Fifth woman comes forward with allegations against Jian Ghomeshi

Today on As it Happens, Carol Off spoke with a fifth anonymous woman who claims she was assaulted by former host of Q, Jian Ghomeshi. The woman claims that she went on a couple of dates with Ghomeshi, who she describes as “a charming man.”

She says during their early interactions she “did not get any indication that there was anything to worry about,” but while she was in his car, he reached over and grabbed her hair and pulled her head back, “very hard.” She got out of the car and went home, totally confused. She wondered if she “missed something,” having not dated in a while.

This is a common experience for women who encounter abusers — we are so totally caught off guard, we question the experience, wondering if it’s normal.

On their second date, Ghomeshi took her to his house, where she says he grabbed her by the hair, threw her to the ground, and began “close-fist pounding [her] in the head, repeatedly, until [her] ears were ringing.” She started to cry and he stopped. “There was no conversation.. He didn’t ask me if I liked to be hit,” she said. Referencing Ghomeshi’s defence, the woman felt it necessary to explain that this beating was most-certainly not a “sex thing” (they were “not even at that point” and were fully-clothed, the woman adds) or some kind of kinky BDSM play. Just your run-of-the-mill male violence against women thing.

The woman left in cab and went to her friend’s place (who also vouched for her story) and cried all night. “I was a mess,” she said.

When Off asks the woman why she went out with Ghomeshi again after her first experience, she says “Because I hadn’t dated in a while and I did like him. All the time I’d spent with him up until that point was great — there was nothing about him that I didn’t like. I thought maybe he’s just a little too rough and I can sort it out.”

I certainly can relate to this experience, in that the “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” personality so common to abusive men really throws you off — we think, “How could this nice, charming, funny man behave in such a crazy way? Maybe I just need to communicate better…”

She explains to Off she didn’t press charges because “it’s too difficult to prove, it’s embarrassing…”

“In the moment, I was so distraught that all I wanted to do was curl up in a corner — I wasn’t expecting to go out with this man who was seemingly charming and nice. I come from an educated family and I thought, ‘Wow, my dad would really like you.’ Then to get physically abused like that was shocking… I didn’t expect it,” she said.

“I didn’t understand why this man who has such a great TV personality and radio personality has this dark, dark side to him,” she said.

She said felt she had to suppress it ever since it happened, but that when the other allegations came out, “it almost gave [her] permission to speak..” and  thought, “maybe someone will listen to me now.” The woman said felt that, if she had said anything back when it happened, no one would care.

You can listen to the full interview on the CBC‘s website. Tomorrow morning on The Current, Anna Maria Tremonti will speak with yet another woman who has come forward to speak with the CBC about “an act of aggression by Jian Ghomeshi.”


UPDATE — 2014/10/29 — The Star reports that eight women in total have come forward with allegations.

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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  • Leigh Ann

    By emphasizing that the abuse here did not occur as an obviously sexual encounter, this article makes it sound as if abuse in the course of “sex” might be understandable and acceptable. I object. We all should.

    • Meghan Murphy

      She emphasized this in the interview. That’s why I included it. I would never argue that violence is ok if it’s about “sex” — my entire body of work argues against that idea. Read my previous post on Ghomeshi/BDSM.

      I think the fact that she felt it necessary to qualify that it wasn’t about “sex” is significant though, don’t you? Like, she was referencing his defence — that he’s just into “adventurous sex” and “role-playing.”

      Anyway, I’ve edited for clarity.

      • It’s sad that women are even being asked these sorts of questions. All women who feel they have been hurt by a violent man should be able to receive some kind of recompense, whether the violence was sexual or not and whether they consented or not. The whole point of consent is to minimise the trauma women go through. Doing something to a woman that is likely to cause trauma is wrong, even if you have consent, and it should be obvious to any decent man that violence causes trauma.

        Remember the good old days when women could just describe the physical abuse that they had experienced and the idea that such abuse had been consensual would not even occur to people, because people understood that abusing women was wrong? I am sure such a time existed only a few years ago, before Rihanna and a certain series of pornographic “novels” made BDSM part of the culture. A lot can happen in a few years. I would not be surprised if a few years from now women who accused men of physical or sexual abuse were required to sit in a room for hours, with arousal-monitoring probes stuck in their genitals, watching hard core BDSM pornography, before the courts and the general public finally recognised that they did not “like it, like it, like it”. The BDSM community needs to recognise that what it promotes has consequences for women (and men) outside of their community.

        • I agree with you wholeheartedly.

          “Remember the good old days when women could just describe the physical abuse that they had experienced and the idea that such abuse had been consensual would not even occur to people, because people understood that abusing women was wrong?”

          Sadly, I don’t remember that and I doubt my grandmother did. I think it’s been ever thus but that the menace is amplified and accelerated by new communications media.

          Rebecca Solnit has a great piece in Harper’s October 2014 issue called “Cassandra Among the Creeps”

          It’s a subscription only site but I found the article in pdf at this link:

          She writes of many historical examples of denying sexual assault and molestation of women by men, but Freud’s about-face struck me as particularly foundational to our cultural mechanisms for keeping the womenfolk silent. Please excuse the long quote, but I think it’s worth copying here in it’s entirety.

          “The young Freud had a succession of patients whose troubles seemed to spring from childhood sexual abuse. What they were saying was unspeakable, in a sense: even today the severest traumas in war and domestic life so violate social mores and the victim’s psyche that they are excruciating to articulate. Sexual assault, like torture, is an attack on a victim’s right to bodily integrity, to self-determination and -expression. It’s annihilatory, silencing.

          To tell a story and have it and the teller recognized and respected is still one of the best methods we have of overcoming trauma. Freud’s patients, amazingly, found their way to telling what they had suffered, and at first he heard them. In 1896, he wrote, “I therefore put forward the thesis that at the bottom of every case of hysteria there are one or more occurrences of premature sexual experience.” Then he repudiated his findings. If he believed his patients, he wrote, “in all cases, the father, not excluding my own, had to be accused of being perverse.”

          As the feminist psychiatrist Judith Herman puts it in her book Trauma and Recovery: “His correspondence makes clear that he was increasingly troubled by the radical social implications of his hypothesis. . . . Faced with this dilemma, Freud stopped listening to his female patients.” If they were telling the truth, he would have to challenge the whole edifice of patriarchal authority to support them. Later, she adds, “with a stubborn persistence that drove him into ever greater convolutions of theory, he insisted that women imagined and longed for the abusive sexual encounters of which they complained.” It was as though a handy alibi had been constructed for all transgressive authority, all male perpetrators of crimes against females. She wanted it. She imagined it. She doesn’t know what she is saying.”

        • Unfortunately, I think you are imagining a golden past that never existed. I’m a boomer, and when I was younger I often got that sort of creeps hitting on me – and this is bringing back an incident that happened when I was interpreting and translating for the Radio-Canada/CBC unions during a lengthy labour dispute. The fellow in question was older at the time than Ghomeshi is now (though Ghomeshi looks much younger than his actual age) and probably retired now, but he grabbed my tits and tried to kiss me. But women pretty much had to put up with that crap and get out in a hurry, and at best denounce the creep through the grapevine.

          The feminist movement fought long and hard for progress, and “no means no”, as well as no “slut-shaming” (sadly, that movement which could have been very important was swiftly taken over by the sex-work groups, when it just meant women being blamed if their skirt was too short or they were out after dark). Of course I think people in the sex trade have as much right as anyone else to live without violence, but it is a rather different issue.

          While it is true that the whole glamourization of BDSM is definitely a negative step with a severe impact on the fight against sexual violence (which is not just violence during consensual sex, or sexual assault per se), things have never been easy for women taking a stand against male violence, especially if the perp is powerful or popular.

          • When I mentioned the “good old days” I meant it in a somewhat sarcastic way as in “remember the good old days when things were slightly less bad and we at least had this minor thing going for us”. I guess it is hard to get tone across on the internet, but “good old days” is such a cliche phrase I thought it would have got the sarcasm across (although I am serious about the fact that things were less bad for women when BDSM was less mainstream.)

            I was not suggesting that there was an era in which all of women’s sexual assault accusations were taken seriously. I was simply talking about a time when outright violence was understood (by the mainstream culture at least) to be outright violence. Of course people still blamed the women for the violence or claimed she had made up the thing, but the specific claim that women enjoy violence and experience it as sexual, even when there is no sexual context surrounding it (which is not to say that violence which is clearly sexual is okay) is new.

            I remember being in literature classes and discussing incidents of domestic violence that occurred in the literature we read. I heard people defend the violence and defend the female character’s decision to put up with the violence. Sometimes I wondered if I was the only sane person left in the world. However, I never heard people make the specific claim that women enjoyed being hit. Now I hear it everywhere. I have heard it since BDSM went mainstream, which only happened a few years ago.

            I know of subtle references to BDSM that appeared in the culture before then. I was annoyed by the light-hearted approach to BDSM that was being promoted, but at that time, BDSM was portrayed rarely and as something weird. Then when the-book-which-must-not-be-named came out there were all these “news reports” that implied that women everywhere were suddenly into BDSM. Women who were disgusted (either personally or politically) by such violence were ignored. As bad as things may have been before, they have gotten worse in recent years. The attempted “reclaiming” of the word “slut” is an example of this. People act like it is some kind of tradition that no feminist could object to, but it began in 2011 and was very controversial at the time. It seems women in universities do not have very good memories or are totally ignorant of the past (three years). Cue Nineteen Eighty-Four reference.

          • Oh, I agree with you. But stuff about slut-shaming or blaming is a lot older: in the 1970s we did a poster about a male robbery victim being interrogated as female sexual assault victims were, and the police investigator asking why he was wearing an expensive overcoat.

            “Slut-shaming” was real; where it went awry was the reclaiming of “slut”.

          • Independent, I think the key here is that we are of different generations; way back when I was in secondary school, the journalist giving a talk on his profession at “career day” poo-pooed the idea that it was a good idea for women to go into media work “as we’d have to work nights” and other crap about it not being possible to be a reporter or other media professional and a good mum (I’ve never had the slightest desire to have human children; just cats). And that was my practical fall-back, as I recognized that it would be difficult to make a living as an artist! The artist speaker was also a phallocratic jerk…

            Way back then, women were supposed to “manage” violent and otherwise objectionable boyfriends and later husbands. My older and much larger brother was extremely violent; I was expected to walk on eggs so as not to “provoke” him. The fight to get recognition for sexual assault and conjugal violence as crimes against women, as human beings, and not property crimes against men, was protracted and very difficult, as you know. A good friend of mine (retired now, as she is a few years my senior) worked at the first refuge for “battered wives” in Montréal and I helped out with various tasks there. It was founded in 1977.

            I certain agree with you that the normalization of BDSM is a step backwards; not because I want to tell anyone what to do in the bedroom, but because it is an additional pressure on women to comply. The pressure to have anal sex is another example of the same kind of thing; some women do enjoy it, but I think most of us don’t, and it is a pressure caused by the normalization of pornography.

            It isn’t always obvious when people are being sarcastic on the Internet; moreover while we are both committed feminists, it is obvious that we don’t see eye to eye on everything so I can’t always be sure whether you are being literal or pulling our collective leg a bit.

            One good thing for all of us is the solidarity and courage being shown by Ghomeshi’s (many) victims. This creep is a so-far (and as far as we know) non-lethal version of a serial rapist and killer like the infamous Paul Bernardo some decades ago.

            Evidently the creep has taken off to Los Angeles (there are no criminal charges against him yet, so he can travel outside Canada)…

          • CK Egbert,

            I did not really think that you believed in “good old days”. Truthfully, I had just read the Solnit excellent article and was feeling very encouraged that it had been published in such a visible location, by a magazine not known for it’s attention to sex politics, so when you opened that door, I took the opportunity to offer up the piece. I find the clarification of Freud’s contributions to this shit-show particularly helpful.

            I certainly did not mean any offence.

      • Sabine

        I am absolutely with Meghan on this. It’s not Meghan emphasizing the fact this violence was not in a sexual context, it’s the victim. And I would argue that for Ghomeshi it certainly was sexual in some way. This guy can no longer hide behind “I’m only rough in the bedroom with a woman’s consent” – something bizarrely accepted as “ok” within a society (which may or many not have been hinted at by this latest victim) that normalizes sexual violence. It is now clear that he is aggressive, violent and completely disrespectful of women and it is not confined to his “kinkiness” – as if that would be just fine and dandy. Thanks for another great post Meghan. It’s so disturbing to read how women feel like they need the “permission” of others’ dreadful experiences with powerful/influential men before they feel safe enough to come forward and (hopefully) be believed.

      • Reva Seth has spoken out on Ghomeshi’s loutish behaviour. Not that I agree with her about arranged marraige, or many other things, but as a prominent legal professional, she is a most credible witness.

        • Sabine

          Just read Reva Seth’s Huffington Post article, thanks lagatta. Jesus, I wonder how many more women are out there with similar or worse stories on top of the ones we’ve already heard? He should be charged and put away asap before he just goes ahead and puts someone in hospital or worse. There is no way people can seriously keep peddling the bullshit that these women are just vindictive liars out to “get” him for their own twisted motives. How many victims does it actually take for people to get a clue? The man HATES WOMEN and expresses this through physical, sexual and verbal violence towards them. Where are all the Jian defenders from the last post now, eh? Conspicuously quiet because there is no sweeping this under the carpet anymore. The guy was clearly a fucking perverted, lying, “poor me”, violator as he communicated HIMSELF via his own Facebook statement. Meghan brought this to light from day one and many of us could also immediately see what was going on here. It’s reflective of our society that so many others didn’t or rather, chose not to.

          • Johnny

            Yes, I just read Riva’s article too. Interesting. At least she had something relevant to contribute. In her case, an actual assault took place. I read another one where the gal moved away after dating him for five months; if that hadn’t happened she now realizes SHE could have been a victim too!

            Expect many more ad nauseum. “Peak Ghomeshi” just occurred, the media jumped the shark already with this one. Who will we hear from next? “I was Ghomeshi’s barista…he looked at me funny once” …. “I didn’t date Ghomeshi, but I always thought he sounded creepy on the radio”… STOP. We want to hear from you if you were actually assaulted by this guy. Tell the police! This is what should have been done when it first happened!

            To answer your question. Two. It takes exactly two (preferably unrelated) women to go to the police with credible stories.

            Why two? Well, in a perfect world, it should take only one, but that would require some evidence (bruises, cuts, etc) other than “he said, she said”. Actually, what am I saying? In a perfect world, we wouldn’t be having this conversation because things like this wouldn’t be happening.

            But we don’t live in a perfect world. In the world we live in, some people (mostly men) figure they can get away with this kind of behaviour, and some people figure they can get away with making up stories about other people.

            This is why, as a male educator in a co-ed facility, I will never allow myself to be behind a closed door with a female student, even two if they are close friends, because of what fabricated stories can do to a reputation. There is strength in numbers in this regard. The more the merrier. I’ve got nothing to hide, but I have a lot to lose.

            We now all know Jian is a creep, a predator (I refuse to use the word “man” to describe him) because not just one, two, but MORE than 9 victims are now coming forward and at least two have or will file complaints with the police. It sounds like there may be some video evidence as well.

            I hope he serves some significant jail time.

            To address your other point Sabine, I didn’t interpret the other thread (which I’ve read) as particularly showing any support for Jian, but more of a few people saying “okay, let’s not grab the pitchforks just yet, there will be more information coming out” which proved true. You have to realize that until just a week ago many people had either no idea of who this guy was, or no knowledge of the earlier rumours and postings of similar strange behaviour from this creep. Lots of women who ran in his circles knew, and whispered amongst themselves and for over a decade some warned each other away from him, but that’s not good enough.

            Keep shining light. Shine enough light and the cockroaches will scurry for the corners.

          • Sabine

            The guy’s own words on top of the initial allegations made it pretty clear what a sadistic creep he is so I hardly think the pitchfork analogy is justified. Some of us didn’t need to “suspend judgment” and wait for the inevitable deluge of even more (and more) sickening stories because we’d heard enough after the first couple of victims came forward and Ghomeshi made his contrived, pre-emptive statement trying to justify abuse with “consent”. The man knew he was about to be found out hence the “poor me, I’m the victim here” Facebook drivel.

            And try explaining the “it takes exactly two women” (reporting rape/abuse to be taken seriously) fantasy to the steady stream of women who were abused and raped when they were underage by Jimmy Saville (look him up). The police were informed by countless (unrelated) victims for decades and absolutely nothing was done, allowing him to continue up until he died in his 80’s. The last count of victims was in the three hundreds. Check out the current sex abuse BBC scandal and your “two women” assertion becomes a sick joke.

            “This is why, as a male educator in a co-ed facility, I will never allow myself to be behind a closed door with a female student, even two if they are close friends, because of what fabricated stories can do to a reputation. There is strength in numbers in this regard. The more the merrier. I’ve got nothing to hide, but I have a lot to lose.”

            And as for that, words absolutely FAIL.

          • Sabine

            P.S. Bill Cosby has been accused of rape by thirteen women between the 70’s to 00’s. Taken seriously up until (hopefully, finally) now? Nope.

          • Sabine

            “Rape Myth No. 1: Women lie about sexual assault. Ghomeshi said this off the bat in his eye-popping Facebook post. His unidentified accusers were a jilted ex-lover with an axe to grind and an aspiring freelance writer. Many fans still believe this, despite the stack of incriminating stories that have since risen up. This is the age-old defence of sexual assaulters, which heaves the onus of proof onto the victim. They are embarrassed sluts, vengeful ex-lovers, conniving social climbers. “What would you say if your car was broken into, and everyone accused you of lying?” says Dusty Johnstone, a women studies professor at the University of Windsor. “With sexual violence, we interrogate victims, not perpetrators. We treat them with suspicion in a way we don’t with other crimes.”

            “Studies show that only 2 per cent to 8 per cent of rape victims lie. That means 92 per cent to 98 per cent are telling the truth. And think about it — why would you lie? There are a million easier, prettier, less embarrassing ways to gain friends and glory.”

            Something to ponder on Johnny while you think about what YOU have to lose? You can read the whole article on rape myths at:


        • Ash

          I think it’s dangerous and harmful to say she’s a “most credible witness” because she is a lawyer. Every single one of these women are credible.

          • Sabine

            I agree but sadly that’s not how the world at large views most women (credible). They need to be in a high status position for anybody to seriously listen…

    • Dr. Faustus


      Although she edited it, the onus is on you to

      1) give her the credit as a feminist author that was not her intent


      2) reassess your personal desire to edited the world to your preferences.

      Yes. Yes. No one needs me to “come to her defense” blah blah blah. But this is so blatant it is alarming. Frankly as the author she doesn’t owe you, the community, or anyone an apology – and most certainly not an edit.

  • Andrew

    The sad part is that she is right–if she had spoken out before it would have been glanced over and forgotten. I suspected more would come forward. He knows the flood gates are open now and that’s why he wrote that preemptive defense.

  • aladywrites

    What I found saddest about that interview was that at the end she was still trying to understand his violence, providing the most charitable possible explanations, rather than just accepting that he is a man who enjoys violently beating women. She suggests that he stopped beating her because she was crying and he realized she wasn’t enjoying it. The more likely explanation is that he enjoys completely emotionally destroying his victims and once he has reduced them to that state he is satisfied. The charm act is probably part of it, not just in terms of luring victims, but also in feeling superior and powerful because he was able to so completely fool them, win their trust, and then suddenly, without warning, attack them.
    Canadians need to get better at facing reality.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Totally. But I get it. It IS hard to accept that anyone would behave like that.

      • aladywrites

        It’s an understandable reaction to a traumatic event, but it’s also part of the larger patriarchal system in which the reality of male violence is denied, and we are encouraged to sympathize with the abuser and to try to understand.

        • Sabine

          It does seem that violence within a “consensual” sexual context is accepted as fine and it will probably only be now that it’s been reported as occurring outside of that context (for her at least; as I stated before I am in no doubt that for HIM it was a turn-on in some way) that people will really sit up and listen. I find it hard to believe that men who are extremely rough in their sexual practices with women wouldn’t DREAM of doing anything remotely aggressive/violent in their “normal” lives and Ghomeshi is proving to be a prime example. And before I get shot down in flames for daring to link sexual and domestic violence, obviously I am not saying this is the case for ALL male BDSM’ers (here we go again with the Not All Men shutdown!) but come on, if a guy gets off sexually on hitting women it’s not a massive leap to conclude that there is something deeply fucked up about their attitudes towards women in general. Who we are in our sex lives is not and cannot be absolutely separated and removed from our “every day” lives….of which our sex lives are a part!

          • Andrew

            You’re not going to get shot down from me. I have never understood the perpatrator claiming there was consent. Of course they are going to say that! Sorry Ghomeshi, you don’t get to claim that the person you beat-up consented to it, only they can say that, and they aren’t.

          • C.K. Egbert

            I’d say hitting a woman in a BDSM context IS domestic violence. In a way it’s worse, I think, because it’s very deliberate and simply because the man enjoys watching women suffer. Wouldn’t we judge less harshly a parent who slaps their kid when they are angry, versus one who deliberately abuses the child because they enjoy seeing the child in pain?

          • Sabine

            C.K. I totally agree.

        • Andrew

          There are a lot of arguments in that vein right now about football players in the NFL (United States). There have been several high profile cases of them abusing their wives and children and some people are trying to justify it as a nessisary extension of the aggresion and violence in sports.


          OR, maybe you shouldn’t beat your wife and kids. Just a wacky suggestion.

    • The Canadian thing may be part of it, but it’s more likely the female thing (we’re raised to think men are good, mre, that men are better than us, even that men are idols) and age thing (which is partly why, perhaps, men like this target younger women; by the time we hit 40, we’re clued in to the fact that a great many men are ‘sick in the head’ to use the delightfully apt phrase of an earlier poster…the bit about baby elephants).

  • anne cameron

    Oh, it isn’t hard to understand, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past thirty or forty years. There’s a rather rude saying on Vancouver Island “we’re up to our assholes in assholes”.

    I have tried to keep a more-or-less open mind about this sleazy episode but after hearing this woman’s interview, I’m not at all interested in “understanding” or “analyzing” or… I believe he’s a nasty little asshole who gets off on terrifying and assaulting unsuspecting women.

    As for “consensual”… that’s just raw horseshit. Nobody can consent to being violently assaulted. One might “consent” to some role playing but once the real pain happens, when role playing becomes violent assault, there’s no such thing as “consent”.

    I would expect the BDSM community to speak out against this kind of nasty behaviour. This isn’t what my research suggests their movement is about and this nasty little arstle does the BDSM community a real disservice when he suggests that’s “all” he was doing.

    What a total crust he is.
    For those of you not aware of Vancouver Island expressions, the “crust” is that stuff that builds up in particularly filthy public toilets.

    • Meghan Murphy

      And those who are still trying to use this as an opportunity to rep for BDSM are on the wrooooong story. To say the least.

      Funny you mention the island — Ghomeshi’s defensive Facebook post brought me right back to my abusive ex from the island — his words were so obvious and triggering — from an abusers handbook. The only good thing I can say about that situation is that I was able to see right through Ghomeshi’s bullshit because he sounded so much like my ex (and every other abuser who’s tried to defend himself by painting his victim as a bitter, jealous, vengeful woman, etc.).

      • Sabine

        Right on.

      • Andrew

        I was actually quite sad when I saw BDSM mentioned in the other article because I was hoping that it wouldn’t devolve into that again (I know that was what he said, not you). It has, of course. I’ve had some productive conversations with people, but most of it is just snide comments from both sides.


        • Meghan Murphy

          What? The conversation seems to be going just fine, Andrew… You’re the only one trying to derail/turn it into an unproductive, overly simplistic fight about BDSM.

          • Andrew

            I meant over in the first Ghomeshi article. I’ve kept my nose out all the comments with Samantha and sexprof.

            I sure wasn’t trying to bring it over here. Frankly I’m tired of talking about BDSM and would rather just discuss violence against women in general, but the two are pretty mixed up on here so it’s somewhat inevitable.

          • amongster

            The two are “pretty mixed up” in general because BDSM *is* violence against women. This whole case demonstrates it again. But of course you disagree because you are a male sub and therefore defending BDSM for your own sake. I don’t believe that you care for the female victims.

          • Andrew

            You can believe whatever you want–it changes nothing. I certainly do care for the victims and I never defended him, and if you had read my comments in the other Ghomeshi article you would see that.

            Violence against women sometimes happens in BDSM, but not all BDSM is violence toward women.

            Can we just agree to disagree on this please?

          • corvid

            Question: why does “violence against women sometimes happen in BDSM”?

            Just FYI, it should NEVER happen. Not ever. If you think you can say something like what you’ve just said and get let off easily on a feminist forum you are dreaming.

          • Andrew

            Question: why should BDSM, in 2014, be held to a higher standard when violence against women happens sometimes in every culture in the world.

            Is it a problem? Yes. For the thousandth time yes, but it doesn’t exist in a bubble where the violence is somehow magically different than it is everywhere in life.

            I swear, if I wrote a comment outlining how great you are, you find some way to complain about it. Are you actually trying to engage with me or do you just enjoy jabbing at people you don’t like?

          • corvid

            It’s not held to a higher standard. It’s held to the same standard.

          • amongster

            The violence in BDSM is different – or worse, as someone else here has already pointed out – because it is not seen as violence and the participants claim to exist in a bubble.

            Also, I am engaging with you and your argument that BDSM has not much to do with what happened in this case and can exist without being a danger to women. You are wrong.

          • jo

            You know the feminist memes ”NAMALT – Not All Men Are Like That” and ”What about the menz” – refering to comments that pop up way too often in discussions about women’s issues?

            I propose adding ”NABILT – Not All BDSM Is Like That ” and ”What about the femdomz/malesubz” as memes too.

          • Meghan Murphy


          • amongster

            Of course I agree that we disagree, I just don’t think you have a right to say that you care about the safety of women when you actively defend BDSM. I never said you defended Ghomeshi, but you and other BDSM defenders obviously help creating an environment in which violence towards women happens and is seen as consensual.

  • Merrick

    Sounds like Jian pretty much confessed to his actions, yet he doesn’t understand how his actions were moraly wrong. That’s suggestive of something…

  • jo

    Since Jian thinks violence is kinky and that violent acts are like sex, does that mean if a bunch of women ganged up on him and beat him and strangled him brutally, the law wouldn’t get involved?
    Since he into that sort of thing?
    Would the women go unpunished?
    Or is it only men who can use violence against women and not be punished.

  • Speaking of “crust”, the proverbial crust has hit the fan.

    While we are on the evergreen topic of patriarchal violence, I think we should also be looking into the dreadful Conservative government “income-splitting” proposal to be announced today (in a Stepford suburb of Toronto). This is a proposal that only benefits upper-income couples – when there are such dire needs for children and adults in poverty – and encourages women to remain dependent on male breadwinners. Of course, I don’t mean that all husbands whose wives have taken off work while the children are small are abusers, just that it makes women in such cases far more vulnerable.

    The fitness income-tax credit also only helps children in families who can afford to pay for expensive equipment and fees in the first place. We need community centres accessible to all.

    Moreover, this tax break is NOT available to single parents…

  • Ash

    Wonder where your liberal legal-system crusaders are now to defend this fucking scumbag…

  • aladywrites

    Much of the discussion has focused on the difficulties of going to the police. Are there any organisations in Canada that work to reform the way that the police and the courts respond to violence against women and girls? I did a quick google, and the only organisation that I could find that talks about changing the practices of the authorities is Vancouver Rape Relief, and they don’t seem to be actively campaigning on the issue. And of course there’s the ‘carceral feminism’ BS to shut down this type of activity.

    Where are the well-known organisations with a national presence? If I look up ‘rape support UK’ there is a list of national organisations providing extensive assistance, including detailed instructions on dealing with the police, and 24hr hotlines. Even the NHS has a hotline and specialist services. If I look up ‘rape support Canada’, there is a patchwork of small local organisations, with minimal online information. This makes it more difficult for victims to find help, and probably means a lot of duplication and higher costs.

    The reactions of various prominent women were pathetic (Judy Rebick, Elizabeth Mays, Sheila Copps). Are there any female politicians who had a reasonable response? When you have a very male dominated environment, the few women who manage to succeed are usually as sexist as, if not more so than, the men.

    I suppose there are issues that make this challenging (if anyone has inside info, I’d love to hear), but it seems to me that there needs to be a lot more national organisation and campaigning, ideally a large national organisation focused on violence against women. Despite the splintering of feminism, there should be enough people who can agree on these basic issues.

  • Ash

    Looks like author and lawyer Reva Seth has now come out and shared her story of being sexually assaulted by Jian Ghomeshi less than an hour ago. Where are the liberal apologists now? Where’s Blatchford now? Even his PR team has decided to stop working with him just this afternoon.

    Here’s the story, it’s extremely triggering and graphic.

    • Ash, I posted that before, but I really don’t understand what you mean by “liberal”, a term that has many and opposing meanings.

      In Québec and many other nations, “Liberal” is free-market capitalist, on the right (but not extreme-right or fascist). In the US, since there is no real left on the political front, progressives get called “liberal”.

      “Liberal feminism” can refer to feminism that attacks nothing but inequality against women. Not class, or racism, or any other fundamental inequality or exploitation. And so forth.

      I’m an ecosocialist feminist, or feminist ecosocialist. Very radical, but not a “radical feminist” by some standards.

      • Ash

        Sorry, I didn’t see your comment when I posted this. Also, I was referring to the liberal folks in the other Jian post who kept going on and on about “due process” and ‘let’s just trust the law to do what is best” – by liberal i mean capitalist and individualistic people who put personal liberty and “the legal system” above all else. Again, more of a reference to the apologists in Meghan’s last post on Jian.

  • Audra

    Between the 7 anonymous women from the The Star’s Oct 29th piece, Lucy DeCoutere, Reva Seth, an anonymous commenter on Seth’s Huffington Post article, the woman discussed in this story, and Carla Ciccone, that makes 12 women who have bravely come forward about this disgusting person’s attitude toward and treatment of women (I refuse to use his name, lest I inadvertently fuel his ego).

    This abuser (and by some accounts, rapist) deserves nothing more than to live a long, unhappy life of shame and obscurity.

  • He is at least an attempted rapist; I’d be very surprised if he never got away with it. Several of the acts reported are considered sexual assault under Canadian law.

  • Another horror story, from New Brunswick.

    I like anne cameron’s “crust”. I was going to say “what a pig”, but that would insult our porcine friends…

    • Sabine

      When is this sicko going to be arrested?!!

      • Meghan Murphy

        No one’s charged him with anything… I might be a pessimist but I don’t see jail time happening for Jian…

        • Sabine

          I cannot comprehend this. I mean, I know scum like him get away with this shit all the time but it still shocks me. I totally get your pessimism. Surely the police should get involved after multiple accusations of such a serious nature? I really hope the public will press for action and that the women involved are prepared to go to court. The same signal is being sent out time after time: men can viciously assault women and get away with it.

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