Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Kyle Payne continues to be an ass

A whole lot of us posted about the squickiness that is Kyle Payne. The fellow is now facing sentencing for the sexual assault he admits to committing. But first, he'd like us all to hear all about his pain and his anguish. I consider myself fortunate for not posting my web address so I never got the form e-mail he sent. Suffice it to say, it was all about Kyle, Kyle, Kyle. Ugh!

Of the many wonderful responses, I've been enjoying Purtek's excellent post. Be sure to read the comments, too.

So as not to clog up her blog, there is something about this whole episode that makes me think about personal weaknesses.

Each and every one of us suffers from a weakness in regard to one thing or another. For whatever reason, we can't handle certain experiences and circumstances. For me, it happens to be cops with guns. I've had some real bad experiences with guns and I've had some real bad experiences with cops. Combine the two and I'm pretty much unable to respond effectively. Think of the concept of "triggering" and multiply it a few times.

So I avoid situations that put me into contact with cops who wield guns. Which shouldn't be all that difficult for a law-abiding white woman. Except that, in the activist community, there are a lot of good people, friends of mine, who practice the tactic of non-violent civil disobedience. They break bad laws in order to make a point. They get arrested, spend time in jail and use their court cases to argue for a greater good. This is a valuable and useful political activity.

I won't do it. I would be ineffective at it. It would be about my personal fears, my issues with guns and cops. I could really blow it if I wasn't able to contain the impulses and the alligator-brain responses that I learned as a child. It's important that I protect other activists from having to deal with my inappropriate responses.

Guess what? That is not a huge sacrifice on my part. It is basic common sense. It is honest self-assessment. It is basic respect for the goals and ideals of activists who are working to change the world for the better.

If Kyle has a problem with abuse issues, then he needs to protect other abuse survivors from his inappropriate responses and actions. That's simple common sense. That's basic decency.

But he won't do it. Because everyone has to deal with the problems of Kyle, Kyle, Kyle. Except for Kyle, of course.


Purtek said...

These is a good point, too. And you're right, it's honest self-assessment, made by someone who genuinely cares about the goals she purports to support.

It's really not all that difficult a concept, actually. I've recently had to take a leave of absence from the volunteer sexual assault counseling I've been doing for several years because I needed to get my own abuse shit in order first. People who are involved in this work get that this happens, and they get that I'm no good to anyone unless I can be good in my own head.