I See a Trend

[Trigger warning.]

In my earlier post about Danny Foley, the man whom dozens of people lined up to comfort after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a women he'd drugged and dragged to a secluded area, there's a reference to a character statement offered to the court by Foley's parish priest, who insisted that Foley was always "respectful of women." (Father Seán Sheehy went on to say on television that he has no regrets for the statement and believes the seven-year sentence, only five of which will be served in prison, is "extremely harsh.")

Also found in my inbox today, care of Shaker Rachel, is this story about a man who fatally stabbed a coworker after the coworker tried to stop him from driving drunk. The judge in the case noted it was an unplanned killing (fair enough), but curiously claimed that the killer's "prior criminal convictions for sex offences…did not indicate a propensity for violence." Um, okay.

And a third story, sent to me by both Shaker Azzy and Deeky, about Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry, who died today "after falling out of the back of a pickup truck during what police said was a domestic dispute with his fiancée. … Police said the dispute began at a home about a half-mile away, and Henry jumped into the bed of the pickup truck as his fiancée was driving away from the residence." Henry had a history of "his temper and poor decisions [getting] him in trouble" on the football field and off. Nonetheless:
"We knew him in a different way than his public persona," Bengals owner Mike Brown said of the player who was suspended five times during his career. "He had worked through the troubles in his life and had finally seemingly reached the point where everything was going to blossom."

…When Henry was arrested for a fifth time following that season on an assault charge, the Bengals decided they'd had enough. At his arraignment on April 3, 2008, Municipal Court Judge Bernie Bouchard called Henry "a one-man crime wave." He was released by the Bengals the same day. … Then, Brown — who refers to himself as "a redeemer" — changed his mind and gave him another chance.

"If you only knew him by hearsay, you'd think he's some kind of ogre," Brown said, during the Bengals' appearance on HBO's "Hard Knocks" series this summer. "It's not true. He's a good person."
Here's the thing: Men who seem like "good people" to other men frequently aren't good to women.

Or children, or the weak, or the otherwise marginalized.

And there are too many men (and women) in the world who simply don't understand that. Or do, but simply don't include how a man treats people other than themselves in their calculations when discerning what kind of person he actually is.

Instead, excuses are made and obvious, dangerous flaws and failures overlooked. Until tragedy happens, as it inevitably does.

And then comes the victim-blaming—because anything else might expose the warning signs that were there, that were ignored, that weren't ever deemed relevant to whether Manly T. Manperson was a great bloke with whom to have a drink, a great athlete, a great entertainer, a great coworker or boss or neighbor, a great guy.

Too many people do not understand that your great guy is also my rapist. Or hers. Or hers. Or his. Or hers. Or theirs. Or her domestic abuser. Or his killer.

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