By Rebecca Winter
Content warning: sexual violence, rape apologism.
Recently, I’ve been getting into discussions about whether calling out perpetrators of sexual violence and their supporters is a useful tactic. Some people have suggested that calling out is often unhelpful and doesn’t allow healing to occur. Instead, they suggest that we should focus on less public ways of responding to sexual violence. Apparently, we need to have more compassion for perpetrators and belief in their ability to change.
It has become fairly common for people to criticise ‘calling out’, as though public criticism of the actions of others began with the invention of tumblr. Some of these criticisms come from a genuine desire to think about how we can build more effective cultures of criticism within the left. But all too often, people criticise calling out to avoid dealing with underlying disagreements about which actions are actually worth criticising in the first place…..