From Disrupting Dinner Parties comes a quick, clean post about recognizing dangerous people and understanding that a rapist is not a monster, but a human being. Author Jan DeVry writes on meeting an old friend at a party, where he told her about his being accused of rape.
“While of course it was extremely unlikely that this was a false accusation, I thought that he might be able to apologize, learn from his mistake, and repair some of the damage to the community. So I stayed and joined their conversation, trying to strike a balance between hearing his side and not discrediting the fact that there was another side that I wasn’t able to hear.”
She hears him out, and he’s being a nice guy. She dances with him, does some tipsy smooching. He wants to take her home, and when she turns him down, he gets ticked off.
Rapists generally aren’t sociopaths or cold, evil people. Rape is something anyone can commit, without the knowledge of or respect for boundaries, consent, and agency. How many nice, normal people do you know who simply rub you the wrong way with how persistent or touchy they are? The piece discusses Jan’s feelings on making this discovery. The blog as a whole is a great resource — very plainly-stated, approachable and applied feminism. See also Rebecca Flin’s series on “NO.”