Why we need to give idiot men like Charlie Silcox air time, not pretend they don’t exist

He said women enjoy being raped, but apparently we’re supposed to ignore this

Yesterday, I interviewed Charlie Silcox after he had sent extreme anti-feminist messages to a girl on Tinder, unprovoked. He then WhatsApped me to tell me women enjoy being raped.

I wrote about his quite obviously vile opinions so all of the world could see. You might be surprised to learn that next I got completely dragged online for doing so. One girl even publicly accused me of not being against rape.

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I just want to make abundantly clear what my position is. In the article I call him a "grim guy", "awful", "obnoxious". I shouldn't have to write this as proof, but I am a feminist and I do not agree with the views of Charlie Silcox. Okay?

The popular argument of the last few weeks goes: people who have negative, damaging and dangerous opinions shouldn't have a platform. Just last week, the BBC were slated for interviewing Jayda Fransen, the Deputy Leader of the far-right nationalist party, Britain First.

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I can't make it any clearer: people who fuck up and do awful things deserved to be shamed online. Men who do really shit things to women deserve for everyone to know their face, their name, and how to avoid them. It's our job as social media users, journalists, documentary makers, decent human beings to shut this shit down.

Telling and sharing stories is a way of warning people about scumbags like Charlie Silcox. This was our way of saying "avoid this man at all costs", not "listen to his views and absorb them". 600 people shared the original post on Facebook, uploaded by the Tinder girl's friend, and people rightly went in on him.

Giving someone a platform is not the same as endorsing their point of view. Since this article was published he has been reported to the police and he told me the police have been to his house.

Last year we spoke to the meninist tampon tax guy who told menstruating women to "just hold their bladder". Imagine not being able to laugh at how much of an idiot this guy is? Seriously, read what he has to say and tell me he shouldn't be publicly shamed.

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If we can't air the views of people we disagree with, where does that leave the likes of our favourite documentary makers? Everyone's docu-hero Louis Theroux has created humanising documentaries such as The Most Hated Family in America, which follows a family of extreme homophobes. He interviews these people and spends time with them. Because he endorses their behaviour? No. Because it's fascinating for people to watch and shows people how evil they are.

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There are two worlds we can choose to live in: one where we call out bullshit and don't let people get away with it, where we laugh at men who know fuck all about women or how to treat them. Or, one where we stay quiet and shy away from issues that scare us. I know which I'd prefer.

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