The silence of the lambs

We are living in a bizarre time of mixed morality messages. The National Football League suddenly gets tough on players who are wife-beaters. Campuses are giving wholesome talks on the meaning of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ while dating. Both of those feel like good steps. 

Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke, who twerked on last year’s MTV Video Music Awards have had very different outcomes. Cyrus is widely admired as a rebel; her career has taken off. Thicke is pilloried as philanderer; his career has cratered. Even his “forgive me” album for his wife flopped with sales of less than 50,000. The video of Wrecking Ball, sung by a naked Cyrus, has been viewed more than 700 million times. Women are ascendent, man down. After all these years, maybe that’s good, too. 

Then the CBC fired Jian Ghomeshi for sins real and imagined. The one thing all eight women (and counting) have in common who accused Ghomeshi of despicable behaviour, other than being abused, is that they kept silent until now. Some for as much as a decade. Each was embarrassed, worried she wouldn’t be believed, or feared public punishment. So much for the advancement of women in Canada. We are little better than India where families of young rape victims are so ashamed they’ve been known to kill the woman who was assaulted. 

I stopped today at one of those movie sets with a block-long line of trucks on a Toronto street and asked what was being filmed. Man Seeking Woman, I was told, a sweet and absurd look at life. How odd, I thought. That doesn’t sound like real life at all. 



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