Thursday, 2 September 2010

Sauce for the gander, smear for the goose.

Imagine the following scenario.

An ex-patient of an orthopedic specialist initiates a civil suit against her, her gynecological oncologist husband and a hospital. Several years ago the patient found herself in the untenable situation of receiving, while under the care of her
specialist, raunchy nude photos of her physician's husband and numerous invitations to have sex with him. The patient deflected these overtures. After her medical treatment was complete, she complained to the hospital who settled with her, giving her shush money provided that she destroyed all compromising photos and documents in her possession.

Now the former patient has gone public and the oncologist, currently the director of a teaching unit at a prestigious hospital, has taken administrative leave pending investigation and resolution of the litigation/complaint. His spouse, who suffered from PTSD at the time, acknowledged she'd posted private intimate photographs and offered his sexual services to this woman, without his consent or knowledge.

If this were a movie script, would it feature stars like Angelina Jolie and George Clooney?

Life imitates the stuff on the silver screen, as the recent actions of a man hoping to score a few million dollars by exploiting a husband's frailty and destroying a woman's life, illustrate.

the actual story, not glossed by some Hollywood re-write.
[...] sexually explicit photographs of Douglas are part of the complaint made in July by Alexander Chapman, a 44-year-old computer specialist, who says he was harassed by the judge’s husband to have sex with her.

Chapman said after he retained Winnipeg family lawyer Jack King in 2003 to handle his divorce, King showed him about 30 nude photographs of Douglas and supplied him with a password for a porn website devoted to interracial sex. [...]

If a lawyer deliberately posts nude photos of herself on Facebook or on a website it could later undermine public confidence in her ability to serve as a judge, said Lorne Sossin, dean of law at Osgoode.

However, if the photos were taken in the context of an inherently private relationship and posted without her consent, Sossin said, it’s hard to imagine she should be judged negatively.

Sossin suggested it would also be unfair to find Douglas unfit for judicial office simply on the basis of her sexual predilections. At an earlier time, the same might have been said about homosexuals, he added.

In the first (fictional) instance, the demand for accountability (regarding sexual harassment and violation of sexual privacy) would be specifically directed at the spouse who acted with reckless disregard for her profession's code of conduct and her husband's privacy.

But in real life the public blaming, shaming, and punishing of women continues, whether they're sex workers, complainants in a high-profile contentious sexual interlude, G20 political activists or judges.

Because they're women, it makes them fair game for the gynophobes - within the RCMP, Harper's Conservative party or the CBC.

Note: Yes, I changed the title when I realized I'd written opposite to what I intended.


Anonymous said...

Thats sure what it looks like to me.

Beijing York said...

Good analogy dBO. The widespread, biased coverage of this "news" story is despicable. And shame on the CBC for "breaking" this travesty of justice.

Canajun said...

Couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

The only concern I have is the fact that she had to have been made aware of what her husband had done when a) he resigned from his position at the law firm of which she was a partner of so there is no way she could not have known what her husband had done b) the fact that this case was dealt with privately with Chapman receiving $25,000 to pay him off to keep his mouth shut and keep the story under wraps as well as destroying all the evidence of this having ever existed so again there is no way she could not of known about this situation and even just as importantly and more so in my opinion is c) she did not openly disclose this issue to when she made her application to the appointment. Had she been upfront and honest and didn't try to hide it as though it never existed is what I have a problem with most of all given the position she was applying for.

deBeauxOs said...

Anonymous - those are easy assumptions for anyone who believes that women are inherently evil, to make.

It would not surprise me one bit that her husband and his cronies at the law firm kept her deliberately out of the information loop. It happens all the time in the Old Boys' Lawyer club.

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