Josh Brorby: Rape, In Theory And Practice
[Late Update: Brorby’s second apology was, in fact, quite well done in my view.]
A lot of folks have read Meet The Predators, about rapists who admit their conduct, and Predator Redux, about Dr. David Lisak’s more in-depth analysis of acquaintance rapists’ methods. Via YMY contributor Jill Filipovic at Feministe, we how have a guy explaining his method exactly.
[Update:Brorby has apologized, predictably claiming satire. Read it, believe what you want. No matter what one chooses to believe about Brorby, though, responding to this stuff is a major cultural fight. We’re not fighting for the rapists’ hearts and minds. We’re fighting over their license to operate. Do they do into the stalk believing they can get away with it, or not? That, and what they do in response, are the stakes.]
Back in Meet The Predators, I said to men in het spaces:
Listen. The men in your lives will tell you what they do. As long as the R word doesn’t get attached, rapists do self-report. The guy who says he sees a woman too drunk to know where she is as an opportunity is not joking. He’s telling you how he sees it.
Now, Josh Brorby has something to tell us about what he calls The Brorby Method For One Night Standing, which he admits requires a disregard not just for self and victim, but for the law. I’m saying that I believe him. I take him at his word. I believe this is who he is, and this is what he does.
First thing’s first: you need to be hella drunk for this to work (or at least the girl does), so you need to find a party… You should also avoid any festival, gala, or Saturnalia whereat strangers may reside, or even anyone you only peripherally know. I suggest a nice get-together with a small amount of close, personal friends…
Okay, so now you’ve got a party started. You need to scope out a hot little number to stand with for an entire night. I’d suggest finding someone you know really well, like a girl from your high school or someone you have class with every Tuesday and Thursday. Someone you talk to regularly. (This shouldn’t be a problem if you listened to my earlier advice – if you see a stranger in the room, get the girl you plan on having sex with out of there!) Get her something to drink – maybe a nice little Sex on the Beach, or some straight mouthwash. If you have the means you could just inject her with some Sodium Pentobarbitone (if this is the case, have a futon or mattress handy, she might drop to the floor).
She’s good and buzzed now, right? Maybe a little unconscious?
Whatever, bro, it’s a one-night stand. This is where you drop the line, something funny yet titillating to let her know your intentions. Try this one on for size: “Let’s have sex,” and if that doesn’t work, drop this bomb on her: “Hey I’m going to have sex with you now.” If you’re a real dare devil just pull down your pants and get to it.
Where have I seen that before?
• [Rapists] are extremely adept at identifying “likely” victims, and testing prospective victims’ boundaries;
• plan and premeditate their attacks, using sophisticated strategies to groom their victims for attack, and to isolate them physically;
• use alcohol deliberately to render victims more vulnerable to attack, or completely unconscious.
Like Jill, I expect his defenders to say this is some kind of a joke. I’ll stand on my prior remarks:
The guy who says, “bros before hos”, is asking you to make a pact.
The Pact. The social structure that allows the predators to hide in plain sight, to sit at the bar at the same table with everyone, take a target home, rape her, and stay in the same social circle because she can’t or won’t tell anyone, or because nobody does anything if she does. The pact to make excuses, to look for mitigation, to patch things over — to believe that what happens to our friends — what our friends do to our friends — is not (using Whoopi Goldberg’s pathetic apologetics) “rape-rape”.
Change the culture… [W]e need to change the environment that the rapist operates in. Choose not to be part of a rape-supportive environment. Rape jokes are not jokes. Woman-hating jokes are not jokes. These guys are telling you what they think. When you laugh along to get their approval, you give them yours. You tell them that the social license to operate is in force; that you’ll go along with the pact to turn your eyes away from the evidence; to make excuses for them; to assume it’s a mistake, of the first time, or a confusing situation. You’re telling them that they’re at low risk.
Brorby feels entirely comfortable publishing his method, which is rape. He recommends getting acquaintances too drunk to make decisions and sexually penetrating them. He admits this is both wrong and illegal. And he’s fine with naming this method after himself. He doesn’t say some other guys do this. He says it is his method.
And all the rapists who read it will see that this guy can just say this, and people laugh right along. Roman Polanski can drug and rape a thirteen year old girl and the whole Hollywood community comes to his defense; this guy can say he drugs and rapes women and his defenders will insist, in high dudgeon, that we all laugh and pretend he isn’t doing it.
Unless the reaction to Brorby is so swift and so strong that everyone with the ability to google knows he’s dangerous. Unless his next editorial is about how nobody will leave him alone in a room with a woman or a drop of alcohol because of what he said, and he isn’t invited to anyone’s home anymore. Unless the women he’s victimized (statistics say about six) come forward, with his own writing and each other to buttress their claims and he is held to account.
Theory, and practice. He told us who he is and what he does.
*Apologies to Dr. Suess.
[Update II: Swift’s Modest Proposal worked because even the people Swift was satirizing would balk at actually eating the Irish. But even if one credits and satire explanation, one can’t satirize a position merely by stating it. The men doing the vast majority of the raping agree with everying in that essay. It won’t cause them or their defenders to pause and think about what they are doing. They’ll just take it as support. Satire that the satirized take as support is … part of the problem.]