Final thoughts on #gropegate

So this story appeared in the media recently where the then non-politician Justin Trudeau appears to have inappropriately touched ("handled"?) a young female reporter at a music festival about 20 years ago. I haven't a clue why it showed up now, except that, noteworthy, it was promoted or raised by a powerful federal liberal insider.

Fast forward to today and the reporter who's not in the industry anymore, reluctantly spoke out on the matter. In essence, she remarked that the issue came and went at the time, that Justin apologized at the time and she considers the issue closed...and that she doesn't want to participate in any further public dialogue on the matter.

So be it.

Its not my place to tell a victim or survivor how to deal with their incident or fallout later on in life. She wants the matter to go away and be left alone and folks to respect her and her family's privacy. So she should.

But Justin's managing of the messaging of this speaks to the concerns that progressives and real liberals are starting to have about him. Instead of clear cut ownership of the mishap, he reverted to a ethically dangerous 'I don't recall" position. He remembered almost everything about the beer and music festival, but forgot that..and yet, apologized anyways.

Then goes on to say that he didn't remember the incident the same way that the woman did. This is an even more dangerous place to be in since it may give license to a perpetrator to interpret their actions as "I didn't think my actions were wrong or unwanted (therefore I didn't do anything wrong)".

Men, lets be absolutely clear. Any unwanted sexual advance (however minor you think it is) is wrong. No means no.

What does this all mean? Nothing really. The woman in this matter isn't pursuing the issue, felt that it was closed and done at the time. So it is.

But what it means to me is that the illusion that Justin Trudeau is a #metoo feminist is finally broken. Justin is no better than anyone else out there. His equivocation and doublespeak in defending his actions prove it.

Good men can strive to be strong allies to feminists, but I don't think we're qualified to speak 'as' feminists; we lack the front line experience and knowledge of women who live these injustices every day.

Perhaps this is where my thoughts lay. I've never claimed to be a male-feminist, but try to be a strong ally...and I do so by listening more, talking less; and teaching my son the best I know how.

Sure, the matter is closed I presume; and its not for me to reopen the matter. But no more rose-coloured glasses when it comes to Justin.

And men, we have a long way to go.

My 2 bits


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