Movember month is over and I’d say Canada’s image seems a little tarnished. Our veneer of politeness has slithered off to reveal our own brand of cruelty and victim-blaming. I thought Generation X men had evolved past the male Boomers and Traditionals I’d clashed with. What are men thinking about the recent headlines? CBC’s progressive host of Q, of our national public broadcast company, is out on bail and at 47, must now live with his mother and avoid the women he choked and slapped. “On Wednesday, November 26, 2014, Jian Ghomeshi, 47, of Toronto, surrendered to police. He was charged with: 1) four counts of Sexual Assault; 2) Overcome Resistance – Choking,” reads a Toronto Police Services press release posted to its site after 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. With his lawyer he pleaded Not Guilty. While some men still believe they have the right to threaten or to harm (slap, choke and asphyxiate) the women they date, their dates have made some progress this season. More of society seems to be more willing to hear what the victims are saying. How are men helping women come forward? As a Boomer, in my 20s through 40’s I’d been called a “c—kteaser”, a slut, and that I was ‘asking for it.’ When I worked as an outreach worker in Vancouver’s downtown eastside in 1983, I made sure to doff that ‘c—kteaser’ outfit of a long skirt and low heels. Just like one of our resident mentors, Noella. She also had a rougher exterior with a 5“ diagonal scar slitting from one eyebrow to the opposite jaw bone – after catapulting headfirst through a windshield. Her role in our Mature Women’s Group was to encourage women who’d been raped to follow through. Noella went with them to the police office and tried to keep the women from giving up in a very sexist atmosphere. After all these ‘vics’ were ‘asking for it’ for being out that late, dressed like that, drinking alcohol, or living in that grubby room above the Number 5 Orange strip club. Police are now urging those with any additional information about alleged sexual and physical assaults committed by Ghomeshi to come forward. More than eight women, including women who have worked at the CBC, have now come forward to describe alleged physical attacks at the hands of the former Q host, who argues any physical contact was consensual and part of a sadomasochistic exchange. Jian wanted fame. He got more than he bargained for with the most aggressive scrum in Toronto’s downtown courthouse. Perhaps the fame of his victims will curb males to think twice about what continuous consent really means. Men, when does CONSENT start and end on your dates? One anonymous writer in Nov 17 of MacLeans’ said police advise her to choose her dates more wisely. How do we sort out the violent psychos from the aggressive charmers? A recent Psychology Today reported on the down side of Emotional intelligence; The results were striking: People who scored high on EQ and Machiavellianism scored remarkably high on the interpersonal deviance scale: They used their emotional skills to demean and embarrass their peers for personal gain. Among participants who scored low on Machiavellianism, EQ mattered little: They scored low in interpersonal deviance. The authors concluded that simply having high EQ doesn’t necessarily promote kindness and compassion. Having high EQ can be used to promote bad behavior. Some say it’s about power. MacLean’s magazine reported how Sheila Copps, former deputy prime minister says she was sexually assaulted as a young politician and raped by someone she dated more than 30 years ago. Copps, a cabinet minister under Jean Chretien and one-time candidate for the Liberal leadership, shared the shocking revelations… She wrote that during her first year as an Ontario member of provincial Parliament, she was on a parliamentary tour studying violence against women when another MPP attacked her after stepping off a hotel elevator. I pushed back on my assailant, kicking him where it hurts, when he tried to force me up against a wall and kiss me,” she wrote. We know that 2 young NDP MPs were assaulted this fall by two Liberal MPs and do not want to be named. An Ottawa reporter wrote, OTTAWA—The New Democrat MP who brought forward allegations of sexual misconduct involving Liberal colleagues says Montreal MP Massimo Pacetti forced himself on her in his hotel room earlier this year. “It was sex without explicit consent,” the female NDP MP told the Star in an interview Tuesday on the condition she would not be identified. …Both Andrews and Pacetti have denied any wrongdoing. What does explicit consent mean to men in our society? In 1974, I was 24, newly married, my Throat doctor asked for a blowjob when I was high on preparatory drugs before my surgery. My own GP ‘dealt’ with him. A year earlier, a senior executive at BC Hydro fondled numerous young female colleagues of mine, tried to French kiss me and spent a lot of time peering down shirt fronts of those in his steno pool. My revenge was to let my carriage slide into his groin when he peered down my blouse one afternoon. How much consent did those men need to do what they wanted? What rights do victims have? How do men in the office make sure this does not happen anymore? The NDP MP said she has no plans to go to police — her decision to file a complaint with police about the sexual assault she experienced as a teenager resulted in police warning her that her credibility would be called into question in the “he said, she said” case. She said she remains open to participating in an investigation by an independent third party so long as the process is confidential. …As for Pacetti, she said: “if he is ready to give me a sincere apology, if he understands how he made me feel, and I feel that he is sincere and he engaged himself to getting help and mental therapy, I feel for myself it would be enough”. Afterwards, sources say the woman alleges that Andrews repeatedly verbally harassed her, calling her a “c–kteaser.” Next week is December 6, when we commemorate the tragic shooting of 14 female engineers at Montreal’s Polytechnic. Many women need few ceremonial reminders, as they still live with harassment, assaults, and rape. There are still no policies how to deal with Members of Parliament accosting female MPs. There are policies in place in many workplaces but the culture of the offender with the most power still dominates. After all, women’s place is in the home where she can be safe. Unless she’s showing just a little too much flesh. UBC has a plaque with this phrase, We mourn. We remember. We question. Together, we work for change.” Until there are significant consequences for offenders, and a true realization that their behaviour is not just unsafe or wrong, but illegal and will not be tolerated. One of Jian’s victims, DeCoutere, released a statement on Wednesday, saying: “The past month has seen a major shift in the conversation about violence against women. It has been an overwhelming and painful time for many people, including myself, but also very inspiring. I hope that victims’ voices continue to be heard and that this is the start of a change that is so desperately needed.” Keep your moustache, or don’t. Protect your wife, daughters and sisters throughout the year. Join the conversation and help the stories get expressed and help the attackers understand their behaviour, become contrite and move forward. Let’s put Canada back on the map of a civil society – we would still like to be known for peace, order and good government (in our bedrooms and across the nation).