I’m going to skip over working finishing up a post in the works to share a few thoughts about what happened at CBC this week. When I tuned in yesterday I couldn’t tell what happened, only that Jian Ghomeshi, the superstar host of Q, had been fired. I listened to this weird conversation about it between the interim/replacement Piya Chattopadhyay and some fellow that was commenting on Twitter comments made about it, analyzing why so many people felt the need to “weigh in” on this issue. The two of them were talking in such meta-meta concepts, without mentioning what had actually happened, that no information was transferred to my brain. All I could tell was that he must have done something bad. Later I did a web search and found out that eight women had accused Jian of various offenses, but mainly assault in the context of sexual domination games. And that he was suing CBC, saying it was his own private life, it was all consensual, and so what if his preferences were really weird to most people? So what?
Before this paragraph I tried to do some sort of ethical commentary, pull in the Clinton scandal, how one’s private life speaks to one’s personal integrity or lack thereof, etc. but I can’t do a good job of that, so I deleted it. This is the first time (can you believe it?) than someone I appreciated, sort of counted on, who had become a habitual part of most of my days, turned out to be a two faced creep. I feel grief about it. My tears came when today I switched on the radio in the car today, the usual Q music came on, and Jian’s rich “Happy Wednesday” and dramatic monologue was not forthcoming. Piya’s quiet voice spoke into the pause after the musical intro, and she began the show with a some kind of simple interview–I can’t even remember what it was about. I heard pain in her voice. She played more music than usual, paused more, thanked the back room Q team, choked back tears, and switched to a beautifully mournful, piping song that suited the mood. And I thought, what must it be like to either find out about the big hero’s dark secrets, or to finally know they don’t have to put up with the menace of him being around any more and keep silent. And the pain of it all, and maybe (like me) wondering, what are other men, who otherwise seem kind, intelligent, wise, gifted, carrying around in their thoughts toward me, toward the women around them, and what if no one is what they seem? This passed through my mind as I walked through the local home improvement store today, where it’s mostly men, and I have to admit, I sometimes have enjoyed an awareness of attention as one of the few unaccompanied women not shopping exclusively in the home dec section. That distrust, that anger I used to feel at that sort of attention, based on nothing but being biologically female, resurfaced, and I just wanted to get away. Then I just felt sad again, and tender toward the men in my life who I do trust. I know they’re not perfect, and maybe there are secrets I’d rather not know, but I can trust them.
I hope Jian gets some help to understand and manage his urges, realizes they aren’t healthy. Seems he has some control, but has become convinced that certain types of hurting just for fun is okay, as long as the other person is willing to be hurt, or seems to be okay with it at the time. I say, go play rugby with someone your own size.