La Petite Américaine's Reviews > Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle

Even Silence Has an End by Ingrid Betancourt
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Mar 04, 2016

it was amazing
bookshelves: auto-bios-etc, rants, colombia, conflicted
Read from November 07 to 08, 2010

2/17/16:

I'm not trying to over-estimate my importance by writing this. I'm well aware that this is just goodreads. I doubt that the author has read my review (God, I hope not, anyway), and I know that very few people will care about this update.

Still, I couldn't live with myself if I didn't address a few things.

The only review of Even Silence Has an End on goodreads worth your time is this one.

I'm ashamed of my review, and I'll eventually pull it.

But the only thing more cowardly than posting this review in the first place would be to delete it and pretend it never happened.

But I can't keep crying about it either. It's better to just own it. So, here goes.

In 2010, I read Even Silence Has an End, but I formed my opinion of Ingrid Betancourt from the books, articles, and interviews I read about her after the fact.

That opinion was the driving force behind my review 6 years ago.

Last week, I attended a Q&A hosted by Ingrid Betancourt.

I was excited to meet the person who wrote one of the best books I've ever read, and I had a question I'd wanted to ask her since I first read her memoir. But I'd never forgotten the conclusion I'd come to 6 years earlier: I figured she was yet another monster among us--a Franco-Colombian Claire Underwood of sorts.

I was wrong.

I've met all sorts of "celebrated monsters" over the years, from the ultra-famous to everyday nobodies. I know when I'm dealing with a liar, narcissist, or sociopath.

Ingrid Betancourt isn't one of them.

There was no charm, magnetism, poise, or presence about her, no agenda, no performance, no attempt to disarm the crowd. And when I asked her my question (which I immediately regretted doing), I fully expected to be upbraided, or at least be met with a dismissive response. Instead, she was gracious enough to spend a significant amount of time trying to answer it. And what about her answer, anyway? It was revealing. It was imperfect: it was raw and unrehearsed, jagged, at times rational and other times contradictory, yet clearly the truth as she saw it. In short, everything about her answer was human.

Everything about her was human.

When I wrote this review, I tore down one of us.

Now who's the monster?

Well. There's nothing quite like your own misdirected cruelty to give you pause, throw you into an existential crisis, make you hate yourself, etc etc.

The review has been here for 6 years for anyone who cared to read it. Allow me to reposition it for the next person who stumbles across it, and offer a counterpoint to my former 20-something self who wrote that review.

The real narrative goes like this:

--Ingrid Betancourt is the victim. She was kidnapped by terrorists, held captive, and brutalized for 6.5 years. It's wrong to imply that she's responsible for the things that happened to her. Her decision to enter FARC territory without proper security could have been for any number of reasons, but it doesn't change the fact that she's the victim. She didn't ask for any of it.

--The world simply victimized Ingrid Betancourt again. International fame was built around her while she was in captivity, and it was thrust upon her when she was rescued. Disturbingly, all it took for her to fall out of favor was something that most would applaud: she criticized the government. That took the form of angering one Colombian politician and then offending some Colombian judges by seeking compensation for her kidnapping. (The other hostages in captivity with Betancourt also sued the Colombian government--you just didn't hear about it). Oh, and 3 or 4 people wrote books saying she wasn't a very nice person while she was in captivity.
To build someone up--especially a woman--only to smack her down for misbehaving? It's predictable, it happens every day, and it's purely abusive.
(And I just have to add: I feel so stupid that I didn't see it happening with this one, that I took that tired narrative as truth and swallowed it hook, line, and sinker and made it my own).

--No one, not even the aforementioned monsters that walk among us, deserves to suffer what Betancourt and her fellow captives did.

--How she, or anyone else, behaved while in captivity is a stupid thing to debate. It's irrelevant, and probably only made it into print to sell books. Those of us who fell into that trap need to do better, unless we also want to debate the character of Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, Holocaust survivors, et. al.

--Despite everything she's endured, Betancourt has never acted like a victim. Surviving 6.5 years of captivity in the jungle is bad-ass in itself. But she didn't stop there and call it good. She went on to pen a memoir so well-written that parts of it border on sublime. She recently released a novel, and she's pursuing a PhD. That's all pretty rockstar if you ask me.

--Faulting her for capitalizing on her fame is ridiculous, especially when her message is one of peace and forgiveness. That she never used her ordeal to push an agenda (like, say, burning down the jungle and firebombing the fuckers that wronged her) is admirable.

It's so easy to be some hyper-critical nobody spouting her suspicions and assumptions on a dumb website like goodreads. It takes a lot more courage to be in the public eye, do cool things with your life, and bear it all with dignity.

Like I said, I don't presume that Ingrid Betancourt has read my review, or would care if she did.

But, just in case: Ingrid, I'm so sorry.

I can't undo the cruelty that has sat on this page for 6 years.

But I can add a few edits to show what I think of it now.

See revisions below.

*****

So, let's talk about this book.

First, a little background about the story: it's the memoir of Ingrid Betancourt, a Colombian senator who was running for president of that country when she was kidnapped by FARC guerrillas and held captive for 6 years. She lived through sheer hell, including infighting among her fellow hostages, swarms of biting jungle insects, marches during life-threatening illnesses through the never-ending Amazon, and sitting for months at a time with her neck chained to a tree. In a country where the guerrillas' usual M.O. is to storm the homes of politicians, kidnap and kill them, Betancourt (who knowingly wandered into FARC territory) is lucky to be alive.

Even Silence Has an End is one of the most beautiful books that you will ever read. Much of the memoir reads like poetry: "Freedom--such a precious jewel, one we were prepared to risk our lives for--would lose all its brilliance if it were to be worn in a life of regret," ; "Our words echoed in the air, beneath a heavenly dome that wore the dust of diamonds sprinkled alongside the constellations of our thoughts."

Betancourt also reveals small glimpses of humanity that appeared in her jungle prison hell: the guerrillas dancing and singing with the prisoners, a hand grasped in the darkness at night in sheer terror, and the touching words impulsively spoken when another prisoner is on the brink of death. She will take you beyond the depths of despair to a place without hope, to times when she had given up on life, could no longer eat, and could barely stand up. Betancourt is more than a gifted writer and her words will charm you, seduce you, and likely leave you holding her in great reverence.

And what about Ingrid Betancourt today? She's beautiful. She's charismatic. She's a brilliant, wealthy, multi-lingual icon with killer heels and lots of friends in high places. She's part of the European jet-set and has left two hot husbands in her wake. Let's not forget that she's also a strong woman and an incredible survivor.

I want to believe her, I really do. But before we all get misty-eyed and enamored beyond the point of no return, let's have a look at reality.

Getting kidnapped was the best thing that ever happened to Betancourt's career. It launched her to international stardom, scored her a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, the French love her more than their wine, and America is embracing her. Her book deal landed her millions on three separate continents. Two different films are being made about her ordeal. Further, for a cool $25,000, a couple of first-class airline tickets and hotel accommodations, Betancourt will come and speak at any event. She will justify why she tried to sue the very government that rescued her and explain away just why her fellow hostages (including a former close friend, Clara Rojas, who was kidnapped with her) can't stand her. If you find one Colombian who isn't disgusted with Betancourt, I'll buy you a Coke.

What is most disturbing about Betancourt's account of captivity is the fact that she's the most unreliable narrator since Humbert Humbert. (If you take Betancourt at face value, then you likely also believe that Lolita really was a 12 year-old slut who wanted the old man to give it to her like a bad girl; you can stop reading here.) She seems to suffer from delusions so strong that she actually believes them. Her accounts read like hazy visions conjured up in an alarmingly high fever; even the sexual assault by nameless, faceless captors in the misty green airs of the humid jungle starts to make you wonder...and it gets worse. Betancourt describes heart to heart conversations with her female captors that sound fabricated. She tells of a chance meeting with a nameless peasant, straight out of central casting, who warned Ingrid of visions of grave danger. (Eyeroll). She describes bathing Clara Rojas's newborn; Clara, whom Ingrid has been fighting with for years, then asks Betancourt to be the child's godmother. Right. Sure she did. Especially after Ingrid verbally trashed Clara for the first quarter of the book, snidely inferring that Rojas was sinking into madness. (Clara tells a very different story in her own memoir of captivity.) At best, these things are contrived, at worst, they are blatant lies. I would never put it past a politician to lie, but Betancourt, despite multiple claims to the contrary seems convinced of their veracity. Someone needs to pass the lithium.

When not attacking her fellow hostages on every page, Betancourt slips in unnecessary petty details for an extra sting, such as Rojas leaving the bathroom an "unspeakable mess," or another captive bragging about the cost of his engagement ring. One wonders just why these things needed to be in print, other than the fact that Betancourt is clearly out for blood. Our catty hero redeems herself in other ways, however, by teaching her captors French (suuuuuureee) and protesting until prisoners' chains are removed (uh-huh). Her former companions in captivity are so charmed by her that one wants to sue her for libel, one hates her more than all other humans on earth, and one has said "Let's not make symbols and icons out of women who aren't." The only fans Betancourt has left, besides the myriad of Hollywood actors and international heads of state, are the 3 boyfriends she had while in captivity.

What we have here is a book written by a woman whose personal trauma and highly cultivated public persona are battling it out on the page. The public persona wins, of course.


Read this beautiful book. Enjoy it. Savor it.

Just try not to forget who you're really dealing with.
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Reading Progress

11/21 page 220
69.0% "I have never been more emotionally conflicted over a book before..."
02/05 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-48 of 48) (48 new)

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message 1: by Renee (new)

Renee Oh, yippee - Another scathing review to look forward to! You actually take notes? You are my hero!! :-)


La Petite Américaine Well...when a book is really bad, yes, I do take notes :)


Veronica aw, I was itching to see your review. I'm sure you'll disagree with me :) Haven't finished yet, but within 150 pages of the end, and am captivated.


La Petite Américaine @Veronica: me, too...just need to think for a bit :)


message 5: by Eva (new)

Eva Leger I've taken notes too and it feels kind of nice to know I'm not the only one. Sometimes I have so many post-its and scraps of paper hanging out people look at me crazy.... lol


La Petite Américaine I'm going to delete all of it and write a review, but I need to think... Seriously am at a loss for words


La Petite Américaine Well...I think I will...I need to meet this chick in person before I can write a review. It's that intense


message 8: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy Hahaha. I just read this book and while I liked it, I seriously kept hearing it in Celine Dion's voice. And I could not figure out why so, it made me laugh when I read your review.


David Your review is the best analysis I've yet to see of Columbia's "Mama Piranha," if she end's up with a TV show called, "Ingrid's Betancourt's Jungles and Rivers," well, watch out electorate. I too got very sucked in by her writing, and if I'm honest I'd probably be willing to give up a year or two my life to be a FARC captive and ex-boyfriend #4.


La Petite Américaine Check this out from some chick's blog. Frightening: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid...


La Petite Américaine After reading so many reviews on goodreads of this book, I really wonder if anyone else has thought that thick chick is crazy. Is it just me?


Veronica I wouldn't be that surprised if she was mentally unbalanced. Anyone would be after what she went through. Maybe it was worse in some ways for her than some other hostages, because she was clearly very used to being in charge and being either adored or feared by everyone around her.


David Interesting observation Jason, though the idea of Ingrid and Palin together would be the intellectual equivalent of a large cat playing with a baby mouse in the corner. Ingrid would eat her up, spit her out, and Palin wouldn't even notice. Thankfully, as Petite pointed out, Columbia doesn't have a Tea Party and suing the people who rescued you is pretty damn silly. Maybe Ingrid will move her political will to France where she is more loved now than Jerry Lewis was in the mid 60's.


La Petite Américaine I find her to be very self-aware in many ways, because she knows exactly what she's doing concerning her career moves, the publicity, the interviews, etc. In her book she is remarkably self-critical and reflective as well. That said, she is a people collector and a politician, so I don't believe much of what she says. The best book out of all of them abut the hostage situation has been Hostage Nation, it really bulldozes through the emotion and anger found in the captivity memoirs and just gives the facts. Great book.


message 15: by La Petite Américaine (last edited Dec 31, 2010 03:53PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

La Petite Américaine Jason wrote: "You have got me reading every piece of journalism on this topic..."

I've read almost everything I can on it, too, and I've obsessed about this book and the topic for months. I've read 3 hostage memoirs and am now on book number 4 about it.

I'm not saying that this is a bad book. It isn't. I'm not saying I dislike Ingrid Betancourt, either, I kind of find her fascinating to be honest. I just think that as a nation we tend to embrace people for who they say us are, we never look beyond what they want us to believe. Americans with their hearts of gold seem beyond skepticism and are then outraged when someone isn't who they say they are (James Frey, Laura Albert, and Kaavya Viswanathan to name a few). I think it's better to try to know the truth before it bites you in the ass.


Veronica David wrote: "Maybe Ingrid will move her political will to France where she is more loved now than Jerry Lewis was in the mid 60's"

As someone who lives in France, I'm not convinced by that. She was popular before and just after her release, but she lost a lot of goodwill over the business of suing for compensation, and just generally turning out to be a human being, not a sainted martyr. I think she probably isn't cut out to be a successful politician :)

Incidentally, all the Colombian hostages had a legal right to sue the government for compensation, but given the way they were rescued, it was spectacularly poor judgement to do so!


David Thanks for the insights Veronica... Petite mentions the pure poetry of the language of the book. Ingrid's writing in both English and Spanish (my second language)is amazing and very beautiful. Even more captivating for me is her spoken voice (in both languages), her manner of speaking, her way with words, and her skill in an interview.

Veronica, is she the same in French? How does she "sound"? How poetic is the French edition? How is she in a French interview?

Does anyone know in which language she wrote the first draft? I assume Spanish (her 'mother' tongue) but possibly French?...

side note- If you ever listen to her mother's (native Columbian) voice and compare it to Ingrid's; I don't think I've ever heard a mother and daughter sound so different.


La Petite Américaine She wrote it in French, I think she was in Paris 18 months writing it.

Her voice...that's about as cultivated as Jackie O's famous "soft whisper" voice, beautiful to hear but not authentic, it's a practiced act in both cases. Sometimes I even wonder if she fakes her accent just for the added allure :)


message 19: by Justthewayitis (new)

Justthewayitis I think your review is excellent.

I hope you reinsert the 'chest-pounding Celine Dion' line ....that line is better than anything Betancourt wrote in her book.

My biggest problem with her book is that takes advantage of an inherent failing of the human condition: our immediate tendency to fall in love the the idea of a thing/as opposed to the reality of the thing. In her case, she's a lying, opportunistic, selfish, and vindictive self-promoter---perfectly willing to throw her former associates, fellow hostages, and Columbia under the bus (not in pursuit of the truth, but in pursuit of self promotion, self aggrandizement, and money).

However, it's much more compelling (and exciting) to perceive her as a heroic, brilliant, brave, multilingual, beautiful and intellectual heroine....who---after spending 6 years in the jungle with murderous kidnappers---has devoted her life to (for a small fee) spreading the message we all need to hear: "Give Peace A Chance" "Can't We All Just Get Along" "We All Just Need to Sit Down and Talk".

Perhaps she should have the military helicopter her back into the jungle so she can sit down the FARC and restart the dialogue.

Ignoring for the moment that it was her lying, opportunistic, selfish, self promoting activity that landed her in the jungle in the first place----the great irony is that she was ultimately rescued (via a very dangerous plan conceived and carried out by) by dedicated military and special operations personnel---none of whom share her beliefs nor her faults---rescued by people who believe in truth and freedom.

I loved your review. It was very well written and truthful.

Bettencourt's book suffers in the extreme, regarding the latter.

So, I agree with her fellow captor's final assessment. She's disgusting.


Veronica La Petite Américaine wrote: "She wrote it in French, I think she was in Paris 18 months writing it."

I read it in French for this reason. There's a postscript in the French edition which maybe isn't in the English or Spanish ones. She says (my translation):
When I started to write, I didn't know whether I was going to do it in Spanish or French. Talking about it with my editor, I thought that most of the time the memories would come spontaneously in Spanish, but sometimes I might feel more at ease in French.

But from the first sentence I felt forced to write in French ... French gave me the distance and control necessary to communicate what I felt and what I had experienced.

It's beautifully written in French too, although there are a few stylistic oddities (especially use of tenses) that make you feel it's not her first language.


La Petite Américaine That note is definitely not in the English text.


La Petite Américaine Oh my God I can't wait for Yulia Tymoshenko to write her memoir. It's going to be Betancourt 2.0


Veronica I'm so curious to know what question you asked her!


La Petite Américaine Veronica wrote: "I'm so curious to know what question you asked her!"

If you can message me I'll send you the question. I don't want to post it in public yet...


David This is one of my all-time favorite books reviews, please don't remove or edit. Your review got me completely engrossed in the book and the author..... I like you honest "prescript" about meeting Ms. Betancourt and admire you being able to point to yourself. That alone is pretty big! Now I have to get her novel :)


message 26: by La Petite Américaine (last edited Feb 29, 2016 10:23AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

La Petite Américaine David wrote: "This is one of my all-time favorite books reviews, please don't remove or edit. Your review got me completely engrossed in the book and the author..... I like you honest "prescript" about meeting M..."

I've just got to add: I've been on goodreads since I was 26. For almost 10 years (God, that's scary), it's been the place where I say, uncensored, what I think about books. I vent, post, and walk away -- if a review gets comments, cool, if not, whatever. I don't know how many followers I have, never cared. The only thing I knew for certain: no one would take my reviews *that* seriously, because even I don't take them seriously.

It never occurred to me that goodreads grew, not when writers contacted me asking for reviews, not when publishers offered ARCs, not even when Amazon bought goodreads (I thought they did it to control more of the book market). I always figured members were in the hundreds of thousands, max, and we were all just book dorks.

When I read this weekend that GR has some 40 million users...the magnitude of it all was dizzying. How did I miss this? (Probably because I had other things going on in my life than this website?)

With all of this new info in mind, I stand by all of my reviews. But not this one. And the fact that it's been up for 6 years? The potential amount of people who could have read it? Yeah, I want to throw up right now.

I'm going to make things right in the best way I can, and hope never to repeat what I've done here. :-/


message 27: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris Good show, and I'm really looking forward to reading her book, as well as more of your reviews!


La Petite Américaine Chris wrote: "Good show, and I'm really looking forward to reading her book, as well as more of your reviews!"

Read her books.

Don't read my reviews.

I'm a jerk. :-/


Veronica Bravo for the edits and for having the honesty to say you were wrong about her. I am glad too that my feelings about her after reading the book turned out to be mostly accurate. Thanks for the link to my review!

PS looking forward to seeing what you think of the novel.


La Petite Américaine Veronica wrote: "Bravo for the edits and for having the honesty to say you were wrong about her. I am glad too that my feelings about her after reading the book turned out to be mostly accurate. Thanks for the link..."

Your review was much more mature.

When I wrote mine, I was in that phase of my life where I believed that there could only be one version of the truth, and I still thought people could be picked apart and understood. What a childish point of view.

"Debunking" a victim. Not one of my finer moments.


message 31: by Jessica (new) - added it

Jessica Is it strange that I often feel least trusting of authors when they're writing their autobiographies/memoirs? It's like I automatically think "well, you're just telling us this stuff and claiming it's all true. But why should I believe everything you say?" It's like I'm more willing to think a biographer is truthful and trustworthy because I assume they have to do research. They have to conduct interviews, read other books, watch documentaries, etc. etc.

For example, I was just questioning the credibility of Michaela DePrince when reading her memoir and thinking "is this really accurate? I mean, you were three. You can't REALLY remember any of this..." I don't know if I'm rambling now but I do think it's this kind of epidemic; to trust everyone BUT the source. We don't want to hear what the person had to say, we want to hear it from the media. We want people to tear apart and examine someone under a microscope rather than take them at face value. Is it human nature? Society? I don't know. But I definitely need to start reading more memoirs with an open heart and an open mind because I feel like I would have been in the same boat as you while reading this if I hadn't read your revision first.


message 32: by La Petite Américaine (last edited Feb 29, 2016 10:25AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

La Petite Américaine Jessica wrote: "Is it strange that I often feel least trusting of authors when they're writing their autobiographies/memoirs? It's like I automatically think "well, you're just telling us this stuff and claiming i..."

Thank you for the comment.

You bring up a good point, and I think the answer is different for everyone.

I think we *should* question books. Whether or not we question the people who write them is up to us.

A memoir is trickier than other genres because the author is the center of the story. I, too, approach a memoir with the attitude of distrust. I'm guessing it's partly due to the many memoirs that have turned out to be fabrications--one half expects to be lied to again (?). The other part may be one's natural approach to life: adults don't automatically trust people they don't know.

As far as this book goes: nothing I wrote in the original review is untrue, but my attitude about it is disgusting, along with my spin on the noise and my willingness to ignore the core facts. And, I approached this book with a very simplistic belief about people: that they're either good or bad, and they can be understood if you unpack them. (Ugh).

I don't believe that meeting an author in person will automatically change one's perspective. It never has for me.

But it did this time. :-/


David I'll be damned...... thanks for filling in the details of your Q&A with Ingrid. Also, thanks for leaving up the edited but fully readable original review.


message 34: by La Petite Américaine (last edited Mar 01, 2016 02:36PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

La Petite Américaine David wrote: "I'll be damned...... thanks for filling in the details of your Q&A with Ingrid. Also, thanks for leaving up the edited but fully readable original review."

That original review will come down some day. I'm cringing even knowing it's still there.

I remember being in Paris in 2006 or 2007 (guessing at the date), walking by a giant poster, and wondering briefly who the unhappy woman in the picture was.

And here we are now....Can't believe meeting the woman from the poster basically has me reevaluating my life.


message 35: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Love this update, and so good to share your change of heart about the author, and overall self reflection on the original review. I hope everyone who read the original has the opportunity to see this too. Nicely done!


La Petite Américaine Nicole wrote: "Love this update, and so good to share your change of heart about the author, and overall self reflection on the original review. I hope everyone who read the original has the opportunity to see th..."

Thank you.

I hope the positive attention gets redirected to the person who deserves it.


message 37: by Jason (new)

Jason I applaud your courage for updating your perspective on this person and her captivity. many people do anything they can to stay alive in captivity….


message 38: by La Petite Américaine (last edited Feb 25, 2016 03:38PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

La Petite Américaine Jason wrote: "I applaud your courage for updating your perspective on this person and her captivity. many people do anything they can to stay alive in captivity…."

I feel bad that I judged her memoir not for the work itself, but by what other people had to say about her character.

That her fellow former captives wrote books about her behavior does little more than show that she was the most interesting hostage.

I wish I were that cool. :)


message 39: by Jason (new)

Jason There is a high profile sexual assault trial going on in Toronto right now, and the same thing is being done to the complainants-uninformed questions such as "Why would a rape victim contact her rapist"? Women (and men) throwing shade on victimized women.


La Petite Américaine Jason wrote: "There is a high profile sexual assault trial going on in Toronto right now, and the same thing is being done to the complainants-uninformed questions such as "Why would a rape victim contact her ra..."

Interesting. Can you link me?

Saw Jon Krakauer last night speaking about his book Missoula. I dragged my 17 year old college bound niece with me, and while I didn't care for Krakauer's ranting and raving, I'm glad his talk resonated with my niece. She was surprised to hear him talk about victim blaming. I'm hoping her takeaways from last night were a) avoid situations where you could become a victim, and b) *don't*be the jerk who blames the victim.

:-/


message 41: by Jason (new)

Jason Here is the latest:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto...

Yes, victim blaming is epidemic, even here in polite Canada.


La Petite Américaine Jason wrote: "Here is the latest:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto...

Yes, victim blaming is epidemic, even here in polite Canada."


Even here on goodreads. :-/

I know why I wrote that original review, and it had nothing to do with blaming the victim, but that's exactly how it turned out and I didn't even see it.

I wonder if there's some psychology of victim blaming that explains why people do this...


La Petite Américaine Jason wrote: "Here is the latest:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto...

Yes, victim blaming is epidemic, even here in polite Canada."


OMG didn't realize you were referring to the Jian Gomeshi trial...


message 44: by Jason (new)

Jason Yep. I cannot begin to tell you how this has upset me on so many levels.


message 45: by La Petite Américaine (last edited Feb 25, 2016 03:37PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

La Petite Américaine Tell me, I'm dying to know. We haven't heard much here about it here. I doubt anyone here except those of us who listen to CBC on NPR on Sundays has heard of him or knows about it.


message 46: by Jason (new)

Jason OK-well I consulted to CBC back in the day (Sesame Street) and there was a feeling that the CBC was just out of touch. Along comes Ghomeshi, straight out of a geek core band called Moxy Fruvous. Suddenly he is running this actually good radio show and he is getting really interesting stuff from interesting guests, taking on fascinating issues. I started listening in about 2009. I listened fairly regularly. I saw him live, met him briefly. One of my teaching assistants told me a curious thing about him. She is an intelligent, beautiful feminist and is Iranian. She would keep running into him at events and he would hit on her except he seemed to start fresh at every event as though he did not remember her. My diagnosis upon briefly meeting him was "man child". Then came the allegations. Big Ears Teddy, his narcissism, the abusive behaviour. It was such a total let down on so many levels. He had this good thing and he effed it up.

Get this: To prove there was nothing to the allegations he SHOWED HIS BOSSES AT THE CBC HIS SEX TAPES, MADE WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE WOMEN. Then he claimed it was consensual and just a little bdsm, which pissed off the bdsm community big time.

It was so infuriating, revolting, disgusting, disheartening etc.

Then the trial. His lawyer is a predator in the courtroom. She specializes in taking apart rape accusers on the stand. Its not a civil trial so the prosecutor is very restricted in how the witnesses are prepped and how they can be protected.

The fallout: its just a bunch of vindictive unstable women who are fabricating this to get a book deal.

So, yes, not happy. As a psychologist I have worked with women who struggled not to contact their abusive date raper after the fact. Its normal to want that contact. But in courts-that just makes you unreliable and a fabricator.

J


La Petite Américaine Jason wrote: "OK-well I consulted to CBC back in the day (Sesame Street) and there was a feeling that the CBC was just out of touch. Along comes Ghomeshi, straight out of a geek core band called Moxy Fruvous. Su..."

That's totally upsetting, as you said, on so many different levels.

It's hard to see someone fall from grace like that, period, I don't care what kind of person they are. The victim blaming just makes it worse. I understand that lawyers are doing their jobs, but when that many women accuse someone of sexual assault (wasn't it 23?), I don't understand why they'd put the victims under a microscope. What's the point? It's bad enough with one, but isn't it obvious that this guy is probably guilty when he's secretly taping women and he's got that many accusers? Why would a lawyer bother smearing victims?

And yes, my niece and I were talking last night about the exact same thing: a victim's normal emotional response after a sexual assault gets dissected and used against her in court--it's disgusting.

I didn't realize you were a psychologist (we've been friends on here for too long now!) :) Last night at the Krakauer thing, the first woman in line for questions was a psychologist. She really put Krakauer in his place and cut through the hysteria and frenzy he was creating in the room. It's such an awful and emotional topic, and to have that rational voice, it was wonderful.

This is why I don't like reading the news. Hope you can hold on to that rational voice during the circus of it all, as upsetting as it is. :-/


La Petite Américaine Jason wrote: "OK-well I consulted to CBC back in the day (Sesame Street) and there was a feeling that the CBC was just out of touch. Along comes Ghomeshi, straight out of a geek core band called Moxy Fruvous. Su..."

Acquitted...I can/can't believe it...


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