It's every MRA's wet dream: a bunch of jilted women band together in unison to plot a cold, calculated, twisted revenge against the one man they all have in common. The plan? To intentionally and falsely accuse one man of committing non-consensual sexual activity in the hopes of smearing his name in the media. (The only thing that is missing is a cauldron and a book of spells.)
At least that the explanation Jian Ghomesh wants everyone else to think.
Unfortunately, that scenario sounds more plausible for another one of Tyler Perry's misogynistic movies than reality.
Kate Harding at Dame Magazine has a spot on analysis:
Can we acknowledge this for once, instead of mindlessly furthering the myth that women are so capricious and fundamentally terrible, we'll gladly ruin an innocent man's life, working together or separately? Can we pause to consider the deeply offensive implication that such behavior sounds more like something the average woman might do than something a desperate man would dream up to deflect attention from himself? Accusing someone of a crime he didn't commit is not something a person with a conscience does for any reason, let alone some petty personal grievance. So if you believe it's something a woman might just do after any given sexual encounter, for the flimsiest of reasons, you pretty much believe that women, as a class, are prone to sociopathy.
When I was in junior high, I got in trouble a lot at school. After one night of epic fighting with my mother, she snapped, "Is anything ever your fault? Because every time I get a call about your behavior, you have some justification for why you didn't do anything wrong. Either you're the most unluckiest person on the planet or you're lying to me."
Nearly 20 years later, the same sentiment applies to Ghomeshi.
Quite rightly, Harding says you can believe anything you want. But similar to other sexual and violent predators, am I really supposed to believe that this is a freak accident that his exes allege a similar pattern of non-consenual behavior? That Ghomeshi was so irresistible and so charming to these women that when they split, his exes were so heartbroken and so obsessed and so hellbent on revenge that they banded together to carry it out in one swift, strategic motion?
Harding is right about one thing: a big chunk of the population is very reluctant to believe a pattern of predatory behavior.
Publicly accusing someone of a crime or serious unethical behavior is nothing to fuck with. Very, very bad things can happen, like civil lawsuits. The number of people who intentionally make false accusations pales in comparison to people who make legitimate accusations. When my ex plagiarized from me, I immediately went to publication's editor, who was also a mutual friend. The editor's response was something I wish would happen more often. He said, "I can see you're very serious about this accusation, and I know that you're well aware of the consequences of lying. I also know you wouldn't be here if it wasn't true because you're risking a public fight, which you don't seem to fear." (The editor took my accusation from there.)
I welcome stories in the comments of romantic revenge: the hilarious, the terrible, and the illegal.