Earlier this week, Sky News interviewed a self-confessed rapist. (There aren't enough trigger warnings in the world.) The man, whose identity was concealed -- apparently to protect the woman he attacked over 30 years ago -- was invited for a face-to-face interview after, prompted by #MeToo, he felt compelled to admit to his actions online, with the accompanying hashtag, #IHave.
The reporter tasked with tracking this man down and talking to him, Hannah Thomas-Peter, reported: "Interviewing a man who admits to raping a woman is unpleasant, but important."
On the surface, it certainly seemed that way. Before I watched the interview, I was hopeful that it would be the start of the next rational steps for #MeToo -- getting to grips with why rape happens, figuring out what goes through the mind of the attacker before, during, and afterwards, and figuring out where their incredible sense of entitlement to other people's bodies comes from.
Hannah Thomas-Peter didn't go easy on the man, despite his getting audibly choked up when describing how sorry he was for his actions. "Isn’t this all about you?" she asked. "You’re doing this to make yourself feel better." And he admitted that that was part of it, yes. "Isn’t it the case," Thomas-Peter continued, "that speaking out now is relatively low risk for you? That actually, you got away with raping somebody, and now you can afford to say it out loud?"
After a fairly vivid description of events, it came time to find out why this man had decided to force himself onto a woman who was sobbing and shaking her head, after the two had met at a party. Unfortunately, it was less than revelatory. "Being fueled by alcohol and a sense of what I wanted, I kept going,” the rapist told Thomas-Peter. “It was my selfish act… and the alcohol had taken away my judgment. At the end of the day, I knew I was wrong. Both at the time that it happened, and afterwards.”