Hergott: Better to avoid our ‘wrongs’ than to pursue litigation

She does not admonish him for the brief spanking, nor does she report it…That is, until 10 years later when she comes out of the woodwork…

She is a police officer who has to be in control every minute of her work day.

She meets him, a prominent community leader, at a fundraising event. The attraction is electric.

Cell numbers are exchanged and electricity builds with playful texts.

On him opening the front door of his home to welcome her inside, their lips to each others are lightening bolts to rods.

The playful tone of their texts gave him cues that led him to believe that she was not unlike other strong, successful women who have explored sexual tendencies with him.

After their tongues explore each other’s mouths, he snaps into the assertive role, grabs her firmly by the wrist and swiftly pulls her over his lap.

His hand meets her now vulnerable behind with five very sharp smacks.

This abrupt move had not been discussed. He misread the cues.

She does not share his sexual tendency and her reaction to the brief spanking is not what he was expecting.

She is too shocked to tell him to stop, but he immediately perceives the lack of interest and snaps out of the role. There is no bruising to her wrist, nor to her behind.

They go on a couple more dates, but their lack of compatibility has become clear and the relationship is short-lived.

She does not admonish him for the brief spanking, nor does she report it to anyone.

That is, until 10 years later when she comes out of the woodwork after a jilted long-term lover makes allegations against the same man about their salacious sexual relationship that included consensual S&M role playing that cause him to lose his job and make headlines.

Substitute the police officer for a military officer and the spanking for being pushed up against the wall with a one-handed throat hold and two slaps to the face and you have the Jian Ghomeshi story.

In an environment of sensitivity about spousal abuse, the incredible public “brand” of Ghomeshi, a popular CBC Radio host, has been absolutely trashed for those who don’t understand these kinds of  sexual dynamics.

If you are one of those people, I can assure you without the help of Ipsos Reid that there is a multitude of women who are now dreaming about being pushed up against the wall by Ghomeshi.

I shouldn’t be sexist, as there is a multitude of men as well.

But how does Ghomeshi, up until now one of the most successful and well loved Canadian media personalities, “achieve justice” in this scenario?

A years long lawsuit against the jilted lover whose allegations started this mess? Unless she’s a multi-millionaire, the lawsuit would be meaningless.

His lawsuit against the CBC? It wasn’t the firing that is destroying his “brand;” it is the allegations of what goes on in the privacy of his bedroom.

Without destruction of the “brand,” he would still be a hot commodity, with potential employers lined up to woo him away from the CBC.

How about a claim against the military officer? While my column assumes that everything she said in her interview was true, lawsuits can go only so far to redress wrongs in our society.

Once defamatory allegations hit the public eye, the toothpaste can’t be forced back into the tube.

I see this as similar to a personal injury lawsuit being inadequate to redress wrongful driving for those left with a lifetime of pain and functional limitations.

No financial settlement or legal judgment will ever give you your life back.

So what is the answer?

The only answer is to avoid the “wrongs” in the first place, whether it be in relationships or driving safely on our roads.

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