I’m not a huge fan of the Fifty Shades books. My friends and I enjoyed reading them, but not always in the manner the author intended. Also, I hate-read some parts and skimmed others.
But even I am absolutely, entirely sure that there is no scene where Christian Grey punches Ana in the face without warning.
Which is relevant, because three anonymous women have claimed Jian Ghomeshi abused them without consent, and his get-in-there-first Facebook post last night claimed “I’ve been fired from the CBC because of the risk of my private sex life being made public as a result of a campaign of false allegations pursued by a jilted ex girlfriend and a freelance writer” and characterized his sex life by comparing it to Fifty Shades. No, seriously: “We talked about using safe words and regularly checked in with each other about our comfort levels. She encouraged our role-play and often was the initiator. We joked about our relations being like a mild form of Fifty Shades of Grey or a story from Lynn Coady’s Giller-Prize winning book last year.“
Compare that to what the women allege happened: “allegations from three young women, all about 20 years his junior, who say he was physically violent to them without their consent during sexual encounters or in the lead-up to sexual encounters….In one woman’s case, she visited Ghomeshi at his Toronto home and alleges as soon as she walked into his house he suddenly struck her hard with his open hand, then continued to hit her and choked her. The woman alleges Ghomeshi repeatedly beat her about the head and choked her.“
Now, I have no idea what happened. I instinctively recoil when any influential man trots out “my crazed ex made it up to ruin me for breaking up with her,” but I suppose it’s within the realm of possibility.
But the Sun is careful to point out that all four women refused to go on record, and specifically cites their fear of a backlash as one of the reasons. Jian Ghomeshi is well-known in Canada, and the THOUSANDS of supportive comments on his Facebook post attest to his popularity. The women all referenced what happened to Carla Ciccone after her article last year.
Because Ghomeshi has chosen to sue the CBC over his dismissal, his evidence that it was all consensual (which I’m guessing will be texts and emails with the women, possibly written at some point when they thought they were consenting to something other than choking or facepunching–but hey, maybe he went full-on Fifty and made them fill in checklists) is probably going to end up before a court.
Let me repeat that: women who chose not to report him to police and didn’t want to be on record are probably facing further exposure now.
But Ghomeshi, of course, is defending his career and his reputation. So I guess the women’s stated wishes aren’t weighted very strongly right now.