Trigger warning: this post quotes rape apologism and descriptions of behaviour which does not appear consensual
Angry readers, cast your minds back to 2004, and try to remember a brief blip on the pop cultural horizon. Recall the glorious supernova that was Steve Brookstein, a bright-burning star sadly lost to us. Drawing a blank? Don’t worry. Even Wikipedia describes his career as “very brief“, and I exaggerated somewhat over his success. He won a TV talent show, which I’d happened to watch, and managed to forget about him before the credits had even stopped rolling.
Until last night, when suddenly and unexpectedly he crawled into my Twitter replies. I have no reason to believe it’s not the real him, as it’s an established Twitter account and who the hell would impersonate a washed-up cruise-ship singer? Anyway, he came from nowhere, with rape apologism followed by misogyny.
To clarify he was a definitely full-on misogynist rather than merely a rape apologist, Brookstein continued to make some very triggering about the possibility of emotional abuse and blackmail forcing survivors into spending time with their rapists.
That night, he continued to make some truly frightening misogynistic remarks to a number of people, demonstrating a clear lack of understanding of consent, all the while suggesting that it was somehow pathological to care about consent.
Brookstein’s profound lack of understanding of consent was made particularly clear by this tweet, where he suggested even a “no” was not sufficient, and only physical violence could be taken as a signal of a lack of consent:
Along with the deep misogyny is Brookstein’s pervasive believe that he is Doing It Right. Apparently, while feminists are unfuckable, &C &C, Steve Brookstein is doing exceptionally well because he’s been married three times.
That bit signals the break, the point where you should have a laugh, because it’s about to get really dark. Why is Steve Brookstein so vehemently defending rape and rape culture?
Because Steve Brookstein is quite possibly a rapist.
Yes. Steve Brookstein thinks it’s perfectly fine to have sex with someone who is not conscious, particularly if that someone is a spouse.
I’ve said many times before that rape culture and repeating rape culture myths only really helps rapists. Brookstein dismisses consent because it allows him to do something his partner may not be comfortable with (and probably wouldn’t be comfortable with him announcing to a social networking site in the middle of the night). This is what rape culture is for.
It’s time, I hope, for Steve Brookstein to disappear back into obscurity. He failed pop music and now he’s failing at the basics of being a decent human being.
Accessibility note: The lovely @KinkShaman has transcribed the screencaps:
A screenshot of a twitter conversation between myself (@stavvers) and Brookstein (@stevebrookstein)
Brookstein: “@stavvers Did the woman Assange ‘rape’ [sic] see him again on a date? That would be strange behaviour for a rape victim. No?”
Me: “@stevebrookstein No it wouldn’t. Apparently you’ve never heard of emotionally abusive environments.”
Brookstein: “@stavvers here we go.. Poor women. Boo friggin hoo.”
A screenshot of a tweet from Brookstein: “@stavvers any women [sic] who doesn’t get what she wants can claim “emotionally abusive environment” load of bollocks.”
A tweet from Brookstein: “@magiczebras so if your boyfriend touches you when you’re sleeping in bed together is that sexual harassment? You are crazy people.”
A tweet from Brookstein: “@GemieMac the idea is that you get them in the mood… but according to nutjobs on here that is “emotionally abusive behaviour”
A conversation between Brookstein and twitter user Charlie Baker (@Girlpantsx).
Brookstein (to the timeline in general): “This assange [sic] rape allegation has blown my mind. Soon men are going to have to get women to sign consent papers before every session.”
Baker: “@stevebrookstein Or they could just understand that no means no?”
Brookstein: “@girlpantsx no doesn’t aways mean no. It can mean “I want to but I shouldn’t.” A kick in the balls means no.
A tweet from Brookstein addressing a number of twitter users: “@opinionatedpavs @GemieMac @BolliBolshevik @Inbetween_Girl good luck getting men. Talk to me when you are on your third marriage. #kids”
A tweet from Brookstein: “@blunt_knives commonsense tells me my wife would expect the occasional stealth raid at night. [smiley face]”