Sympathy for the Rapist: What the Stanford Case Teaches

By: Linda B. Glaser,  Arts & Sciences Communications
July 2, 2015

The Brock Turner rape case at Stanford triggered a firestorm of criticism; an op-ed by assistant professor of philosophy Kate Manne in the Huffington Post helps to explain why.

The case, she wrote, “vividly illustrates…all of the ways we collectively ignore, deny, minimize, forgive, and forget the wrongdoing of men who conform to the norms of toxic masculinity, and behave in domineering ways towards their historical subordinates: women.”

Turner, Manne writes, is a “golden boy” of privilege. “The excessive sympathy which flows to perpetrators like Turner both owes and contributes to insufficient concern for the harm, humiliation, and trauma they cause to their victims. This plausibly owes something to a tendency to take up the perspective of the golden boys first and foremost. This is part of privilege: a default claim to the moral spotlight, or being the locus of moral attention.”

The full op-ed appears in the Huffington Post.

Kate Manne

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