Saturday, November 01, 2014

Project Respect: Yes Means Yes

I had a lot of people ask me the last couple of days; Are you ok?

I'm fine.

What is not fine is the blind hypocrisy, self-endangerment and gross negligence that people seem to NOT MIND living with, simply, because it is the way it is.



I've been called a feminist as if it's a bad thing. I've been an equal rights fighter since I can remember being something of value in this world. Recently I've been called a "slut shamer", as if it's not okay to ask a victim to call out their accuser.

I'm sorry that SOB hurt you.

But if you don't say anything... Who does he hurt next?



The CBC heard rumours, inklings, suggestions. Everyone knew about Jian. If you didn't and you made eyes at him, you were warned.


I'm a bitch for thinking, SOMEBODY could have, should have said something.

Why didn't they say anything?

Oh, lots of reasons, he's a BMOC, he's important and I'm not, my life will be destroyed if people find out, I don't want to go through the hassle, I don't want to relive the crime...

It goes on, I've received example upon example of valid reasons why DOZENS of women were VIOLATED by Jian Ghomeshi and yet, kept mum publicly.

But, suddenly, he's the country's biggest sex offender and I'm a slut shamer for asking why everyone has remained so silent on this issue.


The most common story line is that there were four women who knew it, and had been victims of it, and were willing to anonymously claim it were so, yet none had pressed charges or were willing to. So nobody knew, and it came as a big surprise to everyone right? The only reason we even know about this is because Jesse Brown tweeted that he was working on a big story. Jian thought it was about him. So, he posted, shock of shocks, his story.

And now suddenly EVERYONE knows... Like it had previously been this heavily guarded dark secret that nobody knew about.

Except, not really. It turns out that the CBC's beloved Jian Ghomeshi was a bit of a freaky deaky in the bedroom and EVERYONE knew it, at least MANY people knew it and said nothing; repeatedly, and this, for years!

So, what did the CBC see that pissed them off so much that they'd distance themselves from the story so quickly and suddenly without much fanfare which to MY eyes, appeared to be them allowing Jian to just walk away without nary a word? They haven't said. But something tells me it was Jesse Brown's story. Only neither the Star nor the CBC could say anything.

So, they announced on Sunday that the split was permanant, Jesse Brown tweeted that he had a huge story breaking in the morning, Jian assumed that story was about him and so, Jian published his statement to try and control the dialogue or at least to temper the fallout.

Which, btw, to anyone thinking clearly is corroborated by girl 4 who actually filed a complaint with the CBC. He seems to be using his aggressive BDSM style to pick up his dates. This is obvious to me in how COMMON KNOWLEDGE Jian's freaky deakiness was.

What is also interesting to the situation is that media keeps talking about the BDSM world and their "boundaries" and "lines in the sand" and "safewords" as if they were a big deal.

Except nobody saying such really is IN that BDSM world nor do they have the slightest clue about how THAT world is no different from THIS world in that it is replete with misogyny.

What I'd like to know the answer to National Broadcaster, CBC and blogger cum reporter, Jesse Brown, is WHAT DID JIAN GHOMESHI DO WHEN THE GIRLS SAID "no" or "stop"?

Because one girl has already testified that when THEY didn't like each other's reaction to his BDSM come on, she was put into a cab.

It seems like he honoured her "no".

And THEREIN lies the rub.

THIS is the real reason that the women didn't report this or file a complaint, I think, because there is a very real actuality that once she said "stop", he stopped. So, here is a situation where a girl has gotten in over her head. "I didn't think he was THAT freaky deaky", is a common refrain.

And we'll keep hearing that line. "we didn't know it was that bad". But it wasn't about the sex he was having, it is about "consent" and everyone is making a big deal about the fact that Jian didn't get consent.

But didn't he?

It's a boundary problem.

In the BDSM world, it is rather common at a party for an admitted submissive to be able to walk through a room without being dominated by admitted doms in the room. Not because the submissive actual consents to it, but because without an explicit, "hands off", it is assumed that anything goes, UNLESS and UNTIL she says no.

And it's ass backwards. No puts the onus on the recipient of an unwanted come on to stop it. And the onus should be on the offerer of the come on to GET PERMISSION first.

Somebody said to me, "what if it was a kiss, does someone need consent for that?". And the answer is yes.

But we don't do that... boundary problem.

In Victorian times we did. If you spied a girl you liked. You'd trip yourself six ways of Sunday to find out who she was so you could get an introduction to her. One didn't just speak to a woman without an introduction.

Now, one has difficulty walking down the street without some sort of a "come on". Pretty lady, gorgeous hair, a look, a stare. I've had men walk into telephone poles from staring at me rather than watch where they were walking.

I had utter strangers come up to me while I was pregnant and touch my belly! I've had men use the come on line "Would you like to go back to my place and fuck", MORE THAN ONCE. And my brother used to joke that this was HIS pick up line. When I asked if that didn't get him a slap in the face, he replied, "usually".

Rumours and warnings about Jian have been common knowledge at the CBC for what looks like a decade. The insinuation here is that they didn't know how bad he was.

And that seems to be the crux of it. Boundary problem.

Because we live in a society where it's okay for people to make passes at total strangers. Because we live in a society where it's an unwritten rule that it's okay to do WHATEVER you like so long as when you are told to stop, you stop.

We tell our kids, be careful, so you don't get bullied, we tell ourselves, lock the doors so we don't get robbed and we tell our women, just say no and it will protect you from rape.

But it doesn't.

It doesn't stop it. Only teaching people not to do these things teaches them not to do things.

If you want something, you ask. If your answer is yes, you get it, if it's no, you don't. You don't get to take it first and then find out if it's okay to take, but we DO behave like that when the "thing" being taken is a someone's personal space.

Poor Jian Ghomeshi. I don't know if the answer to that question is going to come down in his favour or not. He's been railroaded into being outed (accidentally, he claims) by Jesse Brown, and the CBC. And voila, here he is in all his BDSM freaky deakiness.

But is he a sexual predator? Society says he is, because he's hit, kicked and bit his "partners", but the answer to sexual predator ends up being predicated by society to that answer; what did he do when she said stop? I'll let the cops ask that question now, for that's where the actual predatorship begins.

So, assuming Ghomeshi really did stop when told to. He's not a sexual predator by society rules. Society is putting the onus on the victim to stop the "attack" after it starts, rather than putting the onus on the "attacker" to get permission before hand.

Maybe if people would ASK PERMISSION first, rather than last, we'd see a lot fewer "victims" in our society afraid to say anything even though it's the elephant in the room.

If I have offended you with my stance on this whole Jian Ghomeshi thing because YOU have been a victim of sexual violence, then you have misplaced your offense. I did not offend you, nor did Jian Ghomeshi. Society has offended you.

And we need to fix that.

So, how do we fix it? Resolve the boundary problem.

I read ever so recently about a movement called Yes Means Yes.

There is surprisingly zero ambiguity to the word "yes" and it creates a very legitimate boundary to have to cross in order to say, "I had consent". It requires a "yes".

I invite you to join me in sharing this concept with every woman you know and you who are parents of boys, teach them too.

You see, I've been in a situation where saying "no" wasn't easy, because it was a passionate moment, and had something not happened to interrupt that moment, something I wouldn't normally do might have been allowed to occur simply because I was unable at that moment to say "no" or "stop" or anything else for that matter.

So, had that moment progressed, there would have been an "escalation" that I couldn't stop and I certainly wasn't ready for.

Had it happened, his defence... She didn't say "no" or "stop".

And his defence could need to be... She said "yes".

It's called "Project Respect" and it makes sense. Only "yes" means "yes".