There’s value in remorseful abusers’ statements, and there’s value in any writing as eloquent as Tizon’s.
But I think the most valuable statements, aside from those of victims asserting their own power, are those of remorseless abusers making clear their own abusive morality, and making it clear to everyone that it is an undeniable part of our world, that we must choose how to deal with.
Consider last year’s Stanford rape case. The victim’s courtroom statement was inspiring. But it was the rapist’s (Brock Turner) father (Dan Turner) who threw the whole situation into sharp relief with his memorable phrase: “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action”. It is vital that some of the people who walk around with sewers inside them carelessly expose them, thus preventing the vast majority of well-meaning, conflict-avoidant enablers from ignoring extraordinary evil.
When I say “extraordinary”, I’m not trying to minimize. But surely people like the Turners are a minority, who depend on a majority to accept their screen of respectability and withhold justice. Some people fear frank expressions of hate and superiority will normalize these things. It’s easy to feel that fear these days. But for me the greater fear is that we carry on in denial that the oppressors and victims walk among us.