Humor Website Probes Nice Guy Rapist For Lessons On Sexual Assault

Today the website Cracked — which I usually really love — published an incredibly misguided article titled, I shit you not, “5 Things I Learned Committing A Campus Sexual Assault.”

The gist of said article is that “Tim” sexually assaulted one of his classmates after she fell asleep next to him on a couch while watching TV, and that he totally didn’t realize when he was doing it that he was sexually assaulting anyone, and that he feels really bad about it, okay?

Here’s what went down, according to Tim.

It was summer, between semesters. The man we’re calling “Tim” and his college friend we’ll call “Vicky” went out for the night to a couple of bars. (Note: They both attend a Catholic school — we’re just offering that as background.) By 1:30 a.m., they were back at her place, sprawled on the couch and watching Friends DVDs. He started rubbing her back. Thus began the “absolute biggest mistake” of Tim’s life.

According to Tim, his hands moved down to the seat of her jeans. Sensing no objection after some tentative rubbing, he then reached inside them. At one point, she shifted, perhaps toward him. He rubbed her breasts next, over the shirt, then under the shirt, then under the bra, receiving no objection at each stage. She faced the TV, so, he says, he couldn’t see her eyes for most of this. When he could, they were closed, but this didn’t worry him; he closed his for a while too. This all went on for an hour or so.

The reality is that Vicky didn’t respond because she awoke to Tim touching her and then froze in fear until he finally got up to eject the DVD.

Um. I’m sorry, but “no objection” doesn’t mean “no response whatsoever” – and it’s also not a go ahead to continue touching someone. The “go ahead” is a positive response, not a lack of any whatsoever. I have a really hard time believing that this dude had his hands all over this woman for an hour, receiving zero response from her, not even paying attention to whether or not she was awake.

Secondly, this was your first move, Tim? Really? Your first move was to go straight for the ass? This is normal to you? This is how you do things?

I am a tad skeptical on Tim’s “How could I have known!” story here. That being said, the rest of the article is mostly about how very repentant he is, and how he doesn’t want anyone to blame Vicky for what happened. My, how chivalrous of him.

“Good Guy Sexual Assailant Tim” was even nice enough after his campus found him guilty of sexual misconduct, to respect their decision for him to stay 50 feet away from the victim at all times:

Tim and Vicky had both been board members at a student organization; he resigned immediately. In the cafeteria, he ate in the corner, facing the wall. Sometimes he’d see her, and he’d leave his food and get out. He gave up lingering in public places altogether. He distanced himself from all their mutual friends, but one stayed in touch with him. Some nights, he’d get a text saying Vicky was coming to a specific bar, and he’d flee accordingly. With every new class, he feared he’d see her, in which case he says he’d “have dropped it in a heartbeat.”

Well, that sure is mighty decent of you, Tim. In fact, Tim was such a repentant sexual assaulter that even as a Catholic, he did not go to confession to be absolved of his sin, for he knew only Vicky’s forgiveness mattered.

“It’s not God that I need to be begging for forgiveness,” he says. “I believe that only [Vicky] can truly forgive me for what I have done to her. And if she won’t, if I have hurt her too deeply for her to ever forgive me, then so be it. I will live with the full weight of what I did for the rest of my life.”

After hearing all of Tim’s repentance and important life lessons, what is the wisdom that we, as readers, are supposed to take from this? Well, according to writer Ryan Menenzes, it is this:

The point we want to get across here is that we talk about “rapists” like they’re a different species, predators lurking among us who must be spotted in advance. And while those people exist (and fully take advantage of all the legal gray areas described above), the reality is that lots of people who commit sexual assault are only a predator for one night, or one hour, and are shocked to find out they did anything wrong. Despite what Tim said above, there is no monster lurking inside them.

These ones are just regular people who grew up believing certain things about sex and are reinforced by a system that seems to silently give in to them.

NOPE. Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope. All the nope.

The reality of sexual assault is most certainly not that lots of those who commit it simply have no idea they were committing it, and only do it like, by mistake one time ever. The reality of situations like this is that those who don’t get caught, as “Good Guy Sexual Assailant Tim” did, will often keep at it. Even Tim did not merely slip and fall and end up with his hands down someone’s pants. Tim was looking to see what he could get away with, and clearly had no interest in whether or not Vicky was interested in what he was doing.

Also, if anyone is growing up learning that your first move is to just go ahead and stick your hands down someone’s pants, well, that would be the first I have heard of that.

The monster thing is a cop out. Of course rapists and sexual assailants can look like normal people, and behave like normal people. Look at Ted Bundy! He looked pretty normal! People thought he was a swell guy! No one has a “monster” lurking inside them that makes them sexually assault people — they have a “them” lurking inside them making them sexually assault people, or not care if their sexual advances are welcomed or not.

I am not interested in the lessons learned by “Good Guy Sexual Assailant Tim.” Even if they were the right lessons. Tim has nothing to teach us, no great wisdom to impart. It’s very nice that Tim realizes that sexually touching a woman while she was asleep was a fucked up thing to do, and that it was sexual assault, but the rest of us knew that already.

This is basic human interaction. If you put the moves on someone, and they don’t react positively — or in this case, at all, because they are asleep — you don’t just keep on going ahead with what you are doing. If you are going to touch someone in a sexual way, you should want them to be enjoying it and wanting it as well. That’s part of the fun of it for everybody. It’s hardly any kind of giant imposition to ask that of anyone. It’s normal.

If this is a lesson someone needs to learn, then god help us all.