So, I'm surfing around, procrastinating, you know how it goes, and I find what appears to me at first to be yet another garden variety (as these things go, there aren't actually THAT many of them I don't think) male radical feminist blog, one Kyle Payne. Since I'm in the mood to snark, I read and roll my eyes a bit: yeah, your classic: all of 22 years old and teddibly teddibly earnest, doesn't seem totally rabid or nothin' but your basic pompous, sanctimonious hetboy dweeb fangirling Andrea Dworkin and other Famous Not The Fun Kind Feminists for whatever reason. Yeah, there are a few of these around, mostly kind of, well, um, creepy and risible in a milquetoast way at best, foamingly horrid at worst. Ime, imnsho, etc.
But this one, thus far, well, I am thinking, trying to be relatively charitable, not really sure why--basically he just seems like this character, albeit with politics I find particularly teeth grinding. Oh, whee, yet more hairshirting and lecturing about the horrible awful pr0nz and such small portions.
More on this in a bit.
But okay, self-examining to the point of actual rectal-cranial inversion AND hara-kiri, squeaky clean, "articulate," nice trimmed fingernails and suchlike, he kind of reminds me of ummm certain more prominent "mainstream" male feminist bloggers whogo shall(koff) be nameless, mostly on account of I'm feeling passive aggressive. But mostly making me roll my eyes -really- hard overall, this one, and okay, shit like this kind of puts me on red alert:
For as long as I can remember, I have been told that I do not get
angry - as an activist, a friend, a lover, and as a colleague. I
assure you now that this perception is simply not true. I experience
anger much the same as anyone else. Events and circumstances pose
threats to me and my view of the world, causing me to want to lash out
and reassert a personal feeling of control. Yet the way I engage this
conflict, and ultimately, resolve it, may be somewhat unfamiliar...
...Despite how horrifying mainstream pornography is, absolutely none of the
information I provided was new or shocking to me. I had spoken about
pornography countless times before, addressing a variety of audiences.
And my research had revealed that the “woman-hating” in pornography
was not merely a fringe issue, relegated to a particular genre or
subgenre. Instead, the entire industry, along with its intimate
connections with prostitution and sex trafficking, is rooted in an
ideology of hatred toward women (and a system that enforces such
hatred). Yet, no matter how familiar I am with patriarchy’s firm grip
on sexualities in our society, I can’t help but break down emotionally
when speaking of such an atrocity.
Stifling sobs and brushing tears from my cheeks again and again as my
presentation went on, I was embarrassed and worried that my audience
had missed important messages in the speech. Perhaps they didn’t even
take me seriously, given my uninvited display of emotion during a
formal presentation. Regardless of reactions from audience members, I
felt strangely fulfilled having expressed myself so openly. For the
first time in my academic career, I felt I had allowed myself to be
human as a presenter. I regret that, at least for some, my tears may
have been distracting or confusing. Yet I see no reason to apologize
for them, given the subject matter.
Right, so, putting aside (for now) the pr0nz business, what I hear him saying, Kyle, (-nod- -nod- -nod-) is that he DOES TOO get angry, just like a non-saintly human being, he's just moved to piteous tears instead of your more masculine way of being...angry. And, he's not sorry. Well, okay then, I...tend to find people of any gender who disown anger as such (no, really, tears of sorrow aren't anger) kind of creepy, but...whatevs, get down with your sensitive self, I guess. And hay, I mean, presumably he's totally fine with the idea of women farting, whether or not he expresses flatulence in a traditionally masculine way himself. In fact--well, no, let's not actually go there.
Just...okay, charitable, schmaritable, fact is, I'm pretty skeeved out, on account of I always think, with guys like this, they really protesteth way the fuck too much. That the flip side of all that earnest--well, NOT chivalry, clearly, whatever you want to call the left-wing equivalent: 'ray the strong feminists, down with Patriarchy, down with masculinity, goes to anti-porn conferences and Sheila Jeffreys speeches for fun, lectures his fellow menz on being less patriarchal, and wears his shame with pride...
That the flip side of all this is, well, something a lot darker and uglier. That I just don't trust someone who goes on and on and ON about how TERRIBLE and ALL PERVASIVE all the misogyny in the world is, specifically the -sexualized- misogyny, of course; and only a handful of feminist celebrities and their adoring male acolytes can put things to right. But this is all very general thus far.
But so anyway, I'm skipping about, and I come across this rather cryptic entry:
I want to be very careful how I share these words with you. Given the
numerous accusations and attacks I have received lately, I am finding
it very easy to respond in ways that are defensive, confrontational,
and antagonistic. While those behaviors might be appropriate if I was
enlisting in a battle for my place in the hierarchy of our dominator
culture, they are neither relevant or productive in this context.
Furthermore, I worry that these actions would be interpreted as yet
another reason not to listen to a word I have to say.
I am upset that there is gradually developing a bizarre and twisted
understanding of who I am and what I am about. And I am angry that
individuals, who I presume are otherwise capable of critical thought,
are jumping to the most outrageous conclusions. I am also deeply
disturbed at the joy others have taken in painting such a disturbing
picture of me....
So, not really knowing what the fuck he's rabbiting about there, never having heard of this particular dude before, but thinking it's probably some potentially marginally amusing Internets wankfest. And I'm really trying for any excuse not to get on with the move and other shit I need to do, so I dust off the ol' binoculars and google his name.
A few days ago I stumbled through tag surfer into this blog, ostensibly written by a male feminist named Kyle Payne. I thought his branch of radical feminism was a little extreme for my taste, but nonetheless, I left a comment and got one back. Today, I received the following comment (news story) from a reader (ryan) and thought I’d post it here, rather than in my comments:
Here is your feminist Kyle Payne:
Storm Lake Privacy Invasion
Thursday, 14 February, 2008 12:00 AM
(Storm Lake, IA)–An arrest is made by Storm Lake Police in relation to a ten month long investigation into an assault and invasion of privacy of a Buena Vista University Student.
A search warrant was executed at Pierce Hall room #B10 on April 26th of last year. Authorities seized a computer and a digital camera from 22-year-old Kyle Payne’s room. A search of the Ida Grove man’s car turned up photographs described as personal in nature that also showed the woman may have been assaulted physically without knowing it.
A search of Payne’s Ida Grove home turned up more evidence including another computer. All items were sent to the DCI Crime Lab for forensic analysis.
Through investigation it was found that Payne, on January 3rd of 2007, was serving as RA for Buena Vista University when he attended to an intoxicated 18-year-old female student in her dorm room. He allegedly physically assaulted her while she was unconscious and video taped the act and downloaded the images onto his laptop.
Payne was arrested at his Ida Grove home Wednesday and charged with 2nd degree burglary, a class C felony, invasion of privacy, and assault. He was taken to Buena Vista County Jail and booked on an $11,300 cash bond..
The comments at that link at Eleanor's Trousers (thanks), many purporting, credibly, to be aquaintances of Kyle Payne's, are...illuminating. And, well, it doesn't sound good. Nonetheless, I'm a bit hesitant to blog this on account of the whole "innocent till proven guilty" thing, okay, sure.
Well, as it transpires, as of just one week ago there has been an update:
Iowa Blogger Pleads Guilty to Secretly Photographing Woman's Breasts
An Iowa blogger who claimed to use activism and education to promote “a more just and life-affirming culture of sexuality” for women, especially those women who have been victims of sexual violence, has pleaded guilty to photographing and filming a college student's breasts without her consent.
Kyle D. Payne, 22 of Ida Grove, presented his guilty plea Monday in Iowa District Court for Buena Vista County. He agreed he was guilty of felony attempted burglary in the second degree and two counts of invasion of privacy, a serious misdemeanor.
Lynda Waddington :: Iowa Blogger Pleads Guilty to Secretly Photographing Woman's Breasts
In documents filed with the court, Payne agrees that "with an intent to arouse my sexual desire, I photographed and filmed Jane Doe and her breast without her consent." A portion of the plea agreement stating that Payne was of sound mind when the incident took place in early 2007 was stricken from the document, leaving only the portion where Payne agrees that he is currently of sound mind.
At the time of the incident, Payne had been employed by Buena Vista University as a dormitory resident adviser. Police reports indicate that while attending to an intoxicated and unconscious female student, Payne reportedly assaulted and photographed her. The guilty plea entered Monday did not include assault charges. Tips received by police and campus security following the incident led to a 10-month investigation that resulted in Payne's arrest in February....
Payne, who identified with radical feminists like Andrea Dworkin, attended a training for feminist anti-pornography activists in January at the University of Texas in Austin. An article in the Ida County Courier stated that Payne had "written papers and given several public presentations on feminist critiques of pornography, prostitution, and the 'rape culture,' in addition to serving as an advocate for survivors of sexual violence." According to a resume previously posted on his blog, he has attended many such conferences since 2004.
Payne faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $7,500. As a condition of the plea deal, the state has agreed that no other charges will be filed as a result of this incident. Sentencing has been set for Aug. 11.
Oh, yeah, wrt "other charges:" according to several of the commenters at Eleanor's Trousers, he'd been previously accused of other assaults and/or allegedly having child pornography on his computer, last year.
So, okay, well, I mean, it's not as though we've never heard of, o I don't know, anti-gay legislators who get caught cottaging, televangelists who're winged by sex scandals, all that jazz.
Of course, -sexual assault,- as opposed to just fucking around like the rest of us mortals, ceases to make anything like schadenfreude even remotely amusing.
The best part for me, though, is that throughout this all, the dude is -still blogging- as though nothing had happened. Charges brought in February; guilty plea on July 1. This is an entry from early May:
If we are serious about rape prevention – in other words, not rape
avoidance, defense, or something along those lines – we need to begin
with where rape begins, in men’s decisions to assert dominance over
women through sexuality. Ultimately we are talking about subverting
patriarchy as a system, but of course, it is largely men’s choices
that maintain that system. We are talking about taking rape away from
men, along with their unearned advantages in this society, and of
course, their unjust (as if there were any other kind) dominance over
Tell us about it, Kyle.
And then, this post, as included in the May edition of the Carnival Against Pornography and Prostitution:
Bob Jensen made an important point to the group as our time together drew to a close: “Not everyone gets better.” This is certainly true of survivors of sexual violence, who are far too often met with frustration, even blame, from loved ones who simply cannot understand why they haven’t “put the pieces back together.” And I think it might be a fair statement regarding anyone doing anti-rape or anti-pornography work. It is the most heartbreaking experience for me as an advocate not to be able to tell a survivor that everything will be fine, that with the right amount of support and determination, she will be able to move on with her life, and in some sort of meaningful way, feel okay. The reality is that not everyone gets better, and whether we call it the “rape culture” or “porn culture,” we are living in a society that actively prevents healing from taking place.
Yeah. You might say that, Kyle. You might, at that.
And I...suddenly realize that all the commentary I was going to make from here on out just feels...completely redundant.
Renegade Evolution has more.
ETA: This really interests me, though, from a commenter at Eleanor’s Trousers:
July 8, 2008 at 11:02 pm
Any one who lives in Storm Lake or close to Storm Lake should go to this sick S.O.B sentancing on 11-Aug-2008 at the Buena Vista County Courthouse. Payne has asked for open sentancing. This means the Judge will listen to all that want to talk then decide what the sentance should be. He needs to do time.
So, basically, if I’m reading this right, he’s throwing himself on the mercy of his peers. Hence the trying to keep a low profile (I take it), the acting like everything’s normal, the charm: he doesn’t want the pitchforks and torches, he wants to show up there and be all “aw shucks” and hope for a slap on the wrist. Is what I’m getting from that.
Seems like it’s probably worked for him in the past; apparently there are other charges pending from the university he’s at–child porn on the computer, alleged by the commenters at ET, although that’s not official yet apparently–and the same commenters were also pretty clear that this is an ongoing problem at the university, shit like this getting swept under the carpet.
If you look at his vlog (latest entry about Independence Day; the article about his guilty plea came out on July 2. He's...well, see for yourself, how he presents himself, would do for a court. Smooth. He's 22, and clearly an ambitious little thing, probably well-heeled and reasonably well connected as these things go.
I…would not let this one go.