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Brett Kavanaugh

As more and more accusations roll in about famous and powerful men doing unspeakable things and getting away with it, more terrible apologies come in at the same time.

The non-apologies of abusive men frequently divert blame away from themselves and use language to distance themselves from facing the consequences.

So many of them deny the incidents which they are accused of due to a lack of memory, but how would they remember those moments which are so normalised to them, yet so horrendous for their victims?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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First up: it’s resident gross misogynistic and inherently mediocre comedian Louis CK.

Louis C.K.’s memorably controversial apology definitely concealed the truth, gaining flack for using words like “regret” and “remorse” instead of a straight-up “I’m sorry.”

He fesses up to his behaviour, most likely because of the overwhelming amount of evidence and accusations of harassment going back years, but doesn’t say he is sorry. It’s certainly an deflective rhetoric, which points out the seeming reverence which women apparently had for him.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Donald Trump

The Access Hollywood footage of him bragging about “grabbing women by the pussy” was widely circulated and showed the entire world his ruthless perpetuation of rape culture.

He has never apologised for his behaviour, even deflecting to Bill Clinton: “Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimated his victims," he said.

Kevin Spacey

In one of the worst apologies known to mankind, Spacey totally deflected his part in sexually assaulting Anthony Rapp when he was only 14 by coming out, essentially implying that he was a predator because of his homosexuality. Needless to say, it offended a lot of people.

Rapp said Spacey picked him up, put him on his bed and "was trying to get with me sexually" in 1986, when Spacey was 26.

“I honestly do not remember the encounter,” in other words, and possibly more disturbingly, his abuse of power never dawned on him as memorable because it never dawned on him as abusive.

James Franco

James Franco offered a statement after five women from his acting class accused him of demeaning and exploitative behaviour, which was about as respectful as R. Kelly lyrics. Busy Phillips has recently claimed that he was a bully on the set of Freaks and Geeks in her new memoir

Franco responded by telling Stephen Colbert on the Late Late Show:

“Look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done. I have to do that to maintain my well-being. The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate. But I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice, because they didn’t have a voice for so long. So I don’t want to shut them down in any way”

He is desperately trying to portray his support for a movement which should be taking him down. The entire statement reeks of narcissism, Franco solely recalls his own choices, words, and tone as HE remembers it.

Harvey Weinstein.

The movie mogul whose sexual and physical predations started the campaign and led to his arrest, issued an apology quoting a fabricated Jay-Z lyric:

"Jay Z wrote in 4:44 “I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.” The same is true for me.."

His contrition partially hinges on how he phrases his remorse, but this man clearly couldn’t care less about how he treats women or his family. Let his terrible apology rot alongside him in jail, if he even gets a sentence longer than a month.

Remember: these are only the apologies of men who have been caught. Some men who have been caught or accused have never apologised, nor have they felt the true consequences of their actions. 

Choices, words and tone sound entirely different to women who live their lives in a culture that still canonizes men as the ultimate figures of intrinsic authority. Our culture regularly denies women agency over their own bodies even as it exploits and commodifies them simultaneously.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“Boys will be boys” as they say.

To which we respond: “Boys will be held accountable for their actions.”

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In the wake of the Brett Kavanaugh trial, discussions of sexual assault and the ‘frat boy’ stereotype have covered the internet.

The recently appointed Supreme Court justice was accused of sexual assault by multiple women, including professor Christine Blasey Ford.

A lawyer commented on the allegations, telling Politico: “If somebody can be brought down by accusations like this, then you, me, every man certainly should be worried.”

In response, journalist and influencer Maura Quint has started a viral Twitter thread describing her personal experiences with men.

“I want to tell a story”, she began. “Once in high school, I felt insecure, I put on a tight top too low cut and dark lipstick I didn’t usually wear.

“I went to a party, drank terrible wine coolers, too many of them. A man asked me if I wanted to leave, I slurred, said maybe. He said ‘maybe’?

“And then he said ‘maybe isn't yes’ and I went home that night, un-assaulted, because I hadn't talked to a rapist at that party.”

Another story she relayed told of a similar situation.

“One time a guy and I had flirted, he invited me to his room, I went we kissed, I said I liked it, he took off his clothes, I touched him, he tried to take off my clothes, I resisted.

“He said ‘seems like you're not into this’ I said, ehhh, he said, no, it's only fun if you want it. I said, I'm sorry, he said it's ok. I left, unmolested. I was lucky, I hadn't met a rapist that night.”

Maura goes on to tell various stories of her going to parties or coming home with guys, during which she did not give consent for sex. And each time, the men respected her decision.

“I've been assaulted. I've also been not assaulted. The difference didn't seem to be what I was wearing, how flirty I was, how much I was drinking”, she explained.

“The only difference seemed to be whether or not the men felt it was ok or not to assault.”

The journalist’s tweets have gained rapid popularity, sparking her to write a more detailed essay about her experience in Vox.

“Rapists, sexual assaulters, and those who protect them will tell us that they are not unique, that all men act like they do — with violence,” she said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“They tell us that to try to convince us it’s true, and unfortunately, sometimes, they succeed.

“They are wrong. They are lying. They are trying to normalize something that is not normal, because if they can normalize it, they can’t be held accountable for their terrible acts.

“Choosing to rape isn’t normal. Assault is not an inherent quality of being a man. It is vital that we identify this behavior and never de-stigmatize it, never accept those who want us to believe it’s the status quo.”

Maura’s powerful words have moved many people, who have began sharing their own stories of sexual assault or circumstances where they could have been.

She has an important message to remind the men and women of this generation – we can all choose to make our own decisions, and it is time for people to take ownership of that responsibility.

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