The incident that changed everything was on a Sunday night. The evening started out fine, we had a drink, we smoked some pot, we hung out chatting and a while later we started kissing. Suddenly, it was like he became a different person. He was super angry, almost frenzied and disassociated. I distinctly remember the jarring sense of suddenly being abruptly shaken out of my reverie. I remember thinking "what the fuck is going on here? What's wrong with him?" This morning, I listened to Lucy DeCoutere on The Current sharing her remarkably similar experience and calling for women to not be afraid to tell their own stories. After much thought, I decided to answer her call.
As a survivor of sexual assault and an advocate for people who have been assaulted, I'm already shaking at how I feel this, and the discourse around it, is going to play out. As with any public or private allegations of sexual assault, it's important to remember these things when talking about Jian Ghomeshi in the coming weeks.
Women everywhere are sexually assaulted by men in power. Many don't bother to speak up because of reactions and consequences like this: Ghomeshi is a man in power and he is also well liked and well known. Chances are, he will be almost universally believed, while she will be accused of lying to get something from him. The majority of women speak up because they want justice. And right now, we don't know what the real story is -- but as someone who never spoke up when a man in power put me through hell, for a variety of reasons, I believe her until further notice.
If the CBC has indeed fired an employee for private behaviour in the bedroom then Ghomeshi deserves the entire 50 million dollar settlement and those who made the decision at the CBC should immediately resign. If, on the other hand, there is a legitimate victim of a crime who is driven into hiding because people like a radio host, it will be a great miscarriage of justice by the Canadian public.