Industry Journal: The Liar (Part I)
A platform is no good until you step up.

CW: Abuse, manipulation, discussion of rape.

It’s story time.

I agree with the acquaintance of mine who once said, “Cancel Culture is murder.”
Canceling prevents dialogue and condemns by association. Nobody learns anything except to hide their fuck ups and adhere to silence. That’s not what this story is about.

This is not cancel culture. This is sparkling consequences.


Remember the rapist’s father writing his son’s life would “never be the one that he dreamed about… a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20-plus years of life”? That was persuasive language in that case, and the judge who ruled against serving appropriate consequences to Brock Turner was eventually ousted.

Brock Turner made the choice to rape his victim. His chose his consequences by perpetrating that act of violence. His victim had no choice, and thus no choice about how those 20 minutes would impact the rest of her life.

My story is also a story about choices and consequences.

My story is also a story about how men still largely get a pass in this culture; even as perpetrators of abuse and manipulation. Abuse and manipulation are also acts of violence.


A white man ten years my senior called me yesterday afternoon and suggested that I couldn’t let “getting mad at being duped” get the best of me, and maybe that I shouldn’t be sharing this story. Maybe tone it down. The perpetrator apparently is worried his career is in danger.

I have nothing to do with his career professionally. The perpetrator understood my connections within this community from the outset, and exploited this knowledge throughout the relationship. I value integrity, and in my efforts to *be* a person of integrity, I speak against injustice. If those in his field choose to stand in integrity, all the better. We need more accountability in this culture.

It is my story to tell. The perpetrator willingly engaged in a relationship with me, and the consequence of that is this.

“Do what you are going to do,” wrote the poet Sharon Olds, “and I will tell about it.” Or, in the parlance of our times, “Fuck around and find out.”

But, god forbid anything get in the way of the perpetrator’s career, right? Nevermind the multiple abused women left in his wake.

I was not “mad at being duped.”
I was not “duped.”

I was manipulated, emotionally and psychologically abused, and lied to on a level that is nothing short of pathological.

And so were the other women.

He lied to me and at least one other victim about being monogamous and exclusive, and then had unprotected intercourse with us and untold others during the same time period.

I am, of course, grateful that tests came back negative.

But there are other consequences from this relationship that cannot so easily be checked off and filed away. Trauma, for example. Not to mention the enormous waste he made of my time.

At least it was only two months.

I made it abundantly clear to the perpetrator not to ever contact me or come near me again. Twice yesterday he attempted to contact me through second parties.

The sex addiction, the multiple drug addictions, and the pathological lying are not compulsions which will abate untreated. One of the most difficult parts in the aftermath of this situation was our (myself and the other victims) impulse to keep contacting potential known targets. Eventually, it became an unhealthy obsession. We could not and cannot protect everyone. The best I can do is share my own story.

I started by telling my inner circle and close friends who knew us both.

Because of his actions yesterday, now I am telling you.

Author: `aqaq`

Tasia Bernie is an essayist, and editor of  She enjoys used bookstores, offal, and hard laughter.  She is a very good eater.  She lives with her daughter and two orange cats in Portland, Oregon.


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