What’s Current: Jian Ghomeshi writes 3,453 word essay on how hard it is to be Jian Ghomeshi

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.


  • The editor of the The New York Review of Books is defending his decision to publish a 3,453 word essay by Jian Ghomeshi. The essay is about the effect that being accused of and prosecuted for the sexual assaults of multiple women has had on Ghomeshi.
  • A UK primary school has been accused of neglecting a six-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted on a supervised playground by two boys. The mother of the victim says that schools are failing to effectively respond to peer-on-peer abuse at the primary school level.
  • A retired NYPD detective and seven current officers have been charged in connection with the operation of multiple brothels, in several boroughs. Among other things, the officers are accused of tipping off brothel-keepers to potential raids, taking cash payoffs for and trading information on police investigations for discounted “services.”
  • California authorities have released the name of Javier Casarez, who murdered his ex-wife, Petra Maribel Bolanos de Casarez, and four other people in a mass shooting earlier this week. Casarez shot himself in the chest when he was pulled over by police and died from his injuries.
  • Patrick Walsh, a Toronto man, has pled not guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted a woman and live-streaming video of her naked, vomiting, and crying to his friends.
Natasha Chart
Natasha Chart

Natasha Chart is an online organizer and feminist living in the United States. She does not recant her heresy.

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  • corvid

    The fact that Jian Ghomeshi hasn’t taken his cue to move to a tiny island somewhere is further proof of his malignant narcissism.

    • M. Zoidberg

      Steve Kerzner (a Canadian comedian) in his Ed the Sock persona wrote a scathing post about Ghomeshi back in 2014, and it pretty much sums up what we always knew — that Ghomeshi was a smug bastard who mistreated everyone around himself because of his celebrity status. The fact that he’s still mourning the loss of his “god-like” status at the CBC show’s just how dilusional he is.

  • lk

    The Jian Ghomeshi piece makes me feel…weird, uncomfortable…I cant quite find the right words. There is something about the whole tone about the article that rubs me the wrong way…

    I just don’t understand the point of it really…to get sympathy for facing negative consequences for sexually harassing women?! Just seems strange to try to get public sympathy for that….

    “What I do confess is that I was emotionally thoughtless in the way I treated those I dated and tried to date. As well, I leveraged my influence and status to try to entice women and lead them on when they were interested. There are all sorts of old-fashioned words to describe men like this: player, creep, cad, Lothario….But it went deeper than that. I was demanding on dates and in personal affairs. I would keep lobbying for what I wanted. I was critical and dismissive..I craved the interest of women. Dating and having sex became another measure of status.”

    Hmmm….Its so interesting the way men use their language to reframe their abusive behavior as not so bad..”thoughtless, leveraged, old-fashioned, demanding, lobbying”…It just seems like he’s saying I wasnt a nice guy without understanding that this isnt about a guy not being nice…its about a man using his power and position to sexually harass and assault women.

    • Wren

      The behavior that Ghomeshi is describing is very typical of cunningly abusive men (and sounds exactly like accounts of dating that males have posted here). They try to frame their behavior as if it’s pushing the limits of what would be acceptable without becoming abusive in the legal sense: ignoring a woman’s no for an answer becomes simply “demanding”; sexually harassing coworkers becomes using “leverage”; being verbally abusive becomes being “critical.” Even though he has been caught red-handed he still won’t admit what he was actually doing. He’s trying to gain sympathy from other men who are afraid that their cunning abuse will be outed and they will face consequences. Many abusive men condemned Weinstein not because he was a rapist, but because he was a careless rapist. Now men are panicking because the lines are being redrawn a bit. May they all suffer.

  • Midori

    Story #1: Ah, a man protecting another man. Same old, same old!

    Story #2: I just recently read a study (I think it was even done in the UK), that the fastest growing form of sexual assault was children assaulting/raping other children and by that I mean male children assaulting female children. And who is surprised, because nowadays five year old boys already watch hardcore porn and little girls learn very early (thanks to YouTube and IG and all these female beauty bloggers) that they have to act like porn stars to be found desirable. I’m afraid of what the future will bring!

    Story #5: Please lock him up. PLEASE lock him up or he’ll for sure try it again!

  • Blazewarrior

    Jian Ghomeshi enacting what all male sexual predators do which is deny/minimalise/excuse the fact he is a serial male sexual predator! If he wanted to write – he should have merely said ‘I take full responsibility for my male choice and male agency to inflict sadistic male sexual violence on women. I will atone by focusing now on telling other men they do not have the male sex right to sexually prey on women and girls; plus I will use my immense male media power to ensure that each and every time I appear on mens’ malestream media I will focus solely on saying I take responsibility for my male sexual predation on women!

  • OldPolarBear

    Maybe poor, sad Jian Ghomeshi can join poor old, sad Charlie Rose in that new interview show Rose wants to do featuring interviews with all the poor, sad menz who were ruined by the MeToo movement. An international effort!

  • Robert Gonzalez

    I have to make a comment about this.  I’m so fucking sick and tired of men saying they support the #MeToo movement and then following it up with “…b-but all good things can go too far, sometimes.”

    Ian Buruma (the editor that published the Ghomeshi essay) in the “Why Did the New York Review of Books Publish That Jian Ghomeshi Essay?” article says “Like everybody who thinks about these issues, I have ambivalent feelings about it. I have absolutely no doubt that the #MeToo movement is a necessary corrective on male behavior that stands in the way of being able to work on equal terms with women. In that sense, I think it’s an entirely good thing. But like all well-intentioned and good things, there can be undesirable consequences.”

    No, fuck you, Ian.  This needs to happen.  And I don’t think you care about the movement in any real capacity.  Men like you are just afraid of being called out for your own misogyny.  The movement has not gone far enough, if anything.

    • Hekate Jayne

      There can be undesirable consequences to the rapey males? Really? When is that going to happen? Louis CK was met with a standing ovation on his first gig back from his vacation that he needed because all of that harassing wore his dumb ass out.

      It is just so odd. To essentially say “yeah, I understand the ladies get upset when we rape them, but let’s not have consequences! Especially not the undesirable ones! We can talk about how we should maybe treat the walking, talking fuckholes, but let’s remember our dicks suffer if we don’t use them as is demanded!”

      Let’s not be too mean to the rapists, guys. Peens and uncontrollable male feefees be terribly important, you know.

  • Wren

    Weinstein was careless, or one could say reckless, because he was so confident that he would never get caught, that he could ruin the women with impunity. He was a brutal, violent rapist.

    Ghomeshi, and men like him, find ways to coerce and manipulate women, scare them using the weight of men’s historical violence, without using direct force. Therefore, they are “careful” not to commit rape in the legal definition. Multitudes of men act this way.

    So yes, they know what they are doing is not illegal, but they are absolutely aware that they are abusive fucks. In fact, staying within the legal limits is thrilling for them. It may even be more challenging to them than a violent assault. But reckless rapists like Weinstein compel a movement into fruition and threaten to ruin all their fun.

    • calabasa

      I think this is very important and needs to be talked about. This is also Aziz Ansari in a nutshell.

      I did not understand the cognitive dissonance my ex experienced, how he could say men “always knew when they committed rape” but didn’t know he had committed rape, or seemed unaware he had coerced me on a first date (leaning over and intimidating someone who has said “no” several times is arguably more serious than even coercion). I couldn’t understand how sometimes he clearly knew he was violating me and would say so, and other times thought it was fine to direct me to do things for him when I was clearly uncomfortable (or other times he’d just do things without asking). I realized he had a complicated series of justifications in his head (it was okay if he climbed on top of me and forced his penis in my mouth to preempt a “no” as long as he went down on me at the same time; it was okay if he demanded something if I’d offered it before; it was okay if he had sex with me while I was in and out of consciousness if he smacked me first and I opened my eyes, that meant I was awake and opening my eyes meant he wasn’t raping me in my sleep and therefore he had consent, despite zero asking or initiating and getting me involved, just slap, wait for her eyes to open, now I can penetrate her).

      I realized he had similar justifications for the first time he raped me after we broke up. I had made anal a hard limit, and was nonplussed by his objectifying comments when we began to hook up (also had had too much to drink quickly, felt overwhelmed by seeing him, and it was 2 AM). I stopped the hookup and began falling asleep. He then pinned me down and began aggressively trying to prep me for anal. I squirmed btb could not get free, and said “I don’t know why guys are so obsessed with that.” Since I had given him a hard limit, and was clearly not consenting, I didn’t think he’d actually do it (I was also drunk and sleepy and failed to realize the danger I was in). I stopped squirming because I got tired of struggling and he took that as a go-ahead and went for it, which made me scream in pain and scream for him to stop. He then whined and congratulated himself on stopping instead of continuing to rape me while I screamed in pain, and remarked on how it would take “too much time” for him to pleasure me or be gentle and prepare for such a sexual activity.

      When I realized this was abusive and confronted him, I simply said I couldn’t see him because of “that weekend.” I could have been referring to ANYTHING, he was so out of control that weekend. He immediately stood up and named what he’d done while in the same breath denying it. I told him I’d told him I didn’t want anal sex, and he shouted “we didn’t have anal sex!’ and then amended that, saying cruelly “sad, failed anal sex,” because I’d disappointed him by screaming for him to stop.

      Later, over email, when I reminded him of the conversation in which he’d promised never to pester me for anal sex again, he suddenly claimed to not remember it ever happening.

      I still don’t think he thought of it as rape at the time or later, despite his aggressive behavior, because at the TIME I didn’t say the exact word “no” until it was too late. My hard limit didn’t count to him, I needed to scream “no” at the time he was doing it. Once I pointed out to him that after our conversation about my hard limit he shouldn’t have done it in the first place (which he shouldn’t have anyway, any conversation about anal needs to happen beforehand and be sober and respectful), he suddenly claimed not to remember.

      It seems my telling him after we broke up that he’d been sexually abusive had caused narcissistic rage, because he came over and abused me further. After I realized he knew what he had done but didn’t care, I was devastated and traumatized and I reported him.

      My calling him out on his rapey behavior (AFTER he had spent some time pretending to be supportive of me as a rape survivor, to be kind and understanding when we first began dating) apparently hit too close to home for him. I think he raped me again, when I decided after months of trauma I’d overreacted and responded to his request for a second chance, in part to get back at me and probably because he felt resentful that if I was going to accuse him of rape he should at least get to finish. Of course raping me immediately when I gave him a second chance only confirmed that he was a rapist and sexual abuser.

      Immediately after this forcible rape, in which he held me down while I said “stop,” he expressed anxiety over me doing things I had offered because he knew I didn’t really want to, which is to say, he openly expressed guilt for abusing me into submission he knew I didn’t want AFTER committing rape (he felt conflicted and felt remorse for the type of abusive sexual grooming of a partner in light of the rape he had committed).

      Later, the thing he was sorriest for and only thing he ever really made an attempt to apologize for was the forcible rape after I told him to stop. As it was, once again, anal rape, not only after my hard limit but after reporting him the first time, it would have been rape, since he did it without asking, even if I had frozen in shock immediately at this repeated violation and not said the word “stop;” but he would not have considered it that way, most likely, had I not managed to say “stop” before freezing and had he not held me down. I think he restrained me as gently as possible while keeping me immobile because that way he could go through with it, because he could tell himself he wasn’t really hurting me.

      He had also choked and hit me and pulled my hair while we dated, without asking. He seemed to think it was okay because it was in a sexual context and he didn’t think it was “too hard,” though he later said “I feel awful for how rough I was with you.” (Rough without consent=sexual abuse). Neither time he “apologized” did he actually say the words “I’m sorry.” He did remember the date he held me down and forced me, after a year of denying it ever happened, and he reached out to tell me he missed me and had “screwed things up really badly.”

      There IS a cognitive dissonance about pushing women’s boundaries and being violent just shy of the point of illegal, or at least keeping it impossible to prosecute. I think that telling themselves she didn’t say no, despite many indirect refusals and clear discomfort, keeps them from feeling guilty whilr they continue to abuse women. When they cross the line and commit not just coercion and abuse of a silent, cowed, or frozen woman, but forcible rape, maybe then they can begin to see, as I suspect my ex did, that rape is the logical endpoint of that sort of behavior. All of it is sexual abuse.

      However, since we have a society steeped in rape myths that encouraged men to sexually abuse women through the vehicle of porn, and now defends abusers with cries of “kink-shaming,” society is one hundred percent complicit in protecting men from legal consequences for sexual abuse and one hundred percent complicit in its promotion. Of course such abuse, demeaning and even traumatizing in itself, is going to lead the rape when women say “no.”

      #metoo needs to be a conversation about sex, not rape.

      (Apologies for any weird typos, my phone is acting funny)

  • Hekate Jayne

    Think about law. Law was written to keep males in check since they appear to have no standard of ethics or behavior. Males had to enact some kind of rule and regulation to protect themselves from each other. Males will murder, rape, steal, whatever, unless there is something to stop them. Before the law, there wasn’t anything.

    So legal is their standard. And they write the law, the majority of law was written while we were still property, anyway. Law is the male standard. It’s not decency, or kindness. It’s not fairness or what is equitable or peaceful. The male standard is the bare minimum that will keep them out of trouble with each other.

    They coerce, bully, purchase women and girls as sexual slaves, and lots of other stuff. Males don’t coerce or push our boundaries because it’s legal for them to do so, it is legal because it’s how they prefer to treat us. Asking if it is good and right because it’s not illegal is kind of an odd question to ask because that is not how males set a standard of behavior. The minimum male standard is “I want it, how can I get away with it?” What is right, or moral, or fair doesn’t enter into their equation. Ever.

    • Sharpie

      Your comment explains all types of male politics.

      Even the alt-right. A while ago I read a post on Twitter written by a girl that claimed the alt-right started to look good in her eyes because of their rejection of sexual depravity. According to her the alt-right has a very high sexual morality compared to the left sexual degeneracy. Of course, that’s bullshit.

      Alt-right dudes just want a different type of sexual experience. They want a devout virgin woman, not a sexually liberated one. But they can’t get that type of woman in a society where porn is everywhere and sex related work (porn performers, cam girls, happy ending massage girls, escorts, prostitutes, strippers, nude pictures “sex workers”, phone sex workers, bdsm actors, sex dolls) is consumed in high numbers. That’s why the push against sexual liberation is part of their politics. There’s no morality, it’s just a different dick agenda. This is proved by the fact that they expect sexual manteinance from their wives and don’t believe in marital rape.

  • Alawon.B

    While the women they victimized or whose career they blocked have suffered, some for years, and will continue to suffer. Some of Louis C.K.’s victims have left their chosen profession due to his behavior. But the men, the men have suffered so!

  • Tobysgirl

    I’m sure there will be another What’s Current about the woman saying Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her in high school. I would like to point out that Brett Kavanaugh has already demonstrated his utter contempt for women and their rights in his attitudes toward women’s reproductive rights. It seems that the talking heads on TV have a real struggle in putting two and two together (contempt for women’s rights + contempt for actual women), but for those who have brain synapses that fire it isn’t too difficult.

  • Meghan Murphy

    One of the more amazing things about Ghomeshi’s delusion/narcissism is that he isn’t deeply embarrassed about having been in Moxy Früvous.

    I will be honest and say I thought he was a great interviewer and radio host, and listened to Q for years. This did not for one second impact my ability to see him as an abusive man, immediately upon reading his defense of himself, even before the specific allegations had gone public.

  • OldPolarBear

    Interesting background information and impressions for someone from the USA. When Air America was around, I lived in a city with a local station, and they used to play some CBC shows, mostly later at night. There was As It Happens, which had female hosts whose names I can’t remember. But I had never heard of Ghomeshi, and when the story started breaking, it seemed like in some of the commentary, there was all this weeping and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments about “Oh, what a tragedy, that such a gift to Canadian broadcasting is ruined!”

    Not exactly an analogous situation, but I had a similar feeling about Garrison Keillor, and I really wasn’t sad when he got fired from Prairie Home Companion. There was a sexual harassment situation that probably did happen, but I think the show was getting old. It was amusing once, but was highly overrated and went on for years longer than it should have.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I wish that I could put your last paragraph on a t shirt.

    Most males possess that super special confidence in spite of glaring mediocrity. I can’t stand to listen to them, anymore, especially not in groups. And especially when they discuss a topic that they are intellectually barren of, like abortion, prostitution, fgm, anything that pertains to us, really.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I love As It Happens too. I also think Anna Maria Tremonti is a great host/interviewer, though it drives me nuts how bad she is on issues like prostitution and transgenderism…

  • Meghan Murphy

    I think a lot of women share/d your opinion. I get all that, in retrospect, but yeah, at the time he was on CBC, I was definitely a fan. He was engaging. Which of course says fuck all about his character.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Or that 7 year old girl consented.

    Or yes, he raped her, but he was just CONFUSED, THO.

    Or let’s put the victim on trial.

    Andrea Dworkin said once that there is a case to be made that the law does not work for or protect women, so we should not be subject to it. She was correct.

  • radwonka

    Yep. I knew a guy who told me that he was always “honest” with his girlfriends, he always told them before starting the relationship that he would sleep with other women. And he seemed to be proud of that like “my girlfriends always knew what I was doing, they even encouraged me ha”. The same dude also enjoyed choking women, and as usual, he always said “but they knew how things are with me”.

    As you said, it only gave him an excuse (the fact that his gfs didn’t oppose his behavior), to justify his misogyny (“why should I stop being unfaithful if they don’t say anything?”). It’s as if they hide behind their partners to not question their own behavior.

    I don’t know if there is a name or verb to describe such cowardliness? hiding behind others just to not change yourself? IDK It’s so weird.

    It’s quite similar to BDSMers, they will say “but SHE wanted it, so why am I a bad person?”. I don’t understand the focus on those who suffer only. It’s quite manipulative.

    Even if one person “consent” to being hurt, the abuser also “consent” to, well, to hurt the other person.

    Ironically you NEVER here such people say “but HE wanted to hurt me so bad” or “he wanted to choke me so bad, what’s wrong with that?”, it is always “I/she wanted to be hurt”.

    Interesting right?

    • Meghan Murphy

      This is beyond irritating — this thing where people (men) claim that they are ‘honest’ so that excuses or justifies their behaviour. As though ‘honesty’ cancels out ethics. Puke.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I didn’t know that either.

  • Christine

    Yeah, it wasn’t anything she did. They were just looking to feature more journalists as hosts, at least according to The Star.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Hmm I guess I would have been 27-34 when he was on. I agree that young women are much more naive and fail to recognize red flags or general douchebaggery and phonies.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Women are socialized to be polite, non-violent, non-aggressive, and nurturing.

  • -Jane Don’t-

    I’m sorry, but what the fuck is going on with the U.K.? That is horrific. That poor girl.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Saaaaame. I think it’s impossible, though. It develops with age/experience.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I agree that it doesn’t matter too much how much is innate vs socialized. People can choose to be ethical or not.

    • Hekate Jayne

      I am always clear about males choosing behavior, either way. Otherwise, if you don’t agree with 100% socialization being the cause, then I have been accused of excusing males or babying them or something.

      I am not excusing them. They choose it.

  • will

    I listened to that and it was outrageous. The pompous windbag would not let Anna Maria Tremonte get a word in edgewise, he seemed to be completely oblivious to her significant pedigree as a foreign correspondent and he did not even have the basic manners to learn (or the basic knowledge one would expect of someone in his position) the name of Ruth Spencer, senior editor at The Cut.

    Yet another incompetent man in position of power, who, I’m willing to bet, climbed the ladder just as Ghomeshi did, by being unthreatening in his mediocrity, and obsequious to the right men in the hierarchy.