A fine article that points up the patriarchy at the heart of the Cdn legal system and how female lawyers collaborate with it. Mallick’s satire is biting
Dos and don’ts for testifying women: don’t: Mallick
What the Jian Ghomeshi trial teaches us about how to be the perfect sexual assault complainant
Wanted: an immaculate complainant for the Ghomeshi trial, and all such future trials.
It is apparent that the three women saying Jian Ghomeshi bit, punched, slapped or choked them were all faulty to some degree. Oh these ladies and their vapours, telling tales to make a name for themselves while they continued with their nasty ways, as the defence would put it.
They were eviscerated. But in a world where police did only hasty interviews with the complainants and a sweet shy Crown attorney faced knife-ish lawyers hired by a rich man, it’s time for victims of sexual attack to raise their game. Why should the public sector do all the work?
And I’m a feminist, but may I say the ladies were frightened and weak, qualities famously much valued by the monstrous regiment. A frightened weak female is not useful to our cause.
So, all women in future sexual assault trials, stop being frightened and weak.
Big up. Don’t be slender like Lucy DeCoutere, be tall, big-boned and muscled to the point where you could silence a soft fattish man by sitting on him until his little limbs waggled the way turtles’ do when you flip them onto their shells. It’s a nice image, no?
Be born into a moneyed family so that you can hire lawyers to advise and prepare, to coat you like the fine glossy sports car you are and purr along close to the road/witness stand. Be an Eaton or a Frum. Bonus: afterwards you can be a Conservative senator.
Don’t drink alcohol. Try sparkling water or fruit juices, just as enjoyable.
Be sexually immaculate, and if that’s not workable be in a fortress-like marriage with children as evidence of having done the sex, purely for the evidentiary purpose of knowing what was done to you.
Call the cops on your cellphone as soon as your attacker is out of sight. Tell no one what happened, especially your female friends. Do not consult your doctor who may draw his own conclusions. Have no medical conditions beyond a dry cough or whatever happens to tendons.
Memorize all angles, colours, shapes, makes of cars and note how many seconds passed during your attack. Helpful hint: Say “one thousand one, one thousand two,” etc. as you are overpowered.
Never get the days confused, even from a decade before. Keep a paper day-timer and a detailed diary. Do not express your feelings in your diary as they could taint your testimony. Have no inappropriate uncontrolled emotions and do not express hatred of your attacker as it could be seen in retrospect as a motive to lie.
Don’t do what the attacker wants you to do. Do the opposite. If this fails, as it will, go back in time and do everything differently, an excellent strategy as it saves on pointless regret.
Don’t contact the perpetrator or talk to him at industry parties. In fact, leave the industry.
Be the woman your parents raised you to be, nice, apologetic, at fault. I didn’t know I could disagree with men until I read a novel when I was a tween where a woman said, on a train, “I disagree.” And look at me now. I’m disagreeable! Who wants that in a woman?
Do not make jokes, especially sexual jokes. There’s nothing funny about intercoursing.
Don’t wear a bikini or any kind of outdoor minimalist garment, and if you do, do not be photographed in it. Frankly, best be a never-nude like Dr. Tobias Funke in Arrested Development who wears cut-offs under his underwear at all times. Never knowingly be naked, even in the shower or at night. Nobody wants to see your Down Theres, especially you.
Do not be online. Do not be on Twitter or Facebook, as they keep records for the rest of your life, which will not be as short as you will come to wish it. Restrict yourself to phone conversations. Whisper in restaurants.
Be silent and numb, draw no attention to yourself, be like a headless armless Greek statue in an alcove in an ill-attended area of the museum.
On March 30, Ghomeshi’s lead defence lawyer Marie Henein will be the keynote speaker at a Young Women in Law charity event at the Arcadian Court in Toronto, sponsored by an all-female legal recruiter and four major Toronto law firms. Proceeds of the evening will pay for “work with war-affected communities to help children reclaim their childhood.”
The charity was founded by 10 young women lawyers and helps such lawyers consider career paths, of which “become the men we once detested” is one.
I trust the audience members will be immaculately behaved, unsullied and, above all, silent.