11.23.2014 10:47 AM

The question of the Fall of 2014 (finally)



  1. davie says:

    I am wondering if what has contributed to women coming forward has been happening for some time, Mount Cashel, the residential schools, junior hockey players and other young people who have been wronged…building frustration about murdered and missing women, and the growing sense that keeping quiet enables the behavior to continue.
    There is a strength in knowing that one is not alone, and that people can change what was once simply accepted as the way things work.

  2. Arnold Murphy says:

    We are moving to consensus democracy, maybe a form of mob rule. Education is the most important factor, we need to inform the public of their responsibilities and power. I think of the importance of teaching rhetoric, in the classic sense cannot be undersold.
    This is enlightenment 2.0, we must recognize that with it the technology of today has played the same role as the Roman road, the Printing press and the Greek Democracy. Although we have instantaneous communication, we deal in soundbites, in memes, in propaganda rather than true rhetoric. What we see is the fast food environment, capitalism and indeed fascism influencing our every day life, because those who rule over us cannot deal with us rhetorically only superficially.
    They need to control, yet we need to be free, which are two diametrically opposed ideas. It truly is a clash of titans, in that there can be balance only when the people realize that they themselves are the masters of their own fate, but require each individual to become a Spartan and Spartacus.
    We are dealing with injustices, but we must do so fairly, with a rule of law another titan which requires understanding. If indeed the courts are to become an affirmation of public opinion, that opinion resulting either from true rhetoric or convoluted propaganda derived from capitalists or other special interests incapable of rhetorical representation, we need to know the difference.
    I look to the masters, to a time of the Roman Senate and Seneca or to the enlightenment and the many orators and writers of that period. How convincing they were, how invested, how loyal to the people and to themselves, how careful they were in their stewardship.
    We do not have a society that appreciates these as they should, but they are learning. We see this with Anonymous, Assange, Snowden, who represent the future. The crisis of today is expediency and the belief in the ends justifying the means.
    We are either a society of mob rule, pushed by the propagandists, of hollywoods and bollywoods, reflecting their packaged memes or to be a society of freed individuals not led but influenced by learned men and women. We need heroes, to face titans, heroes who mock the gods often challenging them.
    As Prometheus gave man fire, today we have the internet and with it the hashtags, the consensus that democracy promised but could not deliver. We have to watch that this fire which is more Zeus’s lightening does not bring as much misery as Prometheus’s fire, no matter the warmth or utility of it, it is also a weapon which when misused can do much harm. We must seek it’s purest form, that we avoid war and misery, because if we allow ourselves to be drawn into a society of expediency of the mob, I do not believe we will survive as a society, doomed either to extinction or marginalization and a lasting serfdom.
    6 mins ยท Like

  3. grim says:

    I think social media plays some role. We have evolved into a society where it is routine to talk about oneself and one’s experiences in publicly accessible forums. The sharing, not unlike this blog, can be about both good and bad experiences for the writer. The validation, support, discussion that follows helps create a comfort level for those who want to speak out. The trolling creates a barrier, but in the right forums that can be minimized or drowned out.

  4. L. LaPointe says:

    Unfortunately, the statistical trends regarding sexualized violence, abuse, pimping, etc. indicate this problem is moving from serious in the extreme to epidemic, e.g.:


    Commonwealth societies are reaping a truly terrible harvest of the bitter fruits of total moral relativism. It is high time we woke up. We are not far off from the mores of Boko Harem or the Taliban.

  5. Richard says:

    I hope that the answer is in the affirmative. In addition to the cases you mentioned, Warren, there have been a couple of high-profile suspensions in the sports world that have had a significant impact on the perception of physical abuse and the dynamics of male violence against women. In the NFL, Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice have both been removed from their teams for their incidents of abuse, and the NFL has embarked upon a public relations campaign to say “never again” will they tolerate or sweep that off-field behaviour under the rug. In the NHL, Slava Voynov has been indefinitely suspended for domestic abuse.

    While the above cases are not sexual violence issues in the same light as Ghomeshi and Cosby, they are nonetheless part of the discourse that is FINALLY happening and changing attitudes. In the wake of all of these high-profile cases, we have seen “pick up artists” who rely on violence and abusive language forcibly expelled from countries and made unwelcome in others. grim makes a great point above about social media and the accessibility for people to come forward and share their stories. And instead of trolls being given credence for their attempts to discredit victims/survivors, they are now being viewed for what they really are: pathetic misogynistic fools who are attempting to further shame and humiliate those who have experienced more pain than anybody could ever deserve. It’s a long overdue shift, and hopefully it continues and eventually leads to significant reductions in gender-based violence in all forms.

  6. Pipes says:

    Is it possible that the alleged Ghomeshi/Cosby crimes, are an example of evil and that there are evil people who live among us. I certainly know one and have experienced others.

  7. Pete Quily says:

    Yes. They have moved the needle, got people to question things and for some to understand why victims stay silent. Hopefully to remove a bit of the he’s famous so he’s must be blameless and enabled view by some. Maybe even to reduce victim blaming by the media.

    FYI you don’t have to post a jpeg of a tweet, you can embed the tweet into the post, that way you can get more retweets. i.e.

    click on the 3 dots next to the favourite and click embed tweet, copy the code like this & paste it into the post in the text view

    Have #BillCosby #JianGhomeshi #BeenRapedNeverReported #RehtaehParsons changed the culture? As difficult as that is to do, I think yes.— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) November 23, 2014

  8. Pete Quily says:

    The embed looks better if done in the text editor vs the visual editor in wordpress, which I can’t do in the comments but you can in the post.

    See this post as an example of what an embedded tweet looks like done right, scroll a screen down wait for it to load


  9. Peter says:

    Have…..changed the culture?

    Wrong question. The question should be why, after several generations of feminist activism, consciousness raising about sexual assault and harassment, reform of rape and domestic assault laws and procedures, many, many harassment lawsuits and human rights hearings, “No means no” campaigns, public scandals in universities and elsewhere, etc., etc., it appears the culture hasn’t changed much at all. Ghomeshi isn’t progress, it’s proof of massive failure.

  10. Lance says:

    In a pop culture society that objectifies women (video games, music, etc), even to the point that women are allowing themselves to be objectified and in some cases even glorying in it, I am not surprised in the least that this is happening.

    Don’t get me wrong; I know that objectifying women has been happening since the wheel, but with social media being what it is today, it seems that it makes it easier.

  11. sezme says:

    I don’t know that it’s changed the culture (whatever that means), and it probably hasn’t reduced the incidence of sexual assault, but it has raised awareness which is at least a first step. There is definitely a greater awareness now that certain powerful and even famous men have done some pretty heinous acts and gotten away with it.

    The next step is certainly to give victims the tools to report these crimes in a way that won’t further traumatize them, and where there’s a reasonable chance of justice being served. That’s the hard part. But maybe at the very least, the societal knowledge that even outwardly warm and wonderful guys like Cosby and Ghomeshi are capable of these things will give complainants credence that they didn’t previously have.

  12. Tiger says:

    Yes, the culture is changing.

    Long past time, too. Possibly because it’s so much easier to log someone’s behaviour, so “he-said, she-said” becomes “he-said, she-said, and now let’s go to the logs”.

    Agree with the people who said that some people are just evil — that’s true, but it’s for the rest of us to police that and to make sure that actions have consequences.

  13. davie says:

    I notice a news story from Norman, Oklahoma. The story goes that a student, 18 , raped some girls, fellow students, and then went public with what he did. Apparently the girls have been harassed about it. The admin of high school where they are all students is being accused of doing nothing, so several students were planning a walk out today in protest.
    Tough kids, to do this protest!

  14. Kevin says:

    The Chronicle Herald published Rehtaeh Parsons’ name today. Apparently there were complaints and police are now investigating the publication ban. Good God, can’t we give this girl her name back? Everything else was stolen from her.

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