My Comments on that Globe Article: Swears & Humour Intact
1. First of all, I need everyone to know that it’s like stabbing myself in the eye with pins, or having a drill break off in my tooth in the middle of a root canal writing something that contains no humour whatsoever. Anybody who has followed my writing over the years knows that I sometimes write about some uncomfortable shit, but my secret weapon has always been to wrap it in funny, the same way you wrap asparagus in bacon. Humour and bacon can make the most unsavory things in life taste awesome.
But the nature of the Globe & Mail article, the audience and the subject matter dictated the serious tone. I think the fact that there was no BACON in this essay scared the crap out of some people. Including me. It’s okay. I’m back.
2. I have dealt with this situation on a personal level. Not sure if you’ve read thatpostabout my love for Kirk McManus in the sixth grade and how I’ve kept 6 gazillion journals over the years—which are not all about Kirk McManus… but I could write myself out of a submarine stuck in seaweed, surrounded by sharks at the bottom of the ocean. When bad shit happens - as it does to ALL of us, get a journal and start writing. It really works. (And therapists are great too!) I’m good. Seriously.
I put readers in that room with me. I recreated the scenario for readers so that people could REALLY understand what many women go through. But, I have not been stuck there for the past 20 years. I am strong. Here is a picture of me doing CrossFit to prove it.
My emotional strength matches this and then some. To publically admit you were, or are, a victim is a pretty rough and raw - like steak tartare raw - thing to do. But if it somehow makes some small dent in supporting all human beings’ right to survive, thrive and kick ass – then I am always going to be “in”.
3. I wrote this piece because I was pretty irate and "throat punchy” mad about people blaming and faulting the "Jian women" for not coming forward, identifying themselves and pressing charges. It’s pretty easy to sit there in your SUV, eating your Big Mac, asking why they won’t identify themselves as secret sauce dribbles down your shirt. You have no idea.
I felt like, maybe, an experience outside the whole Jian Ghomeshi context might actually help people understand that all of this has very little to do with Ghomeshi and everything to do with our society still being sucky and squeamish and silent about assault.
4. The response to this article has come in two forms:
A) I have gotten more comments, emails, dm’s, messages from both friends and strangers from across the country than I will probably ever be able to respond to. Thank you for the messages. Here is an example of the simplest email that I got from some guy named Michael:
Thanks for your courageous statement in Saturday's Globe. You have made the silence of others so clearly understandable.
This comment alone has made writing the article worthwhile. He didn’t make me feel like a victim; he told me that I did my job as a writer. I fucking loved that.
B) The other response I’ve gotten is the “Let’s Pretend This Didn’t Happen and That You Didn’t Write About This” silence and weird looks from people I know well. I get it. You're not ready to talk about this. You didn't want to know about it. Where’s the sand? You want to relocate your head there. And you probably liked me better before. But I ask you to remember that we once lived in a world where gay rights, transgender rights, black rights, women’s rights were sticky, icky, silent issues.
(Or, maybe you were just holding out for the funnier post-- in which case, I laude you.) Anyway, to those people— it’s okay. I will still drink wine with you as long as it’s not homemade or boxed.
I am a writer. The pen is my voice, my weapon. Occasionally, I use it to stab people.
“Keep me up till five because all your stars are out, and for no other reason…Oh dare to do it Buddy! Trust your heart. You’re a deserving craftsman. It would never betray you…I think I’d give almost anything on earth to see you writing a something, an anything, a poem, a tree, that was really and truly after your own heart.” J.D. Salinger