His public persona shattered, Jian Ghomeshi’s overweening narcissism has become the subject of public scorn. His reported violence against women, whether inside or outside sexual interplay, has been rightly denounced. Yet making this scandal all about Ghomeshi, we risk ignoring the broader sources of male narcissistic rage towards females. We are dealing here with far more than the pathological quirks of an apparently disturbed and charismatic individual.
While there may be genetic predispositions toward depression and addiction, a predisposition is not the same as a predetermination. Death, Robin Williams once said, is “the ultimate closing.” The turbulent comic genius found that closing recently, at his own hands.
As a Jewish youngster growing up in Budapest, an infant survivor of the Nazi genocide, I was for years haunted by a question resounding in my brain with such force that sometimes my head would spin: “How was it possible? How could the world have let such horrors happen?”
The signs of trauma have been unmistakable for years: the obesity, the bombast, the bellicose defensiveness, the need to project a larger-than-life persona as compensation for low self-esteem.