i wanted to write a little update on this post (which got several hundred views in the last few days, incidentally).
a few days after i wrote this post, it came to the attention of kids in lawrence that the dude in question is a serial sexual assaulter. he goes by the name shane veegun & performs under the reprehensible name xfuckedbythievesx. i won’t include links to his band’s myspace page, because i don’t want to be responsible for anyone making the mistake of listening to his music, but you are free to google if you so desire.
shane has been touring around the country playing his tunes for the last few months, & several women in various towns he has visited have come forward to describe non-consensual sexual behavior on his part. word is starting to filter around to all the different towns he has traveled through. most recently, when the news broke, he was in philadelphia. i understand that some kids in philadelphia arranged a conference call between shane & some of his “friends”/former tour mates/what-have-you back home in california, & shane has decided to go back to california rather than continue traveling as was his original plan.
shane’s modus operandi seems to involve preying upon women that are under the influence of mind-altering substances (including alcohol), despite the fact that he himself is avowedly straightedge. he has a very quick & nasty temper. his first response to learning that he was being called out for sexual assault was to say, “you have a different idea of consent than i do.” yeah, because apparently shane doesn’t believe in consent.
shane is not without his supporters. there have already been cries of “witch hunt” on the internet, & let’s bear in mind for a second that that term in conjunction with calling out a sexual assaulter or abuser is very loaded with gender baggage. some have speculated that shane is being persecuted just for being vegan & straightedge, & tried to use my blog post about his music as proof of this. clearly, had i known that shane was a serial sexual assaulter at the time that i wrote that post, i would have focused on that far more than his status as vegan or straightedge. some have publicly stated that they have had positive & consensual sexual experiences with shane, as if that in any way changes the fact that several women have had extremely non-consensual experiences.
my goal in sharing this information is just to put it out there, so people have it in the event that they are part of community that may host shane as a traveler or musician in the future. i want to encourage those communities to look after themselves & keep a close eye on shane so that no one gets hurt. i also want to let the women that shane has already assaulted know that they have support, even from people they have never met, & that there is a contingent of the their larger punk/anarchist/feminist community that believes in them & wants to shift the burden of naming perpetrators off of their shoulders so they can focus on their healing.
let’s make a few things clear: this is about supporting & standing in solidarity with survivors, calling out a sexual assault perpetrator, & attempting to foster an atmosphere in which fewer women in the future will be assaulted. as far as i am currently aware, no survivors have come forward with any demands of shane. we’ll see if that changes as the survivors have more time & more support to figure things out for themselves.
last night, one of my friends told me that shane said he was interested in submitting to an accountability process. i frowned & said that i didn’t feel that shane was entitled to an accountability process. if someone wants to try to set one up for him, that’s great, but after abusing the trust of the traveling kid folk-punk anarcho community, i don’t think that community is responsible for designing a way for shane to absolve himself. there are other things that shane can do on his own to try to address is non-consensual impulses, such as therapy, or perhaps wearing a whistle around his neck, which he blows on when he feels compelled to sexually assault someone. i mean, come on. there have been some high profile punk rock accountability processes in the last few years (few of which resulted in true accountability & reform on the part of the perpetrators), so now every perp that comes down the pike thinks that’s what he needs to do, & that the community owes it to him to give him a chance if they’re going to call him out. i think that’s bullshit.
my friend said, “well, i’m still gonna call him out though.” i pointed out that calling someone out & getting involved in a months-long accountability process are two different things. maybe shane has some friends or allies who believe that he is a sexual assaulter & are invested in shane’s journey away from being a sexual assaulter. i am hopeful that shane will not assault anyone ever again, but i have no personal investment in being part of his accountability team. that kid came to my town & acted like an asshole to everyone i know (though he thankfully did not assault anyone here, as far as i am aware). he wrote songs that were personally offensive to me, as an adult & as a disabled person. even before i knew he was an assaulter, i hoped i would never see him or interact with him again. i in no way have the emotional energy or patience to be involved in his accountability process. more power to the people that do. i think anyone who gives a shit about women’s safety should continue to feel justified in calling him out.
another friend said, “i feel like it’s my job at least to send some zines & stuff about assault & consent to kids in california that are kind of ground zero for collecting survivor stories & dealing with shane.” i said that i didn’t feel that it was my “responsibility” to do this, but i did feel that it was something i could do, a way to contribute.
in dealing with sexual assault or abuse or any of this shit, it’s important for support people to be honest about what level of involvement they can handle. i have been more or less involved in several different incidents of calling out perpetrators over the years. with this particular case, i don’t know this kid, i don’t like this kid, i thought he was an asshole even before i found out that he assaulted women, i hate his tunes, & i’m basically too fucking old to give a fuck about him. i’m 31. do i want to spend my time listening to a 23-year-old whine? hell to the no. i’m just not the target demographic that is invested in this issue as far as a rehabilitation process for shane goes. people who are closer to him personally & within “the scene” will probably have an easier time getting through to him & putting up with the nearly unbearable personal bullshit that goes along with facilitating a formal accountability process.
i really hope this is the last i will have to publicly say on this topic.