Michael Nodianos, the 18-year-old star of a lengthy video that seemingly mocks an alleged underage rape victim, has dropped out of college after becoming the target of threats, hacks, and harassment. Now his lawyer wants the world to know he's sorry for his actions:
Nodianos, who was drunk when he made the video, is “ashamed” of his behavior that night, “after some sober reflection,” his attorney said.
“He sincerely regrets the behavior. He was not raised to act in this manner… it really is just poor judgment.”
A few thoughts: Given the vitriol of his 12-minute rape rant, it's very hard for me to take this apology seriously. I read it more as, "I'm very sorry that I got caught saying things that have caused me to be hated by at least half the world." Misogyny isn't like landing a DUI—it isn't the unfortunate byproduct of poor judgment and too much alcohol. It's rooted in a very real contempt for women.
That said, investigators have concluded that the 18-year-old wasn't present when the alleged assault on the girl occurred. And yet:
Yet Nodianos’s comments in the video have continued to haunt Nodianos. His family has received threats, and his Twitter account, email, and Facebook page were all hacked, along with the email accounts of his parents and grandparents, according to McNamara. Someone set up a fake Twitter account claiming to be Nodianos and continued to tweet offensive things about the case from it, he added.
“There were people trying to find his class schedule at OSU, trying to access him there,” McNamara said. “Some have even been at the dormitory during the fall term looking for him.”
I meant what I wrote last week, that I hoped "this video follows these fucks around for the rest of their lives." I hope this video is brought up on every date and every job interview Nodianos is fortunate enough to land in his life. He should be held accountable again and again and again for the cruel, dehumanizing remarks he made again and again and again on tape. One apology through a lawyer isn't enough. He should be forced to look strangers in the eye—especially women (or men) he hopes to have intimate relationships with—and explain why what he said was horrible, offensive, and wrong. And maybe if he does that enough, he'll come to believe it.
But I'm sorry he's now the target of threats and hacks. I'm not surprised, but I am sorry because the threats make him into a victim in his and his family's eyes. Remember: He was not the victim, he was the bully and he needs to realize that. Threats aren't an effective learning tool in a situation like this; they aren't the antidote to misogyny.