do believe we have now reached a point in Western society where we need to look carefully at both sides.

The bottom line:  Women fear being raped etc.
Men fear being unjustly accused of sexual misconduct.
Both fears are entirely justified.

For most of history power has lain with the accused, if accusations even happened. This is still the case in much of the world today. Let's not waste time on the old ways.

In some circles in our modern Western world there is now a tendency to prejudice in the other direction. Thinking may run to "The victim is always right." 

We get places where a male employer is afraid to tell a female employee she looks nice today, and teachers are afraid to be alone with a child, let alone give a much needed hug. Foster parents' lives have been destroyed by false allegations of abuse. These things happen. They are real.

Meanwhile the old horrors are still happening too.  Rape, sexual harrassment in the work place, child abuse, it is all real as well.
Waves, counterwaves, backlash, backlash against the backlash, turbulence.

Which brings us back to the difficulty of distinguishing truth from falsehood in individual cases. He says.  She says. 

I don't know what to think of the Gomeshi case. CBC should have gone about this more carefully. A forced leave of absence while matters are sorted out would be appropriate.  
I do know I find Gomeshi's proclivities disgusting even if they are consensual. Yes, this does affect my liking for him. AND I want him to have a fair hearing, in a court other than that of public opinion.





2 comments:

Sailorchronos said...

Both sides seem to have their evidence but I'm also reserving judgement until we see the complete story - if that ever happens.

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