a woman is always to blame allegedly false accusations antifeminism empathy deficit entitled babies evil drunk ladies evil lying women evil sexy ladies men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny none dare call it conspiracy Peter-Andrew: Nolan(c) PUA rape rape culture red pill rhymes with roosh

Roosh V Forum members agree: The real victim in the Stanford rape case is Brock Turner

Brock Turner: Misunderstood martyr?
Brock Turner: Misunderstood martyr?

I find it hard to read about the Stanford rape case for more than a few minutes at a time. The whole thing is so grotesque and awful that I literally start twitching in anger and frustration and have to stop reading.

It took several tries for me to make it all the way through a three-and-a-half minute video from Buzzfeed in which a young woman read excerpts from the deeply unsettling letter the victim read to her attacker in court, and it left my stomach in knots.

Last night, a reader pointed me to what he said were some particularly egregious comments about the case he’d run across on Roosh V’s forum from a fellow who calls himself, perhaps appropriately, the Lizard of Oz. I finally forced myself to read them this morning, and found myself twitching again.

The Lizard is as angry about the case as I am. But he’s not angry at “poor wide-eyed fearful [Brock] Turner,” for violating an unconscious woman, or at the judge for giving Turner only a six month sentence (of which he will likely only serve half).

No, he’s angry at what he describes as “a society full of psychotic princesses and their despicable white-knight enablers which treats its young men as worthless roadkill.” And he’s angry at the woman who was violated for speaking up on her own behalf with what he sees as a suspicious eloquence.

Yes, that’s right. He’s mad at her in part because her letter is too well-written for his taste, complaining that the “emotionally dishonest” document “is a self-consciously literary text written in the hysterical tones of contemporary serious female fiction.” In another comment, he denounces her letter as “literary attention whoring from the first word to the last.”

His comments are worth looking at in some detail, if only as a sort of case study in the ways in which misogyny and rape culture can not only destroy a person’s basic human empathy but also their ability to see the facts right in front of them.

As The Lizard sees it, the only crime here is that a “drunk and confused teenage boy” had his “life …. destroyed” just because he failed to notice that his sex partner had passed out.

The idea that this is a “light sentence” is a tragically misplaced one. In reality, the guy’s life is ruined forever. He will be registered as a sex offender for the remainder of his life. He is an eternal pariah and outcast. All because this slut decided that a few moments of drunkenness were enough to destroy a man’s life for good.

The Lizard has somehow convinced himself, through a rather tortured reading of the victim’s letter, that she “liked” being violated by Turner.

This slut went to the party because she wanted to get drunk and cheat on her boyfriend. She obviously wanted this athlete guy to f**k her as she admits in this key passage from the “victim letter” which you need to parse correctly through its lawyerly wording.

Here’s the passage in question, in which she admits no such thing. (I’m putting quotes from her in blue to distinguish them clearly from his.)

And you’re right, maybe I was still fluttering my eyes and wasn’t completely limp yet, fine. His guilt did not depend on him knowing the exact second that I became unconscious, that is never what this was about. I was slurring, too drunk to consent way before I was on the ground. I should have never been touched in the first place

The meaning of the passage is pretty transparent. She’s not saying she consented. She’s saying that she was clearly, obviously, unquestionably “too drunk to consent.”

The Lizard has a somewhat different take.

In other words she’s admitting she was by no means unconscious when he started “fingering” her which she herself said she “liked”. This kid is now supposed to be a “rapist” because in his own drunkenness he could not figure out the exact moment when the equally drunk girl passed out? Really?

Yes, really. It doesn’t matter what “exact moment” she passed out, you stupid sack of garbage. If you stick your fingers into someone who is passed out, that is rape. If you stick your fingers into someone so drunk they’re on the verge of passing out, that is also rape.

The Lizard puts the word “liked” in quotes, as if it is a direct quote from the victim. It’s not. If you search her statement for the words “like” and “liked,” you won’t find her saying anywhere that she “liked” what Turner did to her.

Here are some of the things you will find. (I will put the words “like” and “liked” in italics.)

A paragraph in which she describes taking a shower in a hospital after several hours of being poked and prodded and examined for evidence of rape.

After a few hours of this, they let me shower. I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.

A paragraph in which she describes how she learned what happened to her that night in the time between her last memory of the party she was at and when she came to hours later on a hospital gurney.

This was how I learned what happened to me, sitting at my desk reading the news at work. I learned what happened to me the same time everyone else in the world learned what happened to me. That’s when the pine needles in my hair made sense, they didn’t fall from a tree. He had taken off my underwear, his fingers had been inside of me. I don’t even know this person. I still don’t know this person. When I read about me like this, I said, this can’t be me, this can’t be me. I could not digest or accept any of this information.

A paragraph in which she addresses Turner for trying to excuse his actions by claiming he was too drunk to know what he was doing. An excerpt:

Sipping fireball is not your crime. Peeling off and discarding my underwear like a candy wrapper to insert your finger into my body, is where you went wrong. Why am I still explaining this.

A paragraph in which she discusses one way in which the sexual assault has affected her:

I can’t sleep alone at night without having a light on, like a five year old, because I have nightmares of being touched where I cannot wake up, I did this thing where I waited until the sun came up and I felt safe enough to sleep. For three months, I went to bed at six o’clock in the morning.

So where does the idea she “liked it” come from? Not from her, but from Turner. In her letter, she recalls reading a news account of the evening’s events:

In the next paragraph, I read something that I will never forgive; I read that according to him, I liked it. I liked it. Again, I do not have words for these feelings.

Speaking of the word “like,” The Lizard’s comment received fifty “likes” from Roosh V forum users. Here they all are:

MiscBrah, Horus, n/a, BallsDeep, GlobalMan, KidA, Samseau, Captainstabbin, spokepoker, Genghis Khan, RoastBeefCurtains4Me, Burt Gummer, Tokyo Joe, bigrich, gajf77, Comte De St. Germain, Mr. Scumbag, getdownonit, Renton1875, H1N1, Benoit, Chevalier De Seingalt, J. Spice, DJ-Matt, debeguiled, Neo2, Grodin, PUA_Rachacha, VincentVinturi, arafat scarf, Professor Fox, godzilla, Roadrunner, UroboricForms, B TAHKE, MMX2010, yfc4, Grizzles, Ocelot, TooFineAPoint, Polo, DeltaSmelt, Dismal Operator, Gmac, Geomann180, mpr, tradman, Avarence, dies irae, Matrixdude

In a followup comment, The Lizard begs a fellow forum member who actually sees the incident as”obviously a real case of rape” to have some empathy — for Turner.

Please try to think about this in actual human terms and understand what happened here. The idea that a young kid’s life should be ruined forever because of this incident is disgraceful.

It’s not long before The Lizard sets forth a conspiracy theory to explain just why the victim’s letter went viral. Weirdly, it involves Donald Trump.

I can tell you why it went viral:

1. They need this to make up for the loss they took on lyin’ Jackie [last name redacted –DF] in the UVa case — a loss they’re still smarting from.

2. It’s needed as payback for TRUMP — pretty much the fact that he still dares to exist.

Unbelievable. The Lizard concludes:

There is serious evil afoot here. But it’s not in the actions of one drunk confused kid — the evil is in our society and the hysterical extremes it has reached in pandering to female lies.

In a series of followup comments, The Lizard informs us that white men can’t rape:

“Rape” victims are few and far between, and real rapes, violent drag into the bushes rapes, are vanishingly rare on college campuses, and not committed by young white male college students.

That women apparently love — no, LOVE — having sex behind dumpsters:

What I know for sure is that women go to parties and get drunk because they want to f**k; and women, especially when they are drunk and horny, LOVE the idea and the excitement of having sex in public locations to an extent that most prudish men and white-knights can never understand.

That he’s pretty sure the victim didn’t write her letter, because reasons:

I did not believe when I saw it, and I believe less now, that it was written in full by “Emily Doe”. It bears all the marks of a far more experienced, ideological, and nastier hand.

I cannot prove, but strongly suspect, that this document was written in part or in full by Michele Dauber, the Stanford Law professor who has been primarily responsible for coordinating the propaganda campaign in this case.

Several commenters on Roosh’s forum, to their credit, take issue with The Lizard’s arguments, such as they are.

And then there is the odious piece of human garbage who calls himself GlobalMan — who may be a man we have met many times before, since“GlobalMan” was for years the internet moniker used by the extremely odd and terrible person better known as Peter-Andrew: Nolan(c).

Here is his take on the situation:

Wow. If [Turner’s] account is indeed accurate and true, not only is this the furthest thing from rape there could ever be, but it is also quite scary that men have to now worry about roving pairs of violent white knights intruding on any public lustful escapades with a willing and enthusiastic lover because they’ve been trained to view all males with natural virility as a threat to public safety.

What you have is in fact actually a sweet and beautiful scene, two young drunk kids slipping and falling and going at it right where they fell. Not too long ago in history someone would have walked by these kids and smirked, passing by with a smile at the thought of young lust. Now such a scene is cause to use violence to restrain the male and send him off to the gulag for societal castration.

A disgusting and sad outcome if there ever was one.

A “sweet and beautiful scene.” That comment got more than a dozen “likes” from the Roosh V Forum crowd.

I’m twitching again.

189 replies on “Roosh V Forum members agree: The real victim in the Stanford rape case is Brock Turner”


You should probably read the comments policy again. We don’t diagnose people with mental illness here. Wishing death or mutilation upon a person is also not appropriate. You said you’ve read the comments policy already, but your comment suggests otherwise.

@Cupcakes 4 Hitler

The way this family is acting is textbook what most people I know colloquially call “midwestern WASP”. I live in Illinois, about two hours out from Chicago actually, and it’s a pretty common phenomenon from us through to Ohio.

Everything about midwestern WASP families is skin-deep. Yes, they’re religious (not always Christian Protestant, but always some variation of Christian) and sure, they go to church on Sundays as well as the holidays, but they’re a “do as I say, not as I do” type of family. They present a united front, but they’re constantly in competition with each other. Siblings are expected to compete with each other to be the most successful (read: worthy of “love”); when they have families, their families are expected to compete with their siblings’ families to be at the top of the family hierarchy. If you’re weak or betray the family in any way, which includes speaking up about abuse, you’re culled to preserve the family reputation. You become a name mentioned in a list of so-and-so’s kids or just cease to exist at all.

Men are allowed to do as they please and are the de facto bosses of the household, even if they contribute absolutely nothing to it. It’s seen as the woman’s fault for marrying poorly if her husband turns out to be a monster or doesn’t do anything to help support his family. Women are usually teachers (my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother were all teachers, and I was expected to become one), as this is the only acceptable job for a woman that has the potential for any prestige, but they are expected to consider their children their real legacy. Children are expected to be carbon copies of the adults and from one marriage only, which is whatever marriage exists at the time. Divorce and re-marriage are blemishes on the women’s records and must be swept under the rug. I was from my mother’s first marriage, and I was not allowed to even see pictures of my biodad. I found one once in a photo album at my grandmother’s and asked her about it, and she scolded me for being insensitive and sent me outside. I looked at the album again later, and the picture was gone. Nothing more was ever said about it.

The Turner family’s response to its rapist kid’s crime is no surprise to me at all. Their statements in defense of him, while horrible, aren’t any worse than what I grew up hearing from my parents and grandparents. They genuinely believe that guilt is assigned by gender, regardless of the crime. If a woman, even their own family member, is abused, it’s her fault for provoking the man–by how she was dressed, how she acted, etc. She can play an individual human being all she wants with her little job or whatever she does, but her real role is a wife and mother and an extension of the man she chooses, if she really feels she must choose one herself. I actually had “grandparents” who were really the parents of the man my mother was supposed to marry. After she divorced my biodad, she was expected to come to her senses and marry my grandparents’ choice. I was often left at his parents’ farm, where they had even named a newborn foal after me to celebrate accepting me into their family. It was supposed to be my horse IF my mother agreed to marry their son. She didn’t, and she and my grandparents didn’t speak for years. My grandmother never let it go, either. Every time we passed that farm, which was often since it was close to our family farm, my grandmother would point out the horse with my name and tell me the story of how stupid my mother was not to follow through with their marriage arrangement.

Come to think of it, families like mine aren’t asshole cults–they’re asshole factories. They churn out entitled men and cut out members who aren’t willing to consider fellow human beings “lowlives” for reasons like race or class to maintain a quality standard of asshole. A pure asshole bloodline that produces only the finest asshole champions.


ETA: apologies for the novel

I don’t even want to comment on the Rooshites – they’re the rape cheerleader brigade, I don’t need an article to know their opinions. Reading the articles and their comments is nearly enough to give me an anxiety attack.

I don’t understand how someone can look at this situation and not see how deeply ingrained it all is. It’s all about using fear, terror, anxiety and frustration to keep women silent. to just accept it. It’s physically nauseating. My heart goes out to the woman, who speaks with bravery and eloquence for everyone who can’t bring themselves to do so. Wherever you are, thank you, and I wish you all the healing you need from this.


How did we arrive at this state of affairs?

By discovering agriculture.

This has always been happening. You’re just able to see it now. Most people are trained from birth to ignore and turn a blind eye to it at best, or to gleefully assist in terrorizing women into silence at worst. You’ve apparently broken out of that training. Congratulations, that’s not easy.

Thanks for the novel, @ryeash. That’s basically what it’s about. Families who don’t know how to actually love one another; medieval, aristocratic families; families concerned with lineage and presentation instead of, you know, people.

How much of what we call The Patriarchy stems from children poisoned by this upbringing? How much of the rape, the abuse, the sexism and racism and hate is churned forth from these misery-engines? How many kids grow up into adults unable to see more than surface-level motivations, because they grew up in an environment where looking beneath the veil exposed a seething swamp of hate, bitter cynicism and trauma? How many of these Rooshites think all women are evil because they were taught that “love” is a word that means “loathe” with a thin smile smeared overtop, and that “concern” is a synonym for harass?

It doesn’t absolve them of their horribleness – plenty of people learn real love and sympathy despite that sort of caustic environment. But how could that sort of environment get broken down, fought against? How much of that poison leaks out into the world at large?

No answers unfortunately. I’m just seething a bit myself.

This has gotten so over the top, insane and ludicrous.

Brock Turner’s ex-girlfriend, Lydia Pocisk, has now written a letter to the judge about her “anger at God” for instilling pain on Turner’s “undeserving soul”.

This meme has officially jumped the shark.

Since when did raping a woman who was drugged at a party and lying unconscious behind a dumpster convey sainthood?

instilling pain on Turner’s “undeserving soul”

He needs some spiritual pain.

This horrible excuse for a human being actually makes me feel sick. He sounds like a rapist himself.

I’m no longer a young man. I grew up in an America that no longer exists. But when I was young I was taught that if you’re a guy, you’re supposed to be *nice* to girls, (women, ladies, females, insert any word you like). That a man has some obligation to be decent toward women, or he is not truly a man. Yeah, I know, it’s a sexist attitude, but one that a large part of a whole generation of young American men seems to be totally without. And I think that makes the world a sadder place.

We all grew up in an America that no longer exists because everything is always changing and the past is always behind us.

When you were young you were taught that women are weak and need protecting. That’s not a positive thing for women. Because of it we’re denied jobs deemed too difficult for us, we’re paid less because our labor is less valued, and we’re constantly told we shouldn’t be treated as equals because we’re perceived as less capable. I have a coworker who is probably around your age, judging by your comment. He “protects” me by holding back feedback that could help me grow in a way he doesn’t do with male colleagues. He does a lot more than just that, but I don’t feel like getting into it right now.

Back in your day women were slut shamed when raped, too. You didn’t notice it because it was kept quiet. The only real difference is that it’s become this huge media discussion today.

It’s not the way men are starting to treat women more like full human beings (by not putting them on a pedestal) that’s sad. It’s that some people are treating other people horribly that’s the problem. Some people treat others like they’re subhuman because of traits they have no control over like skin color or genitalia. People who act like horrible people are excused for their behavior because they have the “acceptable” skin color or genitalia.

Oh, and don’t call us “females.” It removes our humanity and reduces us to one trait. Especially if you mix “females” with “men.” You also shouldn’t call us “girls” as it’s infantilizing, especially when you mix “girls” and “men.”

Been discussing this with a friend. For various reasons she’s been taking a keen interest in the case. We were wondering if any ‘good’ might come out of this. Will it provoke a discussion on rape culture? Might posh boys on campus realise that they can be rapists too? Will it act as a deterrent and make them think of the consequences of their actions? Could this be a turning point for attitudes towards women and sexual assault?

Perhaps were being pessimistic but we came to the conclusion it wouldn’t. Chances are it’ll be a minor cause célèbre, but like #kony2012 and #bringbackourgirls it’ll soon be forgotten as people move on to the next story in their newsfeed.

The only positive, and ironically this is because of the paltry sentence, is that the story might get another boost when he’s released as that will be within a timeframe so people can connect to the original story.

It might be that if his life is ruined and that can be played out in the public sphere, then he might at least act as a bit of a deterrent. Someone people can point to so as to encourage les autres.


I really wish I knew a solution, too. All I do is shed light on it, because it’s all I can think of.


How much of what we call The Patriarchy stems from children poisoned by this upbringing?

I’m going to go with basically all of it. That is both the ultimate genesis of the Patriarchy* and the means by which it propagates itself.

* This is moderately speculative on my part, but there’s at least some anthropological research that backs me up. Basically, it’s down to lineage, and more specifically who inherits what property and how that’s determined. Cultures that either a) don’t concern themselves much with lineage or b)calculate lineage matrilineally (based on who your mother is) tend to be much more egalitarian than cultures that reckon descent patrilineally. Reason being, it’s very hard to be confused about who the mother of a given child is or is not in most circumstances, whereas paternity was totally unverifiable until within living memory. So, if who your father is is the most important thing for determining what land, money, political office, etc. you get, every element of purity culture makes perfect sense: women’s sexuality is harshly controlled in every imaginable way, because that’s the only way for a man to ‘guarantee’ that he is the father of the children who are going to be getting all his money and power (also the root of the obsession with cuckoldry that the modern fascist movement displays at every opportunity). This, in turn, is rooted in the idea of a zero-sum economy and indeed society, where everything that one person/family has is of necessity snatched away from somebody else, and the only way to get ahead is to step on everyone you can to grab a bigger piece.

So this has me literally on the verge of tears. How can anybody be so lacking in basic empathy.

Oh and hi long time lurker first time poster.

Everything about midwestern WASP families is skin-deep. Yes, they’re religious (not always Christian Protestant, but always some variation of Christian) and sure, they go to church on Sundays as well as the holidays, but they’re a “do as I say, not as I do” type of family. They present a united front, but they’re constantly in competition with each other. Siblings are expected to compete with each other to be the most successful (read: worthy of “love”); when they have families, their families are expected to compete with their siblings’ families to be at the top of the family hierarchy. If you’re weak or betray the family in any way, which includes speaking up about abuse, you’re culled to preserve the family reputation. You become a name mentioned in a list of so-and-so’s kids or just cease to exist at all.

You so just described my family, except it’s Catholic, not Protestant. Toe the line or else. When I decided not to be Catholic anymore, thus removed myself and my children from the church entirely, I ended up disowned. They don’t even make any attempt to talk to or see their grandkids — my kids just get $10 twice a year for birthdays and Christmas. But in the end, it doesn’t bother any of us. Once you’re removed from the situation, you can see things so clearly. I realized that I’d basically spent a lifetime being manipulated and controlled by my parents and they were doing the same damn thing to my children who are old enough to realize they were being used as pawns.

When I was raped as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, it was quietly swept under the rug. It was never discussed, there was no outrage from anyone that the guy was never identified or brought to justice, I was given no support what-so-ever and when I developed severe depression I was told to get on some anti-depressants because medication is so going to help with the psychological aftermaths of trauma.

Men are allowed to do as they please and are the de facto bosses of the household, even if they contribute absolutely nothing to it.

Not in my family. My mother wore the pants in the family and she’s a right manipulative and controlling woman. My dad is her enabler, putting out the fires she causes and trying to convince everyone to see things her way. She gave up a career and all that to be a stay-at-home mom. I wonder if sacrificing everything to put the family first led to her becoming manipulative and controlling because that’s the only power available to her.

It’s seen as the woman’s fault for marrying poorly if her husband turns out to be a monster or doesn’t do anything to help support his family.

It’s also the woman’s fault for marrying poorly if they simply don’t like the guy. My parents hate my husband. Their plan for me was to go to college, become a teacher, marry a well-off Catholic boy and settle down to raise the kids produced by the marriage. I married a guy with no religion (his mom is Methodist, dad Jewish, both non-practicing) or anything more prestigious than a bachelor’s degree. I’m the one who went off to get a professional degree instead of spending all day home with our three kids. The only good thing they had to say about me working is thank God I chose an in-home daycare instead of a childcare center because at least the kids will be in a warm, friendly, homey-type situation while he got constant flack from my parents for not properly supporting his family.

My brother’s gay (something that’s not acceptable in our family) and he’s always been more respected in their eyes. Of course since he lives half a country away and never brings boyfriends home when he visits, his bachelor lifestyle can be described as “not having found the right girl yet” to the inquiring aunties.

My parents are lucky he’s not the marrying type. How would they explain their son’s new husband to the rest of the uptight family?


Every time I hear someone say the sort of thing you just did, implying that everything was so much sunnier when you were young, I have to wonder how often you listen to the stories of women your age. I might be 27, and you might consider that young, but I have not only seen these attitudes rampant in the world around me since I was a child, but I’ve heard women much older than me tell me their stories as well. It has always been this bad. If anything, it’s only gotten better. We just hear about the bad things more, thanks to the omnipresent nature of social media.

I have heard it said in my family that my grandmother’s father was terribly abusive, both sexually and physically, to his wife. My aunt’s best friend was killed by that friend’s husband, and my aunt holds a grudge against anti-gun control activists to this day. I once worked alongside a woman nearly old enough to be my grandmother, and she told me about how her grandmother threw herself down the stairs at one point to terminate the pregnancy because she’d already had so many children and didn’t want any more, but her Irish Catholic husband kept wanting to have more, and that was just how it was back then. She also told me that her first child was killed by her boyfriend in infancy.

They aren’t the only ones, either. There are many such stories from eras gone by that have been published, if my anecdotes that stem from my life experiences aren’t good enough. You can find them with a search engine and the slightest bit of effort. Scildfreja is right; it’s been like this since the dawn of agriculture. Not that this makes it right and/or just. It doesn’t.


I wish I read your takedown of families and criminals before I’d talked to my friend last week, because it really would have helped me be more concise! He has a friend who was convicted for downloading child pornography, and at first he was trying to wave it off as an accident. As in, he must have accidentally downloaded it the way you can accidentally download a virus while trying to pirate music.

Well, his friend did serve a year in prison and will now have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. However, I only just heard about this last week because I hadn’t asked for details earlier. I was too angry that my friend seemed to be making excuses for a deplorable criminal. I thought it was highly unlikely to have been an accident. Turns out I was right, and his friend was classified as a pedophile, and therefor mentally ill and struggling with depression at the time he downloaded child pornography. My friend still took a pitying tone when discussing it, and I got a little severe about how those actions are wrong and lead to the victimization of children. Mental illness by itself does not create monsters, actions do. And I would thank him to realize who he is talking to, because I have been battling mental illness for my entire life and haven’t done anything even half that bad.

He didn’t like how judgmental I was being of another mentally ill person, and I tried to dial it back because we have gotten into some nasty arguments in the past. Ultimately I told him that there was nothing wrong with wanting to stay friends. His friend could learn from this and become something better, even a champion who stands up against the victimization of children. It can happen. I never used to believe people could change, but now that I’m older I have seen it happen every now and then.

My friend just said he wasn’t even sure he wanted to be friends with the guy anymore, and I dropped it. But in hindsight, I could have organized the conversation more diplomatically. I’m just no wordsmith when it comes to topics that make my blood boil.

I felt like that yesterday. I don’t know if this helps or hurts, but these people (or the vast majority of them) do have empathy. They choose not to use it abstractly. Or rather, in this case, they choose not to use it for a specific type of ‘other’ person. They don’t lack, they refuse

On a lighter note, Bill and Ted’s Transtastic Voyage! Make it happen, Hollywood!
Hiya. Welcome aboard the good ship, Mammoth. Bring your own snacks and enjoy the kittehs.

I knew it wouldn’t be long before we heard from MRA’s about this case but wow I didn’t think it would be this cringe worthy awful. This is an actual attempt to justify a rape. MRA’s have reached a new low.

Different people have different levels of empathy. But even low-empathy people can be taught to understand how actions and words can harm people and harming others is nearly always bad for everyone, including themselves. In other words, reason can sometimes fill the gap, where empathy fails. Though if the person in question lacks both reason and empathy, then you’ve got a serious problem.

Some families, however, train their children to apply what empathy they have very narrowly and selectively. This is particularly true of the highly patriarchal upper-middle-class to wealthy “dynasty” families which have held on to their power and prestige for generations, but it can happen in any family. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle which creates people who are abusers and victims both, emotional wrecks who are still mostly functional in society. In the case of the dynasty sorts, it also produces a lot of highly skilled and ambitious people who will help insure that the family will retain its place near the top of the heap.

Of course, people do escape from that. The misfits, the ones who can’t take the pressure of constant internal competition and occasional backstabbing, and the high-empathy people who can’t turn it off. But a few escapees every generation isn’t going to put an end to that. I’m not sure what would.

I spent a few hours of my life trying to fight the good fight in the comments of an Atlantic article (“What Makes the Stanford Rape Case So Unusual”), and it made me terribly sad.

CN for some serious ick: “She was cheating on her boyfriend” / “he was sentenced to life without parole” (for being on the sex offender registry) / “what he did wasn’t violent…it would have been violent if he shot her, cut her up into little pieces, and dumped her in the sea” / etc.

I don’t know; I guess some part of me thought that in a case as clear-cut as this, the background hiss of the reptile-brained would be a little quieter. But no, their message is as loud and clear as ever: if a woman is drunk at a party, she can’t be raped.

CN: Murder-suicide and suicide-related talk

Then tonight, I see on the news that a singer from “The Voice” was killed in a murder-suicide…and it’s Christina Grimmie, shot by a man while signing autographs in Orlando. Before they even put up the mugshot, I knew what it was about. Surprising to no one, the man didn’t know her.

Two stories later, another murder-suicide, and of course, it’s an estranged boyfriend killing his ex, then turning the gun on himself.

I screamed at the TV, “Why can’t you just fucking kill yourself!?!”

I’ve been suicidal. In my younger years, I was once suicidal because a relationship ended badly. For all the months I was struggling with it, the thought never entered my mind that she deserved to be hurt; that I should take her with me. It never even entered my mind that she should know that I was hurting. Even before I got into feminism, I knew that what I was feeling was my problem to solve. Just…fuck.

Oh, and now I see that hackers got into Grimmie’s Twitter account and posted “The end.” shortly after her murder.

I can’t even tonight. I honestly want to smash something, but that would upset the kitties.

@littleknown: The video further up-thread that Ouraboros13 posted hits on the notion that there are people literally thinking this didn’t happen as well. The video is in response to another video where a guy was defending Brock Turner.

The original video he was responding to was straight up was like “Well, it still could be a false accusation!”, and Dick’s response to it was flawless, IMO.

Dick asks, “How much evidence will it take for you to go ‘Yeah, this is rape’? Turner admitted it, his father admitted it, he was caught doing it by two people, and you STILL think it could somehow be a false accusation?!”

And Dick also brought up that when it comes to immigrants and Muslim people, MRAs are the first to denounce those “evil brown people” as rapists, but when it’s a fellow white dude, they usually assume the stance of “innocent until proven innocent”.


We were wondering if any ‘good’ might come out of this.

I’ve been sort of cogitating on this. This is really an exceptional case from a public perception point of view.

We have a near paradigm case of a privileged white man guilty of rape. A similarly paradigm case of witnesses, honourable men intervening in the way that so many people claim they would if they were bystanders, but so rarely do. Lots and lots of incontrovertible physical evidence. And, most importantly, an eloquent victim who gives a painful insider’s view of her experience and her injuries – and doesn’t identify herself so everyone can put themselves or any woman they know into her shoes.

We also have almost a dozen near-caricature versions of morally and ethically blind family, friends and officials. Some supporting the rapist by resolutely refusing to even consider that he’d done anything wrong, let alone rape. Others by accepting, reinforcing and acting on the basis of the statements of those family and friends.

It’s a bit of a game-changer for future discussions. There’s nothing blurry or doubtful or questionable about any of the actions or actors in this case. We’ll see how things play out in the future when, as they must, other cases appear from time to time.

@ryeash and @Saphira: WOW. I didn’t know this was a pattern, but you both described my family perfectly. Mother and grandmother were teachers, that shallowness of “if everything LOOKS ok, everything IS ok” and “don’t talk about it and it didn’t happen, don’t deviate from what we decide is the norm or you’ll be shunned”. I stopped talking to my mother 4 years ago when she demonstrated to me that she didn’t give a crap about me or my kids; I stopped talking to my sister a year after that when she did the same thing, trying to play favorites. We’re in that corridor, too; my mother grew up in Lafayette, my dad in South Bend. (He wasn’t so into the appearances thing. He tried, but he hadn’t been raised like that, so it wasn’t second nature to him like it was to my mother. Also, I still speak to him because he cares about both my kids, and about me and my husband.)

It really is a great cover for abuse, because nobody believes the kids. The parents put on a great show for anyone outside the family, and if the kids say anything, it’s “Oh, but they’re such great people! I’m sure you misunderstood.” My mother didn’t bother to pretend around kids, though, so for the last half of my public school career, I’d get other students telling me, “Your mom’s a bitch.” They had no idea what to do when I said, “Yeah, I know. I live with her. What’s your point?” That wasn’t allowed! Must keep up appearances! (My mother was the detention lady in middle school, and in high school she was involved with the parent organization that supported the marching band.)

I didn’t realize it was a culture thing, though. That just blows my mind. At least there’s a bit less of it where I live now, if for no other reason than that everyone’s at about the same socioeconomic level instead of trying to claw their way upward on someone else’s back. And people just seem more contented, or maybe it’s just that I am. I’m so glad I rejected/was rejected by that whole mess. I never really fit in, so it was a bit easier. And my husband is from NYC, so he saw through my mother’s bullshit really quickly, but then again, she wasn’t performing for him.

I just… wow. One of the pieces just clicked into place for me. Thank you.

ETA: Oh, and we were Protestant when I was growing up, because that was part of the performance that was required. Now my mother teaches at a Catholic school, so she’s performing the hell out of that.

@PI: Thanks for pointing me up-thread. That was a calming video.

I still can’t sleep. I got home late Friday night, went to bed, and had enough to do on Saturday that I didn’t even scan the news or read WHTM.

A super-nerdy, videogame-loving, incredibly kind and caring young woman made it big as a singer, and is killed by a man she didn’t know in a murder-suicide. “Motive unknown.”

But I can hazard a guess as to the culture that fed his entitlement. Goddamnit.

Hey Skip,

Men like you cutting women completely from their lives sounds like a win-win situation to me.


“Equally as drunk” yet managed to take a semi-conscious woman behind a dumpster, remove items of her clothing, then leg it after being caught. If he were that drunk it just could not have happened.

This twerp will have people defending him for the rest of his life, which is a lot more than you can say for men in jail serving excessive sentences for drug-related and other non-violent crimes.

I really don’t like talking about this, but here is my story. It is not as much of a ‘thing’ in the UK, but there are cults and Christian sects on the ‘fringe’ of society which are very similar to the WASP families you describe.

I had a very strict father who was older than my mum, and used physical discipline on both of us. Mum used that term ‘it was different back then’ to excuse herself from ever leaving him. He was the sole breadwinner and she was not allowed to have a job, she was a stay at home mum with me (only child) and he was a tyrant, always demanding his dinner on the table the right time and her to make him tea etc, he did no housework or anything to help.

They were member of the Brethren church, a Patriarchist cult which gives men ‘headship’ over women, as they believe men represent Christ. I had a close male cousin, who used to be my best friend until we became teenagers then they turned him against me, because he wasn’t allowed to be alone with a single woman. It got even worse when my father died, my mum and me weren’t allowed any male visitors not even family members.

There were two very suspicious men who attended this church, one was convicted in 1995 of child abuse and went to prison. He had been abusing his brother’s little girl who was born out of wedlock so officially she didn’t even exist. The other one was the son of the pastor, who “groomed” girls, and treated it like he was being just friendly and matey and it was just a joke. He tried this on me when I was about 15 but I was frightened by his advances and told one of the older ladies in the church who told me to keep my mouth shut because he had a family and a good job, and she didn’t want slander to effect his livelihood. It was not until November last year, at least twenty years later that he assaulted the wrong kid and ended up in court, he is on the sex offenders register now, and has a suspended sentence and £6000 fine – they were very lenient.

I gave up religion because of this, I still believe in God, but not their sex obsessed Patriachist God. If there really is a God, s/he should hate religion.

“Keeping up appearances” always means silencing the victims. The entire objective is to make sure people outside the family only see a perfect, happy, Christian if appropriate, home; if anyone sees anything other than that, it means the patriarch and matriarch have failed in their primary duty of producing good members of the next generation.

Perpetrators usually do their thing low-key. The abuse happens behind closed doors, and only rarely where outsiders can see it. Perpetrators aren’t disrupting that happy-perfect-home image. Speaking out, however, and demanding that something be done about the abuse means putting it into the public sphere. The family can’t or won’t control the perpetrators; if it were otherwise, the abuse wouldn’t continue. Speaking out requires the intervention of outside forces, either the state or the community at large. It’s impossible to avoid a public demonstration of the family’s fucked-up-ness at that point. It’s the victim’s demands to be treated as a human being that bring in that attention, not the crime itself, which happened under a veil.

Families with this value system always silence victims. Maintaining the image of a perfect family is their highest value, and it’s victims, not perpetrators, who threaten that image.

Thanks for the novel, @ryeash. That’s basically what it’s about. Families who don’t know how to actually love one another; medieval, aristocratic families; families concerned with lineage and presentation instead of, you know, people.

What? Concern of people? Love? You shallow liberal degenerate! This is nothing more than weakness and slavishness! The illusion of human uniqueness and, consequently, individual worth. Mankind’s worth is measured by strength and it is through blood and tradition that this strength is maintained. Not through twittering feminine values of concern for the weak. Feminization is at hand, mankind will lose all dignity, individuality, and strength, reduced to cucked imbecile female drones for our Jewish masters.

/extreme sarcasm, yes, I know, Poe’s Law and all that.

I didn’t read any of the post or most of the comments here, I just wanted to say love, kittens, hugs and kisses for the victim and everyone else here who has been raped, assaulted, etc.

I love that pic you made PI.

Echoing scildfreja, thanks for the novel!

I didn’t know this was a Midwestern pattern, and I suppose that’s because many Midwesterners maintain a profound silence about this abuse.

Here’s what I already knew:

Of the people who have told me about the abuse they’ve survived, possibly the worst abuse happened to two people from different states in the Midwest — and the abuse was in one case, at the hands of his family, and in the other case, at the hands of her husband.

Jane Smiley’s family tragedy, based on Lear and titled One Thousand Acres (which I have not read but have read about) is set in the Midwest.

Sinclair Lewis was from the Midwest and wrote many books about American materialism and conformity (Babbitt, Main Street, etc.). Feminism and the bohemian life were also featured in his books, which was the draw for me. I now understand that his books probably can also be understood to reflect specifically Midwestern values.

And then there’s Bob Dylan, who once upon a time was a Jewish kid living in the Midwest:

With God On Our Side
Bob Dylan

Oh my name it is nothin’

My age it means less

The country I come from

Is called the Midwest

I’s taught and brought up there

The laws to abide

And that the land that I live in

Has God on its side

Thanks again, ryeash. I’m going to give this subject a lot of thought.


Internet hugs (if you want them) to everyone who’s lived through or is currently going through a hard time.

@Nikki the Bluth Wannabe

Yes, that is indeed the area I live. I am very familiar with the culture that grew Brock Turner and his supporters. My kids go to a high school that is one of the few in the area competitive with Oakwood, but it has a hugely different culture with regards to sports, wealth, privilege, race, and consent.

A huge part of the problem is the “othering” that happens both ways around here. Folks who live in Oakwood other anyone different, and many around here other Oakwood for their racial and material privilege. It’s easy to see how a “golden boy” growing up in Oakwood would not be capable of seeing people unlike him as deserving of the same respect he himself receives and comes to expect.

There are good things to be known for around here, we did make it big in the news for the ongoing consent policy for Antioch College! More than 20 years ago- each sexual encounter requires consent and each new level of sexual activity requires consent. We were soundly mocked then, but not now.

People around here seem to be ashamed that such a systemic rape apologist system could be in place. I hope this is addressed in the training both where the father worked and where the son went to school. I’ll be watching and attending the training at the father’s workplace, and my teacher friend will be keeping tabs on the school’s program.

Gah, internet problems in my area off and on for the last couple days. Sorry for the late response.

@Cupcakes 4 Hitler

Never feel pressured to talk about anything that happened to you. I do it so that others can hopefully feel comfortable doing so if they need to (plus it helps me to talk about it here, because I have a lot of trouble getting close enough to people IRL to share), but I completely understand those who don’t want to.

Thank you for sharing, though. I didn’t mean to make it sound like a strictly midwest US thing, and I don’t want anyone getting that impression. I’ve met people from all over the world who have had the same experiences or at least know someone who has. It’s just common as dirt here.

These aren’t rich families playing Dynasty Wars, either. This is what’s left of the frustrated middle class who will likely never reach the upper rungs of society like they always dreamed, so they play pretend. It shouldn’t surprise anyone how rampant racism is in these communities. It’s all the immigrants and minorities wanting jobs and equality that are holding the middle class back, according to them. It’s everyone’s fault but their own for voting in people who serve only the interests of those who are currently rich. They live their lives putting up the appearance of money and status and preparing for the day when their bank account matches their braggadocio.


Tom Waits wrote a song where he specifically mentions missing my city. It used to be a beautiful place with a thriving downtown area, but the industries moved out or exported jobs, and now we’re just another decaying crime hub. Forbes also likes to mention us–in lists of the US’s most dangerous cities. We’ve always had an art scene, though, and no shortage of local musicians, visual artists, writers. I feel like we have the right mix of beauty and tragedy to draw endless inspiration, so it’s no wonder that a lot of artists have come from the midwest.

@Her Grace Phryne

“Oh, but they’re such great people! I’m sure you misunderstood.”

I’ve heard almost that exact quote so many times. Not just towards me, but towards friends. It makes me unbelievably angry. I always retort “Oh, so you’ve lived with them and know what they’re like huh?” People still say this about my mother, but my stepfather was like your mother–he didn’t pretend around children, because no one believes what children say around here. My friends refused to come over to my house, because they were terrified of him. Yet they still didn’t believe me when I told them just how bad things were, because we were all raised to think that kids are a drain on their parents, and anything they say about how their parents are raising them is being ungrateful for their sacrifices. I was fed stories about kids who had their parents sent to jail by lying about abuse and was told it was common and no one should believe children because they’re selfish and evil.

Not only the families but the community keeps children in these cycles of abuse. When a whole community is silencing abuse, it’s impossible to make any headway against it. It goes up to the justice system in my city. I wrote a letter to help have a judge removed, because he refused me an Order of Protection after the incident with my stepfather. His reason: it might help my mother in the divorce. With pictures of what my stepfather did to my face sitting in front of him, he laughed at me and called me a liar and a pawn for my greedy mother who just wanted all of my stepdad’s money (even though his money was actually hers, because he didn’t work).

It’s seriously like MRA Wonderland here.

ETA ^^sweet Jesus, you’d think one time I could avoid a wall-o-text

Hugs to everyone who grew up in a patriarchal household in which appearance was all that mattered and silence was a virtue. My mother was a teacher too, and we went to church. That’s all I’ll say. Other people here have described it better than I could.

If you got out, congratulations on getting out. If you haven’t managed to get out, please know that you have all my support, and if you need to talk to someone then I’d be honoured to help however I can.

“Not only the families but the community keeps children in these cycles of abuse. When a whole community is silencing abuse, it’s impossible to make any headway against it.”

Yep. I had someone my junior year of high school, my former “best friend”, follow me through the halls of school screaming that I was a lesbian. (In the mid-90s, that was a horrible thing to say.) Despite the fact that the halls were crowded and teachers saw us, nobody said anything, and when my dad talked to the principal, they said nothing could be done because I didn’t have any proof. Like… what proof could I have?

And that “best friend”, do you know the terrible crime I committed that led to this? I told her to stop lying about me to a boy that she knew I liked. But I stood up to her bullshit, and therefore it was time to make me anathema.

It’s slightly better where we live now, but I will be SO glad when we move to NYC in a couple of years. The culture may not be perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better than around here.

Also, thank you, ryeash, for describing it so well. I honestly didn’t realize it was a culture thing, and it’s… well, it sucks that other people had to go through it, but at least we’re not alone.

@Her Grace Phryne

It became easier to see how prevalent the problem was and all the little patterns and indicators after I was away from it all for a few years. Always easier to see clearly from the outside.

it sucks that other people had to go through it, but at least we’re not alone.

Agreed! It’s nice to know that there are people who understand what we experienced, but I hate the thought that they all paid for that knowledge with miserable, abusive childhoods where they were constantly invalidated and gaslighted (gaslit? subjected to gaslighting).

Echoing EJ’s hugs and offer of support.

Thanks. I’ll be out of here in a while, but in the meantime, at least I don’t have to speak to my mother, who was the worst of it. Looking forward to NYC.

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