What Kobe Bryant and Justin Trudeau Have in Common

Photo by Mihai Surdu.

Apparently, it was 15 years ago that Kobe Bryant was a basketball legend who got accused of raping a teenage girl. At first, he said that he had never met her. Then he admitted to having sex with her. Then he admitted to strangling her during the course of sex without asking for explicit consent. But, according to him, the whole thing was consensual. His apology statement both affirmed that it was consensual while admitting it wasn't at the same time:

"Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”

"I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual." vs. "I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter."

He "truly believes" that it was consensual while understanding that she "feels she did not consent."

I guess he put just enough muddy language in there (I believe, she feels) to avoid the obvious contradiction in those statements. It's kind of ludicrous, actually, and I would like to say that weird twisted logic where an accused sexual assaulter can claim that two different versions of the story are equally valid and get off the hook is a thing of the past, except that the sweet feminist Prime Minister of Canada did the exact same thing when old allegations that he groped a reporter in the year 2000:

“I’ve been reflecting very carefully on what I remember from that incident almost 20 years ago. I do not feel that I acted inappropriately in any way. But I respect the fact that someone else might have experienced that differently... I’m confident that I did not act inappropriately but I think the essence of this [the #metoo movement] is that people can experience interactions differently.”

Again - "I do not feel that I acted inappropriately in any way." vs. "I respect the fact that someone else might have experienced that differently."

He "does not feel he acted inappropriately", but is totally okay that "someone else might have experienced that differently."

DUDE! If you did not act inappropriately, then there would be nothing for her to experience as inappropriate! The sense of inappropriateness comes from HER, not from YOU, that's consent 101, for pete's sake. THAT is the "essence" of this whole #metoo thing! If she says it was inappropriate, then IT WAS INAPPROPRIATE. Done. You were wrong.

ALSO! Don't try to distance yourself from it by saying "someone else" instead of "SHE" - this not some hypothetical random person who may go off on a wild interpretation of your behaviour but a specific person who has specifically said that you groped her inappropriately.

UGH!

So today is the day I learned that my Super Feminist Prime Minister is also a sleaze who uses the exact same jumbled arguments as the dude who raped a teenager and went on to have an awesome basketball career.

That's fun.


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