Trigger warning for discussion of sexual violence.
On Monday January 30th, I cross posted a piece by Snowdrop Explodes, entitled What happens when it is abuse? BDSM culture, safewords, and the abusers within. I am a longtime reader of his blog A Femanist View. I specifically sought permission to cross post his piece because BDSM is not a topic that I am very familiar with, and I thought that his piece raised some very salient issues regarding consent that did not specifically stigmatize the BDSM community, while asserting the importance of bodily integrity of all involved. It was on strength of the aforementioned points that his piece appeared on my blog.
In the comment section, it was brought to my attention by several commenters, that Snowdrop Explodes has a secondary blog. On said blog, a few years ago, he had written a piece, describing an incident in which he assembled a rape kit and stalked a woman, with the intent of raping and murdering her. He did not in fact follow through with his intention. He claimed to have posted this piece in order to encourage other men not to rape and blamed this incident on depression.
When this was made public on Womanist Musings, he then wrote a secondary piece on his blog A Femanist View, in which he reasserted his reasons for writing the original post, and once again, claimed his depression as the major reason that this happened.
I was absolutely shocked when this piece came to light, as I had no idea that he has a secondary blog, let alone wrote something of this nature. As a rape survivor myself, I found this confession extremely hard to read. I feel that his past history makes his work, unsafe for this space and I apologize to all who were triggered. His intent in writing that piece may have been good, but really, such a confession does not encourage men not to rape, and it fact it reads like a shared rape fantasy that is disturbing on many levels.
I further reject the idea of depression as a factor in causality. He claimed that his depression was turned outward rather than inward, and to be honest, I disbelieve this as a factor of causality. People walking around with depression are most likely in danger of self harm, not a risk for committing rape. I also feels that focusing on depression as a factor ignores the role that power plays in the act of rape. He specifically said that he feared that his BDSM sexuality would not be accepted, and that he would not find a partner, and that sounds to me specifically like a desire for power over another.
As much as he may have wanted that piece to sound redemptive, it was anything but, as far as I am concerned. There isn't a single one of us who does not have a past that is troublesome in someway. I know that I have had my own share of dark thoughts over the years; however, I am not going to give him a cookie for not raping, because this should be the default position, rather than an extraordinary fact.
Once again, I do believe he made some excellent points on his post regarding the BDSM community however complicated his past may be. I reject his assertion that his depression made him do it, but that does not detract from the original post regarding consent. The fact that he wrote that post, shows growth to me and a person's worst day, does not equal the sum total of who they are. It is my hope that Snowdrop will think about the reaction to his confession piece, and continue to grow with the critique provided. Redemption means taking full responsibility, and not reaching for excuses to obscure, or excuse action or thought. I am happy that he didn't take the final step and rape and murder that woman on that day. I am happy that he is attempting to write about consent and making points that really do need to be made. I wish him nothing but positive in his journey to remake himself, and argue on behalf of social justice, but at this time, I feel that he has a long way to go before it will be safe for me to open my space to him as a guest poster again.
I will not ban him from commenting on this site, and I welcome his comments as long as he stays within the rules that apply to all. He has a history of making some well thought out responses on this space. We do not encourage change by shutting people down, but by encouraging dialogue and growth and this especially true if they are making an effort to change. Decolonizing one's mind is a lifetime journey, not a sprint.