To Catch a Predator

On Sunday my cousin sent me a screenshot of a “conversation” between her and a facebook friend of mine. Then she sent me a half dozen others from her friends that have also been harassed by this guy.

They were disgusting, the foulest of the foul.

At first, I was tempted to publicly out the guy. He’s a local and people deserve to know. It’s the modern equivalent of the public stocks. But I found that everybody in my county already knew. I was the last, or near the last.

I went to grade school with him and he was one of my bullies. About 13 years ago he tried to break me and my girlfriend up. I showed up at his parents’ house, where he lived and still lives in their basement, and “convinced” him to stop harassing her. I’m not so easily bullied anymore (no, I didn’t beat him up, but when an angry 6 foot, 280 pound man shows up at your door, you back down). But I saw him a couple of years ago at a party, and he seemed changed. I allowed him to add me as a facebook friend.

He’s been collecting facebook friends and harassing women that he found through his “friends.” He used me to get to two of my cousins and a couple of friends.

Because of my history, I was added to a group that’s collecting information and screenshots of his gross, angry, and threatening texts to present to the police. I’m glad to be a part of it.

I’m disgusted at how many incidents there were. Dozens of people posted their interactions. Some of them are underage (the guy is 40, the same age as I am). The police said not to out him, because some predators get off on the attention (eww), or it moves them to more aggressive measures. I don’t know if this is the police protecting him (his best friend is a local cop and his parents are heavily involved in the community, and police are infamous at dragging their feet on harassment claims due to the ambiguous laws around them), but I hope that they will act. There’s too much evidence.

Some of the messages are to women out of the state. I don’t know the law, but does this make it a federal issue too?

I am far from perfect. I admit that I’ve thought and done creepy things in the past, though nothing on this level. I can’t change the past, and now I’m doing all that I can to make amends.

Being a man in our patriarchal society molds you a certain way from childhood on, and no matter how good you try to be, you are conditioned to think and act “like a man.” I think that bell hooks said it best:

“The first act of violence that patriarchy demands of males is not violence toward women. Instead patriarchy demands of all males that they engage in acts of psychic self-mutilation, that they kill off the emotional parts of themselves. If an individual is not successful in emotionally crippling himself, he can count on patriarchal men to enact rituals of power that will assault his self-esteem.”

In other words: if you don’t “act like a man” and circumcise your emotions besides acceptable ones like lust and anger, you’ll be beaten down until you comply. The shit splashes on all of us, and we either don’t notice or we accept it. Hell, some people roll around in it.

Consider how many women had to come forward before people believed that Bill Cosby should be charged. How many have accused the president (including admission in his own words, like that he walked into the dressing room at the Miss Teen USA pageants). How many have accused Roy Moore, but he still leads in the polls. Nine women accused him. That’s not enough. To those circumcised by the patriarchy, a women’s word isn’t even worth 1/9th of a man’s.

I want to make amends, and while it starts with admission, it continues with nailing this motherfucker. He attacked my family, he attacked my friends, he attacked children, he attacked people I don’t know but know that they didn’t deserve it.

I’m fighting back.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress against Frankie Fuckboy.

doge in space card redux

 

 

I Am the Rape Culture

If women are brave enough to post #metoo, I must have the courage to call myself out.

I am the problem
I am the rape culture.
I am the patriarchy.
I have breathed the invisible, foul air since birth until I no longer tasted the pollution.
I have enabled.
I have looked away.
I have put the onus on women to protect themselves with “self defense classes” and “pepper spray” instead of focusing on the rapists.
I have gaslighted.
I have crossed lines and rationalized it as romance.
I have whined about the “friend zone,” as if being nice to a woman entitled me to their affection.
I have physically beaten other men over women, as if they were a prize for the victor.
I have thought things that no man should, but every man does.
Worst of all, I have ignored female friends’ requests not to hang out with an assaulter, for fear that he would try again.
I have done all of these things, and though I was ignorant of the magnitude of what I was doing in many cases, that does not excuse me.

Change begins with awareness. Women should not have to talk about their assault to get people to understand how pervasive the rape culture is. If I am to help change, I must start with the things that I have done. I cannot erase them. I call on other men to have the courage to do the same.

doge in space card redux