Ask Jenn Vicious: Can You?

by: Jenn Vicious 

trust

Jenn Vicious is the radical community’s Agony Aunt, providing life coaching and social etiquette answers for radical cultures.  Need poly, kinky, or queer dating advice, need to to know what to wear to court or a family function (you know, one you have to look “respectable” at),  want to understand what to and not to say in some contexts, ask Jenn Vicious.

I am unsure where to start. But where [it] ends is can I date someone who has raped someone and doesn’t acknowledge what they did, and so far as to hush it in the communities we are in[?] I know there are not scenes without rapists but I wish there were.  I would hang out there. *

-Anonymous

I don’t know, anon, can you? Can you have a healthy, trusting relationship with someone who you know not only had non-consensual sex with someone, but you also know has never been willing to discuss it, and, it sounds like, has covered it up?

I’m not even sure why you would want to, quite honestly. It doesn’t sound like you think they have changed. You didn’t say that they have worked on their issues with power and control, or that they are finding ways to work on the way they perceive people, or the way they interact with others.

What do you imagine your relationship is going to look like? Do you think that they will respect you and not see you as an object or a thing? Do you think they will respect the boundaries that you agree on in your relationship?

Maybe there’s more to this story that I don’t know, but the way you’ve presented this question makes me worry about you. I think dating this person is probably a bad idea. I don’t care how hot they are.

Ok, before I end this I want to acknowledge that I see this thing happen all the time where there is a person (who I will refer to as D-bag) that has screwed over a lot of their friends: been disruptive to their community, been disrespectful to the people around them, often sabotaged projects, and sometimes (well, often, unfortunately) sexually-assualted someone, usually someone vulnerable, young, or on the fringe of the community. And then I see someone who starts hanging out with D-bag, and thinks that they are the greatest person in the world, and feels sooo close and sooo connected to them, and thinks that other people just don’t understand. And it would be baffling to me, except that I think I might have been that person before.

When I was that person, I really couldn’t see it. I thought that what we had was special, in an other-worldly sort of way that was unlike the relationships I saw my friends in. I knew that he had some questionable interactions with people, (though not to what extent because I was mostly left in the dark), but I knew the monsters that plagued him and I knew that he was just fiery and passionate, and that no one else understood him except me.

And I was wrong. Actually I was being lied to, and manipulated to the point where I could almost call it abusive. When I broke out of this stupor, I was so confused and disoriented that I couldn’t tell what parts of our relationship had been true and which parts hadn’t.

I’m not telling you that this is happening to you. But I am telling you that it happens. Do a reality check. Ask people around you who you really trust what they think of this person. Sometimes, when everyone you know talks shit on someone, there is a good reason for it. Ask yourself if YOU really trust this person. If the answer is no, walk away.

*Edits, for clarity and coherency, to the original question were made and noted with brackets. You can view the original question here.  

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