Friday, July 11, 2008

Man Who Advocated Against Sexual Violence Pleads Guilty

From the Iowa Independent:

An Iowa blogger who claimed to use activism and education to promote “a more just and life-affirming culture of sexuality” for women, especially those women who have been victims of sexual violence, has pleaded guilty to photographing and filming a college student's breasts without her consent.

Kyle D. Payne, 22 of Ida Grove, presented his guilty plea Monday in Iowa District Court for Buena Vista County. He agreed he was guilty of felony attempted burglary in the second degree and two counts of invasion of privacy, a serious misdemeanor.

This contrast between what a man says and what he does related to sexual violence hasn't been a surprise for me since the day I was raped by my boyfriend who I never imagined could be a rapist. I learned the hard way that what a person professes can be the opposite of what they will do.

I also learned that those who want or demand extra trust or vulnerability because of their statements of character or ethics should be viewed with caution.

Most of these people find ways to rationalize their actions so that they view themselves as having nothing in common with real sex criminals.

I'm sure some people will try to use this guilty plea in order to attack the feminists who accepted this guy at face value either in person or online, but that's a cheap shot. The only criticism I could have of those who interacted with him is if they made excuses for him after he was accused or participated in victim blaming or victim denial.

According to the story, Payne attended at least one training for feminist anti-pornography activists and the obvious hypocrisy between that and the crime he committed will cause some people to try to use this one man's crime as a way to attack all those who attended that anti-pornography training. That would be a mistake.

What isn't a mistake is the acceptance that some people who speak out against something will do that something -- and sometimes they will get caught. This is true of people who speak out against sexual violence and it is true of those who speak out against drunk driving or illegal drug use.

It's also true of those who defend porn as being unconnected to real sexual violence -- either through the production process or the influence porn can have on what is considered acceptable. Just because they say that their actions are never sexually abusive doesn't mean their statements are truthful.

Anyone willing to dish out guilt by association must be willing to accept that same guilt by association if they are ever associated with someone who turns out to be guilty.

Hat tip: Shakespeares Sister

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:30 AM   0 comments links to this post


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