This has been a rough two weeks for Canada and its national broadcasting company, but more so for Canadian “niceness”
Canadians tend to be known as polite and generally nice. We are not without our scandals but we usually see this as “atypical of Canadian behaviour”.
So when allegations against one of our well known and well loved broadcasters came out, I first disbelieved, defended and thought our media was just being mean. I didn’t like what the celebrity said about “normal but kinky sexual behaviour”, but mostly I didn’t understand it. I believe when women are not treated in a kind manner in relationships, however consensual, I often wonder if the women know that there are options. Options of respect and loving behaviour and mutual love. But I defended this man’s right to his preferences in a consensual relationship. – like I defend the dignity of all people – whether they have my beliefs or not.
But soon I felt duped. Duped by the pleasant radio personality who never treated anyone poorly on his radio show. Duped by his Facebook post telling that he was being harassed by his former girlfriend. Duped by the common concept that whatever is done in private by two consenting adults is “just fine”.
I am somewhat ashamed to admit this, but when loaned the “Fifty Shades of Grey” books last summer, I originally scoffed them, but then picked them up – to see why everyone was loving them. Sixty pages in, I felt that I was reading a trashy, poorly written story of a young woman being taken advantage of, assaulted and being essentially bullied. I put the books down.
When I told friends that it doesn’t seem to be good thing for women to be embracing rough or violent consensual sexual behaviour as normal, some thought me somewhat naive and prudish. I believe that this is not what God intended for our loving relationships. To my dismay the series and the copycat ones that followed had huge fan bases.
So for me initially to believe this celebrity, because I liked his show and his voice, is maybe typical of who I am. I believe first and am sometimes deceived. I know better. People are often not who they portray themselves to be, whether celebrities or just regular everyday people. And that often disappoints me.
PollyAnna that I am, I am not longer duped about this story. I am angry and grieved that women are hit, hurt and roughed up in the pretence of love. I am angry that many people knew about it and failed to report it. I am angry that we don’t have a good way for women to report abuse, and that our courts dare ask how that woman was dressed the day she was assaulted. I am also angry that women haven’t been taught to say “NO !!” To say ” Don’t do that again” or ” I cannot believe you did that”. It surprises me that the theme of some of these stories is that the women ends up crying and never confronting the offender, in a dating relationship. I would rather hope that more women, after reading these stories, will assert their rights and their dignity in a relationship.
I would love to believe that this kind of stuff just didn’t happen, and that relationships and dating would honour both women and men. That women would not have to be afraid. That courts would not degrade the women’s reputation. But that would be naive. Instead, I will encourage young and older women everywhere that in all things, they deserve and can demand respect.
The media frenzy over this story had me caught up in the truth finding. I read far too much on this subject. Now I don’t care. I don’t care that our celebrity is caught, and that the stories seem to be true. But I do care that women were hurt and will continue to be hurt due to the normalization of violence in sex.
I would like to go back to a time in our world where this could not happen, but that would be impossible. Even in biblical times, women were used and abused. So perhaps, with each unveiling of a relationship gone wrong, and the strengthening of women in telling their story, we will learn again to ” do unto others as you would have them do unto you “.
A good way to live life.