Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Two victories

Two pieces of good news greeted me in my feed this morning.  First off serial abuser Jian Ghomeshi has been arrested and charged with several counts of sexual assault.  When his scandal began to break he led off by hiring a PR firm, launching a ludicrous lawsuit, and making a Facebook post that claimed a bunch of women were all conspiring together to smear him with sexual abuse allegations.  A lot of people bought into his story and defended him vigorously on the grounds that he is a popular and pretty cool radio host and someone like that wouldn't do anything bad, right?

Ghomeshi's PR firm has dumped him, his lawsuit is done, and his Facebook post is a subject of derision and disgust.  I hope in future people are clever enough to realize that when a man in a position of power says "Many women are claiming I assaulted them but I totally didn't, honest!" the smart money is on them being an abusive asshole, not on some ridiculous conspiracy theory.  I wish that people had not been so easily taken in by his bullshit assertions but I am heartened by the fact that the world has thoroughly turned against him and it seems Ghomeshi will face serious consequences for his actions.

The second thing that makes me happy is the latest on Julien Blanc, the pickup artist who was planning on hosting a series of talks in Canada where he would advise men on how to be violent, abusive, and downright evil to women in their pursuit of sex.  There was a big campaign to ban him from Canada (which despite my disgust for Blanc gave me some severe misgivings) but it seems that the campaign was successful without being successful.  That is, Blanc and his company have cancelled his appearances in Canada and are going with online education only.  

The government did not step in at all as far as I can tell and this decision was based purely on social and economic pressure.  A large number of companies withdrew their association with Blanc presumably causing his company no end of problems and they claim that the cancellations were made in order to protect the safety of their employees.  That might even be accurate as I know there are an awful lot of people who would quite happily take a swing at Blanc given a chance.  Regardless it makes me very happy to see pure civilian pressure having such a huge effect.  The crushing weight of disapproval and the accompanying dollars were sufficient to destroy Blanc and no guns were required, which is just the way I like it.

Society has plenty of evil people in it but as time goes by their evil is pushed more and more to the margins, slowly edged out by the power of numbers and changing standards.  It can be hard to remember that when we want so much for things to be better right now but it is important to realize that team good is winning.  Blanc, Ghomeshi, and those that defend them squawk so loudly because they realize that they are *losing*.  It is up to all of us to make sure that this continues to be so.

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