Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Kyle Payne Redux, and More Fun with Blogrolling

Remember the case of Kyle Payne, the self-appointed advocate for survivors of sexual violence who exposed and photographed the breasts of a passed-out woman whom he was supposed to be helping? Well, he's written a long and kiss-assy letter on his blog, which I won't link to directly, but you can find the link at The Curvature, where Cara dissects Payne's letter beautifully. Jeff at Bookworm (jfpbookworm) dismantles his non-apology apology almost line by line, and does it so well I have nothing to add. So go read their posts already.

Well, I guess I have just one question - not really a thought - and that is, can someone ever regain trust after violating it so flagrantly? I don't think Mr. Payne ever can. Even in his long letter - which I honestly think is aimed more at the judge than at feminists or his victim - he acts as though events simply happened to him. Clearly, aliens swooped down and inhabited his body for a few minutes.

But the question is still one I wonder about, partly as a student of history where it's not just individual but collective guilt, responsibility, and accountability at stake. What crimes - and what circumstances - render someone irredeemable? I'm not sure this can be answered in the abstract, since circumstances do matter. And yet we make such judgments regularly, whether in our personal relationships or through the criminal justice system or even on the level of international sanctions.

Anyway, inspired by Cara and Jeff's excellent take-downs , I decided it was time to update my blogroll:
Happy reading!

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