Last week, I reported on the alleged rape case in Tarpon Springs, Florida concerning flagrant social media victim-blaming. Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of hearing from Dylan Fanelli, a resident of Tarpon Springs, who emailed me to explain that he had also once been accused of rape. He wasn't too pleased with what I had written about members of his community and I chose to respond to his mansplaining with a follow up post about rape culture.
Not only have I since heard from Dylan and his pals, but I have also heard from many other people who reside in the area -- or who used to live there -- and are happy that someone wrote about rape culture in Tarpon Springs.
Here's what our initial DudeBro has to say (all these quotes are sic, by the way, and unedited):
On Monday, April 22, 2013, Dylan wrote:
do you feel better about yourself now taking tweets off my twitter which i almost never use anymore and posting them, yes i was an asshole in high school fine. people grow up like i already said. since your as stupid as i thought i want to kindly ask you to pull that article down in the next few days before i decide to take it somewhere and have harassment charges filed. i emailed you to talk to you personally and professionally about how innacurate your article is and how you shouldnt post something when you are misinformed. i agree the shit they post is unacceptable, as i said they are teenagers and they will continue to do stupid things until they learn from them, but i don't need st. pete times calling my house asking for my input on the subject because they read your article online. my family and i dealt with this enough when i was falsely accused and i dont need my mother to be upset cause the newspaper is calling asking for my input. if you havent already noticed my family and i are dealing with enough right now. Again im asking you kindly to remove this post or ill be taking this up with the police and filing harassment charges. completely immature and unnecessary to put someones business out there like that
Last night, he reiterated this issue:
Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 8:55 PM
I'm giving you one more day to remove that post or you will have a lawsuit on your hands
Now, I’d like to point out that I am, in fact, a journalist and that nothing in Dylan’s emails indicated that our correspondence was to be considered private or off the record. Twitter users can also delete tweets. If Dylan’s prior tweets aren’t representative of his current opinions, he can remove them.
Predictably, I have also heard from a lot of his DudeBro friends -- starting with this totally real subject heading:
You've ruined the reputation of Awareness for Rape because of your article
This person went on to tell me:
It's obvious you're a feminist. I get that, you were probably raped or felt for a girl you knew that was raped as well. That's understandable. I know a girl who was raped when she was younger. If it was legal for me to do it, I would kill the guy,
You know someone who was raped. We all do. I could line up all the people I know who have been raped and they would stretch across this world. Rape is a very real problem. It's time we all start doing something about it. I'm not saying "killing" rapists is the answer (and I'm glad you have refrained from killing anyone.) In the time it took you to type out your e-mail to me you could have done something to help prevent rape culture, like maybe e-mailing one of your friends and saying "Hey [DudeBro], rape is not cool."
HOWEVER, in this case Dylan was sticking up for a friend and gave you a few jabs of disapproval and you went COMPLETELY out of hand. The actions you took as repercussions to a 19 year old young man who is just starting their life was completely immature.
(ED NOTE: If you haven't caught on by now, we're talking about Dylan.)
I feel as though you're actions took the case of rape back 20 steps. I understand you feel strongly for it but to do that to someone who was protecting a friends reputation? Come on, you're better than that. Yes he's a head strong kid, and through life he would learn his lesson. Instead you may have ruined his chances to do and you made him angry.
I didn't "ruin" anyone's chances for anything. Here is the thing that Dylan and his friend do not appear to understand. The most incriminating things I wrote about him are all on the public record. I reposted messages from his Twitter feed. As noted above, if he is embarrassed by things that he has said in the past, he can and should delete them. Bringing attention to someone's stupidity is not worse than saying stupid and incriminating things online. Twitter is by its very nature a social media platform and, thus, not private. The Twitter website actually says “Most of the information you provide us is information you are asking us to make public.” This seems fairly basic to me.
All that aside you can't even disagree that in many cases girls aren't raped.
Correct. I cannot disagree with the fact that in "many cases girls aren't raped" because the exact opposite is true: many girls are raped.
Your statistics are backed up by nothing but "he said she said". You cannot prove that most girls in those cases were raped. The problem is that in most cases if a girl IS raped they keep it to themselves instead of broadcasting it, which is a problem, but disproves you're theory about rape cases and how girls who were legitimately raped are called disgusting names.
Wow. You seriously used the term "legitimate rape" with me? NOT COOL, DUDEBRO. My statistics are backed by an organization called " RAINN: Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network." RAINN is the nation's largest anti-sexual abuse organization. RAINN provide technical assistance to over 1,100 rape crisis centers nationwide and serve as the leading information source for criminal justice organizations, the media, allied organizations, and the public on the issue of sexual violence. RAINN has testified before congress and is sort of the "gold standard" when it comes to information about rape and sexual violence. When someone has the bravery to press charges in cases of rape and the information is made public, the victims are often met with bullying, slut-shaming, name-calling and worse. A perfect example of this has happened in Tarpon Springs. If you would like to educate yourself on victim-blaming after a rape case, you can start here.
So you didn't “read my article”…yet you took the time out to e-mail me because you didn't read my article? Mmmmm-kay.
but this kind of behavior is what is killing America.
Seriously. He wrote this.
Instead of taking an immature email and ignoring it or making a small article about it,
It's not my fault that my article turned out to not be a "small article." Maybe the fact it is a BIG article should prove to you that I'm not the only person on earth who cares about rape culture.
you turn up the heat and broadcast his personal issues..What happened to innocent before proven guilty?
The only thing I ever said he was not innocent of is being a total douchebag and, for that, we at Mommyish would like to retract that categorization and apologize. Though that was an opinion based on Dylan’s emails and his publicly available tweets, nobody here has ever met Dylan and we have no in-person knowledge that he’s, in fact, a douchebag.
I'm terribly sorry that you think I have single-handedly destroyed rape awareness by writing about rape awareness. The reason why people are unaware of the gravity and seriousness of rape and rape culture, the reason why every two minutes someone in the USA is sexually assaulted, the reason why 97% of all rapists will never spend a day in jail, and the reason why you and your DudeBro friends continue to ONE GAZILLION PERCENT (statistic: mine and totally unfounded) not understand rape culture is NOT because I keep writing about rape culture.
Myself and people like Koa Beck, Kate Harding, Jessica Valenti, Jill Filipovic, Gloria Steinem, Zerlina Maxwell and a million other famous and not famous writers, working on their personal blogs or for news agencies, will continue to write about rape culture. And, even though I totally love the fact you think that ME, a lone lady writer on a parenting website, is responsible for "ruining the reputation of awareness for rape" -- it's just not possible. Writing about rape awareness doesn't make people less aware about rape. In fact, it does the exact opposite.
(Photo: UNEDITED, as seen here: Instagram)