Skin-Crawl Alert

This has little to do with Jewish social activism, and is just in the name of decency and basic humanity.

Rape counselor and all-around “god-among-men” Kyle Payne, somebody who apparently has been allowed to give talks and present papers and paints himself as an all around friend to women, has confessed to sexually assaulting a drunk woman and then filming it. All the while he continues to blog and write about the rape culture as though none of this has ever happened. I think it’s probable that he thinks his work counselling victims is repentance for what lurks beneath, or there’s something far more repulsive at work.

What else is striking and not surprising to those who know about predators (not necessarily me) is that his counselling work and activism actually serve his purposes in a twisted way – it gives him access to vulnerable women in the same way that his being a Resident Advisor did while he was in university.

What he fails to realize is that his work doesn’t mitigate his crimes, it actually enhances them due to the nature of the crimes – his work in precisely the area of his criminal behavior makes him much more dangerous to a much broader range of people. This is why this is necessary.

Which ultimately does bring this back around, I guess, to Jewish activism: it is our obligation to alert others when a person is dangerous, and it is most certainly not lashon hara to do so, and the fact that this man confessed makes him a pretty clear exemption from the rules.

More info can be found at these places:

Fetch Me My Axe – info about an open sentencing, so people can let the court know what kind of boon to society this fellow will be
Eleanor’s Trousers – she’s been on this since February
Shakesville
Cara at Feministe
Purtek
Buried Alive
Nine Deuce
And a full list can be found at Renegade Evolution.
GallingGalla
Renee at Womanist Musings
Daisy at Daisy’s Dead Air
Cara at the Curvature
Astraea’s Scales

It is absolutely depressing and tragic that in many cases the people that the vulnerable might need to lean on the most can turn out to be the most harmful, but the ugly truth is that this is the nature of predation, and they take such great pains to say all the right words and do all the right things that there really is no way to detect it.

EDIT: My parallels with Marc Gafni were based on the idea that his counselling work constitutes repentance; however, new evidence about Mr. Payne shows that comparison is, in fact, no longer valid, so for cohesion that has been omitted. The new evidence I’m talking about is that Kyle Payne is writing a book describing the experiences of his “patients”:

One day I’ll write a book. Well, hopefully several. But this book in particular will be a compilation of all the stories shared with me by survivors. Women (of a variety of different backgrounds) raped, beaten, groped, stalked, threatened, drugged, coerced, tortured, pissed on, and emotionally abused by men (of a variety of different backgrounds). It always strikes me, when listing these abuses, that the words are almost meaningless out of context. Maybe that’s part of the problem. Why would we take men’s violence seriously if we cannot begin to understand, on an emotional level, its effects on the lived experiences of women? I would never try to publish this book – these are not my stories to tell. But sometimes I tinker with the idea of creating something – maybe a work of art – that could somehow demonstrate to people that this problem is real. That the “shocking,” “disgusting,” and “evil” stories they hear about barely scratch the surface.

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7 Responses

  1. Thank you for blogging about this.

  2. Well, sadly, these people don’t have anything like the scarlet letter to make themselves immediately detectable, so this is not just the only real way things can be done but also an obligation.

  3. Yeah, that’s how I saw it too. Anti-“pornstitution” obsessiveness as an attempt to purge his demons. But he might also just plain be a liar trolling for vulnerable people who talks about rape culture and male dominance because that’s what will make the sort of people who are already vulnerable trust him.

  4. Yeah, that could very well be too. My other theory that I wasn’t that comfortable admitting was possible is that he just gets off on it all and his work as a rape counsellor serves his baser needs, but that’s speculation and I didn’t want to get into that as much. Really unsettling all around.

  5. I suspect the baser needs element is at play here. This guy enjoys hearing about rape because he wants to do it. Chills. And the really creepy way he writes about his ex fiancee’ and her “need” to have him treat her poorly skeeves me out even more.

  6. Yeah, once I heard about the book I’m more or less 100% convinced there are darker forces (oh the melodrama!) at work here – it’s all thoroughly unsettling.

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