Sarah Thomson vs. Rob Ford: The court of public opinion is often unfair

Emma Teitel on being groped — and taking revenge

Sarah vs Ford

David Cooper/Toronto Star

On the eve of International Women’s Day last week, Sarah Thomson, the publisher of Women’s Post magazine, attended a party for the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee, where she was allegedly groped and propositioned by an “arrogant” and “outrageous” Rob Ford. The Toronto mayor grabbed her buttocks, Thomson claims, and expressed regret that she didn’t join him in Florida the week before, when his “wife wasn’t there.” She went even further—suggesting on morning radio that Ford might have been high on cocaine at the party because he was “talking fast.” Thomson went public with her claims via Facebook the morning after the alleged groping, and has since been deemed a thoroughly unreliable narrator. Not only because there are problems with her story (two other municipal councillors claim to have heard her telling a friend about a plan to entrap the mayor) but, considerably more disturbing, because people just don’t like her. She’s obnoxious, she has unconvincing political slogans, she’s too skinny: these are just a few of the completely unrelated Sarah Thomson criticisms circulating the Internet at the moment. Tarek Fatah, the writer and activist, criticized the Toronto publisher for being rich (he assumed, incorrectly, on Twitter, that she is “from the richest family in Canada,” those other Thomsons). Others have attacked her for her employment of the word “ass” in describing the incident (as in, “the mayor grabbed my ass”) and even for speaking publicly about the incident in the first place.

In other words, being modest—and not rich—would seem to be the preferred prerequisites for someone who is groped. Oh, how far we’ve come. But it doesn’t stop at modesty. Once you’ve been groped, there are, apparently, exactly two things you can do about it. Here’s Christie Blatchford, spelling out those two things, in the National Post: “If Ms. Thomson believed she was sexually assaulted, she should have complained to a traditional body with the expertise to conduct a proper investigation, like the police. If she believed the mayor had just been a boor, she should have kept her mouth shut; wherever did the notion of discretion among ostensibly capable adults go?”

Press charges or keep quiet. Surely there is a happy medium in such a situation.

My ass, for example, has been grabbed more times than I can count, mostly in clubs and bars, and I haven’t once pressed charges. For me—and I suspect Thomson feels the same way—public groping is a momentarily perverse invasion of privacy, not an act of sexual violence. (It’s also incredibly hard to prove.) It makes me mad, not necessarily sad. But quiet? Never. In fact, on the particular ass-grabbing occasions I can recall, I sought out my girlfriends and we tried as best we could to publicly shame the guy responsible. We even had a technique at nightclubs—where dancing has devolved into arrhythmic mounting—of banding together and collectively remounting the guy who had groped us. It was the biblical solution to public groping: an ass for an ass.

Women have many choices in exacting revenge in the event of a public groping. They can be as immodest as they like—and yes, Tarek Fatah: as perversely rich, too.

And the notion that all sexual assault claims made by women who don’t go to the police are automatically false or at the very least suspicious is outrageous. According to a survey last year, 83 per cent of women who are sexually assaulted choose not to report it to the police because, ironically, they are convinced their attackers will never be brought to justice.

Still, as much as it pains me to say, some critics are right about one thing: Sarah Thomson may have made the wrong choice. Not about speaking out, but about with whom she is currently speaking. She didn’t go to the police with her accusation, perhaps because of the reasons outlined above. And she didn’t go to Rob Ford, to confront him directly. Instead, she came to us, the media. (And we aren’t, traditionally, known for our fair-minded and reasonable judgment.)

She chose to air her grievances not in a court of law but solely in the court of public opinion, where she is subject to the same scrutiny as her alleged abuser. She chose to deal with the incursion privately but in the most public setting, thereby forfeiting the protections of both realms. She chose the shaming route. She took the route of the 22-year-old at a nightclub, which, while it works in that realm, doesn’t work as well for the publisher of a magazine and a former contender for mayor.

I tend to believe she’s telling the truth, but because of her potentially libellous finger-pointing, refusal to consult police and utter lack of proof, the truth is something we may never discover. In a court of law, we might. In a court of law, Rob Ford would be innocent until proven guilty. But in the court of public opinion, Sarah Thomson is, unfortunately, guilty until proven innocent.


Sarah Thomson vs. Rob Ford: The court of public opinion is often unfair

  1. “I tend to believe she’s telling the truth”

    Could you explain why you think she’s telling the truth, despite all the evidence to the contrary?

    • because she works for MACLEANS. This article is a pantload.

      When you go to the court of public opinion first, before afull and fair investigation, you might not like the verdict!

      • There’s public discussion of important issues. And there’s those who go about slinging words like “pantload” and assuming that every form of government, media, or rationality is an assault on their paranoid non-intelligence.

        • What’s the “public discussion of important issues” being had?

          We have a woman who’s making baseless, unfounded, and frankly unbelievable accusations about an elected public figure. And within hours of making that public accusation she’s been altering her story to unbelievable lengths.

          • Translation: it scares me that a woman would dare to defend herself against sexual touching and harassment and so her complaints are “baseless, unfounded, and frankly unbelievable”. And “elected public official”? Give me a break. Does that mean an elected official is immune, can do any wrong, public or private? This is not the guy you want to give immunity to.

    • Come on, Rick; everyone thought he did it at first. It would not at all be out of character, based on his other public boneheaded actions. It was only the later details that shed doubt. Personally, I don’t know who to believe, so… innocent until proven guilty.

      • Her claim was suspect from the beginning. I know you’d convict Ford of anything anybody ever accused him of, because that’s your partisan bias. He was in a room full of people and cameras, and not a single other person can even remotely corroborate her “recollection” of what transpired. She’s admitted to lying about the original Facebook photo, and she admitted to telling others she was going to “set up” Ford (only after said comments were revealed by others).

        What “other public boneheaded actions” has Rob Ford ever exhibited previously that would imply that sexual assault “would not at all be out of character” for him?

        The “later details” that you talk about, would be the “details” provided by everybody other than the accuser. There’s not a single credible witness that can provide even a hint of evidence that her account is true. There are a host of witnesses that will provide evidence that her story is false, premeditated, and fabricated.

        Innocent until proven guilty, unless you’re an editor at the Toronto Red Star, I suppose.

        • See my reply to margeryk as to why I initially believed the story. It’s all the evidence that came out later that made me doubt my original assessment that he did it,

          I don’t like Ford’s politics, but I can respect a difference of opinion from an honourable person. My real problem with Rob is that I think he has a complete lack of respect for everyone who isn’t a fawning acolyte; that he has little time for laws and social conventions. That he is a stupid man in a position of power. He lost my respect and earned my cynical view of him with his behaviour, not his politics.

        • still. Everybody knows he did it. You know it.

      • Why do you say it would not be out of character? Ford is loud, sometimes rude and obnoxious, and I’m sure has other personality flaws with which I am not familiar, but what has he done that would make you think sexual harassment is part of his character? Such an action from him would be without precedent.

        • Simple. His every action – from using his cellphone & reading while driving, to flipping the bird, and on and on, show that he does not think laws and social conventions apply to him. In my experience, people who behave as he does think nothing of engaging in what they see as harmless flirtation of a nature that others consider inappropriate.

          It is a form of stereotyping, granted, but he does fit a certain character type to a T. So no, it would not surprise me.

          • Irrelevant and judgmental, typical self-righteous leftard.

          • Aren’t you being a little judgmental yourself? And what makes you think I’m leftist? Probably left of YOU, as most people who use phrases like “leftard” think Sun News is too left-wing – but my problem with Ford has more to do with him being a complete idiot than with his politics.

          • You gave us a hint. Only leftards engage in cottonpicking people’s characters that any behaviour that does not conform to Victorian codes are guilty of just about anything. Your poster girl Sarah Thomson says it all; perhaps you must be very proud of her behaviour. Ford’s politics is embraced by the majority; if he’s an idiot, he ran over candidates whose politics you embrace. What does that make you?

          • To be perfectly honest, I never heard of Thomson until now; not living in Toronto, I don’t follow their mayoral races that closely. I do know that in the 21 years I have lived in the GTA, I have not been terribly impressed by any of the Toronto mayors, regardless of political stripe. The politicians of Peel region don’t get as much attention, but as a group they impress me a lot more than what I have seen of Toronto’s.

            Who he “ran over” means little to me, but it does leave me with a rather poor impression of Torontonians that they like to elect clowns. Between Mel and now this guy, they seem intent of making their city a laughingstock. Well, if that’s what they want, so be it.

            As to “Victorian codes” – the man flagrantly ignores laws, truly believes he is entitled to do as he wishes, and shows no respect for anyone who holds differing views. I expect better behaviour of a politician of any stripe than to talk on a cellphone or read while driving; give people the finger; etc. He’s a man-child.

            Brampton will soon be licencing clowns; Ford will soon need a licence just to enter our city. ;-)

          • Perhaps you should be doing a little more research before you reach the conclusions you do!

            I mean you talk about how Ford being elected leaves you “with a rather poor impression of Torontonians that they like to elect clowns,” but if your only basis for your conclusions are negative Ford news stories, then you really aren’t in any position to say anything about Ford or the voters of Toronto.
            And the fact that you refer to Lastman and Ford, but blissfully neglect to mention David Miller, does suggest that you’re a political lefty.

          • I listed the mayors noted for their clownish behaviour. Miller wasn’t one of those. Regardless of what you (or I) may think of his politics, Miller at least didn’t embarrass his city on a regular basis with his behaviour.

            Ford’s behaviour is not mayoral. His politics aren’t the reason he behaves as he does – unless the right is defined solely by how boorish and ignorant thy behave.

            Compare, for example, Ford’s reaction to being caught using his cell to this other right-wing politician: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2008/01/24/williams-cellphone.html

            Guess which one I respect?

          • But Miller will go down as the best mayor yet. Nothing you blather on about can change that. Don’t. even. compare. Ford. favorably. to. Miller. Don’t even try

          • You can call me or anybody what you want. The fact remains, leftards are usually hypocritical and disconnected. You should start learning more about Sarah Thomson, because whether you like it or not, she’s now the poster girl of you leftards, and she embodies perfectly what you leftards generally are. Between the clown and the hypocrite, I’ll take the clown; at least he makes me laugh; Sarah Thomson makes me puke.

          • Pssst! BTW, I have never voted NDP. I’m in the blue liberal / red tory zone (i.e. fiscally conservative & socially liberal).

            So, I’m not exactly “left”. As for the “tard”… clearly you are about as mature as your friend Ford. Time to grow up.

          • The way you characterize people shows clearly you’re a leftard. I bet you love sandals, latte and tofu-burger, and have a subscription of Toronto Star.

          • And clearly, you are a righthole. There; I’m now playing at your level. But this is my last comment on this thread; see you the next time something sets the hard-right crowd’s mouths frothing.

          • I bet he rushes to judgement too, with crass stereotypes and sweeping generalizations. Goddamn stereotypers. They’re all the same.

          • I think it’s time to just quietly leave “jai” alone. He’s a net loss to his society. Hopefully he’ll go away and live in his surreal little pathetic world

          • Who let a sane, rational person in here?

          • PS: If I’m a “leftard”, does that make you a righthole?

          • wrong on two counts, at least. Your views are 19th c.; Ford does not represent the majority. The majority in Toronto, Ontario, Canada are center and left. Not right, the minority.

          • Have you been congratulated on the use of “leftard” recently? You see, people, it’s so clever. It’s joins “left” to “retard.” Those right-wingers are so smart, too bad they do such a good job hiding it. Evidence, their favorite word in these posts? read the posts

        • funny one. wife-beating, violent threats in public, etc.

      • I didn’t…and I don’t even like him! The minute I heard it, my thought was “so THIS is the next attempt the progressives are going to use against Ford, eh?”

  2. He did it.

    • proof?????? we dont need no stinkin proof

    • Then why did she not go to the police? Why was she smiling ear to ear in the picture? Why does she still continue to smile and wave at people when speaking to media? Talk about the lowest form of getting your 15 minutes possible. Even Rob Ford wouldn’t pull a stunt like that!

  3. Do us all a favor Teitel, never sit on a jury.

  4. Of course Ford did it! Everyone knows this.

    • ….and your proof herb…please present Exhibit A, B and C. Then hold a news conference.

    • The police would laugh her out of the station

  5. “I tend to believe she’s telling the truth”

    That’s the sisterhood for you, and an impressive example of the feminist “rationalization hamster” at work. Witnesses? Feh, power structures. A mountain of circumstantial evidence? Bah, inherently patriarchial.

    • what’s your evidence? The credibility of Mayor Ford?

      • Innocent until proven guilty. Where is HER evidence? The smiling-from-ear-to-ear photo of her in the midst of the alleged ass-grabbing? Uh, yeah, that’s some good evidence. /sarc

        • There is no evidence. There often isn’t. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Everybody knows Ford did it, let’s face it. Wife-beater, drug-abuser, repeated violent threatener in public. C’mon. Give me a break. Denying it because somehow Ford represents your pathetic neo-right wing-extremism culture wars is not logical. In your heart you know he’s guilty.

          • LOL! Thanks for the laugh!

          • You’re funny, take your meds and rest for a few days, that will help your delusion and your mania.

      • Actual sexual assaults are usually dealt with by police and not only publicly aired on Twitter and Facebook. Cant go to the cops with a bad fake story or you will be the one ending up getting charged.

        Even people I know that hate Rob Ford think this woman is an idiot. Sarah the brainiac has completely blown any chance of becoming Toronto mayor.

        • ah, the good old days are back. A woman complains about how’s she’s being treated: her story is “fake” and “bad”, and if she goes to the police she will be charged. After all, she’s an “idiot”, or sarcastically put, a “brainiac”. There must be ulterior motives: she’s going to run for office again, but “we” won’t vote for her.
          Except, these are not the bad old days. A woman’s right to complain—whether immediately, after the fact, informally, formally—is ok. The accused can defend himself, formally or informally, fine. But the woman’s looks, manner, profession are not the issue.
          This is the way it is. It’s not for you, and it’s not accepted by the small minority of people who haunt the internet as right wing extremists. But it is the way it is. And it is right. Get used to it.

  6. only intelligent thing on this story written so far.

    • I have come to find that the majority of Rob Ford haters tend to be under or unemployed, tenants, substance abusers, on social assistance, are public transit dependant and are not property tax payers. Which categories do you fall into?

  7. More claptrap from an odious member of the liberal left. Thanks Emma.

    • Emma, another spoon fed 28 year old that will give us her views on anything and everything. Wait till she finds out Greg Thomso filed for divorce yesterday. Gee, I wonder why.

      • Did Greg Thomson really file for divorce?

        • no of course not! just another lie, among the piles here: “she was trying to set him up” “putting something on Facebook means you are lying” “I think she’s ugly/annoying so therefore….” etc.

  8. When is Macleans changing their name to Now Magazine?

    • LOL…Yeah. You nailed it. They will change when Sarah and worstmayorever come to the realization that they are bipolar. Ya don’t drink scotch when you’re bipolar. lol

  9. Teitel, you should have asked women who were really abused what they think of Sarah Thomson’s media frenzy before writing about your opinion. You and Sarah brought the whole movement decades down. Using the media to slander and rallying the women movement for sympathy with false modesty, ignoring the expertise and the trust of the authority in handling assault issues send the wrong message to women, especially the young girls. Perhaps you may want to join her to become the new faces of the disconnected left.

    • As woman who’s been assaulted, I can honestly say that my first instinct after the assault was not to report it to the authorities. Teitel isn’t setting the women’s movement back, she’s highlighting the reality that assault victims rarely trust the police to do their job

      • I’m sorry about your situation, Angela. While you were hesitant to report the incident to the police, and I can certainly understand why, did you quickly post it on Facebook or Twitter? No, I didn’t think so.

        • The point of the article is that women deal with sexual violence in public and private contexts. Though appealing to the authorities seems to be the way to ‘legitimately’ in a public context, discuss sexual violence, this does not mean the significance of sharing assaults privately (within families) or in other forms of public venues, is of no social or personal value. Sexual assault is a cultural, not just a legal, issue. I would also suggest that increasingly access to ‘legitimate’ modes of justice for women who have been assaulted is unattainable – rape cases aren’t taken seriously by the police. More importantly, sexual assault is so widespread in our culture, that only severe acts of sexual violence can be ‘legally’ incorporated as crimes – this demonstrates how little women are valued in our culture. Consequently women appeal to other public and private outlets to vent their frustrations and seek different forms of justice, other than ‘legal’ ones. This includes sharing stories on social media you would not have shared with the police. I have no problem with women doing this. I think it is a necessary step in addressing the culturally entrenched violence against women that is an epidemic in North America. Women should be allowed to publicly acknowledge something that was done to them. Why keep quiet about the truth?

          • “Rape cases aren’t taken seriously by the police”.

            Your evidence backing this claim up is just overwhelming…

            “More importantly, sexual assault is so widespread in our culture, that only severe acts of sexual violence can be ‘legally’ incorporated as crimes – this demonstrates how little women are valued in our culture.”

            No it demonstrates that even if these cases of sexual assault were as rampant as you say the capacity of the police to deal with them and secure a conviction is limited by the legal and technical realities that they work under. Namely the principle that people are innocent before being proven guilty and that the police cannot be everywhere at any one time, not to mention the lack of evidence being available and the limited resources they have at their disposal. it has nothing to do with how little women are valued in our culture, and if a guy were to report a sex assault to the police the circumstances facing him would be no different (if anything they could be worse because of stigma).

            “Consequently women appeal to other public and private outlets to vent their frustrations and seek different forms of justice, other than ‘legal’ ones. This includes sharing stories on social media you would not have shared with the police. I have no problem with women doing this.”

            First of all the fact that you have put apostrophes around the words legal, legitimate, and legally suggests you don’t believe in the rule of law. Its in your right to believe that, but the reality is Thomson made accusations against the mayor and she has not provided any evidence to back up her statements (which at this point include suggesting Ford was on cocaine on top of this supposed butt grabbing). Even her assistant says she did not see this happen to Thomson, only that Ford looked “red in the face, [was] sweating profusely, [was] dime-eyed, and act[ed] rather abrupt” (which does not prove anything).

            Like it or not the burden of proof falls with the accuser in our legal system (criminal or civil). In this case its been a week and there hasn’t been anyone else at the event coming forward to support her here.

            “I think it is a necessary step in addressing the culturally entrenched violence against women that is an epidemic in North America. Women should be allowed to publicly acknowledge something that was done to them. Why keep quiet about the truth?”

            Why just women? Why can’t men point to a female coworker or political opponent they don’t like, without any evidence, and say (or tweet) that that woman groped them, raped them, or otherwise sexually abused them? Why do women get a pass on making statements without providing evidence while men are expected to? If you make slanderous or libellous statements against someone and can’t back them up then you are rightly responsible for the consequences (regardless of sex).

          • Theresa, apparently we see the “point of the article” entirely differently. You see it as talking points from a Womyn’s Studies class. I see it as another attempt by leftist thugs to depose a duly-elected politician and to attempt to hijack the democratic system.

          • @Barb R …. if you think Sarah Thomson is a … lefty, you need to go back to grade one and learn how to … comprehend what you read … bout as lefty as my right foot … you ever read Women’s Post … read it, then tell me she’s a lefty .. more right wing then Harper for god’s sake . but then when righties talk, it’s all just cliches and catchphrases, so what do i expect from …. you ….. .”another attempt by leftist thugs … ” a mind is terrible thing for Barb R to waste …

          • Please forgive me, borharris, but I am a mere graduate of the Ontario education system so I obviously need whole bunches of help in this area.

            I did go to the website you suggested, but I am unable to find all those “right wing” tendencies you alluded to. Liberal party candidate – check! “Green” tab on the website – check! What part of that is remotely more right wing than Mr. Harper? If you could please be more specific of where I can find this information, it would be greatly appreciated.

            And by the way, you seem to be under the impression that Stephen Harper is right wing. Obviously, by deed, he has shown himself to be a closet lefty – increasing the size of the public service 45%, increasing debt and deficit, reneging on his promises to abolish the OLA and section 13 of the HRC, etc etc etc. So to say that Ms. Thomson is more “right wing” than Stephen Harper … isn’t saying much.

          • so you see it wrongly. period. But you’re just pretending to see it that way. You know he’s guilty. Nobody’s fooled. Stop weeping tears about Facebook and poor Rob Ford, the martyr. Not the kind of guy you want to defend.

          • This issue should be close, there are witnesses. The above argument is moot and irrelevant, Sarah Thomson lied, even without the witnesses you only need a simple common sense to see through her allegation; women should be appalled; if you’re not, you belong to the minority of women that abuse provisions in the law that were put in there supposedly to protect and give voice to women, instead to slander and victimize men. Her demeanour doesn’t exemplify that of the wronged, but that of a wronger.

          • well , if simple common sense is to be used—that’s a new concept for the posters here—then Ford is guilty and there’s nothing to talk about. Get real. Yeh, she’s a ‘wronger’. How dare she complain about being groped! Dont’ think for a minute that Mayor Groper is going to wriggle out of this.

    • wow, women everywhere are so relieved that you’re on the job defending them. Especially those “really abused” ones. That’s your real motive here, isn’t it, nothing about propping up the figurehead for the selfish and clueless.

  10. Many feminist believe all men are rapist, perverts , stalkers and ass grabbers. Their father’s, their brother’s, husband’s and son’s. Perhaps theirs are, and that is why they believe this. To condemn a man based on a Facebook posting shows you the intelligence cascading through the feminist movement, and why thinking females cringe to be associated with them.

    • “and ass grabbers. Their father’s, their brother’s, husband’s and son’s.”
      Wow, that is a lot of male asses being grabbed–or is it your own right hand that has behaved inappropriately, by wandering over your keyboard to grab an incorrect possessive?

    • From the women of the world: thanks Elaine. We’re so relieved you spoke up and expressed our true feelings. Us real women. The ones who can deal with a grope or two. Or perhaps you meant “associated with me”

  11. Just wondering how collectively remounting the guy is a supposed punishment for him grabbing your butt? It sounds far more likely that’s what he wants anyway.

  12. like we could expect anything else from you

  13. We are done with this non-story now…are we not ??….”Assgate: The Last Feeble Attempt”.
    (Not sold in stores anywhere)…

  14. Why hasen’t she taken it yet?

  15. Like we could expect anything different from this writer

    • Because….she’s a woman? Of normal, center-left views, the views of the majority of your fellow citizens? Sorry to break it to you, but you should “expect” the real, modern world of the 21st century to not match your 19th c. views.

  16. Facebook and the Press first , police second gives Thomson zero credibility , end of story

  17. This is not worth my time! Why who a smart woman like you be wasting yours? This is not news.

  18. in my opinion, I would have just turned around and slapped him in the face right then and there. Why this public condemnation? Other than getting HER name in the news as well. I’m convinced Rob Ford is a creep, but there’s better ways to get him than this…… It makes HER look bad too. Remember Anita Hill?

  19. Why are the majority of us so much harder on the alleged victim than the alleged aggressor?

    • Because photographic evidence showed her laughing during the alleged incident, because she reported the alleged incident on Facebook and Twitter instead of to the police, shall I go on? She is a victim only in her, and your, eyes.

    • .Namely because the alleged victim’s story isn’t adding up…and it’s looking more and more like the latest attempt to derail this Mayor. I don’t like Rob Ford, and even I’ve had enough of the attempts to unseat him!

    • at least one witness say nothing happened, two other withness say they heard her say she was going to try to set up rob ford. She made baseless accusation about rob ford being on coke.

    • Because there is no aggressor and there is no victim. NO CRIME HAPPENED.

  20. It is her word against his, and there are two witnesses that she planned to do this. That makes her word worth very little.

    • Strange Clayton Ruby isn’t frothing at the mouth with bulging eyes wanting to pursue this pro bono!

      • Even he can see that there is zero case here

  21. Only Sarah Thomson needs to take a lie detector test. Why won’t she do it and release the results?

    • I wonder if they would clamp it to her dreadlocks. Everyting is irie mon!

    • She’s offerred to. Ford has not. duh.

  22. Why does victim always get re-victimized by public opinion? Maybe Sarah didn’t quite handle the situation according to “protocol”, but ignoring incident just because her reaction was not as smooth as it should have been, is sexist. The most vile reaction to the incident was @dimitrithelover on twitter. Absolutely disgusting. Dimitri and Mr. Ford are of the same ilk.

    • According to protocol? Seriously?

      Slap him in the face = good response.

      Report it to police immediately = good response.

      Place it on Facebook and Twitter = not quite according to protocol.

      Only the Left! LOL!

    • Actually she is the ALLEGED victim…for her to be the “victim,” there has to be some proof that she actually WAS victimized. At this point in time, everything I’ve read and heard suggests that that is not the case…which would mean that she is trying to victimize him.
      What’s sexist…is assuming that her side of the story is authentic because she’s a woman and he’s a man! But of course to understand that, you have to confront that feminist narrative that so many of you seem to live by…and we know that ain’t gonna happen!

  23. To most leftists like Emma, being a feminist is cool, to the point of being a fascist.

  24. Emma T you are a perceptive writer. Proving a momentary action is indeed hard to show to the world unless a video surfaces. We do live in a reality show world, as Ms Thomson’s gossipy friends prove, so perhaps Ms Thomson is starring in her own self produced show. To try to take this to a legal arena would be an incredible investment of time so what was Ms Thomson thinking. Public humiliation of such a large and unsympathetic target is easy but did not work as Emma T says, so again what was Ms Thomson thinking. Indeed, what was Rob Ford thinking. He must believe he is starring in his own self produced reality show where actions do not seem to have consequences.

  25. If Rob Ford grabbed her behind and made an inappropriate comment she should have confronted him then and not the next day in the press. Sounds like she is trying to have her 15 minutes of fame.

    • Perhaps she plans to run against him in the next Mayoral election, and set up the narrative that she’s the victim of sexual assault, and he was the aggressor.

      • Thats exactly what she is angling for however it has already failed miserably as her desperate stunt has alienated anyone with even a shred of IQ. She had also better watch out that she doesn’t catch a costly defamation suit.

  26. In other words, when men & women have differing sides of something, the default setting is to believe the woman, even if she has no evidence! Frankly, I don’t like Rob Ford at all…but I’m fed up with the progressives (and Thomson certainly is one of them) who try every shady trick in the book to dislodge this mayor.

  27. Who cares if Ford grabbed her arse or not? What I really want to know is: is Thompson BRAGGING or COMPLAINING?

  28. “But in the court of public opinion, Sarah Thomson is, unfortunately, guilty until proven innocent.”
    With issues like this, “public opinion” is always divided, and the divisions become especially sharp when both accuser and accused are political figures with political agendas. So it is not just a case of “guilty until proven innocent” or “innocent until proven guilty.” Both parties are both, depending on which public you talk to. No doubt the comments on this page will be sharply divided as everyone lines up in their predictable alignments, no one heeding whatever evidence there might or might not be.

  29. In retrospec, Sarah could have grabbed my butt and suggested she missed me for a weekend. My reaction would be to try and destroy her publicly, rather than brush it off and say girls will be girls. Grow up for crying out loud

  30. Ah Emma;

    Here you go again making more mountains out of molehills “you tend to believe she is telling the truth”-that and a $1.50 will get you a cup of coffee.
    Is news so slow or can you not grow into a more substantial story. I’m just ready to renew my MacLean’s Subscription and will do so but am very leery with you and your editor on your column. I’ll hold my nose and subscibe but please; up your pesky nonsense on these chippy shoulder themes and discuss more relevant topics in Maclean’s or move onto a rag mag or university publication where your select audience are all ears for this drivil.

  31. Cooper: Give me strength. A sentence like “I tend to believe she’s telling the truth” is remarkable given what you’ve written above. Nice job on the even-handed media coverage. Maybe you ought to at least be honest and go write for the The Star.

  32. A 40 something white woman with dreadlocks. That should tell you everything you need to know about Sarah Thomson.

  33. Wow… where’s the picture of her? That totally made the article a masterpiece!

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