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putting your sex life on trial

When I left the Y at midday yesterday, there it was, the insanity around Jian – he was being arraigned at College Park a block away, and there were scores of newspeople and their trucks and their mikes and lights crowding the entrance, a helicopter circling overhead. You’d think he’d been arrested for criminal conspiracy to undermine civilization, not for forcing his aggressive, yes, violent kinks on his dates.

I know, even with my lukewarm sympathy, I’m in the minority here, and I do have to say that part of my attitude stems from the fact that a relative of mine was accused of sexual assault by his girlfriend, who had a problem with drugs and was angry at him. He was arrested, taken away in handcuffs and spent the weekend in jail, was released on bail, a trial date was set. By then she had apologized and said she was sorry she’d lied, but it was too late. There was a frightening expensive trial, she said her accusation was a complete fabrication, he was acquitted. It does happen. Not nearly as often as the actual assault of women, no question. But the other side of the coin, men falsely accused, does happen. It happened in my family. He went to jail.

So since then, I have not jumped, as Edward Keenan does in his column today, to say “I believe you” to every woman who accuses a man. Let’s always look at the facts.

There’s no doubt Jian did the things he’s accused of. Why he needs to debase and harm, whether he thought it was consensual, whether he even cared – that’s the case. The whole thing makes me sad, the pictures of his face in the paper – didn’t even look like him. Can you imagine what it’s like to go in one month from the very top of the top, one of the most lauded people in the country and internationally, getting everything his way, to being a pariah who has to live with his mother, forfeit his passport and have people writing the vilest things about him in the papers and on the net, strangers screaming at him outside the courthouse?

The Star today was over the top, page after page. And then in some obscure corner there’s an article about a policeman and father arrested for child pornography, thousands of photographs, some of infants, some he took himself. Now there’s a monster – barely noticed. Not titillating enough, I guess. Not to mention the rest of the planet, actual NEWS going on out there somewhere. But kinky sex sells, and God knows, we’re going to get lots through the trial. Imagine putting YOUR sex life on trial.

No, let’s not imagine that. Mine would be the dullest story imaginable. Happily so. I had a boyfriend in my twenties who was aggressive, who liked to bite and ram and even to hit. And I thought it was exciting. I thought my bruises were exciting. Hard to imagine now, but true.

Moving right along.

Busy times. The U of T term is over, and a superb one it was too. As a parting gift they gave me a beautiful big mug that reads “Life is a story. Make yours a bestseller.” If only, I sighed. They were a wonderful group, another wonderful group is coming here tonight, and two big editing projects are waiting, not to mention my own work and the usual 4000 things to read and do and see – last night, a stunning documentary on ducks called, you guessed it, “Duckumentary.”

I have a big passion for ducks. But luckily it’s not on trial.

On Monday night I went to hear Kevin Courrier, renowned Beatles expert and author, speak in his lecture series about “The dark side of Sgt. Pepper.” Fascinating – a two hour lecture with film clips and music to a room full of Beatle nerds. MY PEOPLE. Kevin and I went for a drink after with our mutual friend Stella, who had just come from her Cree class. Yes, Stella is learning to speak Cree – she also learned to speak Yiddish and trained to be a cantor, among many other things.

So it was a lively drink, Kevin and I passionately discussing the minutiae of Beatledom, and eventually Stella confessing that she doesn’t really like the Beatles. WHAT?! To me that’s like saying you don’t like Italy, or sunsets, or the laughter of children, or the soft patter of rain on a summer’s … I’m getting carried away. She doesn’t like them. And, as my mother-in-law used to say, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, no matter how wrong they may be.

Heading into December. Yikes.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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