How to identify creeps, perverts, predators and weirdos.
A man in his 30’s sits on a park bench, watching children in a playground. His physical demeanour is everything we have been taught that signifies a sexual predator. His hair is greasy; his glasses thick. He wears the pervert’s uniform; a beige overcoat and a rumpled white shirt and dark trousers. His manner is furtive. A girl, perhaps 8 years old, exits the playground, unattended by a parent – and begins her walk home. The man follows. The girl enters a building (her home?) through the ground floor entrance, the man, checks for witnesses before he too enters.
Every part of this scene is predictable. From the first moment we see this man on his park bench; we know he is a creep, a pervert and weirdo. Of course, we aren’t watching real events portrayed, we’re watching fiction – scripted to conform to one of our societies most popular and powerful moral dramas. “Creepy man preys on innocent female child.” It is, in fact, the visual storyline of a music video.
Being wholly fictional, this story follows an arc which re-assures and re-enforces our cultural assumptions. Watching this mini drama unfold, we soon discover that while she is pursued by the sinister man, this child is far from helpless. As he approaches her, she turns to confront him and by a flourish of her fingers, he is trapped. The remainder of the 3 minute long music video features the child crushing, crumpling and destroying the sinister man through hand gestures. We watch him writhe in agony and we share her satisfaction.
And this is just one version of a story told over and over in infinite permutations. A man, seemingly normal in appearance, is a sinister predator. The woman, or child, or woman-child ( is there a difference in this mythology ? ) is pursued, preyed on, victimized by the terrible malicious power of the man. Whether she comes to an unfortunate end, or turns the tables on her tormentor depends on what particular point of moralistic lesson is being taught today. The basic story elements are the same.
Man preys on woman, or preys on child or woman-child, and the neighbors all said he was such a nice, polite fellow. This is the narrative we package our unsorted facts with; every night on the 6 o’clock news, and we all nod along because it’s the familiar story our society accepts. It’s easy. It requires no thought, and no uncomfortable questions.
A society defines itself by the stories it tells, and all of us know this story – In particular, the readership of AVfM, because it is about us. We are, as men, suspect. We are perverse. Our affection is tainted by a malicious will to harm and exploit. We are naturally violent, malicious and corrupt. Or so the popular narrative goes.
But let’s not forget that this is a story written by an author.
It is a story portraying the author’s and the audience’s preferences. If it weren’t universally popular, one of our favourites, we wouldn’t keep telling it in infinite variations. It’s a story presenting the practiced and comfortably familiar elements of our popular mythology – we’re telling, and being told the fiction we all agree on.
But lets look again. A man on a park bench, watching children playing. Hes average looking, in fact, hes dressed like me or like you – in a version of the office attire you wear every day to work. He is every man. But we know he’s a bad man, the greasy hair and overcoat telegraph that as clearly as if the word “PERVERT” were printed on the screen in 30 point block capitol letters. This story is in fact, cartoonishly absurd. A man who alone, skulks after an 8 year old girl to corner her in the basement of an apartment building? We all accept this imaginary predator as a plausible version of reality. The familiar story line.
In this version of fictional reality, the girl is endowed with the power to trap and punish our villainous everyman . She does in fact destroy him through crushing and twisting his body with some kind of superpower. Whether this is toddler-super-powers or divine justice is left open to the viewer’s assumptions, but its a wholly righteous torment and destruction for the bad, bad man.
And all of this is a fetish.
It is the sexual fetish of ideologues who through domination of our culture’s narrative, have taught us that all men are bad, all woman are good, innocent and most importantly, victims. This is a fetish. And those who craft and re-tell this story of the sinister man, the victim woman-child and the eventual torturous destruction of the man are telling us not about objective reality, but about their own sexual fetishes, fantasies, and preferred version of reality.
Of course the average looking man is a vile pervert and predator, of course. Because, if he wasn’t, then the fantasy of his entrapment, torture and death would be the grotesque, pathological symptom of a sick mind. This story, with is familiar elements, and in all its multitude versions is mean to teach us all who to hate, fear and mistrust. When we recognize in this fiction the fetishized violent fantasy of it’s proponents, then we know just who the perverts, creeps and weirdos are.