Update on Kyle Payne

UPDATE: Darren has added information in the comments on how to contact the prosecutor who will be arguing against Kyle Payne. You can write to him to ask that he argue for time behind bars.

So, yesterday I got an email actually from Kyle Payne telling me that he would be putting up a statement on his blog today regarding “recent events in [his] life.” It’s funny how for someone who claims he wants to hold himself “accountable” for his own actions, he repeatedly uses that word: “events.” I think that if we’re going to go with euphemisms here — and I’m absolutely no fan of euphemisms — “my actions” would be a much more accurate one than “recent events in my life.” See, events happen around you and to you. You are the one who sexually assaulted a woman and then pleaded guilty to secretly filming and photographing a woman’s breasts, Kyle. That didn’t happen to you — but it did happen to the woman who was assaulted. (BTW: I know that Kyle did not plead guilty to assault. Gotta love the plea bargains. But in my view, “secretly filming and photographing a woman’s breasts” is indeed sexual assault — particularly since he has admitted to exposing the woman himself.)

I also got an email on the same day from Lynda Waddington, the journalist from the Iowa Independent who has been instrumental in publicly exposing Payne and investigating his case. She wrote to inform me of the latest development — that a motion has been filed to postpone sentencing. This is so Kyle can continue undergoing his therapy, the results of which they are apparently going to present in court and undoubtedly use as reasoning to ask for lighter sentencing, and also to gather letters of support — coming from god only knows where.

So I get these two emails literally within two hours of each other. And inquisitive mind that I am, I had to ask myself: hmm, could these two things possibly be at all related to one another?  I know, ridiculous thought.

So, Kyle’s letter, which has just gone up. I’m unsurprised to say that it angered me — in the interest of fairness, there are honestly few things he might have said that wouldn’t have angered me.  But here’s a list of some of the things that pissed me off:

  1. The word “assault” does not appear once in the entire long letter.  The word “abuse” appears several times, but only in relation to himself.  The act he committed against the woman, in his eyes, was to “disrespect and truly dehumanize” another person.  Yes, Kyle, you did that.  Yes, you did commit “hurtful actions.”  But you also sexually assaulted a woman, by your own admission to exposing and photographing the woman’s body.  From your extensive research and advocacy, I know that you know that.
  2. He seems to admit that the reason that he went into rape crisis counseling had nothing to do with women and everything to do with himself without actually straight out admitting it.  The fact that he said it doesn’t anger me, though the truth of it certainly does.
  3. He claims, over and over again, that he wants to be held responsible for his actions.  But he is apparently collecting letters of support so that his sentence might be lessened.
  4. He claims to want to listen to all of us lovely feminists regarding what we have to say on the matter.  And yet he has deleted every single comment on his blog that discusses this topic.  He also calls our rightful exposing of him for the safety of other women “a smear campaign.”
  5. He says that he will halt “any involvement with research, activism, or advocacy related to pornography or sexual violence” but only until his therapy resolves his mental health issues.  As I do with any sexual assault survivor, I do wish Kyle recovery from what he suffered.  But no.  No no no.  There is no temporary postponement in sexual assault advocacy and activism after you’ve sexually assaulted a woman while doing such advocacy and activism.  You’re done.
  6. He claims in the end to “still wholeheartedly identify with feminism.”

It’s hard to say which point angers me the most.  It’s a toss up between 1, 5, and 6.  Kyle opens up an “invitation” for criticism and concern to anyone who would like to email him [contact details edited out because I think actually contacting him is that bad of an idea]. I will not be contacting him.  I have no interest in doing so.  But if I were to put myself through that, here is what I would say to Kyle:

You keep asking for forgiveness.  Forgiveness is not mine to give.  That right belongs to the woman who you assaulted.  And it belongs to the women who you counseled after their own sexual assaults.  Thankfully, you have been ordered to not contact the woman you assaulted.  And most likely, you will never hear from the women who you “counseled” ever again.  So if they do choose to forgive you for whatever reason, it will be in the privacy of their own hearts.  Tough shit for you.  Live with it.

Give up any dreams of reentering anti-rape advocacy and activism.  Now.  The fact that you think you might have the right to go back once you have resolved your own issues speaks volumes about your narcissism.  You don’t have that right.  Once you reentered that advocacy, were you planning on letting every woman you work with on these issues know of your history with committing sexual assault?  If yes, you’re severely risking triggering, hurting and offending them.  If no, you’re violating them with your dishonesty and falsely letting them believe that you can be trusted with this work.  I hope that your supposed efforts towards reformation are successful.  But this is one place where you will never be rightfully welcomed back.  And I don’t believe for a second that you are sorry, either to the woman you assaulted or to the other women whose trust you betrayed, until you recognize this.

Lastly, stop identifying with feminism.  Just stop. Of all of your crimes, this certainly ranks among the least severe.  But you are not a feminist.  You are the farthest fucking thing from an ally I’ve ever seen.  Again with the male entitlement.  You claim to want to work for your welcoming back into the feminist community and yet still call yourself a male ally and still think that after sexually assaulting a woman you can “identify with feminism.”  That’s not working.  It is your privilege showing in manifestly repulsive ways.  Stop this charade, and stop making it all about you.  It’s insulting not only towards feminists as a group but to every individual woman who you have victimized throughout the course of your assault, lies and emotional violations. Just. Fucking. Stop.

Last week, Eleanor Trousers posted an update on Kyle Payne’ sentencing.  Though the sentencing may no longer take place on 8/11, it’s still important for those of you who can to attend and show your physical support for the prosecution whenever it is held.  Eleanor also notes how anyone can share their (polite, of course) thoughts with the judge in the case.  Go ahead — write a letter!  I’ll be working on one myself.

0 thoughts on “Update on Kyle Payne

  1. Kristen

    What a sociopath.

    “however, I will not post any new material on my blog until such time that I have been welcomed back into a community of feminists.”

    WELCOMED BACK? WELCOMED?!? Dude you will never be WELCOME in any community of feminists that I am a part of.

  2. Depresso

    He is unfuckingbelievable. I’m almost tempted to email him to tell him that the best thing he can do to respect women is to find somewhere very, very far away from people, stay there and never leave, but that’d just be giving him the attention he so clearly craves and I’ll be damned if I enable scum like that.

    And oh my lordyloo, how self-absorbed can one person be? If I hadn’t read it myself, I would hardly believe it!

  3. Depresso

    Oh, wading through his self-pity, I just noticed that he mentions a history of child sexual abuse. I’m not saying that never happened, nor would I even dream of denigrating his experience, but it’s not an excuse for what he did. As an anti-rape campaigner, you’d think he knew that already. I mean, my rape crisis training covered it…

  4. raija

    how wrapped up in yourself must you be to try and spin the assault and traumatization of another human being into an opportunity for “promoting personal transformation”?

  5. Debs

    Good work, Cara. Yes the two emails would appear to definitely be connected, and his self-obsessed whining is just an attempt to get some of us to say nice things to him. God, he’s deluded.

  6. Jen

    Can we write letters for a harsher sentence? I mean, if he gets to turn up a bunch of idiots to help him show the judge what an “upright citizen” he is, the least we should be able to do is say that this dude has obviously not learned his lesson, and expects to be welcomed back into his old work with open arms. I’d really like a monitoring bracelet that, whenever he gets within two feet of a woman, goes off like a car alarm. Some computerized voice screeching “my name is Kyle Payne and I used rape consoling as an opportunity to sexually assault women” would be appropriate.

  7. Cara Post author

    Jen, you can write letters to the judge in support of a harsher sentence. Eleanor Trousers has all of that info, and it’s linked to at the bottom of the post.

  8. belledame222

    and y’know what? I’m pretty certain that–can they continue the therapy while he’s IN jail? that would seem the best option to me. and then with the bracelet and so on and so forth. sorry asshole, a couple of weeks or months learning how better to parrot the right phrases does not get you the tap on the wrist you so clearly think you deserve. therapy’s for your own sake; it still doesn’t earn back trust for you wrt the community/women, SORRY. go AWAY.

  9. belledame222

    as per the history of child sexual abuse: sorry, if anything that just seals the deal further: that PLUS having already demonstrably assaulted (obviously having been abused by itself should be no stain on anyone’s character) says to me this is a very unconscious individual indeed, and–no, just no. he’s acting out his own old shit upon women, and will undoubtedly do it again. and honestly? with or without the rumors (i guess that’s all they are at this point) of him having had child porn? I’d keep him the hell away from kids as well.

  10. Lisa Harney

    One of the really infuriating things about his open letter there is how he describes what he did as something that happened to him, something he had no control over, not something he just plain decided to do and went through with.

    And then he has the gall to ask feminists to to tell him when it’s okay for him to be feminist again? No, just no.

    There’s nothing he can do to undo this. Nothing. He did it, he’ll have to live with that. Even if by some chance the women he harmed forgive him, that won’t absolve him of this, that won’t make him welcome. The best he can do is shut up, take real responsibility for what he has done, never do it again, and don’t try to appropriate feminism for his own ends (and I do not believe that any effort on his part to identify as a feminist is anything but appropriating feminism for his own ends).

  11. Wendy

    Well, I read his “letter” which in my opinion goes on far too long and just makes me feel like he is making this about HIM and not about the person he victimized.

    One sentence stood out and actually set off alarm bells. He writes (emphasis is mine):

    ‘Through further psychological treatment and careful meditation on this history, it is my primary goal to reach a healthy balance in my life and minimize the risk of hurting anyone in the future.’

    MINIMIZE? Um, does this mean he could hurt someone else? Is this what he, himself is acknowledging? The language he uses here clearly shows he is a risk to other women…and he is acknowledging that risk. In that case, perhaps he should not only be removed from his “advocacy” positions, but from society as well.

  12. RenegadeEvolution

    Notice it’s my ( a woman’s fault) he’s been called out on the net, too? the man is utter scum. I can’t believe his post.

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  14. Cara Post author

    Word to everything that you folks have said. Fuck Kyle Payne. And everyone here (myself included), get your asses working on those letters.

  15. SunlessNick

    Without the trust that other survivors and other activists had shared with me, a trust that had sustained me and helped me clearly see that there was good in the world, I felt that there was nothing left.

    Well boo hoo. Poor you.

    I may not regain that sacred trust I described.

    It’s not sacred. “Sacred” implies “right” and the last thing an ally should consider trust to be is a right. It’s a continuous process of earning, and we never get to the end of it.

  16. Ashley

    That letter set the alarms off in my head. I know that I don’t know this guy, but the way he parrots back exactly what he thinks people want to hear, with some things just slightly off base (because he doesn’t actually understand what others are talking about—he’s just trying to manipulate them)… I also get a chill down my spine when I look at the way he minimizes his actions and removes them from any emotional context, as if he felt nothing as he assaulted this woman. That means he doesn’t want to tell us what he felt (it sure wasn’t empathy).

    All in all, his words remind me of a sociopath I worked with. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m certainly not about to associate more closely with him by emailing him. I’d suggest that others stay the hell away too. He may well get off on your emotional response, and he might be dangerous.

    I will, however, be writing a letter to that judge.

  17. belledame222

    I think he’s a fucking sociopath. I think that doesn’t preclude however else he’s fucked up and got to this place, but the abdication of responsibility is what matters here.

    and I am sorry, but the whole, it was a spur of the moment act! I don’t know how that happened! doesn’t really wash when you consider that he -kept it on his fucking computer all that time-. I mean, it doesn’t wash ANYWAY, but that just makes it all the more transparently bullshit.

  18. Cara Post author

    I agree Ashley. I got the same feeling. And as I think belledame and others have noted, his whole blog had that feeling about it.

  19. SunlessNick

    Not knowing how to deal with this feeling at the time – and to put it more clearly, not knowing how to make sense of such an urge, given my personal values and my politics – I acted upon it.

    Here’s a clue, Kyle: if an urge is against your “personal values and politics,” DON’T FUCKING ACT UPON IT. I don’t accept that that is a difficult decision to make.

    Here’s another clue: however you do act, that IS what you’re like. You don’t get to rule it out of your character, and you don’t get to expect anyone else to.

    I also get a chill down my spine when I look at the way he minimizes his actions and removes them from any emotional context, as if he felt nothing as he assaulted this woman.

    And then expects to buy into all the emotional turmoil he claims in the aftermath.

  20. Anastasia

    He is a narcissist. I agree, he cleverly uses words to minimize the assault/violation, and he tends to highlight (in bold) what he wants to emphasize, thus drawing the reader’s eye toward what he wants to say, but he also takes a lot of time to state his losses in terms of their significance -to him. It’s like he’s saying, “look at what I am losing, give me a break.”

  21. Cara Post author

    It’s like he’s saying, “look at what I am losing, give me a break.”

    . . . while simultaneously saying BUT THAT’S TOTALLY NOT WHAT I’M DOING.

    And I agree Nick.

  22. Renee

    I believe my actions warrant everyone’s questioning of my character and of my ability and willingness to act in accordance with my own professed values. I will either earn trust back, or I won’t. That is not for me to decide.

    The level of your violation is such that no woman and certainly no feminist will ever trust you again thanks for giving us permission to question your character though, nothing like expressing your privilege while trying your hardest to not take responsibility for your vile actions. This man makes me sick! Awesome take down Cara!

  23. Lindsay

    Because we deserve to know… but only 2 months later after the entire thing made it’s way onto the blogosphere, and 8 months after the actual assault. Fucking jackass.

    I’m also pissed how he “briefly photographed and took a few seconds of video” – regardless of how long the actual assault took, he tries to minimize it by saying it was “briefly” and “a few seconds.” Assault is still assault, even if it is “briefly” as he claims.

    If he waits to post again until he’s “welcomed back” by feminists, then thankfully we’ll never have to read another one of his narcissistic ramblings again.

  24. Anna

    I’m only halfway through (I think – he does natter on, doesn’t he?) and I already want a long shower to wash the ick off.

    Does his going on about how much feminism made him do all these Wonderful Things (that he must now step away from) sound like the “He’s a good person, we have to give him the benefit of the doubt!” defense?

    As such, I share with you some of the consequences of my actions, not to draw sympathy, but to embrace these consequences and provide some context for one of the most important lessons I have learned.

    O.O I’m not finishing this.

  25. DaisyDeadhead

    What Ashley said…this guy is some major player, and WE HAVE TO KEEP HIM OUT OF THE RAPE CRISIS BUSINESS!!!!!!!

    Thank God we have the internet! Once upon a time (she said, sounding ancient), we would have only bits and pieces of the whole story…and the Kyles of the world kept right on doing what they do.

  26. Pingback: As the Globe Falls « mirabile dictu

  27. Lemur

    Does anyone else feel like trying to read that shit is like wading through a foreign language? Or a law book (if you aren’t a lawyer), or something? It’s not even really making sense to me… but I’m still squicked out. Gah. “plz tell me when ladeez will like me so i can be femanist again, kthxbai”
    Ack. Never, dude, never. You are not welcome here anymore. If I had my way you wouldn’t be welcome in general society anymore. It’s a shame we don’t still exile people.

  28. hysperia

    Ya know, I copied this asshat’s e-mail address, thinking to send him what I wrote about him as it’s unlikely he’ll ever read it. Then I thought, wait a minute, why do I have to send it by e-mail and not in comments? Then I wondered how to send him an anonymous e-mail because, even though I’m thousands of miles away from him, the depth of my mistrust is such that I don’t want him to know a damned thing about me. And if that isn’t a clue as to what he knows about feminist advocacy with respect to rape survivors, what is? As if we need another clue. As if they’re really “clues” and not slaps upside the head.

    Thanks for your work on this.

  29. Pingback: Sick-Fuck “Feminist” Sex Criminal Still Doesn’t Get It « PhysioProf

  30. Pingback: Being Amber Rhea » Blog Archive » links for 2008-08-03 [delicious.com]

  31. abyss2hope

    Without the trust that other survivors and other activists had shared with me, a trust that had sustained me and helped me clearly see that there was good in the world, I felt that there was nothing left.

    This makes Kyle Payne sound like a trust vampire. His call for forgiveness then becomes a call to let him feed again.

  32. PhysioProf

    As I pointed out, his “feminist” activities should be interpreted as meriting a harsher, not lesser, sentence, as they were clearly part of his depraved modus operandi of insinuating himself into situations where he could prey on women.

  33. SunlessNick

    PhysioProf: I’d wondered too whether this was a deliberate MO on his part. I also wonder if this this the first time he’s done it, or just the first time he’s been caught.

    Something else that struck me:

    In the days following my guilty plea, a pro-pornography blogger picked up the story

    Does this seem to anyone else like an attempt to slut-shame, or invoke slut-shaming of, Renegade Evolution? (It was her that picked up, is that right?). Why bother mentioning her stance on porn unless it’s deemed relevant to her credibility or worthiness?

    “He’s a good person, we have to give him the benefit of the doubt!” defense?

    Exactly. Rape apologism (or other forms of sexual assault apologism) comes in three main flavours: “it didn’t happen,” “she had it coming,” and “he’s not really like that.” Kyle Payne is rejecting the first two, but then using that rejection to try to justify the third (which speaks volumes about his sincerity in any of them).

  34. Anna

    To me, his characterising RenEv as a “pro-pornography blogger” is an attempt to make it look like it’s The Ebil Pornographers against him – notice how he doesn’t identify RenEv as being a woman. It’s an attempt to make it look like the folks writing against him are doing it as a political movement against his feminist works instead of, you know, a feminist movement against his sexual assault.

    Oh, he is so oppressed!

  35. belledame222

    There was some other publication, AVN or something, of the Industry I guess, that picked it up and did the not unexpected schadenfreude thing, the way gay rights groups reacted to Larry Craig more or less. Who in turn got it from Ren’s blog, no doubt, so it boils down to the same thing in some peoples’ tiny little minds.

    but yeah: basically Kyle here is saying that–well, among other things, he’s still laboring under the delusion that his name could -possibly- be more than “mud” in -any- of the political movements he’d been trying to associate himself with, number one;

    I mean, -maybe- that shit might fly among the televangelist crowd, but “the Patriarchy/my conditioning made me do it” doesn’t have quite the same ring as “possessed by SATAN!!!” also, actual assault= a lot worse than simple hypocrisy (i.e.if he’d been nabbed wanking in a porn theatre a la Pee WEe Herman). Next.

    …and then, between the lines, he’s also still apparently of the belief, or trying to convince…someone…that he’s still somehow more evolved than yer average man-thing, ESPECIALLY the pro-porn people, natch. never mind that most of ’em never actually -assaulted- anyone either; Kyle here is acting like he, I don’t know, just didn’t try -quite- hard enough, somehow, and made a regrettable error, but one that ultimately “we” can get past, on accounta he’s so fucking -valuable- to the feminist movement, see.

    as opposed to: um, no, actually, you’re pond scum, full stop, and what everyone else already said.

  36. belledame222

    actually, Eleanor’s Trousers was the first blogger who picked up on the story from way back; I happened to find ET’s post on his guilty plea after I’d wandered into Kyle’s blog, thought, what the fuck fresh horseshit is this? and googled his name out of idle curiosity. was discussing it with RE and some others at the time; RE started blogging it and then others of us followed quickly.

    so, yeah, blame me, and I guess ET before me, as well as Ren: and yeah, I’m a total slave to the Porniarchy, ya, you betcha. ET too no doubt. and yeah, RE’s a woman, but hey, details: she’s been “Unwomaned” by that crowd often enough anyway. and it goes on, it does go on.

  37. DJ Carson D

    I think at this point, given what Kyle has said in his “letter” that we need to write (respectfully) to the judge to express our outrage about this. The guy is incredibly full of himself and will, no doubt in my mind about it, abuse again given the opportunity. We need to make the judge aware that he should *NEVER* get that opportunity.

  38. SunlessNick

    Eleanor’s Trousers was the first blogger who picked up on the story from way back

    Ah, thankyou.

    Kyle here is acting like he, I don’t know, just didn’t try -quite- hard enough, somehow, and made a regrettable error, but one that ultimately “we” can get past, on accounta he’s so fucking -valuable- to the feminist movement, see.

    “I’m not really like that.” But like I said earlier, I reject the suggestion that a man has to “try hard” to refrain from sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. No. It’s not hard.

  39. Pingback: An Open Letter to Kyle Payne « A Secret Chord

  40. belledame222

    Whoops, I’m wrong: upon rereading the relevant bits (ugh) apparently he is in fact singling out Renegade, albeit not by name, as the pro-porn blogger who is “smearing” him; as distinct from the publication wotsis (AVN) that then picked it up. Well…fuck you, Kyle, film at eleven. Y’know, RE does -real- work helping women outside of her actual job; you whited sepulchre. just…fuck away off.

  41. Pingback: A little less self-flagellation, a little more taking some fucking responsibility, please « Ideologically Impure

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  43. Steph Mineart

    That’s one of the key things that parole boards look for when inmates come to them requesting parole – ownership of the crime.

    Not “I’m sorry this thing happened” as though the criminal is a bystander, but “I’m sorry I did this” indicating awareness of their role in the criminal act.

    Lack of ownership of the crime is an indicator of lack of empathy for their victim and remorse about their guilt.

  44. Pingback: Update on “feminist” dude, Kyle Payne « Editorializing the Editors

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  46. hysperia

    So can anyone tell me why the charge that Payne has pleaded guilty to is “felony attempted burglary”???!!! (along with 2 misdemeanor counts of invasion of privacy).

  47. SunlessNick

    So can anyone tell me why the charge that Payne has pleaded guilty to is “felony attempted burglary”?

    The hell? I guess the answer’s because he’s scum. And it seems I gave him too much credit earlier in the thread.

  48. Darren Johnson

    I encourage everyone to write letters to the judge. I would also encourage everone to contact the Buena Vista County Attorney in Storm Lake, Iowa. He is the one that agreed to this ridiculous plea bargin. The County Attorney is the one that will be arguing for the State why Kyle Payne should go to prison, he is the one that has the duty to convince the Judge that Kyle Paynes act were so heinous that he should go to prison. If the County Attorney does not ask for PRISON the judge will not send Kyle Payne to Prison. So PLEASE PLEASE call, write or email the Buena Vista County Attorney
    Dave Patton
    County Attorney
    606 Geneseo Street
    Storm Lake, Iowa 50588
    (712) 732-1933
    (712) 732-2009 FAX

    Justice must be served.

  49. JJ

    I use to work with Kyle at BVU, he was the Head Resident of the hall I was an RA in. I was first shocked at what happen having know Kyle for a while. The shock has faded and anger seems to be in it’s place. He would try and make me feel like I was an evil guy because I didn’t always understand or agree with his research or his views. I don’t know if I have a right to feel anger or not.

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  51. Darren Johnson

    I would like to clarify the Buena Vista County, Iowa County Attorney Dave Patton will not be aruing agianst Kyle Payne. County Attorney Patton will be arguing for JUSTICE and the VICTIM.

    Kyle Payne needs to go to Prison.

    Has anyone herd when the sentancing date is for sure.


  52. ryan

    sentancing will be on 8-25 at 2:30 P.M. Kyle Payne is a piece of shit and I hope he goes to prison and burns in hell

  53. Chad

    Clearly, Kyle became what he beheld. In his egocentric quest to show the world the face and thoughts of a feminist man, he forgot (assuming he ever new) that the thoughts he publicly espoused were meaningless compared to thoughts he privately held… and acted upon.

  54. my niece

    Today Kyle Payne will probably walk with no jail time. Thats what the Count attorney told our family. The Family of the VICTUM! Whats sad is he touched her… proven in photos the police have, yet they dropped the assult charge. The county attorney said Kyle Payne is really sorry… What? He is not as “sorry’ as my niece who has to live with the what ifs for a long time to come. At 2:30 pm Mr. Payne will walk out of the court room, back to his life, with NO REMORSE!!!! No justice here

  55. Pingback: Final Thoughts On Kyle Payne : The Curvature

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  57. Pingback: Sexual assault perp Kyle Payne is asking for it - feel free to respond — Hoyden About Town

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