Tag Archives: scandal

jian

The Strange Saga of Big Ears Teddy and Jian Ghomeshi

Wednesday was an explosive day in the saga of Jian Ghomeshi, so much so that there’s now an online graph depicting his “likers” dropping like leaves in a fall windstorm.

Much occurred, but I want to focus on one major development: Big Ears Teddy, a stuffed animal so valued by Jian Ghomeshi that it merited thanks in the acknowledgements of his 2012 book called 1982.

Last night, Twitter exploded with the news this account had been sitting there since April of this year, when, for only three days, it levelled massive allegations against Ghomeshi.

There are a lot of similarities between one of the eight accusers detailed by The Toronto Star and the newly notorious teddy bear of Twitter. It’s an interesting aspect to this saga and one I wanted to look at more closely.

CONTINUE READING over at the Vancouver Observer.

Um, Thank You For Breaking My Blog

highfiveI’d like to extend warm fuzzy thanks for everyone who’s taken the time to read, share, and respond to my Jian Ghomeshi vs. The CBC piece. More than 100,000 people read it on my overworked little blog in just 36 hours. I’m absolutely blown away by how much it’s resonated with you. I’m very proud I had a chance to help change the conversation on why women won’t come forward.

I’m also glad the BDSM community feels I’ve helped clear up a few misconceptions being wilfully created by Ghomeshi and his supporters. While I’m fairly vanilla myself, I’m happy to advocate for a grossly misunderstood lifestyle and kink. Especially since this conversation shouldn’t be about BDSM at all, but instead about the lack of consent he reportedly had, and that a lack of consent makes these allegations of flat-out assault.

To that end, I had the chance to be interviewed by Vancouver’s CKNW 980 radio yesterday, and we discussed both BDSM and consent in relation to this explosive scandal. You can listen to that here. It’s a 12-minute chat with host Simi Sara.

Meanwhile, I have a few more things on my chest on the victim/survivor aspect of all this, more mainstream revelation of what the BDSM ethos and community entails, and so on. Please bookmark me and check back now and again.

I also have nearly a decade of archives here that extend to everything from sex and sexual politics to mental health and pop culture commentary. I invite you to explore tags and subjects for any of the 3,000 or so pieces I’ve written in the last decade. Might I suggest the “Steff rants” category if you like a little righteousness in your day? Check my archives by year, or search by categories. Many posts have several categories attached for your convenience.

Then there’s my newsletter. That’s how I can tell you when my upcoming ebook of collected essays and updated opinions will be released. Join that here. Thanks again. You’re fucking awesome.

Oh, Tiger Woods, You FAILED Us… BAD Golfer!

Oh, boo-hoo. Really? Tiger failed you?

It turns out people are whining more about the fact that the mighty golf god Tiger Woods has proven to be all-too-human and just as flawed as most people in the public eye.

I can’t believe the air of entitlement from the public about this. Like Tiger Woods did this to YOU?

What did Tiger sign up to do in life? Be Jesus? No, as a toddler he picked up a golf club and showed a profound affinity to it. He didn’t enroll in Dalai Lama classes or learn how to hang out on a cross for three days and change water to wine.

He played GOLF. He hit a stupid ball with a stick, and he was INCREDIBLE at it. He became the best player to EVER play the sport.

He did THAT to the best of his abilities.

Then, like most profoundly gifted people, he fucked up in other areas of his life.

So what do we have now? We have blowhards like wanker-to-the-nth, Augusta Golf Club’s Chairman Billy Payne, saying ridiculous things like, “Our hero did not live up to the expectations of the role model we saw for our children. It is not simply the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here, it is the fact he disappointed all of us and more importantly our kids and our grand kids.”

Are you kidding me?

Here’s a chance for EVERY PARENT IN THE WORLD to do what they should’ve been doing all along:

Explain to the kids that celebrities are people, and they make humongous mistakes in life, too. Explain how “celebrity” usually means someone’s good at one special thing, and they’re probably better at that one thing than most people ever will be, but that “celebrity” also leads people to think that being GOOD at that ONE thing means that they get a pass on being good at many other things — like living a moral life — and that it’s important to remember how easy it is to let your life get out of balance and lose responsibility for yourself.

Like Tiger did.

Tiger Woods — THE GREATEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD, EVER — has screwed up and been human.

It’s a good time for EVERYONE to remember that if Tiger can be human, we probably all will be, too.

Naturally, Tiger’s brand of “fucking up” goes above and beyond the average person’s ability to do so — but so do the demands of his life, the surreality of HIS fame, and the enormously frequent opportunities to screw up. So, of course the scope of his fallout is legendary, because so is his life. Perspective.

A skill or talent, or even brilliance, does not mean someone is immune from insecurities, emotional baggage, mental illness, stupid judgment, or the ability to be a complete ass.

Let’s start judging skills, talent, progeny, brilliance, and scope for what it is — being good at ONE thing, not EVERYthing — and stop assuming it comes with some moral pedigree.

In our daily lives, we’re all flawed to varying extents, and none of us ever faces the vast temptations and moral compromises those in the public eye do, and yet we’d like to keep our skeletons well hidden behind our closets.

Unlikely any of us has ever had anything close to the sexual escapades and betrayals that Tiger Woods has come to light with, but it doesn’t make the demands we place on our celebrities any less hypocritical.

Get real, people. Morality should be taught at home and at church.

Expecting it from celebrities today is as stupid and naive as it was in Roman times.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Get the memo. And get over it.

Edwards: The Politics of Infidelity

I’ve never been a John Edwards fan. Any guy who claims he’s a leftist for poverty activism but spends $400 a month on an unremarkable haircut just strikes me as being strangely out of touch with the very people he claims to be fighting for.

But, then again, I pay $15 for my haircut, so what do I know?

Haircuts aside, the guy’s in hot water and I feel for him and his wife. It’s come out now that he fucked up and had an affair in ’06. Is it the only one? No way to know for certain. Does it matter? Not sure it does. Is it really a scandal of this proportion? Really?

I mean, there are sex scandals and there are sex scandals. The Walter Mosley “Nazi” BDSM video, that’s a scandal. Governor Spitzer blowing thousands and thousands of dollars on hookers while married and in office, that’s a scandal.

A guy cheats on his wife? Scandalous, but not a scandal. It’s not worth much ink, as they say. Infidelity sucks, but it happens.

I don’t really see who gains from this story coming out, or how it should reflect on his ability to govern, or why we need to know or care.

As far as I’m concerned, there are three kinds of cheaters.

  • There’s the Accidental Cheater: The kind of partner who’s really invested in the relationship and has always been faithful, but who had a weak moment at a weak time where the chemistry and intensity was pretty insurmountable, and instead of being perfect, had the misfortune of being human and fucking up, in more ways than one.
  • There’s the Situational Cheater: The partner who had every intention of staying faithful and being “there” in the partnership, but with a lack of sex and poor communication and isolation developing and maintaining within the relationship, decides to seek companionship elsewhere to get what they “need” emotionally and physically.
  • There’s the Compulsive Cheater: The Compulsive would cheat no matter how good a relationship is and smacks of the sex-addicted type. This is kind of person who wants to sleep around but isn’t honest enough about it to be in a polyamorous situation, sometimes because they think they deserve sexual variety but don’t want their lover to have it.

Then there are the people who don’t believe in cheating. And I’m one.

I think it’s a shitty fucking thing to do to someone. When I found out I’d been used as an “other woman” once many years ago, when the guy lied about not being in a relationship with an old friend of mine just to get me in bed with him, I actually told my friend about his infidelity. I’m just that way. Honest and old-fashioned, that’s me.

Still, I don’t know if I could get through 30 years of marriage without ever having an Accidental Cheating occur. You get that perfect storm of chemistry and sexiness and opportunity and timing and mood, and sex can be a pretty hard thing to turn down. Whew, can it.

Edwards slept with a woman making a documentary film about his campaign. You think she wasn’t fawning over him a little? There’s nothing sexier than someone who worships you a little but has brains and a life of their own. When someone smart, accomplished, and hot adores you a little but in a liberated and articulate way, it’s really a turn-on. Anyone who’s been on the receiving end of that knows what it’s like. Wild. Or maybe she was just empathetic on a tough day. Who knows?

I’m not laying blame on her, though. It takes two. I’m just saying it’s understandable that something might happen in some scenarios, that hormones are a challenge to overcome at times.

But it sure as hell beats getting a blowjob from an intern half your age in the Oval Office and lying under oath about it.

I mean, if the guy came clean long, long before it ever hit the press, and the family knew of it in entirety, and his wife says she was told very soon after it all… is it really our business?

Doesn’t it say more about the guy that he could have the affair, tell his wife, and then work with her to get past it? Doesn’t he get some credit for honesty? How long do you have to be married before you’re allowed to make a mistake you not only own up to, but repent to?

No relationship is without its flaws, and no person is without errors. We all make mistakes in a life that’s dictated by in-the-moment impulse decisions.

I may be very much opposed to cheating in all its forms, but that doesn’t mean I could never forgive a man for making that mistake. And it doesn’t mean I think I’ll never be above being human and making that kind of mistake, either. I’m a passionate person. I’m moral, honest, and loyal, but I’m also passionate and impulsive. I fear the latter two qualities might one day overwhelm my virtue, and I too could fall guilty of such a mistake.

If, however, I ever do fuck up like Edwards did, I would hope my lover could see more than just the mistake, and instead of just latching onto their anger and the sense of betrayal, they could take me at my word for my regret and self-disdain. I would hope for a chance at redemption. I would hope for the chance to prove my remorse and reestablish trust.

Edwards was lucky and got just that. Who are we to judge him more harshly than his lover and partner of 30 years? It’s their relationship. If they’ve made their peace and they’re working together to overcome it, then who the fuck is the media to second-guess it, and why do we care?