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Jian Ghomeshi, Honey Boo Boo, and Bullshit

There is zero reason on earth for the Jian Ghomeshi situation to be anything but what his victims say it is. Like many famous people, Ghomeshi is a dirtbag who has gotten away with it for a long time and it's finally coming out. It really isn't that hard to wrap one's head around.

Honestly the unsureness asserted by so many of my (mostly Canadian) acquaintances about this matter is deeply disappointing. If we are too determined to assume the innocence of the accused in a non-legal context then we are de facto assuming the guilt/lying of the accusers (in this case victims), and frankly, I am not going to do that.

I'm going to believe women and children who say someone hurt them. The very rare cases where these accusations are made up are not worth overcompensating so much we abandon the people who have been hurt. Really hurt. Statistically very ilkely to have suffered exactly what they say they have.

This kind of thing goes on all the time and yet people never stop being shocked that someone who seems like a nice person in public could have been a creep in private all along. Being shocked and in denial when these kinds of truths come to light just gives aid and comfort to those not yet caught.

In response to the whole sordid mess with the TV show Honey Boo Boo and that little girl's stupid mother, a friend of mine who was in social services (children) shared that on average a child has to tell seven people about abuse before they are believed.

Seven people. Some little kid -- in this case an eight year old -- has to struggle against fear and hurt and humiliation and tell seven people in hopes that someone will believe them and help?

That is all kinds of bullshit. And in the HBB case? Her mom did not believe her. Her mom was one of the seven. And that is far from rare.

The thing is? It isn't just children who aren't believed about accusations of abuse. And it's because people really don't like having to reevaluate their opinions of others. Changing one's opinion of the nice guy, the priest, the uncle, the babysitter, the best friend, the sister, the brother, dad, the pop star, the football star, the radio guy... Well, that just isn't comfortable. It doesn't feel right. It makes us sad.

Isn't there some way the kid/woman/victim could be lying? Wrong? Dreaming? Misunderstanding? At fault? Out to get our nice friend for some reason?

Sure. Let's do that. Or, hey! Let's pretend it's impossible to know! And if it's impossible to know then maybe it'll all go away! Sure, there will still be a little kid or a young woman or a young man or an old woman or an old man -- anyone whose stories we can dismiss as maybe imaginary or exaggerated or vindictive -- who's hurting and who we've now treated like shit for making us think about something we'd rather not think about.

But at least we don't have to feel uncomfortable anymore.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 31st, 2014 05:30 pm (UTC)
I don't know who this Jian guy is, but it's always best to believe the person who's suffered abuse - you're right, the likelihood is that they are telling the truth, because it's so hard to tell anyone at all. It sucks when you find out someone you like/admire turns out to be a horrible abuser, but it's so cowardly of our society to then just turn away and pretend it's not true. (See: Woody Allen, etc.) (Grrrr.)
Nov. 1st, 2014 01:43 am (UTC)
Ghomeshi was the host of a radio show called Q which is apparently huge in Canada and airs here in Chicago weeknights. I quite like the show (which I understand continues with a fill-in host though it's on late enough that I don't always catch it so haven't heard it since this debacle began). I quite liked Ghomeshi on the show. It was relaxing, interesting, long-form pop interviews with writers, musicians, actors, etc. Good stuff.

But he's a dirtbag who beats up women and pretends it's consensual BDSM play and he's being persecuted when called on it. He also used the ever-popular vindictive-girlfriend trope (also known as the "Bitches, amiright?!" defense) that has long been with Woody Allen.

Yeah, no.

And, yes, this is pretty much exactly how I feel about Woody Allen, Michael Jackson, and others whom the hand-waving of "both sides" and "we can never know" have excused from ever having to face the consequences of their dirt-baggery.

Grr indeed.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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Jennifer Ford

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