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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.
Thanks to a short but fantastic blurb by Lindsay Lowe on the Parade website, I discovered a remarkable pop-up bakery called Depressed Cake Shop. A place where you can buy dozens of grey and gloomy sweet treats. This bakery, through their deliciousness, raise awareness (and monies) for mental health organizations. Each pop up bakery donates their proceeds to a charity of their choice.
It makes perfect sense really, when I am depressed I reach for the chocolate (or anything sweet to get the bitter taste out of my mouth). So I am thrilled to know that a place like the Depressed Cake Shop exists, even on a semi temporary basis. My one complaint? They haven’t come to Western Canada yet.
I think this proves that cake will make us happy.
Thanks for helping to change the stigma of mental health. Keep up the great (and delicious) work!
Ray Rice, the NFL, and CBS has gotten me so angry, that I have not been able to write. I have been trying to write this post for weeks. In actual fact, I haven’t been able to write a word of any kind, because I have been so angry. So this post is to serve the purpose of me releasing my anger (and if you have pent up anger on this as well, please comment), and then move on to other topics that are happening in the world of celebrities and mental health.
In order to process what has been happening – a friend of mine gave me a little cheat sheet to help me unscramble my thoughts. And rather than write a long essay on domestic abuse, I will stick to the questions he posed.
Why would someone defend and minimize abuse?
Minimize abuse – do they think it doesn’t happen? Someone once tried to tell me that the holocaust didn’t happen. I know that the holocaust happened, its not some kind of myth. Neither is abuse. Abuse is real. I understand why victims would minimize it or even defend it. But that’s another topic. Bystanders should never say, “well they deserved it – look what she was wearing”, or “he caught her talking to another man”. or anything else to defend the abuser. There is no excuse for it. None. I don’t care what the reason is.
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.
September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. This day exists to raise awareness and to eliminate the stigma that surrounds suicide. I want to talk about the importance of this day a bit early, because 1) its a most important conversation to have, and 2) I have a personal connection to this cause this year.
Last night I lost a friend to suicide. A man that I liked a great deal. He was smart, and fun, and told wickedly funny stories. He was good. He had a family, and had family problems. He was struggling. I wish I had known that. I should have slowed down, and looked about me -and realized that he needed help. But I didn’t see it. And he didn’t ask. And now its too late. Had I known how bad things were for him, I would have told him that I adored him. That he was loved and valued. That he brought a smile to my face every time we talked. I would have held his hand and looked into his eyes and asked him how he was really doing. I would have hugged him. I would have listened. And I would not have allowed him to be alone. And all of this is too late. His friends (me included) let him down. My world will never be the same. And the sorrow and regret that has come with this man’s death is almost more than I can bear.
And so I urge everyone to talk about how you are feeling, let people know what is going on with you. If you are having dark thoughts, please share them. Talk to your doctor, or your friends, anyone who will listen, or a help line (1-800-273-TALK). Please, I urge you. And trust me when I say, there is someone out there that will miss you. You are adored.
And I encourage everyone to regularly tell the important people in your life just how important they are. That you love them, and that things are going to get better (if they need to hear that). Don’t …
This weekend, I had the opportunity to see the comedy/spoken word one man show Fruitcake: Ten Commandments of the Psych Ward, by Rob Gee. It was a wonderful production. The performance was witty, energetic, engaging, and wickedly funny. This show was about the lessons Rob has learned from his time of working as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital (with the help of the voice of God, who happens to be a Jamaican woman). It’s not easy to laugh in the face of mental illness, especially when the play revolves around the stories of his patients.
At the beginning of the play, you are introduced to Rob, the voice of God that he hears in his head, some of his coworkers and the residents of the hospital. Because of the delicate nature of the subject, the audience doesn’t exactly know how to react at first. We aren’t sure if we should be laughing -and so our response is tentative at best.
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.
Megan Fox has it all. The 28 year-old actress and model is currently starring in the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. She’s probably best known for her roles in some of the internationally popular Transformer movies. She’s also regularly featured among breathless media lists of the most beautiful women in the world.
The “sultry, exotic” movie star must be deliriously happy all the time being rich and famous, the center of attention, right?
When James Garner died last weekend, most of us were familiar with the lengthy, laudable entertainment career of the 86 year-old actor. It’s clear from his more than 50 films and unforgettable TV roles that Garner holds a prestigious place in the pantheon of Hollywood.
But perhaps even more noteworthy is the impact Garner’s had on many males and how they view themselves as boys and men. Mass media serves as critical building blocks of our culture’s gender role behaviors. In that arena, James Garner was more than an actor; he was an influential male role model.