I am Heartbroken over Jian
So the last few days have been a whirlwind of nasty revelations concerning one of my favourite CBC radio hosts. This morning I received a Facebook message from a friend, urging all of us to “unlike” his fan page to show support to the victims in this sorry tale.
That’s when I decided I needed to write this blog post, even though there really have been too many voices raised on this already. If you are sick of the subject, I apologise. I’m wondering, though, whether I’m the only one who is heartbroken for everyone in this saga, and not just the women.
I have been a fan of Jian Ghomeshi for nearly a decade – so much a fan, that I wrote this blog post about him in 2012. The purpose of that blog post was to express some concern about the fact that he addressed men as “Sir” but did not extend a similar courtesy to the women he interviewed. I did say that he was a staunch feminist (that very day he had called upon the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to be more welcoming of women), and concluded that it was a societal problem, this lack of respect for women of power and achievement.
So now we have discovered that it goes further than a societal problem – that in fact there are numerous women who are accusing him of assault, of non-consensual “rough sex” and of generally boorish behaviour. The CBC promptly fired him, he has sued them and everything is extremely messy.
Unless there is news that I haven’t heard yet today, he is not facing any charges and nobody has filed complaints with the police. Two women went public, the rest remained anonymous. The blogs, tweets and Facebook posts have been flying fast and furious. There’s been lots of talk about rape culture, about why women don’t go public, about the good old boys circling the wagons. He has been accused, tried, convicted and executed, all within the space of five days.
Lost in the melee, as far as I can see, are those legions of faithful fans who have loved Jian and his program Q for all of these years. My friend who sent the message to unlike him described herself as a former fan. While I am just as horrified and upset at the accusations as anyone else, I am not yet ready to cast him into outer darkness.
I honestly have to say that I don’t know what to think. The accusations are coming fast and furious, and Melissa Martin’s blog post, where people have known for years that he’s creepy, really upset me. His fans did love him, and I know that now I feel just as betrayed as those women who went with him because they thought he was so wonderful.
Still, I can’t believe there really is no good in him. He’s given us such wonderful gifts with his voice and his words and the interviews that he’s done. Is all of that worth absolutely nothing now?
I know I feel betrayed … and I need to work on that feeling. There is so much we don’t know, and I would really like to know what was going on in that beautiful head of his. I’ve never had the impression that he hates women, he’s got along so well with the women he’s interviewed. Listening to him banter with Elvira or with Dr. Ruth has been a delight, and I never picked up any creepy vibes. I don’t know if that’s my deficiency, but then, I’m not the only one who was lacking that way if it was.
Mostly, I am really, really sad, because something that was beautiful and valuable can never come back again. I know the Q team is still soldiering on, but I had to turn it off this morning. Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow, I don’t know. So sad, the entire sordid story.
Sending lots of love and peace out into the Universe … I know we need it.