Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Evil, rationalised. 10.03.15

I ought to have seen it coming. If you write about unicorns, you’ll draw the attention of those people who feel strongly about them. They don’t have to love unicorns; they may hate them deeply, in fact. The fact that they are interested in the issue, that they care, will draw them to you. The same applies to absolutely any subject. I often write about violence against women and rape… So yeah, every now and then I get some interesting mail.

The bulk of what I get is from people screeching that I’m 'justifying rape'. Drawing attention to the fact that we’re being fed alarmist and incorrect statistics is 'justifying rape'. Questioning why women recovery strategies include methodologies that we know to be harmful is 'justifying rape'. Anything anyone says that doesn’t follow the current party line 100% is 'justifying rape'. It’s nothing but a shock tactic: these people know that most normal humans are utterly sickened by rape and rapists. The mere suggestion that they may be associated with something so dreadful is enough to make most people shut up. It nearly worked with me. It took me a while to build an immunity to it, but It can be done. I know I’m not a rape justifier, and anyone who tries to state the opposite can go boil his or her head.

What I’m still not quite used to is the other type of 'fan mail'; the type where people thank me for my writings and try to explain to me the way they see the world, so I can better understand it and present it to the public. They can’t put it into words people can process, but maybe I can. The thing is, I do understand their point of view, but I really wish I didn’t.

It goes beyond stomach-churning. Can souls throw up? It’s not just the urges – I know there are people out there who are wired very, very differently from most of us, for whatever reason. Sometimes I feel sorry for them; they didn’t choose this (I hope they didn’t, at least). Sometimes I wish them all dead, for everyone’s safety. Either way, they exist; I can nearly live with that. The thing I can’t accept is the amount of rationalisation and justification some of them wrap around those urges. 

I don’t mind finding monsters. I mind finding monsters who have justified themselves to themselves so completely that they truly believe that the world is being iniquitous, that society is oppressing them, that anyone who doesn’t see the world as they see it is looking at it the wrong way. Monsters who firmly believe they ought to have a right to do monstrous things and be understood, not condemned.

I don’t want them to exist. I want everyone who does or wants to do a terrible thing to feel bad about it, to have an internal moral compass that can tell them right from wrong. I want people who are wired wrong to be struggling against their dreadful urges and, if they succumb, to do so because they finally cracked, not because they rationalised themselves into it. I want evil to be aware of its malignancy. 

(Meanwhile, there are people out there still trying to convince us all that there is no evil in the world, that people just make mistakes and can be rehabilitated and everything would be nice if everyone was nice. Yeah. Sure.)

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