Live From the Trial of Jian Ghomeshi: What You've Missed So Far
"One of CBC Radio's star hosts, Jian Ghomeshi is now facing trial for sexual assault. Stay tuned here for regular updates from the court case in Toronto, explanations of the main cast of characters and more background on the case.."
Ottawa Law Professor on How the Ghomeshi Trial Could Play Out
"We spoke with Constance Backhouse, a professor in the faculty of law at the University of Ottawa...about the Jian Ghomeshi trial, which begins Monday in Toronto..."
Has anyone else noticed that since his arrest, Ghomeshi seems to have found -- and remembered how to use -- his razor?
Great topic so thanks for posting it. I was afraid to post it on this forum because it's a lot more controversial than anything I had said earlier in the first few days of being here.
So without defending or condemning Ghomeshi, I'll start the ball rolling with a comment that should be o.k?
It's been outrageous how the CBC has been able to do dirt on this guy outsie the court system and before a fair trial. He stands condemned in the minds of probably about 90% of Canadians already.
What's your point, if any? That it's still important to present with an appearance that will please the establishment and those who are probably in their sixties who will cast judgement upon him?
Or maybe that it's no longer important to present with an appearance that says "edgy" and "I make my own rules".
I'm just sayin'.
There's no "those". He only has to worry about Justice William B. Horkins, and I've no idea how Justice Horkins feels about man-whiskers. But if I'm not mistaken, Ghomeshi went for the baby-faced look BEFORE facing Horkins today, yes?
I'm in my 60's what is different about my age compared to someone like you who claims to be in their 80's? Was your generation more tolerant than the later generations?
And for the second time, I didn't claim I was in my eighties. Now run off and search all my posts to see if you can find me saying that.
Or don't bother because you won't find it. If a man walks into court with a pony tail, sadly he is hurting his chances. Unshaven, probably also true but to perhaps a lesser degree. That's because people in their sixties or seventies haven't adjusted to being more inclusive of others' preferences in dress and style. Not me, even though I fit in that age group, and apparently not you. Would you like to argue that too now? Oh, and they probably shouldn't have a face full of jewelry either, although an ear ring or two probably wouldn't hurt. I would take my chances clean shaven, well groomed with short or moderate length hair, and wearing a suit.
Back to Ghomeshi.
Although he may or may not be convicted of a crime it doesn't make his behavior acceptable. Some people in our society are rewarded with high profile jobs that win them much praise and financial compensation but that comes with responsibility too. We are not required to reward just anyone.
Ghomeshi showed a video to executives of his breaking a woman's arm in consentual rough sex. I don't care if she consented or not. I don't care if what he did was illegal or not. It's reprehensible. At least one university stopped sending female interns for his show. He took advantage of women when they were young and powerless so wouldn't be believed but they grew up and some of them earned enough respect to be believed. That isn't necessarily enough for a courtroom but it is certainly enough for me to judge whose word is more likely true.
Regardless of whether or not Ghomeshi is convicted of a crime or sees any jail time he most definitely treated many women very badly. He took advantage of the position Canadians honoured him with to abuse women. He deserved to lose that position. It is for the courts to decide if he should also lose his freedom.
What ridiculous ageist prejudice.
As for Ghomeshi, I think it is because that casual unshaven look looks friendly if the guy is smiling, and it would hardly be good form for him to do it in court or in public now.
I agree with this part of your post. JG has been an annoying poppycock ever since his (brilliant) Moxy-Fruvous stint so the news did not surprise me.
Well, the dismal witness currently on the stand is FIVE years older than JG.
If the crown's case doesn't get better, JG will walk away. And based on evidence so far, he should walk. Without excusing his behavior ... she went back for more!
I know you aren't kidding, but are you kidding with this victim-blaming?
The fact that someone returns to an abusive situation does not mean it is not abuse, nor that it might not be criminal. And someone giving a creep the benefit of the doubt isn't an invitation to be attacked again.
Victim blaming is an appropriate monniker when the victim is trapped in an abusive relationship or similar circimstances. Using it here- with this paticular accuser - will dilute it usefulness when it is used appropriately.
I am sure you have claimed to have voted for the NDP all your life except for having voted for the CCF on more than one occasion. Am I wrong about that?
Once I have identified someone as a "creep" I do not extend to them the 'benefit of the doubt'.
I don't care what kind of 20/20 hindsight you think you might have in a situation like that; I can tell you though that many of us are not always as good at reading the future as you think you are.
But it doesn't matter, because nothing she did gave him permission to do what she alleges - punching her in the head.
What you are doing is blaming the victim. It is no different in a relationship than it is between acquaintances or strangers. You know... the version where it somes down to what she shouldn't have been wearing, or where she shouldn't have been walking, or why she decided to meet him again.
The applicable part is, is this behaviour acceptable? Although it personally makes me first feel sick and then sad, the unfortunate fact is that it appears to be acceptable to a limit. I'm not sure if inflicting bodily harm that entails breaking an arm is acceptable under the law but I would like to find out from somebody that does know.
I 'do' care if it was legal. But besides that, my biggest concern would be what he may do in the future that may go beyond his behaviour which was legal. (supposing it was legal)
We must all rise above the emotional if we are to discuss this in a proper and adult way. According to our laws as they exist, it doesn't appear to be the fact that he dewerved to lose his job. This is where our political bent parts ways and I become more of a socialist. We'll see what the NDP'ers decide on that question, keeping my I hope, that this is a slippery slope. As in, what empoloyers can do under the law and what they must be restrained from doing.
Having said that, it's a tough one for me as morality comes up against legality. I won't take this off to another topic on employer/employee rights but I just ask for others to think of it in that respect.
edit: I would also invite you to consider what the court 'can' do to deal with people like Ghomeshi? Or people out there that are apprehended doing physical harm to women in consensual sec acts, before they act out in a much more violent way that is definitely seen as illegal by the law!
From today's proceedings... an email from 'victim' to JG one year after
Email: "if you want to keep in touch, this is my email!!!! (Phone number), Her name"
And then 18 months after the incidents she sends another email with a hot bikini photo of herself. Hmmmmmm
JG may not have (or deserve) many friends or fans left at this point but it doesn't look like he will be convicted of anything unless the crown can do better. I am surprised these charges weren't dropped like several of the others. This witness has damged their case... possibly beyond repair.
Very sad but he may still be found guilty depending on what bodily harm he inflicted on the victim. This is the question that needs to be answered and it could already be covered by our laws.
It also brings up another question and that is, should the willing victim be apprehended in the process of seeking more bodily harm before it escalates to the point of no return. That being death or something of physical harm approaching death. My personal opinion is that she/he should because it is a decent society's responsibility. Maybe the libertarian would disagree?
The law is that you can't consent to assault, monty1.
And the only claim that this had anything to do with consent is in that lame letter Ghomeshi wrote to the CBC. Maybe someone whose knowledge of this doesn't go any further than 50 shades might buy that. I don't think anyone who actually knows about consensual BDSM would.
In the first place, they would know that even with consent you don't go punching people in the the head, kidneys, or other places where you run the risk of doing serious or permanent damage, if you don't want to risk being charged with assault.
But really, this case has nothing more to do with that than any other violent sexual assault does, despite Ghomeshi's claim.
Just read your last post.
There are countries where rape victims wind up being arrested and given the lash, if that is the sort of justice you had in mind.
Here it's more the court of public opinion.
My report to the moderators referred to the last line befor it was edited by smith. Now it's the second to last line.
Well it is what happens in places where the law goes beyond ignoring and smearing, and denying justice to victims, and actually holds them responsible for being attacked.
No need to speculate about it; it exists already.
good luck with that one
I expected something more than 'good luck'. It may be impossible in some cases, or even in a large majority of cases as people involved in this sort of activity aren't making it public. But in cases of a person, a he or she, goes to the hospital with an injury that is suspect of being inflicted in this manner, then it would be a society's responsibility to look into it in my opinion. We certainly have that sort of eye on children that are admitted to the hospital with bodily harm.
At this point in the conversation I'm mostly interested in the comments from the NDP'ers. That is going to tell me, and perhaps some others, of how they see their social responsibiities.
Social responsibilities are owned by the NDP and I say that in a bragging way because I'm still one of them.
Domestic violence charges are now laid by police and it's mandatory. It doesn't matter if the victim claims to have "consented".
The CBC would be legally entitled to fire him for picking his nose in public. He wasn't a clerk.
We are about to see what the court can do to deal with people like Ghomeshi and he is not the first.
A much less serious case is that of the Hydro One employee, an engineer making 100K+ was fired for defending a man who did the FHRITP harrassment of a reporter on air. You don't have to break the law to lose your job.
Pondering, I find your last post a little confusing. Perhaps the quotes got a little mixed up. Anyway, it doesn't matter. I want to make one point from what you said:
I have taken part in and become fairly well versed in labour law in the past and from the union side in arbitration cases. So I'm going to come at this from that POV. While the Ghomeshi case is not similar to anything I've ever dealt with in the past, it does ask the basic very common question of what rights an employer has as it pertains to an employee's rights. And I thank the dogs that I've never had to be involved in this kind of a case where the union would have a responsibility of defending a charge such as what faces Ghomeshi.
I"m telling you this because this can't be decided one way or another with an emotional reaction that influenced the decision. And so, you may be correct in saying that the CBC would have a responsiblitiy of firing Ghomeshi for picking his nose, (rhetorically speaking) but you alao could be wrong and we'll have to wait for the outcome to find out.
I was hoping for a lawyer or a more up to date expert on labour law who could give us some answers. My own experience doesn't reach the mark.
I thank you for showing the social responsibility to discuss this in a civil and reasable way. It must be hard for any woman to do that considering the horrible nature of the events as they happened. I'm awaiting the same from som of the others. Nuff said.
Speaking in general and not pertaining to this case, you've totally ignored my comment of there being a limit to domestic violence that is acceptable. That which doesn't qualify as domestic violence could be various acts of cruelty by either party in a marriage or relationship. What could that be? I'll leave it to your imagination but I'll offer, a slap on the face by the woman on her husband. Now you are going to have to draw the line. And it won't make any difference anyway because what we decide is the line may not be what the court decides. Or in the sense of the workplace then the arbitration court which is the arbitrator him/herself.
Actually we discussed Ghomeshi's firing back when it happened, and it was pretty well covered in the news at the time. Ghomeshi filed a lawsuit against the CBC for $55 million..
What he got was a bill for court costs.
And we talked the legal question of consent and assault up and down and backwards too.
The union did not defend Ghomeshi.
Not the responsibility, the right. The CBC has the legal right to protect its public face. Morality clauses still exist in contracts. Hydro One union couldn't protect that engineer either even though there was no question that he had not broken any laws. Women are also union members and the union has a duty to protect them.
Off topic: My apologies to you. The NDP came into existence in 1961 and so that makes it impossible for me to have voted for the CCF. Just barely though. On proclaiming that I have always been an NDP supporter I threw in the CCF for dramatic effect because I was very aware of the CCF because my parents supported it. And maybe a little proud too. Perceptive of you to catch that and it indicates that you were showing a conern for my age! Please don't sue me or report me for lying to you. ;-)
Its okay Monty I have destroyed many mangers on the stand because I have an ear for inconsistencies in people's stories. Your story about being a lifelong NDP supporter who is gaga over Trudeau the Lesser I find quite hard to swallow however one of the etiquette things at babble is I have to accept things like that at face value. I was merely using your own words to determine your age because I mistakenly believed your posts about your life story. I will try not to make that mistake again.
I don't think there's any etiquette rule at babble that says you have to accept anything at face value. However, I will take your reply as another indication of your character.
A husband slapping his wife or a wife slapping her husband would probably not even get reported by either party unless it was part of a pattern but either way it qualifies as assault. Degree of damage is a separate issue.
Right and wrong is not determined by the courts. They just apply the law. The court of public opinion is not bound by law nor should it be. People who do great things earn our respect. People who do smarmy things earn our disrespect.
Ghomeshi tried to use the mantle of sexual freedom, to defend his practice on the basis of kinky preferences. I have great respect for non-practicing paedophiles. They are cursed with an attraction they can't change, but they know it is wrong to act on their orientation. Ghomeshi may get off on attacking a woman so severely that he breaks her arm but ignorance of the law is no excuse for someone as educated as he. Same goes for the BDSM excuse. The most casual reading on the topic places safety and rules first and foremost and in no way condones sucker-punching women in the head. It isn't feasible to think that Ghomeshi didn't explore the topic.
Whether or not he broke the law, or whether or not it can be proven he did, as a society we judge the credibility of public figures and treat them accordingly. The credibility of some of his accusers is beyond reproach and his behavior had reached the point where it was common knowledge that his behavior with women was inappropriate enough to warrant backchannel warnings on the grapevine for years.
Jekyll and Hyde well represents a man like Ghomeshi. They are so charming, so wonderful, so kind and thoughtful and understanding and everything a woman could possibly want in a man, unfailingly considerate, a man you fall in love with fast or at least see as someone you would want as a life partner. They make you feel like you are charming and delightful. Then they pull your hair, or scream at you, or do something else so shocking that you doubt your own senses. Surely that didn't just happen? Not so much any more, but many women have been socialized to be forgiving and even to want to help such men who don't understand their own strength. The "real" them is the man they see 99% of the time. When they lash out they imagine it is an affliction, the man is not himself. They don't want to give up the 99% guy.
As I mentioned elsewhere my friend got charged by her abusive husband for slamming a door. I believe he told the cops she was trying to hit him with it, though it never touched him.
In jurisdictions where they have it, zero tolerance means zero tolerance.
A very thoughtful and well thought out post I'll take some time now to digest it. With one note for you to consider: You don't seem to be acknowledging a person, male or female, who desires to be hurt in a sexual relationship. I'm sure you must be aware of same. If not then I can eleaborate.
Because, your example is flawed and I can elaborate on that too later if you like. In the meantime you may want to try to imagine what 'would' be within bounds for S and M behaviour?
Folks seem to be conflating long-term domestic situations with this interaction between two new acquaintances: a flame & a moth.
Gotta say I caught that too and I do take age into consideration because while people can be out of step with their generation (I am) age does represent experience of life. Having watched man's first step on the moon and watched the fall of the iron curtain and known people with a number tatooed on their arm is different from someone for whom trans rights and gay marriage and parenthood are just normal "duh" kind of rights. When I was growing up Lucy and Ricky Ricardo had twin beds because heaven forbid married people share a bed. Now we have Modern Family and Digrassi High. I'm out of step with a lot of people of my generation. I'm more likely to agree with people a couple of decades younger than myself.
There is but you can be forgiven for not noticing seeing as it is so rarely respected.
With your long history of posting on this board you are definitely the authority on babble etiquette. I was referring to life stories only. If I say I am a man and am going to be 65 years old this year then it is something that others cannot claim is untrue. I have extended you that courtesy. But that courtesy only extends to personal tidbits anything you state that is an opinion I feel free to rip into.
What I just did with you is what Ghomeshi's lawyers will be trying to do with the witnesses against him. Every inconsistency that is brought out weakens the credibility of a witness. It does not prove that everything one says is untrue it only means that after a number of half truths adjudicators give your testimony less and less weight unless it is supported by corroborating evidence.
Again, this alleged assault has no more relation to consensual S and M than any other violent sexual assault. I see no reason to discuss that except to perhaps make attacking someone and beating them in the head seem somehow normal and permissible, and cloud the issue.
But if we really need to go around the mulberry bush on this again, here's one of the articles posted after Ghomeshi's firing:
Practices and boundries are very clear within the BDSM community by necessity.
It's not a community I understand or can relate to but I respect their right to choose as long as they aren't paying people to submit and I place no judgement on them regardless of the role they choose to play within the community.
Well that was clever .
And even within that community there are people who have a reputation as abusers, manipulators and rapists. They might play by stricter rules than most, but abuse is still abuse, and assault is still assault.
I isn't the free-for-all Ghomeshi would have us believe from his letter.
A lot of people wouldn't be honest and admit the mistake and apologize. I did. \
This isn't a court of law and so you won't get a chance to react that way with me again. I'll now consider you not to be a person who is socially acceptable to carry on an informal conversation with. You will be in a court of law all the time. I know laywers that can't do anything else even over a glass of beer. You've made your bed, so sleep in it.
I had a look at your link and then went to "Canada", expecting to find limits defined on S and M Behaviour. I found next to nothing so now I'm going to ask you to direct me to your reference. Or if you choose, tell me what you have found to say that some acts are not within the law. I'm specifically referring to a closed fist punch to the side of the head. Legal or illegal?
Conflating what, exactly?
Maybe you can explain how the "interaction" - a punch to the head and choking, if we want to say it plainly - is different in each case.
That is the accusation we are talking about. If you think there is something in either case that makes the assault any less of an assault, or any less serious, I am curious to hear.
It is assault, monty. Do I need to say it is illegal too, and cite the criminal code?
Why are you wanting to talk about this off-topic issue? The accusations have nothing to do with BDSM.
I am glad you admitted your exaggeration. Not everyone admits things like that but then not everyone needs to. Strangely in the first week of law school we were warned that this type of thing would happen with many people. Once you spend three years and then a career looking at the world through a legal lens it is not something you can turn off. Its like my brother the carpenter it doesn't matter where we go he always has comments on the quality of the woodworking. If its friends he tries to make pithy jokes that may or may not go over well.
It seems we got off on a bad foot but then I don't like anyone telling me what my views are or should be.
To get back on topic it seems that if the first complainant was the only one the Crown would have a hard time getting a conviction and that is obviously why they have brought a multitude of charges. While some of the story is going to be discounted at this point if it bolsters other complainant's testimony and makes them more credible then the Crown will have done its job. When one person complains about sexual assault I try to keep an open mind when numerous women complain I must say I become ever more skeptical that the accused could be innocent.
On a personal note I am one of those people who couldn't stand him. I found his style to be creepily smarmy and him to be way too full of himself. Then again when I had respect for the CBC they employed people like Peter Gzowski .
I don't think there are any laws specific to BDSM. Assault is illegal period. No exceptions, not even with a contract. Because of that practitioners of BDSM have had to be extremely careful to make absolutely sure everything is consentual and doesn't require medical attention.
How can I enter a Karate tournament then, for example, and permit someone to kick me in the face?
Funny you should mention that Magoo (though again, this has nothing to do with the trial which is the subject of this thread).
The example of professional sport wasn't raised, even though they do have more commonly accepted implied consent than those perverts (the article I just posted) . Maybe it isn't as convenient an example because we don't assume football players all want to screw each other so it is harder to blur the lines between assault and sex.
Even so, if you want to know what a closed fist punch to the head means, ask Todd Bertuzzi.He found out, despite the special dispensation hockey players are supposed to have when it comes to beating each other up.
because consent is a real thing
until it ain't