The good man paradox

Not all men are wankers but enough of them are, to come out in force and say that they’re not all wankers, whenever you point to the actions of any given wanker, or group of wankers.  As if this is relevant.  As if I’m supposed to care that some bloke in Cardiff raises his three kids because their mother abandoned them.

As if that, somehow, negates the crisis in family courts, where violent men gain access to kids and violent male sexual predators gain custody of kids.  Or the crisis in rape prosecutions, where less than 2% of rapists (men) are convicted for their crimes.  As if that will save the life of either of the women killed by their male partners this week in Britain.

It should be self evident that anecdotal examples of compassion, or even simply  of taking responsibility – I’m talking to you, doting Dad from Cardiff – have no real place in a conversation about the epidemic of male violence that’s never gone away.  And yet, it’s such a common ploy among the defensive, that it has its own acronym – NAMALT.

In the week since the British rape victim returned from Cyprus, the internet has been awash with rapists, rape apologists and rape enthusiasts.  Any rape that makes headlines becomes a catalyst for all that is dark and damaged and depraved and downright dangerous about online mankind to surface.  Keyboard warriors across the globe celebrate her conviction because it makes them feel better about their own, unsanctioned crimes.

‘I was accused of rape once.’  They say.  Only once?

‘THE LYING WHORE SHOULD BE LOCKED UP!’  They shout.

‘It’s women like her that make it harder for real victims to get justice’  They proclaim, but never qualify how.

And as awful as these rants are, they somehow make sense.  In a world where one in five women are sexually assaulted, there’s got to be a lot of rapists, and most of them will be able to type.  A case that highlights the brutality of rape, the corruption of police investigations, the incompetence of legal systems, and the complicity of political systems  is a case with a lot to prove.  Rapists have a lot to defend.

What never makes sense to me is those who do believe her, but still want you to know that not all men are like a group of Israeli rapists.

‘It is important,’ they tweet, ‘that you remember there is good men in the world.’

Why is that important?  In what way does that empower the victim of a savage gang rape and an international miscarriage of justice?  In a world where men do most of the killing and raping and maiming, I can see how it’s comforting to know that your Barry puts the tea on the table four nights a week and always picks the girls up from ballet.  I just don’t see why it’s important.

The existence of good men is not what we question when groups of men conspire to deny a rape victim justice, but the persistence of bad men.  Not all men are gang rapists of teenage tourists, but gang rape is an exclusively male crime.  If we can’t call a spade a spade, for fear of hurting the good man’s ego, or the happy wife’s happy life, then perhaps these people are neither as good nor as content, as they contend.

Not all writers think like me.  If you like this you will also like my debut novel Nailing Jess.

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