We always speak of women's safety. Let's talk about male violence instead | Anne Enright


‘Violence against women’, ‘an abusive home’ ... too often, men are removed from discussions of male violence – because that is the way they like it, writes Anne Enright

Rapists are not a talkative lot. They don’t discuss the deed much, after they have been caught. And you might think this is because they feel remorseful, but often they don’t seem to know that they have done something wrong. Or they know that they have done something illegal, but the act itself is fine by them. They admit to nonconsensual sex “but not rape”. They admit to rape but not to blame: “I felt I was repaying her for sexually arousing me,” a man in one of the few studies says.

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On a Reddit forum where, at the onset of the #MeToo revolution, my soul went to die, men wrote “from the other side” of sexual assault. Their accounts implied covert participation – “She just had this unusually sexual way of carrying herself” – or active reciproca­tion: “In my mind, at the time, she wanted it.” This man looked at the woman’s face and realised he had been mistaken.

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