Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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Top-down rules don’t even change the top

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday April 3, 2022


I won’t offer excuses for General Jonathan Vance, Canada’s former chief of defence staff.  Earlier this week, Vance pled guilty to a single charge of obstruction of justice. He was under investigation for sexual misconduct with a subordinate officer. 

            There’s no question about the sexual liaison with Major Kellie Brennan. 

            After their affair became public, Vance tried to get Brennan to deny their relationship. 

            There’s no question about that, either. Because Brennan recorded his phone calls. 

            Vance’s attempts to protect his reputation indicate that he knew he had done wrong. So why did he do it?

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Categories: Sharp Edges

Tags: sex, macho, Gen. Vance, army




Violence sells, sex abuse doesn’t

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday November 14, 2021


I don’t get it. How, and why, in the world of professional sports, is a ten-year-old sexual encounter considered a more serious offence than constant physical violence? 

            My ruminations are, of course, founded on the lawsuit launched by former Chicago Blackhawks player Kyle Beach that former video-coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him and another player during the team’s run to the 2010 Stanley Cup.

            As a result, at least three executives have lost or quit their jobs.

            But no executive has ever lost his job because his players gave superstar Sidney Crosby a concussion – four concussions, officially, probably more never diagnosed. 

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Categories: Sharp Edges

Tags: sex, NHL, violence




Power and sex make uneasy bedfellows

Author: Jim Taylor

Saturday March 21, 2021

Canada’s two top military officers, General Jonathan Vance and Admiral Art McDonald, are under investigation for charges of sexual misconduct. 

            One of the highest-ranking female officers in the Canadian Armed Forces, Lt.-Col. Eleanor Taylor (no relation) sent a scathing letter of resignation, saying she was “sickened” but “not surprised” by the culture of sexual harassment in the military.

            “Harassment” and “misconduct” are marshmallow words. Squishy. Distortable. They could cover everything from light flirtation – is there anybody who never flirted with a colleague or co-worker? – to groping, intimidation, assault, and rape. 

           I hasten to add that none of those named above have been proven guilty. The charges are, as yet, only allegations. 

            Even unproven, though, they form a depressing pattern. 

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Sex scandal is more about power than sex

Author: Jim Taylor

Two weeks ago, I had never even heard the name of Harvey Weinstein. Since then, his partly-shaven face has appeared on almost every TV newscast or entertainment program, every day.

            The Weinstein scandal has even changed the rules of what broadcasters can and can’t say on air. “Masturbation” and “erection” were once taboo words. But one can’t talk about Weinstein’s indiscretions without using them. 

            The Fox network listed 41 women who accused Weinstein of everything from vaginal rape to forcing them to watch while he masturbated, from fondling and groping them to forcing them to give him a massage. 

            The key word in that last sentence is “forcing.” 

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