Darling of Toronto progressive community, Andray Domise, charged with domestic assault

andray domise

Andray Domise, a Maclean’s magazine columnist, former host of Canadaland, and darling of the progressive scene in Toronto, has been arrested and charged with three counts of assault on a former domestic partner.

The 36-year-old is accused of assaulting his former live-in partner, Toronto photographer Chantal Denne, three times between March and September 2015. Domise, who ran against former mayor Rob Ford during the 2014 municipal election for a city council seat in Ward 2, was arrested in February after Denne reported abuse, including allegations that he choked and shoved her. Domise, who lived with Denne for about 18 months beginning in August 2014, is also facing a mischeif charge for allegedly damaging his ex-partner’s cell phone.

In response, Domise, a Muay Thai boxer, says “none of it happened” and has played the victim, claiming that Denne abused him physically and emotionally. His account has not been corroborated by media or by the police. With regard to the damaged phone, Domise told the National Post:

“I’ll admit that wasn’t the way to deal with it, but I wasn’t thinking rationally or logically. All I could think was get this phone out of my face and stop tormenting me.”

Domise’s lawyer Mitchell Worsoff, likewise, has painted his client as a victim and tried to discredit Denne in a typically sexist way, painting her as dishonest and untrustworthy:

“Mr. Domise is an outstanding individual and he’s an intelligent and responsible member of our community,” Worsoff told the Toronto Star. “Similarly to many others who find themselves accused of this type of offence, (he is) the subject of falsities and exaggerations.”

Domise is known to have harassed and attacked feminists online for years, particularly those who speak out against male violence, misogyny, pornography, objectification, and the sex industry.

Despite this, the Globe and Mail named Domies one of its “16 Torontonians to Watch in 2016″ and he has continued to be widely celebrated, promoted, and supported by numerous feminists and leftists in Toronto.

The exception to this rule may be Canadaland — Domise parted ways with the company shortly after the charges were laid. Domise says he left his position as co-host of Canadaland: Commons, which he hosted alongside Desmond Cole, voluntarily. Canadaland publisher Jesse Brown declined to comment as to why Domise is no longer hosting the podcast, but told the Toronto Star:

“As for the charges, I think we need to take it very seriously when a woman comes forward. The legal system can be very hard on accusers and I hope that the process is fair for both accuser and accused.”

The National Post reports that “A spokesperson for Rogers, the parent company of Maclean’s, said the company became aware of the charges earlier this month, and that Domise will not be contributing to the magazine or its website this week.” Andrea Goldstein, senior director of communications at Rogers Media, said:

“Rogers has zero tolerance for this type of behaviour. The situation is before the courts, and while we won’t comment further at this time, we are hopeful this will bring about a quick resolution.”

Domise is scheduled to appear in Ontario Superior Court on November 25, 2016.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • JingFei

    OMG that’s that megalomaniacal jackass that always harasses you on Twitter! Why am I not surprised? But wait, he is only suspended for a measly week? Did I read that right?

    • Meghan Murphy

      Yes and yes. This misogynist prick who is beloved by Toronto’s libfem cabal, worked with women like Jude MacDonald (co-founder of rabble), Sheila Sampath, who helped launch the petition to have me fired, Anne Theriault, faux-feminist extraordinaire, prostitution lobbyist Akio Maroon, etc., has finally done something they can’t ignore… Yet they are!

      And yes, apparently just ONE WEEK. Like, ooooooh way to show him! This man has been a woman-hater since forever and no one on the left gave a shit. Typical.

      • JingFei

        What a bunch of self-serving hypocrites.

        • Meghan Murphy

          yup

    • It’s possible Rogers will extend the suspension but are waiting to see what happens on the 25th first.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Yes, I think so as well….

  • anne cameron

    “Torontonians to watch in 2016” eh? I’d suggest they keep a close watch on him well beyond just this year…

  • Aradiaa

    I hope that this hypocrite and misogynist beast will be imprisoned for at least 10 years!

  • FierceMild

    So unsurprising, yet so discouraging. Our recent mayoral race included this front running gem:

    https://www.google.com/amp/newsone.com/3581885/crazy-mayoral-race-in-richmond-sees-frontrunner-hit-with-sexual-misconduct-allegations/amp/?client=safari

    He began his relationship with his (now) wife when she was 17. He was 55. That didn’t stop him from becoming a democratic lawmaker. I long for the day that the standards applied to female politicians are applied to men as well.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Ew.

    • Cassandra

      That is absolutely disgusting; the key word being “lawmaker” here. And we wonder why it all continues. Well, *we* don’t actually wonder why.

  • genny

    If I could be a little off-topic for a sec, I’d appreciate someone schooling me on something. I’m a little new to radical feminism, but unsure of what to call myself politically. From what I’ve read on FC, liberal would not be the right word to describe myself. But I also don’t know if progressive is the right word, especially since this story is about someone who is supposed progressive but clearly also a misogynist, a violent one at that. That doesn’t sound progressive to me. When I think of progressive, I think Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Can someone tell me the difference between liberal and progressive feminism? FYI, I support the Nordic Model on prostitution, and am vehemently anti-porn and anti-trans. Thanks for any input!

    • Meghan Murphy

      I just call myself a feminist. (I also call myself a socialist.) Liberal feminism is a kind of ‘feminism’ that avoids addressing the root of male supremacy, that takes superficial, consumerist, individualistic approaches to women’s “empowerment.” It accepts the status quo and tries to work within it, to make the best of a bad situation, rather than take down the system itself.

      Others likely will have more to say about this question.

    • “Clearly also a misogynist, a violent one at that”

      Must have missed the trial.

      • Meghan Murphy

        John, curious to know why men like you and Andray only seem interesting in engaging with feminism when it comes to either defending men’s violence/entitlement or when you feel the need to ‘correct’ feminist action/ideology?

        • I engage with feminism every day. You should follow me on Facebook or read my blog or something.

          I’m not defending male violence against women: that’s a lie. So far as I know, Andray hasn’t been tried. In the old days, that meant something.

          I’m not engaging with feminism here, I suspect. I’m engaging with racism.

          • Meghan Murphy

            lol. Yes, feminists could learn SO much if they would just pay attention to privileged white men who advocate to legalize the sex trade and attack movement women for fighting sexual exploitation and abuse. Thanks for the tip!

            And you can’t possibly be serious with your comment about racism?? Are men of colour not accountable for the violence they inflict on women in your world?

          • lol Nice straw man. Stick to the topic. Domise hasn’t been tried, but he’s already a “misogynist prick” who should immediately start a ten year sentence.

            Lovely place, this. I’m gone. And, by the way, the racism here is up in neon.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Holding men accountable for misogyny and violence is not a ‘straw man,’ dear.

            You are a middle-aged, middle class white man and you use ‘racism’ to defend men from accountability. How sick.

          • So Domise is.guilty, then. No trial, but hey. Just another “darling” (read: uppity Black). Welcome to the Deep South. V.2.0.

            Scratch a white radfem, find a racist.

          • Meghan Murphy

            I suppose the hundreds of other articles on this sites holding white men to account are… reverse racism?

            Keep defending your misogynist friends, John. Your feminist cred is growing and growing.

          • Atheist

            Scratch a leftist dude and find a sadistic misogynist that gets off on women’s pain. Go fuck yourself.

          • elizabeth pickett

            Geez, is that a promise? The gone part I mean.

          • Pitchguest

            He’s only been ACCUSED of inflicting violence, he hasn’t been charged with anything yet!

            If you remember, Jian Ghomeshi was another personality in Canada that was accused by women of assaulting them. He was fired from his job and he was denounced by the media at large. Two years later he was acquitted of all charges. But his career had been cut short and his reputation irreparably damaged, and this due to some women’s mere words being taken at face value.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Ghomeshi was acquitted, but that does not mean he didn’t actually assault those women. Domise has a long history of misogyny and apologism for violent men. Also, I believe women. Why on earth would this woman go through the trouble of pressing charges against Domise if she didn’t have reason to?

    • rosearan

      As you say, you’re new to radical feminism. And you’re right to seek clarification on all the labels that fly all over the place.

      But don’t get too bogged down. We feminists are out there on our own. We fit no real political category, because women’s oppression crosses all boundaries of class, race, religion, nationality, sexuality, left-wing/right-wing, pro-war/anti-war, majorities and minorities.

      My advice is to find the confidence to go with your own instincts. Don’t feel that your feminism has to fit snugly into any patriarchal political category.

    • oilwoman

      Hi Genny!

      When we say “liberal, progressive feminists”, we mean those sex-positive prostitution-apologists who believe ridiculous genders exist and support transgenderism. It has little to nothing to do with our views on economics. I for example am somewhat of a fiscal conservative, while many here can go as far as Marxist.

      Hope I helped!

  • Meghan Murphy

    ikr. The narcissism of this one. Like anyone cares about your irrelevant dude blog.

    • Morag999

      If it’s no trouble, is a screenshot possible?

      • Meghan Murphy

        Looks like he just hid the post. Got a screenshot, yeah.

        • Meghan Murphy
          • Morag999

            Thanks Meghan.

            Jesus. These men are working themselves up into a state of hysteria. All reason is just gone.

            And yet this is what they call being “objective” about accusations of violence against men. Calling feminists evil villains and the “right-wing.” The accused a “negro beast” and the accuser a delicate “flower” — which is typically used to suggest the defilement of white women by men of colour.

            How exciting for a white man to give himself permission to talk that way, in racialized pornographic rapist speak. All in the spirit of anti-racist (male-only) “justice.”

            These are the men who make male violence against women possible and justice for women nearly impossible.

          • Meghan Murphy

            “How exciting for a white man to give himself permission to talk that way, in racialized pornographic rapist speak. All in the spirit of anti-racist (male-only) ‘justice.'”

            I know. It’s so disgusting. I’m appalled that men are permitted to behave this way in public and that NONE of their so-called progressive, ‘feminist’ friends call them out on this shit.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Um, ok. So Chris Brown didn’t ACTUALLY beat Rhianna up? Tyler the Creator didn’t REALLY threaten a young woman publicly and encourage his fans to harass her? Prostitution, porn, and objectification don’t ACTUALLY harm women? I have engaged with/been attacked by Domise for long enough to know where he stands on misogyny and male violence, which is that he does not give a rats ass and he hates women who speak out about it.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Gosh it seems you have no idea what you’re talking about or who your’e sticking up for, eh??

    I’m referencing Domise’s ‘political’ history and his attacks on feminists. He defends abusers and attacks feminists who speak out against male violence/entitlement. He defends the sex industry and vilifies feminists.

  • radwonka

    You sound like a rape apologist. Go away man.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I have never heard of a thing called “progressive feminism,” personally…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Exactly! It’s so maddening that other women (and so-called progressives) play along and encourage this. And John Baglow/Dr Dawg as the nerve to claim allyship with feminism while using these slurs, victim-blaming, and trying to shame and silence women who speak out.

    • Robertson Taylor

      Don’t criticize him too much, he will probably sue you for libel:
      http://www.radicalpress.com/?p=7408

      • Meghan Murphy

        Goodness progressive men are awfully litigious, aren’t they?

  • oilwoman

    Oilwoman’s Law of Progressive Dudes: “The more a progressive man has to insist he’s hip, feminist and progressive, the more likely he’s a woman-beating sexual predator”

    Ever wonder why a huge proportion of female leaders throughout the 20th and 21st century have been conservatives (Theresa May, Margaret Thatcher, Marine Le Pen, Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, etc)? Because conservative men, despite holding certain regressive views about women, aren’t likely to rape or beat their wives because simply holding right-wing views doesn’t make you a sexual predator and being a “self-proclaimed feminist” absolves one of the usual malaise women have around men, making it easier to sneak in the slap or two.

    If this shithead were in Native country (where I’m from) and the Indian Act wouldn’t be law, he probably would have been beaten to a pulp and outlawed.

    • marv

      Liberal and conservative men are both patriarchal. There is no sound evidence that conservative men in general are less violent to their wives. Patriarchy/gender is the foundational cause of male dominance and aggression.

    • Atheist

      There is no doubt in my mind that Leftist men are just as dangerous as any other men.

      However your comment smacks of apologetics for religious men who are by default sexist because of their beliefs. Any doctrine of submission is harmful to women, since it’s men who have exercised positions of dominance over women in religion since forever. Right wing men also beat and slap their wives, and perhaps we don’t hear about it since the wives put their husband’s reputation above their own well being.

      To put this another way, the religious right doesn’t even think women’s lives are human lives. They think women are just baby machines for men, even rapist men.

  • Meghan Murphy

    He does have a long history of apologism for violent men, yes.

  • Ash Stevens

    The idea of a woman submitting herself to her husband has certainly been abused. The idea has been twisted and used for selfish intentions. But let’s not forget that the bible also says that a man should treat his wife as though she is his own flesh, and take care of her as he would his own body.

    Clearly, teachings and wisdom are being forgotten because people don’t find them convenient. They’re looking to justify what they want to believe.

    • marv

      The Bible is a profoundly patriarchal book. Any god that wants to be worshiped and revered is egotistical and hierarchical. The Bible uses mythology as a literary device that shouldn’t be taken literally, anymore than Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Jesus was a patriarchal prophet.

      • Ash Stevens

        Does God want to be worshipped and revered, or have people twisted the ideas? And was Jesus patriarchial, or did men use his teachings to support their own ideas?

        Unfortunately, the bible is subject to other people’s interpretations. Both with the people interpreting their reading of the bible, and by the people interpreting teachings who wrote the bible. Because of that, there’s sure to be plenty of bullshit in there. However, there is also profound wisdom.

        However, there is no wisdom in blindly accepting something as truth. Our only hope of finding truth lies in weeding out the bullshit from the wisdom. It happens by questioning absolutely everything and testing out the ideas and wisdoms for ourselves. So, your skepticism serves you well, but only if you look for truths as much as you look for bullshit. Because people can become religious nuts blinded by their faith, and people can also become hardcore anti-religion blinded by the idea that it’s all bullshit. The only way to find any real wisdom is to be open to everything and closed to nothing. There’s just as much bullshit among “Jesus Freaks” as there is among Atheists and gratitude-preaching “yogis” (who are nothing like the yogis of India, and teach a yoga that is NOTHING like the yoga that’s been taught by gurus for hundreds and even thousands of years). Modern blogs are just as full of shit as the bible. We should ALL be wary of what we read and believe. Christian-based or not.

  • Ash Stevens

    Maybe, but consider the declaration you made.

    “We have to have a pro radical feminist equality lens through which to interrogate the whole world.”

    ^^^ It’s ideas like these which start groups which have a hyper-focused agenda. This can be dangerous, because they’re set on achieving a certain goal or following a certain process, and they miss other VERY important considerations. And one’s definition of “pro radical feminist equality” can be VERY DIFFERENT from anothers. How do we determine what’s the right version and the “wrong” version? This is what I mean by questioning everything and being open to all perspectives. Because if we’re stuck on being a radical pro-equality feminist, there will be things that bypass our attention. Or we may be interpret things as bullshit , when there’s to the story. As the saying goes, “You’ll find whatever you’re looking for.” Unfortunately, this means we won’t see the things we’re NOT looking for. And when we fail to consider things, problems are bound to come up. No?

  • Ash Stevens

    Which isn’t to say we don’t need a pro-women philosophy. As a woman, I’m all about this. But we have to be careful we don’t turn our feminist beliefs into their own “religion.”

  • Ash Stevens

    Oh yeah! Overcoming racism, ableism, ageism, and all of the above would be a HUGE step forward. Absolutely. I’m with you in finding equality here 100%. So when I say that our ideas and beliefs hold us back, I don’t mean that there’s something inherently wrong with these causes. What I’m trying to point out is that a hyper-specific focus can keep us from seeing some crucial (and very helpful) things.

    For example, there are Vegans that go around saying “meat is murder” and post things about how people are murdering animals, and it’s so cruel (a hyper-specific focus on the death and treatment of animals). I was Vegan for a while, so I can totally understand where they’re coming from and why. But is it realistic to expect 6 billion people to stop eating meat? And is it REALLY the true and right thing to do? It may be for some people, but how is that that a group of people knows what the rest of the world needs to do? This is what puts people off by religions, political groups, and do.

    Now the cause to ease animal suffering and to support kind treatment and well-being is something that can be understood by all sorts of groups of people. And asking people to support that kind of cause really isn’t unreasonable. Yes, changes would be required, but they are changes which align with their present way of life. It looks at the bigger picture and takes into account the various beliefs, ideologies, and cultures of the world. Hopefully this illustrates what I mean by limiting beliefs/focus and “the bigger picture.”

  • marv

    In patriarchal societies men determine and organize governing structures: sex roles, gods, kings, governors/other statesmen, armies, landowners, modes of production, religious functionaries, prophets and more. Jesus fits in this tradition as a representative of his constructed god, defining who god is (the loving father) and what is expected of us, without questioning male rule itself. If he wasn’t patriarchal he would have spoken out against male systems of administering power. He would have stepped aside and supported women to replace him.