Note: This post is about a couple of aspects of the Jian Ghomeshi scandal that broke about two and a half weeks ago. If you don’t know about it, do some basic online research (there is no shortage of info) and then come back to the post. It will make more sense then.
1) “Why not just trust?”
If you’ve read the rest of this blog, you’ll know that my therapist was REALLY stuck on this idea that I should trust the guy I was (barely) dating, despite all the red flags I saw and my own considerable misgivings about him. This was also despite the therapist’s total lack of information about my relationship history or the guy, or anything really. It was just a kneejerk assumption on her part that because I didn’t trust one man, I must have trust issues across the board and that the correct way to deal with them was just to press on with this one guy. She had other options like, say, considering the possibility that I didn’t trust him for good reasons because, just maybe, he wasn’t actually a good guy.
As I’ve posted before, he did end up assaulting me.
When the Jian Ghomeshi story broke, especially the accounts of his vicious assaults against the women he dated, one of my first reactions was: HELLO YOU STUPID BITCH, HERE’S WHY YOU DON’T “JUST TRUST”. What the hell kind of social worker doesn’t know about date rape, intimate partner violence and so on? A really bad one! A really stupid one! What would she have told one of these women if they’d mentioned they had a date scheduled with a guy who was rumoured to be “weird about women”? Maybe it’s just rumours, maybe it’s an all-singing all-dancing chorus of red flags. They decided to “just trust”, like she advised me, and they got punched in the face, kicked in the stomach, forced into fellatio. Jesus Christ!
And as we’ve been hearing from many other women in the last fortnight, this shit happens ALL. THE. TIME. If we had the real numbers on it, I expect it would look like an epidemic. As it is, nearly EVERY woman has a story to tell about being sexually harassed or assaulted. Shit is fucked up and bullshit and women have truly excellent reasons not to “just trust” men.
2) Jian Ghomeshi has been seeing a psychologist weekly for years – why didn’t the psychologist notice something was amiss?
Before the scandal, Ghomeshi had talked openly about seeing a psychologist weekly for an anxiety disorder. Fair enough. Except that the therapy industry (and this includes psychologists) absolutely claims to have and prides itself on having special insight into people’s psyches, issues, problems, and yadda. Sure, you might start therapy wanting to talk about your divorce or whatever but the therapist knows that the real problem is really something else, something you may not even be aware of, but the therapist will dig it out regardless. So shouldn’t a therapist be able to detect when a client harbours big-time violent attitudes towards a group of people AND acts violently against them? Over a period of decades, apparently? There must have been times when Ghomeshi’s psychology appointments took place within mere days, mere hours even, of his having assaulted a woman. And yet the therapist didn’t pick up on it? Did they never talk about Ghomeshi’s dating life?
Ghomeshi probably lied about his dating life anyway, but isn’t a therapist supposed to be able to see through such lies? And since the physical safety of other human beings was at stake, maybe the therapist should have followed up somehow, done something?
My guess is there are at least two factors in play:
1) The therapist was a fucking moron and had no insight into anything.
2) The therapist certainly wasn’t going to jeopardize the income a steady client provides by probing in any way that makes the client uncomfortable. Ghomeshi’s attitudes towards women were probably discussed in a very superficial way, if they came up at all.
In conclusion: Therapy is as bullshit as ever.