Anonymous said: something i've been worried about for a while now- my boyfriend, who himself is very respectful towards women, but who is also very generous and forgiving by nature, has this friend -I'll call him Zed- who plays DnD w/ my boyfriend and their other friends, and Zed is a KNOWN RAPIST. one of his victims even attempted to press charges, so this is pretty well known throughout their little circle, but despite everyone hating Zed for his general behavior and calling him a rapist behind his back, they
still hang out with him, play DnD with him. My boyfriend has told him flat out that he is an awful human being, and that his behavior needs to change like rn, but he also still plays dnd and hangs out at the bar we all like with him, etc. Despite the fact they all warn off any drunk girls that Zed tries to take advantage of (he always tries to get them drunk first), I feel that because no real shunning or any other consequences have occured, Zed’s behavior is being reinforced as more okay than bad.
I’ve spoken to my bf about this several times, but I don’t know how to convince and by proxy the others to stop hanging around Zed, so Zed gets the message his behavior is reprehensible. I am also deeply worried that I or some of the girls in the group may eventually be assaulted by him. Do you have any advice about to get them to tell/show Zed what happens when someone rapes people (i.e. loses all respect and friends)?
Okay, before I get into anything, I’m going to give you a couple of links to read. Specifically:
- The Missing Stair by pervocracy
- My friends group has a case of the creepy dude by Captain Awkward
- Five Geek Social Fallacies by Michael Suileabhain-Wilson
Okay, read them? Great.
So to summarize what you’ve told me:
- Zed is a rapist.
- Everyone in the friends group knows he’s a rapist.
- Everyone in the friends group hates him because he’s a rapist.
- And yet… they do nothing about it.
So one of two things are happening. Option one is that they really do hate him, and they really do wish he were gone. But because of GSF1, Ostracizers Are Evil, they don’t do anything about his behavior, because kicking him out would make them horrible people. At best, they might even think that the better option is to stay “friends” with him in order to play Rape Babysitter for him, rather than recognizing that hey, no one in our friends group likes this dude, so why the fuck do we still hang out with him?
Option two, which is the worse option, is that not everyone hates Zed. Maybe they recognize that he’s a bad guy, but they prefer hanging out with him over the idea of kicking him out. Maybe they call him a rapist behind his back the same way I call one of my friends a lovable and charismatic jerk. Maybe they don’t actually understand the implications of his behavior and so do nothing.
You’ve talked to your boyfriend. Has he actually listened, or has he blown you off? What would he do if Zed did assault someone in the group? What if Zed assaulted you?
Actually, here’s a better question: what does it say about this friends group that Zed feels comfortable enough with them to try and rape someone in their presence? Because that’s what he’s doing, right? Trying to get them drunk while his friends are there? They’re warning off the girls, but why does Zed think that behavior is okay to try in front of them in the first place?
If that concept doesn’t get through to them - that Zed is a threat, to you and the other women of the group, and that his behavior is so normalized that he thinks that he can try and get a woman drunk while out with friends - then they, despite their claims to the contrary, are actively enabling a rapist. If you can convince your boyfriend or his friends that they need to do something other than step around his behavior, then you might be able to work something out.