Once again, my entire story was anti-rape and about not putting him on a pedestal. There was nothing remotely in there about giving him some kind of pass. I don’t need statistics. I write about sexual violence all of the time and know them inside and out. I’m a sexual violence survivor. But you’ve completely fallen into the trap that is what is leading to his victim and others like her to being further shamed and threatened — by saying “I don’t think that we can call rapists good guys.” I’m not calling him a good guy at all. I’m trying to get away from that dichotomy. That’s the entire point of the story. There is no such thing as a good guy or a bad guy.

If we have to choose between “good guys” and “bad guys” rather than human beings who have done some good things and some terrible things, then those for whom he is a hero are going to put him in the good guy hat and her the victim in the bad guy hat, if those are the only two choices. And that’s exactly what they did and are doing still. And you and your mentality are supporting that and making things worse for victims. It’s also not getting men to deal with problematic messaging in the culture because again, no-one is going to label themselves a “bad guy.” If you want men to start really grappling with sexually entitled behavior, labeling them might feel good, but it’s not going to get the job done — and that’s all that I care about is changing the way that our culture works to be better for women.

It’s not enough to say that rape is evil and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Of course, it is and it should be! 99% of people in America would agree with that statement, but in the face of that, we still have a culture that we do where victims are treated like shit and disbelieved and often don’t get justice. The two things exist together right now and being more morally indignant isn’t what is going to change that.

There are no good guys and bad guys in the world. There are people and sometimes they make mistakes or do bad things, and if we allow them to be human beings and not just heroes or villains than maybe those mistakes or bad things that they’ve done can be dealt with more immediately and appropriately, which is what is better for society and what is damned sure better for victims!

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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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