You’re picturing a rage-filled monster, an archetype: “the abuser.” I’m remembering the man, who was funny and brilliant. And who was, like Schneiderman, a staunch public feminist. There were many reasons I wanted to be with him, and none of them were simple, because neither was he. He was a human being.
This is the reckoning we still haven’t had about #MeToo. When Bill Cosby was accused, and then convicted, the implication was that the real truth about Cosby had been unveiled, the monster lurking behind the kindly mask. But that image was as false as the plaster saint that preceded it. A truth had been revealed, but not the truth, because no human being has only one truth.
We want people who hurt women to be singular creatures, monsters, not men. But often they will be our brothers, fathers, husbands and friends; they will make great art, or fight for good causes, or have other qualities and do other things we value.