Further comment on Facebook from Friend 1:
I'm not sure that the argument about the pervasiveness of patriarchy holds water in this instance..and, no, I'm no fan of Ghomeshi. There were three complainants in this case. Each of the complainants, on cross examination, we're seen to have engaged in behavior post-incident that directly calls into question the veracity of their allegations concerning the incidents themselves. This, in turn, goes to the criminal intent of the accused. Now the criminal law in this country is sufficiently nuanced so that you can still get a conviction on certain classes of crimes against persons without having to establish intent (criminal negligence, for example). But assault (simple, aggravated, or sexual) as far as I know does not admit to this elasticity. You have to prove intent, or you cannot convict.
Maybe we need another class of assault charge in which an accused can't hide behind the "being a fab of rough sex" defense....
My only comment on this is that there is no surprise in the fact that Ghomeshi opted for trial by judge rather than trial by jury.
From my blog on the Cologne attacks. It has some relevance to the societal constructions that allow the blame-shifting to victims to be the predominant construction of western society (I won't discuss other societies - "clean up the mess in our own house first, I say").
Sometimes the legal system is just an excuse to avoid dealing with the larger social presuppositions of our society. It is the legacy of our western history - scapegoating has been the answer for so long (bah, humbug to René Girard), it is time we really tried to get rid of the larger social construction that enable it.
If we don't then we are all enablers of these travesties of justice.
Comments to my Facebook post:
Male Friend 1: Ok, ok...but it's interesting - and significant - that both the defence attorney AND the law professor that CBC had on as commentators for the decision agreed that it would have been nearly impossible to obtain a conviction on the basis of the evidence as presented and cross-examined! So is this the court's fault or the crown's?