Feminist and educator Julie Lalonde told VICE News she found it heartening to see people tweeting that they had chosen to give money to organizations fighting violence against women, rather than pay to read the piece, or tweet about it.“He has no right to ‘reflect’ on a hashtag or the #MeToo movement without first owning his behaviour, apologizing and taking active steps to change,” Kristin Raworth, who publicly accused Liberal MP Kent Hehr of sexual harassment this year, told VICE News. “Nothing in this article suggests he is ready to do any of that.”
"I don’t think this is him making things right for the people he harmed, this is self serving."
“But it went deeper than that,” he continues. “I was demanding on dates and in personal affairs. I would keep lobbying for what I wanted. I was critical and dismissive. Some women I cared about went along with things I wanted to avoid my disappointment or moods. I ought to have been more respectful and responsive with the women in my life. To them I say, you deserved much better from me.”Following the public reckoning against him, he says he received racist hate mail, and contemplated suicide. Men also contacted him saying that they, too, could have been accused of abuse the same way he was.This led him to see his actions “as part of a systemic culture of unhealthy masculinity.” He says he has had a “crash course in empathy.”But on the question of an apology, he writes: “In a maelstrom of confusion, humiliation, resistance, and conflicting feedback from those around you, how much can anyone really inhabit ‘I’m sorry’?”He writes that one of his female friends joked that he “should get some kind of public recognition as a #MeToo pioneer.”“There are lots of guys more hated than me now. But I was the guy everyone hated first.”Reaction FridayOne of his accusers, Lucy DeCoutere, took issue with his quip about spearheading the #MeToo movement.“Is that something to boast about if he’s the perpetrator in this scenario?” she asked. “Parliament sat to change the rape shield law because of so many problematic elements that were highlighted in the trial that got him off. I don’t think that’s a boastful position to be in when you’re in the history books.”
“There are lots of guys more hated than me now. But I was the guy everyone hated first.”
On social media Friday, some were hesitant to react to the essay, not wanting to give Ghomeshi attention. “The engage or ignore tension is something I have struggled with my entire career,” Julie Lalonde said.“Women have the right to be outraged and I just roll my eyes when people are like, you’re just feeding into the machine,” she continued. “So what’s my alternative? Sit here and watch him be on the cover of a magazine and not educate people on what he’s done? Especially American audiences, who might not have that context?”She advised: “Don’t buy the magazine, don’t pay to get across the paywall.”“To me, the conversation is, well what do we want from Ghomeshi? That’s an easy answer for me: may you die in obscurity. But it could be a launching point for a broader conversation around, what is accountability?”Cover image: Former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi arrives at court in Toronto, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press
"Women have the right to be outraged and I just roll my eyes when people are like, you’re just feeding into the machine."