Original photography by Isabella Mendes, image editing by Natasha Coulis

Deconstructing and critiquing the Court of Social Justice and “accountability”

Plus, a case study: Jay Manicom

Trigger warning: This piece of writing discusses sexual assault of children and adults, and describes an example of racist judgments towards Indigenous people.

There are unrepentant people who have done things so egregious that the harm is self-evident by naming their behaviour.

Jian Ghomeshi. Donald Trump. Brock Turner. Harvey Weinstein.

We know they did the things they did because multiple witnesses who didn’t know each other came forward at risk to themselves. (I’m oversimplifying here for brevity’s sake because I expect majority agreement and I dismiss any refutation as being silly.) They deny what they have done and therefore have made zero amends. There’s no repentance here, no reconciliation, no restitution. Nothing but a stench so thick it could make birds fall out of the sky.

As far as I’m concerned, each of these men can be thrown into a volcano. Until they repent, I’m not convinced their lives have enough worth. You’re not going to find me writing some kumbaya piece about how even these men are humans and they don’t deserve violent scary deaths because this goes against my values of love and peace and non-violence and human dignity. Some people would say that, and I respect that, but I would push these men into the volcano myself. Ciao, losers!

Then there are people who have done terrible things but who have admitted to them and repented. I went to church with a man who molested his grandchildren. I dated one of the grandchildren who forgave his grandfather (in fact, most of his family did) because once confronted by his daughter, this man admitted to what he did, drove himself to the police station, confessed, spent a year in jail and then went to therapy every Tuesday until the day he died, even after the court requirement to do so expired. He was excommunicated from the Mormon church and then did everything he needed to do to gain re-entry. He was a lovely man whom I respected who did a heinous thing I hated, for reasons I will never understand. Some people would loathe this man forever, unable to forgive him, and I understand that. I didn’t see it as my place to judge him any further. He did a…



Natasha Coulis, Strategy-minded non-fiction writer

How to strategically survive and thrive in a high-conflict, low-trust world. Focus: Critical thinking, relationships, politics, relationships, motherhood.