That Reddit rapist thread

[Content note: rape culture, sexual violence]

So somebody on reddit thought that putting up a post to get “the rapist’s point of view” would be a good idea:

Reddit’s had a few threads about sexual assault victims, but are there any redditors from the other side of the story? What were your motivations? Do you regret it?

Not linking directly, but as the thread developed comments challenging the self-identifying rapists who posted there were explicitly discouraged by the forum admins. Then a subthread became focussed on one poster identifying as a serial rapist, describing his grooming tactics, being smug about how rape myths allowed him to keep on getting away with it, and being fucking creepy about how he planned to go back to his usual “handle” after that discussion and nobody on reddit would know who he was.

Liss put up a counter-thread at Shakesville for rape-survivors and allies to talk about their reactions in a safe-space.

This man’s MO was a series of micro-manipulations designed to test his targets’ boundaries via gaslighting long before the premeditated isolations and choreographed-for-confusion-therefore-deniability assaults ever took place. This is the pattern that quite a few people are recognising as paralleling their own acquaintance-rape stories: the suave fellow unexpectedly flirting, then saying/doing things bordering on inappropriate and then backing off quickly so they thought they imagined it, rinse/repeat over a few hours/days/weeks until they were befuddled but still trusting, then the isolation in order to micro-manage the rape-that-rape-myths-suggest-is-not-really-rape-rape. That each time he did something inappropriate and confusing their warning bells went off but he switched gears back to smooth and charming so fast that they ignored their inner sense of being manipulated. That the escalation of the boundary-testing was in retrospect obviously part of the grooming process.

Many of these micro-manipulations almost exactly parallel the techniques taught by PUAs in the “Seduction Community” as “Game”, by the way. If somebody had deliberately set out to provide “cover” for serial sexual predators, by surrounding them with a bunch of amateur seducers who will be clumsily negging all over the shop and thus prime the convention that only a bitch wouldn’t give such gaffes the benefit of the doubt, thus allowing the suave gaslighters to stand out all the more against this gauche background … suffice it to say, the lesson that we need to trust our own spidey-senses jangling over conforming to the “but he hasn’t done anything really awful so gotta give him the benefit of the doubt” social script has been very hard learnt for many of us, including those of us who learnt it indirectly through the experiences of our family, friends, classmates and colleagues.

And then some NiceGuys™ wonder why women won’t give their cheesy come-ons a “fair go”.

Categories: ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, violence

Tags: , ,

7 replies

  1. From what I’ve heard of the PUA subculture (never actually encountered one – apparently there are some benefits to being a fat, fortyish shut-in who isn’t conventionally attractive; who knew?) it’s basically about the antithesis of getting involved in a steady relationship. Essentially, these guys are after sex without connections, and without having to pay the hourly rates that prostitutes charge. So not only are they jerks, they’re cheap jerks.

    • Megpie, from what I’ve read (including some commenters here from within the Community a few years ago) there’s a spectrum – a lot of the guys who start hanging around online forums and going to meetings really begin with only wanting to get more confident about just talking to women so that maybe they could have a few dates and eventually a girlfriend – they just want what they see as a normal relationship.
      Unfortunately, what happens is that a bunch of them end up becoming so involved in the homosocial competition (bedpost-notching) aspect of the subculture that they lose sight of their original goal – just getting to be confident/comfortable enough in their own skin so that they can form an intimate bond with a person of the opposite sex.

  2. Yeah, I read that one. It had details in the wrong places, and little language clues, one commenter replied to “I know what I did was wrong” instead of “What I did was wrong by suggesting a blind person might say “I know the sky is blue” where a sighted person would say “The sky is blue”.
    What got me was not “I introduced alcohol into the situations”, “I was bigger and stronger” and “I was well connected”, it was “I knew the dean, the archchancellor, had worked with police, and the dormitory supervisor”, “I am 6ft 2.38 inches and weight 209 pounds” and “I used Jello shots from a party that didn’t happen. You’ll need some clear spirits, three packets of jelly crystals, shot glasses, and they take four hours and twenty seven minutes to set properly”.
    That wasn’t a confession hinting at shameful details, that was a how to guide.

  3. If that’s the guy I’m thinking of, he also talks about his wife being his Great Reforming Influence, but then says that one of her friends whom he’d raped tried to warn her about him – so he sabotaged the friendship, to make sure the friend wouldn’t be believed, and added that it was no great loss because she wasn’t much of a friend anyway.
    What got me was not … “I knew the dean, the archchancellor, had worked with police, and the dormitory supervisor”
    That’s the one moment in the whole thing that’s a slight point of light. Maybe someone will read that part and come away with a new appreciation of how little it can mean that an accused rapist gets on with authority figures.
    That wasn’t a confession hinting at shameful details, that was a how to guide.
    “I’m remorseful at what I did, but do allow my my pride in how successfully I did it” is how it reads to me. Again, ugh.

  4. Nauseating. What I’d like to do to rapists isn’t printable. Also makes me glad I don’t like ‘charming’ men. At all. Attempted charm of any sort equals sleazy creep in my mind.

  5. Well done that man.

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