Calling it "Ghomeshigate" is an insult to his accusers
We have the stupidest trend in word history going on, one that makes me want to jam a fork in my eye and twist every time someone starts it up again.
It’s this fad of using “-gate” as a suffix in order to denote scandal. Such as “Ghomeshi-gate.”
You know the origin of this, right? 1974’s Watergate?
The short version: basically burglary, doxxing, and invasion of privacy, plus a little cover-up on, oh, you know, a scale never before seen. Oh, Nixon, you dirty dog.
Phew, that’s some pretty impressive stuff. But you know what didn’t happen there? Women weren’t reported to have been shoved up against a wall, choked, thrown, beaten upside the head, or basically abused in every other way, including verbally.
This “-gate” thing is a cutesy trend, people, and this scandal? It’s not cute, and yet Twitter and social media and even newspapers are rife with this reference.
This scandal is as dark as it gets. Its allegations speak of a man on top of the world, the figurehead to a national broadcasting corporation, a marketer’s wet dream, and among the culture-definers of a generation, but a man who is alleged to prey on women. From early inklings, the list of women who may come forward over time is huge.
Just look at the scope of the Star’s expose on the first eight accusers to come forth, both anonymously and on the record. If true, it reflects a 13-year trend of misogynistic brutality against females -- and that’s just who’s come forward in these early days.
But, hey, let’s be trendy and totally adorbs! Let’s “-gate” it up, kids!
On day one of this scandal, folks opted to bang out these trite buzzwords with little thought to how offensive it is to relegate to a buzzword something that, for the accuser might have been a seismic shift in how they saw, dealt with, and trusted, other people.
The journalists hanging their hat on #Ghomeshigate think it sounds more like a modern scandal this way. Ironic, since they’ve tacking a cliche, overused suffix to the scandal’s main noun to hijack a 40-year-old idea. It’s frustrating to the rest of us who do our jobs with respect for victims and an appreciation of the severity of what occurred.
I’ve been truly offended by this “-gate” business since this began. You know, back when it was “just” three. Now that it’s eight, well, gee, that’s no good, so some people are taking it more seriously and dropping the suffix.
I thought three women was enough. That could be your sister, your friend, your daughter. Isn’t “just one” more than plenty? Or does a man get a pass if he just belts “just one” woman six or eight times in a fit of rage?
All scandals are not identical. Some scandals, like this, affect its participants for months, years, decades, on a deeply emotional, even visceral level. It is not some item for playful banter, adorable nicknames, and marketing buzzwords.
Besides, by “gating” Ghomeshi’s name, we make it all about him while also diminishing the ordeals he is alleged to have wrought. From some back-channel industry rumours afloat, as time passes we will find out about dozens more, all women, all who probably vomit in their mouth every time someone ties their worst life experience up with a bow so a little copy sells.
These women have been humiliated more than enough. The least we can do is splurge and use two whole words to sum up the awfulness of this travesty. I’m no creative genius, but I thought “Jian Ghomeshi” had a nice, crisp message to it.
Try it. Rolls off the tongue, don’t it?
Next time you’re thinking of the #Ghomeshigate hashtag or saying it with friends, here’s an idea: Don’t. Talk about #Ghomeshi, the alleged Ghomeshi assaults or the alleged Ghomeshi attacks, Ghomeshi accusers, but please, don’t subject those women to becoming a suffix. We owe them more.