Actually, you did say that — “You’re simply a militant feminist” — because I calmly expressed that I don’t think it’s right to canonize someone who hurt someone else so horribly.

Treating your heroes like two-dimensional White Hats rather than real, nuanced human beings capable of both good and not so good, is not really doing them any favors. And why don’t you care one little bit about the women who are being triggered by all of this one-sided adulation? You’ve said again and again that expressing their pain is out of line.

“On balance, his life seemed to be worthy and meaningful. From the outpouring of grief and shared stories, he seems to have inspired more people than he harmed, and the people he inspired are the ones sharing stories about him now.

This is what we do, after all. Death allows us to polish away the rough edges of life.

But I do wonder about his accuser right now. I wonder about the woman who, in 2003, had lacerations around her genitals — “too many to count,” according to her medical exam — along with a bruise on her jaw and injuries “consistent with penetrative trauma.” A woman Bryant admitted to having sex with, in an encounter he says he believed was consensual. Had he bruised her neck? Yes, he said, but he’d done the same thing before with another sexual partner and it was fine. “I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did,” he said of his accuser, and he apologized.

She was excoriated. Portrayed as a gold digger, a slut — and a liar, above all else, even when sharing parts of the story that Bryant had admitted to. I hope we would consider the case more thoughtfully now, but now, of course, it’s too late.

As tributes pour in, celebrating Bryant’s life and legacy, I wonder what it would be like right now, to watch the world around you open up in love for the man who hurt you. To hear people tell you that this wasn’t the time to remind the world of your pain, and it may never be that time again.

The easiest path is to talk about the complications and nuance that exist in all humans: how good people can do bad things, how that doesn’t make them bad people but it also doesn’t erase pain.

How can we become more empathetic if we insist that only evil men do bad things, and thus our heroes must be perfect, and thus we must punish people who want to talk about the ways in which they were not?”

I don’t bear hate or malice towards anyone, but I am incredibly saddened that victims are seen as disposable and that anyone who stands for them is punished and vilified. That’s the fucked up world that you are supporting, and it contributes to rape culture by further shutting down the voices of victims — a class of people who are already badly treated by society.

All life is precious. No lives are sanctified.

Written by

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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