MEN IN TROUBLE: WHY ISABEL GASTON IS NOT ALONE IN HER FIGHT FOR JUSTICE
I saw a report on Radio Canada today about Isabel Gaston, the ex-wife of former cardiologist Guy Turcotte, who was accused of killing their two children during a messy divorce squabble a while back.
Much ado was made about the fact that Mr. Turcotte was eventually found to be non-criminally responsible for the deaths of his two children and that he was sent to a psychiatric institute for therapy instead of being incarcerated with a life sentence, as many felt he should have.
Mrs. Gaston came out of this tragedy as being the one who garnered the most sympathy from both the media and the public at large. She eventually launched a petition to have the government compensation program for victims of criminal acts increased because she felt that the amounts offered were insufficient and that she being the parent of the victims should’ve been considered a victim in her turn also.
The report went on to say that because of her unswerving courage, with her petition and the media attention it garnered, she’d won a victory by having an inconspicuous amendment inserted into the recent provincial budget to increase compensation for victims of criminal acts.
In my mind this just goes to show that anybody in this country who manages to manipulate the media and make themselves appear sympathetic enough, can force the government’s hand on virtually any issue, regardless of how in debt we are and how close we are to a Greek-style fiscal meltdown. Just ask all the tens of thousands of students who are striking on college and university campuses across the province over a 325$ tuition increase every year for five years. Try sending your kid to Harvard and let me know how that goes, eh? (One year at Harvard will set you back 20 000$ in tuition alone!).
This only goes to underscore how dysfunctional Québec society has become. I just got back from a provincial Liberal investiture meeting for the local Liberal candidate in Jean-Talon who happens to be the Health Minister Yves Bolduc. You’d swear that the Party was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and that there’d been no scandals whatsoever in the last several years, based on the rah rah-type of propaganda video we were shown as to just how great the unbroken chain of Liberal governments have been to Québec’s economic and social development, and all the vigorous hand-clapping for everybody and his assistant who’s part of the team etc…You’d never know it that the party is last in the poles and risks being wiped off the map in the next election.
But getting back to Isabel Gaston and the dysfunctionality of Québec society. Mrs. Gaston’s so-called ‘victory’ was touted by Radio-Canada as a step in the right direction but totally ignored the underlying malaise as to why men are killing their spouses and children to begin with in such large numbers in this province and throughout Canada and the western world in general? Is it possible that the ‘Revolution that was not-so-Quiet’, as the Liberal propaganda video said tonight so triumphantly to the sound of equally-triumphant music, has led to an equally not-so-quiet unravelling and explosion of the traditional social fabric which heretofore governed Québec, Canadian and western civilization in general?
To boot the social ‘fabric’ which remains, or which those who purport to be developing a new one, is so chaotic and ill-defined insofar as its parameters that men especially are at a loss as to figure out where and how they fit in to the new post-modern and post-feminist social order. I have to put myself in the place of Guy Turcotte for a moment, because nobody seems to be doing just that. Let’s not forget that he lost ‘his children’ also. Isabel Gaston didn’t just lose ‘her children’, but they as a couple lost ‘their children’ and society at large lost another family due to the ongoing psycho-social and psycho-sexual, not to mention socio-emotional and socio-economic tensions and competition between men and women in today’s post-modern world.
Men like Guy Turcotte grew up having women not just as potential mates in marriage for support and encouragement in his professional, personal and spiritual avocations, but from day one had to deal with having them as potential rivals also in his professional life and potentially in his conjugal life as well. This for the post-modern man presents a unique set of double-bind type of psycho-sexual conflicts of which few people in the public domain have yet to discuss openly.
Men are by nature competitive, but with women have a natural tendency to be gentlemanly and to desire to be deferential, a result probably of the natural order of being raised by their mothers and from the concepts of chivalry, where a noble knight acts deferentially towards his lady, in exchange for her deferring to him in other spheres.
This all gets thrown out the window as soon as women become the rivals of men at the level of temporal pursuits of money, power, property and prestige. However the man still has a natural tendency to be deferential to the woman, but knows now that she is his rival at work and could easily see his temporal position of power be usurped by her if he defers to her too readily. On the other hand, playing ‘rough’ with a woman in the workplace or in conjugal affairs, so to speak can be considered by some men to be ungentlemanly and unsportsmanlike.
So many men end up feeling very psycho-sexually ambivalent, frustrated, resentful, and even castrated. They’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. And speaking up about it in public is not considered to be ‘cool’. Admitting weakness and frailty is not considered to be a very manly trait. Much less admitting that you need help managing your emotions and inner psycho-sexual conflicts, such as was the case with Guy Turcotte.
So we end up with a regular litany of ‘Drame Familiale’ headlines in our province and country, with everybody scratching their heads about ‘why did this happen?’ or ‘They were such a quiet family, we never heard anything from them’.
So Isabel Gaston can talk about her ‘victory’ all she wants. The Liberal party can talk about its ‘Revolution that was not-so-Quiet’ all it wants: The fact remains that Québec has drifted away from God and the Church, as well as our longstanding relationship with the rest of Canada, the two things which traditionally have kept us the most family oriented, the most French and the most Canadian. It’s no wonder why these two institutions have always been the most denigrated institutions of the separatists: Canada and the Church.
Think about it. Would Guy Turcotte have committed his crimes if Québec were still a devoutly Roman Catholic society and still had a close-knit relationship with Canada? Did this kind of family violence occur in pre-Quiet Revolution Québec with such regularity? I don’t think so! Something has broken down and we need to fix it. And it’s not a massive dose of development of minerals, hydro and gas in the far north which is going to set things straight. It’s not the production of more ‘wealth’, which is going to ‘guarantee our future’; so that we can have the tax revenue we need to pay for all the health care costs of caring for the baby boomers until they all die off.
All I can do is pray for both Mrs. Gaston and Mr. Turcotte, and all other couples in Québec who’re struggling with the same issues. Let’s hope their outcomes end up being better than Mr. Turcotte and Mrs. Gaston’s. We wouldn’t want to have too many more women obtaining too many more ‘victories’ of that nature. God bless you all.