Canadians have been rocked by a sex scandal this week. Beloved radio and tv host/journalist Jian Ghomeshi was fired by the CBC because of his sexual antics. Faced with being outed by an ex-girlfriend regarding his sexual preferences (BDSM) he decided to take a leave of absence from his show Q, and after it was announced by the CBC that they were parting ways with Ghomeshi, he took to his Facebook page and tried to explain himself. You can read what he has to say here.
I am not here judge Mr Ghomeshi, I don’t know him personally, and to be honest I don’t understand what is happening. But 9 women have now come forward, 2 of these woman have told their stories publicly, that Jian Ghomeshi hit them, choked them, pulled their hair, and bruised them in violent sexual acts. Actually I just lied to you. I completely judge Jian Ghomeshi. I don’t know him at all. I did listen to his program, and I found him to be educated, intelligent, culturally aware, informative, and enjoyable. But now when I think about him, I find him to be monstrous.
I am the first one to tell you, that I do not understand adult situations very well. As a child, I was sexually abused in an incredibly degrading and humiliating way, and while I have never repressed these memories, my mind has never let me evolve or mature in a way where I could understand these types of desires. I would rather watch Scooby Doo or read novels alone than date. Its not healthy way to live your life, so I do try to go out occasionally. But you can probably imagine that I would rather self destruct than have to understand what is happening with this, and you would totally be right.
Private time between two people should be between two people, two consenting people. This is what Jian Ghomeshi is telling the world. That his encounters with these women were consensual- and well thought out, which included safe words. If this is indeed true than I should not judge him, just because I disagree with his behaviour. But women are coming forward to talk about being abused by him. His employer found just cause to fire him for these actions – and I can only assume it had more to do than just the potential harming of the brand. His crisis management team has left him. From the looks of things, the only thing Jian Ghomeshi has left, is his law suit for 50 million dollars against the CBC.
But I want to talk about the women for a moment. These women who are making these claims (some now publicly). If what they are saying is true, these women are brave. And they should could be encouraged to come forward. It is so difficult to admit to being a part of humiliating acts, but by coming forward they are taking ownership and control. Which is so important. Furthermore, they are opening up a dialogue about abuse. There is a difference between kinky acts, and the claims against Ghomeshi. By coming forward they are not only helping themselves in the long run, but are helping a whole lot of others. They are creating awareness. And I for one would like to thank these women for standing up for themselves -and for other women.
Stephen Collins, film and TV actor confesses on tape in a therapy session, to sexually abusing at least three girls over a period of several years (let me clarify here, that by abusing I am referring to exposing himself and touching the children-or having them touch him). His confession was taped by his wife, unknowingly to him or his therapist. It has now become a topic about extortion.
He admitted to sexually assaulting children, and now the topic has turned into how his soon to be ex-wife was extorting money from him so she wouldn’t make his admission public. Is anyone thinking about the children (now adult women) that he has hurt? Because these girls are the victims, not Stephen Collins and not Faye Grant.
In this era of social networks and over-sharing, on any given day, I know what my friends are reading, watching, shopping, thinking, feeling, and wanting. Is it any wonder that people are getting hacked and that their most intimate thoughts are being published for all the world to see. The answer is no, it isn’t surprising. But it doesn’t make it right. When the latest celebrity hacking came to light last week, I was one of the many people who felt that if celebs didn’t want their private photos to be leaked, then they shouldn’t be taking them in the first place. But a wise friend prompted me to explore the situation further, and see that this situation in not as black and white as I originally thought, but that there are many shades of grey. Maybe as many as fifty.
Have you ever been the victim of a rumour or gossip? Some mean girl in the 10th grade likes your boyfriend, and spreads a lie about the kind of girl you are. An hour later the entire school is talking about your reputation. Life as you know it has changed forever. I don’t know about you, but I would have an extremely hard time trusting anyone. In fact, something like that might stop me from ever letting someone get too close. Your life for the next couple of years has changed. You may not have done anything to cause this to happen, except date a boy that someone else was lusting over – and now you are going to pay.
Let me tell you something about me, in about 8 days time, my life is about to explode and I will become an over-scheduled, sometimes cranky, workaholic for the next 10 months. Along with my regular 40 hour a week full time job, I also have a part time teaching practice (that is just a few hours shy of full time). Add in a bit of volunteer work, I will be working 75+ hours a week. Now don’t get me wrong. I am at my best when I am busy. I am more creative, I feel smarter, and I smile a lot more. But one thing I am not is present. Which is why I am making a commitment to yoga. Here is where I take a moment to shout out to Alicia’s blog – Your Body, Your Mind, because this is what has pushed me over the edge to make the decision to try out this lifestyle. Through her writings, Alicia has convinced me to do something more.
I have been spending the afternoon glancing at celebrity gossip sites, and reading the many comments those kinds of sites bring. And I have to ask, have we forgotten that celebrities are human too?
As members of the human race, we are allowed to make mistakes. Even entitled to make mistakes. This is what helps us grow. Wrong choices bring experience to our lives, and eventually we learn from these mistakes.
So why is it that celebrities are not allowed the same graces? Why do we expect them to be perfect. Sure they have public relations people, and hair and makeup teams, stylists, personal trainers, and therapists on speed dial. But they are not robots. They have problems just like the rest of us. So when they do screw up (and we all do) why is it to be such a big deal?
Depression has been a big topic in the news lately. And I won’t lie to you, depression is hard, really hard. The isolation, the silence, and the noise, and on and on and on. Depression is a quite contradictory, have you noticed that? And when you are in the throes of it, it feels like it will last forever. But it doesn’t. It tricks you into thinking that it lasts for an eternity, but it always goes away. And we get a reprieve of some sort.
Reading is a big help to me when I’m depressed, it takes me out of the moment and into another world, which is partly why I think of writers as A list celebrities. In matters such as these, I tend to accept wisdom from people who know themselves, and I find that people who spend endless hours alone know themselves better than people who surround themselves with an entourage.
Like the rest of the world, I have been grieving the loss of Robin Williams. I have had a hard time talking about his death. And now that there has been a week to distance ourselves from the news, words are starting to come a bit easier. There has been a lot of talk about his dealing with mental illness, and now the parkinson’s disease revelation, and how that had affected his mental state and general well-being. Everyone I know has had a very definite opinion about this tragic event. Some are understanding, some are still in disbelief, while others are extremely angry. But me, I’ve just felt kind of lost. I wasn’t terribly surprised, and I don’t really know why. I certainly didn’t expect this to happen, but I can’t say that I was shocked to hear about it. But I will say that his suicide has hit me very hard.
I’d like to share my story, not because its special, or magical, or entertaining. I want to share it, because I think it might be common. I think others might feel the same way, and I think it needs to be said.
I believe that I have been so troubled by this news because somewhere along the way I formed a personal relationship to him. I have never met Robin Williams, but I grew up in a dysfunctional household, and he brought giggles and smiles to a kid who desperately needed them. There wasn’t a lot of laughter in my house when I was growing up, but my father found Robin Williams to be hilarious. Life was always better when my father laughed. And so for that alone, Robin Williams was cherished. But there was something more. Something that reached a little farther than making my father happy.
For most of us, when a family member dies we are granted the gift of grieving in private. Our closest friends may call and send flowers and notes of sympathy, but for the most part we are given some time to say good-bye to our loved one in peace. But for the family of a celebrity, this is not the case.
This week, we lost a beloved and gifted actor/comedian. His fans (I am among them) have been trying to make sense of this tragedy. But we are not alone. Robin Williams’ family, those who knew him best lost someone greater than a comedian. They lost a husband, a best friend, a father, a confidant, and many other roles that he filled. This family deserves to mourn in solitude. The last thing that this family needs are internet trolls, and people hurling abuse at them. This family has already been dealt a difficult hand, why are there people out there trying to make them feel worse?
According to Slate, Zelda Williams (the daughter of Robin Williams) has deleted her social media accounts, because of people sending her “cruel and unnecessary” photoshopped images of her father’s body, and harassing her, because she didn’t have enough photos of her father on her instagram feed. She is 25 years old. How many people at the age of 25 have instagram photos of their parents?
He was best known for films such as Good Will Hunting, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Morning Vietnam, and TV’s incomparable Mork from Mork and Mindy.
His publicist says that he had been battling severe depression as of late, and had recently been seeking treatment for drug abuse.
Best friends are sacred. They are to be treasured. They are our playmates when we are children, partners in crime when we are adolescents, and our confidants when we reach adulthood. They are our mirrors, they give us our true reflections. We are so protective of these relationships, and for good reason, we need them so we can become our best possible selves. They are there to listen to us talk about the worst date ever, they will stay up all night with us because we are lonely and can’t sleep, they hold your hand through the mess that is your life, and when you get the courage to make a fresh start they don’t let go during the scary times. and most importantly they help you bury the bodies.
But sometimes, for reasons you can’t comprehend, there is a change in your BFF status. It becomes harder to get together, or make time for regular calls, they get married and have children, and next thing you know, you have lost the most important relationship in your life. And it’s heartbreaking. It’s worse than breaking up with your boyfriend. For me, its equal to the death of the beloved family pet. Why? Because this person was the best part of you. He/She was integral in shaping your personality. You were smarter, wittier, happier, and way more fun when they were around. It’s painful when you lose them. And when you are the one responsible for the change, the guilt can become unbearable.
Which brings me to the reason for this blog post. My imaginary husband, also known as Malcolm Gladwell, told his story of how he ruined his relationship with his very bestest friend. While its a completely heartbreaking story, enough time has gone by that he can see the humour in it. Still there is a lot of pain, but he tells it very well.