Controversial Reddit Thread Tells The Rapist’s Side Of The Story
Reddit is known as a bit male-centric, and in its darker incarnations (we’re looking at you, r/mensrights), a raging clusterfracas of unchecked misogyny — but a new thread on Reddit asked Redditors about sexual assault and “the other side of the story,” with males who have raped or considered raping someone relating their feelings and motivations.
The Reddit rape thread was first picked up by the blog Jezebel, which keeps a close eye on high-profile Reddit misogyny overall. In the past, the site has covered threads where young teens have been blamed for their own rapes, and given the relative anonymity, it’s easy to see how open misogyny that has proliferated on Reddit in the past can progress to the level it sometimes does.
The thread has been criticized as an example of rape apology, and of course, it at times certainly descends to that level. But being that rape, rape apology, and living in a society that has been criticized as still telling women not to get raped instead of telling men not to rape is an issue we all contend with every day, the thread seems an uncomfortable but essential read — after all, when was the last time you looked at rape from the rapists perspective? And how else can we teach boys how to conduct themselves sexually and the ins and outs of sexual consent without understanding what precipitates the behavior?
The now monster-sized thread kicked off with a simple question:
There are thousands of posts, and many stories of date rape, acquaintance rape and sexual assault, like one where a guy explains that at a party, he “took advantage” of a very, very drunk young woman. Years later, working as an insurance claims adjuster, he visits her home and the incident is, from his telling, terrifying for her:
“The look on her face told me that she did remember me, and that she remembered the incident, from all those years ago. In spite of the recognition, she asked to see my Company ID, as if my standing there with a clipboard was some ruse to gain entry into her house and re-victimize her further. But of course, I am indeed a certified claims adjustor, and my ID badge confirms it. So she invited me in. It was awkward and very uncomfortable for both of us. She was literally shaking. Was she as worried that I might rape her, right there in her own home, as I was that she might accuse me of being a rapist?”
Do you think it’s important to examine rape from all angles, or is the Reddit rape thread just an example of excusing rape and sexual assault?