Devin Faraci Steps Down as Editor-in-Chief of Birth.Movies.Death Due to Sexual Assault Allegations, but We Are All Complicit
A woman who goes by @spacecrone on Twitter recently accused Birth.Movies.Death editor-in-chief Devin Faraci of sexual assault on social media. Now, he is stepping down from the site. The thing is, this doesn’t begin or end with him.
**Warning re: description of sexual assault**
Over the weekend, the following Twitter exchange happened between Faraci and @spacecrone in the wake of the 2005 Trump/Billy Bush recording (you know, where Trump bragged to Bush about how he could just grab any woman “by the p***y, because he’s famous?):
When you’re woke online but you have a past… pic.twitter.com/vEDQgz0cqx
— Ken Bone…rhitler (@bonerhitler) October 9, 2016
So … Faraci apparently doesn’t remember this particular incident happening. At least, that’s what he says. However, he does ask for forgiveness (without apologizing), and says he believes her, which … is good I guess? *sigh*
Now, as reported by Variety, Faraci is stepping down from his position at Birth.Movies.Death. In a statement to his readers, he said, “This weekend allegations were made about my past behavior. Because I take these types of claims seriously I feel my only honorable course of action is to step down from my position as Editor-in-Chief of Birth.Movies.Death. I will use the coming weeks and months to work on becoming a better person who is, I hope, worthy of the trust and loyalty of my friends and readers.”
While his alleged actions would be inexcusable, at least he didn’t lash out at his accuser. However, while he’s not saying she’s lying about the incident, he also says he doesn’t remember it happening at all. So, either he’s lying, or putting his hands down a woman’s pants was such a commonplace, inconsequential act to him, that it was merely a blip on his radar. Neither of those is a great option.
@spacecrone seems glad that at least Faraci is finally taking responsibility. She said to Variety, “I am really happy that it sounds like Devin is interested in getting help about this, and I’m open to any accountability processing that might be part of his treatment. I really hope this can be a moment of self-interrogation for all of us, myself included, about the ways we might use positions of power to silence people, and the ways we all turn away from things that might seem a little too complicated to deal with.”
She has also since taken down her original tweet, “not because i’m embarrassed or want to pretend it didn’t happen, but because it’s become a focal point for some really vile stuff that i don’t feel is in any way in touch with what actually happened.”
All of this is hugely disappointing, because Faraci has always presented himself as a feminist and has written extensively about female representation in pop culture, the dearth of female directors, etc. We’ve even quoted him and his work here at TMS. So, to know that he is also someone who may have allegedly committed an assault like the one described in the tweet above is hugely disappointing, because actions like this always feel worse when they come from people you genuinely believe are on your side.
However, there’s something even more disappointing about all of this, and it has nothing to do with Faraci. It has to do with, as @spacecrone says, “all of us.”
As reported by The Daily Dot, when the allegation was made on Twitter, several people spoke out about the fact that allegations like this against Faraci aren’t new, that people have been talking about his behavior for years without anything being done about it:
Devin Faraci has been outed so many damn times. How long until people actually get it? He’s not an ally. https://t.co/ZvMzO6PLAb
— Tess Fowler (@TessFowler) October 9, 2016
Devin Faraci sexually assaults women, tries to goad people into suicide & cyber-stalks basically everyone but sure, fandom is the problem.
— Kayleigh Anne (@Ceilidhann) October 9, 2016
So yes, this is about Faraci needing to take responsibility for his actions and work really hard to make his future actions match up to the feminism he espouses in his writing, but it’s also about every single person who heard about allegations made against Faraci in the past, and ignored them.
The Trump recording wasn’t just about what he said; it was about Billy Bush laughing along and about the incident happening in 2005 with zero repercussions until 2016.
It’s about every time men hear other men talking about women like pieces of meat in private, and say nothing. It’s about both men and women discrediting women who accuse men of sexual assault, rather than listening or comforting them. It’s about all of us caring a little too much about how a rape allegation will affect an alleged rapist’s life, and too little about how the actual rape will affect the victim’s life.
The current moment is a wake-up call. Rape culture is real, and it is sexist in nature. You don’t get people like Trump, Faraci, Nate Parker, and Brock Turner without it. Now, we all have to ask ourselves, what are the ways in which I allow that to go unchecked? When do I keep silent when I shouldn’t? Who in my life has said vile things that I’ve “let slide” because we’re friends? How can I better understand consent (because it’s not just a word, it’s a way of thinking and being)?
This isn’t just about being able to point with satisfaction as one accused man steps down from his job to attempt to repent for his sins. It’s about all of us looking inward and reexamining what we allow. Because we shouldn’t have to wait for a recording or a public accusation on social media to hold people accountable for the myriad ways in which they chip away at women’s safety.
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