In the Blog
Mid-Week Round Up: October 29
Illustration: Erin McPhee
TRIGGER WARNING: Some of the content and links depict acts of sexual violence and/or assault and may be triggering for some
On Sunday big news reverberated across Canada; Jian Ghomeshi, longtime host and co-creator of CBC Radio’s arts and culture show Q, was fired from his position. Shortly after the announcement came a lengthy statement from Ghomeshi via his Facebook page blasting his previous employer along with an ex-girlfriend for bringing forward allegations of non-consensual violence. The CBC has yet to comment on the reasons for Ghomeshi being let go despite a $50 million lawsuit being launched against them for wrongful dismissal. Ghomeshi’s statement outlines details about his sex life including his interests in kink/BDSM and concludes with his belief that he was fired because of his sexual proclivities. Yet, thus far, allegations against him are not about BDSM/kink, instead they are centred on non-consensual violence, sexual assault, and workplace sexual harassment. Much of the mainstream media has focused on Ghomeshi’s response to his firing rather than the actual content of the accusations themselves. Media has similarly ignored the impact of his statement and the public fallout from that statement on the women involved. For an amazing reversal of focus back to the real issue at hand, Ghomeshi’s alleged assault of several women, see Plaris prize-winning musician Owen Pallett’s response.
Some thoughts to consider:
- The absence of a police report does not mean that allegations are not serious or true
- Women do not report their experiences of sexual assault for many reasons
- False allegations of sexual assault are not made at rates any higher than false allegations for other crimes
- Survivors of sexual assault are typically not believed or supported when they disclose their experiences
- Offenders are not held accountable for their actions
For further context, Andrea Zanin breaks down the conflation of consensual kink (BDSM) with violence.
This Monday Toronto dropped the ball. The city failed to elect Olivia Chow and it subsequently failed to acknowledge and repair the racism and sexism inherent in that decision and in the campaign as a whole.
The #midwifemondays campaign launched by the Association of Ontario Midwives wrapped up this week. Tweets were directed at Premier Wynne and Health Minister Hoskins in order to showcase the value of midwives to Ontarians. The campaign hopes to put pressure on the government to acknowledge and deal with the human rights complaint launched against the government regarding pay inequity, expired contracts and a lack of fair negotiations.
In honour of the spooky holiday, here’s a guide on how not to wear a racist Halloween costume!