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Author Topic: In Interviews With 122 Rapists, Student Pursues Not-So-Simple Question: Why?  (Read 1160 times)

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Offline El

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Five years ago, on Dec. 16, 2012, Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old physiotherapist intern living in New Delhi, was headed home after watching the movie Life of Pi with a male friend. They got on a bus. Six males were on board, including the driver.

In the moving bus, all six assaulted the couple. Singh was gang-raped, and her friend beaten severely.
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Singh sustained severe damage to her abdomen and intestines. She was airlifted to a hospital in Singapore for treatment but died from her injuries nearly two weeks later.

Five of the rapists were convicted and sentenced to death. The youngest, who was a minor, was sent to a reform facility for three years and later released. One of the rapists died in prison under mysterious circumstances.

For Madhumita Pandey, who was then completing her master's degree in clinical psychology at Bangor University in North Wales, news of the attack was overwhelming.

"It was heartbreaking and I was outraged," she says. "I had always seen the city in a different light prior to this." She was aware of how, almost overnight, perceptions of India had changed. Suddenly, it was dubbed the world's "rape capital" — although statistics are problematic. The stigma around rape means that many women do not report it.

More women seem to be speaking up. According to figures released by the National Crime Records Bureau, the total number of rape cases reported in India increased from 24,923 in 2012 to 34,651 cases last year. But experts say the actual figures are likely much higher.

Pandey had a burning need to know what these rapists were thinking.

She decided to ask the rapists themselves.

In March 2013, three months after the attack, Pandey applied for permission to speak to more than 100 convicted rapists in Delhi's Tihar Central Jail. Going by the ethical guidelines set out by the British Psychological Society, she said she would only interview willing participants.

What she hadn't quite anticipated was how eager they would be to share their side of the story — and the mindsets that would be unveiled.

Pandey assigned numbers to each rapist and did not use their names. Her interviews reinforced the views that rapists had a poor opinion of women in general, but their utter lack of remorse came as a surprise to her. One exception was Participant 49. He is a middle-age man convicted of raping a 5-year-old and had served five years when she interviewed him. He said he felt remorse. But it was not the kind of remorse one might expect.

"He expressed his remorse by saying that now that the girl carries the stigma of rape [and thus is no longer a virgin] and would not find a suitable husband; he would repent for his actions by marrying her when he was released," says Pandey. "He didn't realize that this is not what any rape victim would want. His mindset highlighted a very regressive thought that a woman has to be chaste till marriage or else she is damaged goods."

Pandey was particularly interested in exploring myths about rape — inaccuracies or untruths that put blame on the victim. When a woman is out late, unaccompanied, wearing skimpy clothing or seen drinking or partying, there are many who believe that her behavior could lead to being raped. But in the case of Jyoti Singh, the physiotherapist intern, these rape myths were shattered. "She wasn't out very late, she was traveling with a male companion. She was a city girl who knew Delhi well. She was intelligent, educated, dressed modestly. She didn't fall in line with any of these myths and yet was still raped," says Pandey.

In three phases spanning several months, Pandey spoke to 122 men convicted of rape. In addition to her interviews, she asked them to fill out two questionnaires. The Attitudes Towards Women Test would reveal how they felt about women in general, and the MMIS would gauge their cultural understanding of how men should act or behave.

Pandey was not able to discuss all of her analysis or anecdotes because she is currently in the process of defending her doctoral thesis. But she did say she saw a pattern of "cognitive distortion" — they had created their own version of the crime that allowed them to justify their actions.

"Mukesh Singh [who drove the bus on the night of the Dec. 12 attack] and his brother Ram Singh are classic examples, with attitudes typical of the rapists I spoke to," says Pandey, who was a consulting psychologist for India's Daughter, a BBC documentary about the rape.

In an interview from jail for the documentary, Mukesh Singh claimed that if Jyoti and her male friend had not tried to fight back, the six males on the bus would not have beaten them so severely. He described the incident as an "accident" and stated that women who went out at night had only themselves to blame if they attracted molesters. Like Singh, the rapists interviewed by Pandey shared a lack of awareness of what consent meant.

In an effort to find out whether other criminals convicted for crimes other than rape were as unrepentant as the rapists she spoke to, Pandey interviewed 65 convicted murderers in the same jail. She found that their attitudes were notably different.

"With few exceptions, the murderers clearly blamed themselves for their crimes," she says. "Whether it was premeditated or an act committed in a moment of irrational anger, they regretted it and realized how their actions had affected other people or destroyed lives. This was not the case with the rapists."

Perhaps, she says, "when you have a dead body, you are far more accountable."

In November 2016, Pandey presented a paper at the annual conference of the American Society of Criminology held in New Orleans, reporting on the different ways in which convicted rapists presented excuses and justifications for their crimes. In her presentation, she look at a sample of "repentant vs. nonrepentant" rapists from her research. In her interviews, she says, "most convicted rapists presented themselves as nonrepentant and attempted to justify their crimes." They told Pandey that the women they raped had no idea how to dress modestly, that their body language was inviting and that all men raped — they were just the ones who were caught.

"On the other hand, men who were repentant believed that their actions were morally reprehensible [but] were a result of extenuating circumstances that could have been avoided, such as alcohol, drugs, bad company," she says.

The chairman of the session where Pandey presented her paper was impressed. "Pandey's research focuses on a greater understanding of incarcerated people, which is in alignment with much of the research being done by the New School of Convict Criminology," says Grant Tietjen, assistant professor of criminal justice at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. "Any research of this kind is significant because it provides unique insight into the motivations of a difficult to access or highly stigmatized population, who are often discarded or ignored by mainstream society."

Even though Pandey did not compile statistics about her interviews, he says, her face-to-face observations provide "a valuable resource to the counseling community, policymakers, researchers and legislators when grappling with how to rehabilitate this specific type of sexual offender."

Her study has inspired others in India as well. In Gujarat, professor K. Jaishankar, president of the South Asian Society of Criminology and Victimology, is guiding a doctoral student who has interviewed 55 convicted rapists with the same aim as Pandey's — to find out what motivated them to commit these crimes.

But there has also been a backlash online, with some posters accusing the researcher of supporting rapists. "It's a negative perception that can weigh heavily on the researcher and be a deterrent," says Jaishankar.

"In spite of our disgust at sexual violence and those who perpetrate it, we need to psychologically evaluate the rapist to stop escalating crimes against women," says Pandey in defense of her work.

Painted on the walls of Tihar, amid the artwork and graffiti by inmates, were words that Pandey took to heart: "It is better to light a candle of reform than to curse the darkness of crime."
The obtuse, unhelpful absolutism of "we can't even retrospectively research this" pisses me off.  We damn fucking well should research this.  This is important.  Pretending all rapists are amoral monsters who live in the shadows supports rapists far more than trying to better understand what their thought processes are so that we can at least take a shot at changing those thought processes.  Some are amoral monsters who would commit violence regardless of societal permission- violence, including sexual violence, will never be totally removed from the human behavior set.  This kind of research could help with the in-between people, who do terrible things because they know those terrible things are, to some extend, socially sanctioned by the people they're surrounded by, the people they respect, and the society they live in.

I wonder what answers would have come up if the interviewer had been male (I would guess that interviewer gender must affect the data in this kind of study- but, that would be something that would need to be studied, if it hasn't).
it is well known that PMS Elle is evil.
I think you'd fit in a 12" or at least a 16" firework mortar
You win this thread because that's most unsettling to even think about.

Offline Al Swearengen

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Rapists - both men and women (not sure how many female rapists she interviewed and guessing it was somewhere south of "one") are amoral. You do not rape someone and think it something you would want happen to you or to your loved ones and it is not something you would do brazenly around public and there is a reason. They know it is illegal and morally wrong. They can excuse and justify it all they like but they are animals.
I don't want to hear it. Save your complaints to Odeon. Yes, we had decided to drop hostilities. No, I didnt expect that Odeon would do other than start shit again like he always does
You're not going to stick to "a handful people", are you? That would be stupid.
Damned if I won't respond.
So it's on again & you can lay the blame squarely at his feet. Little passive-aggressive bitch

Offline Walkie

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Rapists - both men and women (not sure how many female rapists she interviewed and guessing it was somewhere south of "one") are amoral. You do not rape someone and think it something you would want happen to you or to your loved ones and it is not something you would do brazenly around public and there is a reason. They know it is illegal and morally wrong. They can excuse and justify it all they like but they are animals.

so you disagree with the following?

"It is better to light a candle of reform than to curse the darkness of crime."

How do you explain the fact that some cultures, apparently,  breed more "animals" than do other cultures? Not interested?

By asking these men about their attitudes, the researcher was trying to answer that question , in hope of finding ways to prevent  rapes  in the future . Prevalent  Indian attitudes to women woulld seem to a factor. That would suggest that appropriate education could have a positive effect.



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I am amused to see the "all men are rapists" line used in this manner by convicted rapists.


The rationale for justification seems odd though. I mean, plenty of murderers justify their
actions, no? You would think that the same mechanisms to evoke an expression of guilt and
repentance would be in place for stealing pussy - except that maybe there's an underlying shame
that isn't present. It would be interesting to see if child rapists show a greater or lesser distribution
for lack of contrition.


Online Calandale

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... and it is not something you would do brazenly around public and there is a reason.


But, in some cultures and circumstances, it IS public and justified within the social circle.
You don't have to reach into a war situation either - even the headline case: sharing a
gang raping with strangers strikes me as taking this to a disturbingly public willingness.

Offline Al Swearengen

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Rapists - both men and women (not sure how many female rapists she interviewed and guessing it was somewhere south of "one") are amoral. You do not rape someone and think it something you would want happen to you or to your loved ones and it is not something you would do brazenly around public and there is a reason. They know it is illegal and morally wrong. They can excuse and justify it all they like but they are animals.

so you disagree with the following?

"It is better to light a candle of reform than to curse the darkness of crime."

How do you explain the fact that some cultures, apparently,  breed more "animals" than do other cultures? Not interested?

By asking these men about their attitudes, the researcher was trying to answer that question , in hope of finding ways to prevent  rapes  in the future . Prevalent  Indian attitudes to women woulld seem to a factor. That would suggest that appropriate education could have a positive effect.

Okay. "No one told me it was not a good thing to tear the heads off babies and strangle children, now that I know I have all the compassion in the world for both babies and children. It was all a misunderstanding and I have been educated now."

Sorry, just do not buy it.
I don't want to hear it. Save your complaints to Odeon. Yes, we had decided to drop hostilities. No, I didnt expect that Odeon would do other than start shit again like he always does
You're not going to stick to "a handful people", are you? That would be stupid.
Damned if I won't respond.
So it's on again & you can lay the blame squarely at his feet. Little passive-aggressive bitch

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There are cultures where it is considered the responsibility of a woman to not get raped, rather than the responsibility of men to not commit rape.

There are even prominent people within our cultures who make statements that appear to support that position. Donna Karan springs to mind.

And it's not just a matter of telling people what is and isn't appropriate behaviour when it comes to gender relations. When you are dealing with entrenched cultural attitudes, trying to explain things like consent can feel like trying to teach a dog card tricks.

Offline Walkie

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Al, consider the inhuman treatment of African slaves, in the past. Consider Nazi German's inhuman treatment of  Jews, gypsies, autistic people etc. How was this possible? Because people of white European descent are monsters? No,but rather  because those victims had all  been portrayed as less than human by social stereotyping and/or propaganda.

In some cultures , women are pretty much the equvalent of those African slaves. They exist to do men's bidding. They are not persons so much as  a man's  property.  That enables men to act monstrously towards them.  As MoSW says, that kind of cultaral conditioning is not easily undone.

Now you're taking the attitude of "Rapists are inhuman monsters, so we needn't consider their point of view" . Umm, well okay that's clearly  fair , but it's actually the exact same damned attitude all over again, isn't it? And that's not gonna help the situation.  Without understanding the psychology behind it, we have no way to take effective preventative action. And more women get raped .   Well , thanks a million for  your help, Al [irony]

By the way, I'm ignoring the case of women raping men, because I've yet to hear of marauding gangs of women pillaging a village and forcing themselves on all the helpless men,  whilst history is littered with  cases of role-reversal.  I think it's safe to assume that the psychological factors behind  female-male rape are substantially different; so it just muddies the waters to raise it here.

Ofc , if it's all just because "Some people are inhuman monsters" then it's all the same.  But nobody here is agreeing with your  dismissive approach to it, are they? 

Let me say again: the idea that some people are not human is part of the problem ; no way will it solve the problem.

« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 05:40:59 AM by Walkie »

Offline Al Swearengen

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There are cultures where it is considered the responsibility of a woman to not get raped, rather than the responsibility of men to not commit rape.

There are even prominent people within our cultures who make statements that appear to support that position. Donna Karan springs to mind.

And it's not just a matter of telling people what is and isn't appropriate behaviour when it comes to gender relations. When you are dealing with entrenched cultural attitudes, trying to explain things like consent can feel like trying to teach a dog card tricks.

Unfortunately, there are grey areas in responsibility.
Women DO have to take some responsibility for protecting themselves and not putting themselves in harm's way.
If I as a young man jumped into a car as a passenger, of a friend I KNEW was well over the limit and I TRUST he will get me home okay, I have increased my risk of potential harm. IF he kills me, HE is responsible (I was not the driver), however If he was under the limit and we were tee-boned by a drunk and I was killed I have not put myself at increased risk AND I am still not responsible.
If I wander through a bad neighbourhood by myself late at night and am beaten up I am not responsible for the beating but I have chosen to put myself at great risk of something bad happening.
The lady at the start of the article did NOT put herself at greater risk and like the example of me getting killed because a drunk teeboned the car that was being driven by a sober friend, it was NOT in any way an outcome resulting from bad choices best avoided.

There are a lot of very unhelpful and dangerous pushes in society whereby even suggesting that women have some agency and ability to mitigate risk and make good choices is seen as sexist and misogynist and I think it harmful. Say women have any responsibility for their own actions and you are an oppressive victim-blamer.

Some men and some women are simply animals and rape because they think they can get away with it and whatever they get out of it is of more value than what they do to their victims. Personally I think that all women ought to have instilled in them ways to mitigate and reduce risk of being put in very bad situations NOT to completely eliminate, but to reduce teh chance of them being attacked.

Men? They should have instilled into them the importance and dignity of using their greater size and strength to protect and defend women and children and NOT to use their greater physicality to attack women whether sexually or not. Decency and manners go a long way.

If every male had an abhorrence to physically harming women and children and every women had an aversion to choices that placed them in dangerous situations I would be a lot happier. It is not a coverall and animal men and women will continue to exist and rape others and do all kinds of terrible things but there would be a lot less of it I would think.

That may make me an out of touch dinosaur, or perhaps a misogynist or a sexist. BUT if yuo think it does, then I think you should ask me on whether drunken sex = rape, whether regretting sex =rape or whether the whole signing contracts with potential sex partners to affirm consent is viable. Because then we will really be off to the races and I would be pleased to see that kind of reaction.

Sadly, I think you may disappoint me by agreeing with much of this and being normal.
I don't want to hear it. Save your complaints to Odeon. Yes, we had decided to drop hostilities. No, I didnt expect that Odeon would do other than start shit again like he always does
You're not going to stick to "a handful people", are you? That would be stupid.
Damned if I won't respond.
So it's on again & you can lay the blame squarely at his feet. Little passive-aggressive bitch

Offline Al Swearengen

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Al, consider the inhuman treatment of African slaves, in the past. Consider Nazi German's inhuman treatment of  Jews, gypsies, autistic people etc. How was this possible? Because people of white European descent are monsters? No,but rather  because those victims had all  been portrayed as less than human by social stereotyping and/or propaganda.

In some cultures , women are pretty much the equvalent of those African slaves. They exist to do men's bidding. They are not persons so much as  a man's  property.  That enables men to act monstrously towards them.  As MoSW says, that kind of cultaral conditioning is not easily undone.

Now you're taking the attitude of "Rapists are inhuman monsters, so we needn't consider their point of view" . Umm, well okay that's clearly  fair , but it's actually the exact same damned attitude all over again, isn't it? And that's not gonna help the situation.  Without understanding the psychology behind it, we have no way to take effective preventative action. And more women get raped .   Well , thanks a million for  your help, Al [irony]

By the way, I'm ignoring the case of women raping men, because I've yet to hear of marauding gangs of women pillaging a village and forcing themselves on all the helpless men,  whilst history is littered with  cases of role-reversal.  I think it's safe to assume that the psychological factors behind  female-male rape are substantially different; so it just muddies the waters to raise it here.

Ofc , if it's all just because "Some people are inhuman monsters" then it's all the same.  But nobody here is agreeing with your  dismissive approach to it, are they? 

Let me say again: the idea that some people are not human is part of the problem ; no way will it solve the problem.

Let me say again then:

""No one told me it was not a good thing to tear the heads off babies and strangle children, now that I know I have all the compassion in the world for both babies and children. It was all a misunderstanding and I have been educated now.""

There. You would consider that wouldn't you? You are a Psychologist trying to figure me out and I now have an audience in my solitary cell and I am willing to spill and appease your sense of me reforming and having some element of humanity. So do I pass the human test? I am not all bad? Perhaps given some more reflection I can go bad into society....maybe work in a Day Care Centre? Why not?

If you (not you, you, but anyone) look at a fellow human and on the basis of some immutable part of them, see a monster, that is an internal failing. Man's inhumanity to man is a more than a fancy phrase. If you dehumanise and mistreat and torture,  a fellow human, you do not get to wipe your hands clean with a - that is how I was raised.

I don't want to hear it. Save your complaints to Odeon. Yes, we had decided to drop hostilities. No, I didnt expect that Odeon would do other than start shit again like he always does
You're not going to stick to "a handful people", are you? That would be stupid.
Damned if I won't respond.
So it's on again & you can lay the blame squarely at his feet. Little passive-aggressive bitch

Offline Walkie

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If you (not you, you, but anyone) look at a fellow human and on the basis of some immutable part of them, see a monster, that is an internal failing.

In many cases, it's also (and even primarily) a societal failing that can be usefully adressed by counter-propaganda etc. 

Quote
. If you dehumanise and mistreat and torture,  a fellow human, you do not get to wipe your hands clean with a - that is how I was raised.

There is a difference between a reason and an excuse. Some reasons also serve as excuses, some don't.  Looking at the reasons behind people's behaviour is not about providing nor accepting excuses; no more than the mechanic in a garage is looking to excuse a car for it's failings.  It's about being pro-active. It's about taking responsibilty, rather than just moaning about the evils of human nature.

Offline Al Swearengen

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If you (not you, you, but anyone) look at a fellow human and on the basis of some immutable part of them, see a monster, that is an internal failing.

In many cases, it's also (and even primarily) a societal failing that can be usefully adressed by counter-propaganda etc. 

Quote
. If you dehumanise and mistreat and torture,  a fellow human, you do not get to wipe your hands clean with a - that is how I was raised.

There is a difference between a reason and an excuse. Some reasons also serve as excuses, some don't.  Looking at the reasons behind people's behaviour is not about providing nor accepting excuses; no more than the mechanic in a garage is looking to excuse a car for it's failings.  It's about being pro-active. It's about taking responsibilty, rather than just moaning about the evils of human nature.

""No one told me it was not a good thing to tear the heads off babies and strangle children, now that I know I have all the compassion in the world for both babies and children. It was all a misunderstanding and I have been educated now.""


I say this straight faced in my prison cell.

I seem to show remorse and am being honest. Based on this reason or excuse what do you make of this and do you use this to form an opinion that I am merely a product of ill-education and societal indifference or lack of value in small children and babies? Perhaps I could moan about being unloved or having a rough childhood. Maybe that could pad the theory that I was misguided and did not appreciate the value of children?

Me? I would say that this is simply a sociopathic remorsely monster telling you what I thought you wanted to hear and that I was simply a dehumanising monster.
I don't want to hear it. Save your complaints to Odeon. Yes, we had decided to drop hostilities. No, I didnt expect that Odeon would do other than start shit again like he always does
You're not going to stick to "a handful people", are you? That would be stupid.
Damned if I won't respond.
So it's on again & you can lay the blame squarely at his feet. Little passive-aggressive bitch

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'one died in prison, in suspicious circumstances'

Oh, isn't that just awful. Such a tragic, piteous, rotten loss to the world. I hope it was as slow, painful and vicious as it most likely was, stuck in a little metal box packed to bursting with the vilest, most thuggish, scum of the earth vicious-like-a-ferret little noxious cunts...they'd likely have quite a long time to do what it is that kind of vermin does to rapist filth too, before any screws came along.

As for the understanding, studying etc. My stance on it is yes, do try to understand the motivations, using studies written by known to be female questioners, known to be male ones, and ones generated by computer. Study the results, but don't give any of the little fuckers any credit as being reformed based on the results, for the exact reasons that yes, they are likely to be self-serving for just that, yes, they are likely to go and do it again, and yes, they are fucking animals for the most part that deserve every karmic kick in the face that ever comes their way.

But psychological vivisection of the creatures in question is, IMO a good idea. Just because you study the filthy things doesn't mean you need to forgive or to justify them. Just examine the psychology and do what can be done to reduce the incidence of rape.
Beyond the pale. Way, way beyond the pale.

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Offline Walkie

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I say this straight faced in my prison cell.

I seem to show remorse and am being honest. Based on this reason or excuse what do you make of this and do you use this to form an opinion that I am merely a product of ill-education and societal indifference

Did you actuallly read the article?  Of the 122 men, only one showed any remorse. So nobody's basing any conclusions on that.  But, hang on, remorse and honesty are neither reasons nor excuses are they, Al? Heck,  I don't know why I'm bothering to argue with you.  You're obviously  completely talking out of your ass.

Quote
Me? I would say that this is simply a sociopathic remorsely monster telling you what I thought you wanted to hear and that I was simply a dehumanising monste
.

intersting point.  Actually,  to turn your argument around, (to fit the observed facts) the fact they didn't pretend to be remorseful argues againsst them being sociopathic. Hmm .  And , no, that's not want I want to hear.  That is scary.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 02:46:51 PM by Walkie »

Offline Al Swearengen

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I say this straight faced in my prison cell.

I seem to show remorse and am being honest. Based on this reason or excuse what do you make of this and do you use this to form an opinion that I am merely a product of ill-education and societal indifference

Did you actuallly read the article?  Of the 122 men, only one showed any remorse. So nobody's basing any conclusions on that.  But, hang on, remorse and honesty are neither reasons nor excuses are they, Al? Heck,  I don't know why I'm bothering to argue with you.  You're obviously  completely talking out of your ass.

Quote
Me? I would say that this is simply a sociopathic remorsely monster telling you what I thought you wanted to hear and that I was simply a dehumanising monste
.

intersting point.  Actually,  to turn your argument around, (to fit the observed facts) the fact they didn't pretend to be remorseful argues againsst them being sociopathic. Hmm .  And , no, that's not want I want to hear.  That is scary.

The poor me is just as bad.

"Poor me, I was put into a terrible situation and made a bad choice. How was I to know that it was wrong to physically abuse someone. Who would have thought struggling and crying was not consent? I needed to be educated against this and no one pointed out what a human in anguish and pain looks like, how was I to know? It's society's fault. Poor me"

Psychologist jots down "Society's fault. Poorly educated"
I don't want to hear it. Save your complaints to Odeon. Yes, we had decided to drop hostilities. No, I didnt expect that Odeon would do other than start shit again like he always does
You're not going to stick to "a handful people", are you? That would be stupid.
Damned if I won't respond.
So it's on again & you can lay the blame squarely at his feet. Little passive-aggressive bitch