• Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,037 other followers

Punish predators, not their potential prey

photo courtesy of flickr - by tambako https://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/4304497784/

photo courtesy of flickr – by tambako https://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/4304497784/

Until last week, I’d never heard of Jian Ghomeshi. But when the story that he abused women broke, I followed it and the subsequent updates, hoping the allegations weren’t true, though, sadly, I suspected they were. I wanted to see how it played out, because, as a woman, a mother, and a grandmother, I hoped justice would be served. For the first time, due to social media, we’re seeing the whole sordid thing play out from accusation to, well, wherever it goes.

It also, coincidentally, echoes some events in the novel on which I’m working. So there was that life imitating art thing, too, though I conceived the idea for the novel over five years ago.

I hadn’t planned on commenting on anything. What would I have to say that hadn’t already been said by everyone else? I only know what I’m reading in the media.

Then I saw this article in the Toronto Star on students warned away from Q internships, and couldn’t stay quiet. Here’s what caught my attention: “Students were told two years ago that internships at Q were ‘off limits’ due to concerns about inappropriate behaviour by Ghomeshi, a former Western student told the Star.”

The article goes on to say that the journalism program stopped sending interns to Q for reasons to do with the relevance of the internship duties after a male student was placed at the show in 2008. But there are indications female interns were denied internships at Q because of Ghomeshi’s behaviour.

According to the Star report, “Jeremy Copeland, a journalism lecturer at Western, said the concerns stemmed from a 2012 incident in which Ghomeshi allegedly ‘prey(ed) on a young grad who wanted to work (at Q).’ Because of this, he recently stopped a female student from pursuing an internship at Q.”

So my take away from this is that women should be protected from predators by being denied internships that might benefit their careers. Women should limit their prospects, because it’s easier to deny potential victims the right to further their careers than to change the predator’s behaviour or remove the predator from a position of power. Does that sound reasonable?

I’m happy the men at the university showed concern for these young women. But it wasn’t fair to decide for the women what was best for them, to deny internship opportunities, while allowing Ghomeshi to carry on as usual, reinforcing to him that what he did was acceptable. If the university had contacted the CBC to alert them to what was going on, they haven’t revealed it, but it’s what should have happened.

Remove the predator from the hunting grounds, so the potential prey can live without fear.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: