Why We Should All Be Paying Attention to Bryce from 13 Reasons Why

*SPOILER ALERT*

*TRIGGER WARNING*

For those of you have had the chance to watch Brian Yorkey’s on-screen version of the book 13 Reasons Why, you have had the unfortunate “pleasure” of meeting one of the most notorious characters in the book, Bryce Walker. And what a guy he is…

I feel many articles thus far written of the popular Netflix series have centered around the more important messages of the book like how we should all participate in eliminating all forms of bullying as a whole. And we should give a helping hand to those who need it even if we don’t know them and decrease the chances of a person who may feel the desire to end their life. I also feel people are a little negligent to not realize the importance of a character like Mr. Bryce Walker.

Now please, for two seconds, don’t think I have any sympathy for a character like Bryce. If there were any character I would wish dead in this series, it would be Bryce. But what we should all really be trying to understand is why Bryce is in the book and in the series in the first place.

For those of you who like spoilers and have not had the chance to finish the series yet, you probably still see Bryce as the nice guy, a jock, but very warmhearted and focused on his academics. However, once you get deeper into the darkness that this series actually portrays, we get to know him a little better than we already do. 

Bryce is the guy we all need to be focused on. He is the reason many young women have trouble coming foreword when they have had the unfortunate experience of being sexually harassed or raped. Society is way too blinded to believe that someone like Bryce would cause any harm to young women because he is just such a wonderful guy, right? 

Wrong.

We find eventually in the series that Bryce not only sexually harassed Hannah Baker at Blue Spot Liquor Store, but raped her AND Jessica Davis…and god knows how many other young women. Hannah was too afraid and traumatized to come foreword about the situation, even when vaguely speaking of the situation with Mr. Porter who only lectured her about how unlikely the school was to do anything with “such little evidence.” He even went as far as to say she may be blamed for it, but without actually saying it was her fault.

In the series, Bryce admits to raping Hannah when speaking with Clay Jenson in the most repulsive way possible. He explains that if what he did to Hannah and Jessica was rape, then every girl wants to be raped. He sincerely believed that what he did to them was what women wanted, to be aggressively penetrated and handled. Mr. “Good Samaritan” Bryce was the main downward spiral of Hannah Baker and increased her desire to commit suicide.

Society is far too obsessed with the idea (especially portrayed in movies) that rapists are people that are wearing dark clothes and kidnap you while you’re walking down the lifeless streets of an urban city. It is ignorant to believe rapists do not come in all walks of life. Your neighbor could be a rapist. Your teacher could be a rapist. Your coworker could be a rapist. And YOU could be a rapist. I would like nothing more than to say that rape is not as common as it is, but any kind of non-consensual sex is considered rape, and this is unfortunately something happening every second on this planet.

So before you go into life believing that you’re always 100% safe, remember to still take caution of those around you. Bryce is a representation of every rapist that we originally suspect would never do something like what he did to Hannah. Let’s stop being so ignorant to the facts and listen when someone is trying to speak to us about something we may find to be unusual or abnormal. It could’ve saved Hannah Baker’s life.

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