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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Stupid Human Tricks

So, This “Comedy Monologue/Rape Confession” Thing …


We’d be remiss not to give some of our attention to this “comedy monologue” incident that has been discussed on several Tumblr sites as well as Jezebel and by Splitsider’s Halle Kiefer (who was actually there). Here is the gist of what happened at the UCB Theatre earlier this month: During a performance of Asssscat 3000, the improv performers — which included UCB founders Matt Besser and Ian Roberts — asked for audience suggestions for their improv scenes. One guy stood in front of the microphone and described a scene in which he had sex with a woman who did not want to have sex with him. A woman who repeatedly refused his advances, told him to stop … yeah. This guy confessed a rape.

Here is the best summary of what happened on August 14 from Poupak Spehri, an improv performer who was also at the show:

He started his story by saying that he is a cook/host at Second City in Chicago (justification#1 – he is supposedly part of the community). One evening, a very drunk (justification #2) and older (justification #3) woman was hitting on one of the waiters at Second City. This woman, who was from out of town (justification#4), gave her number to the waiter and asked him to call her (justification#5). The waiter, not interested, shared the story with the rest of the staff and practically forced this cook/host to take the number, even giving him money for the cab (justification#6) to show up at her hotel.

The woman opens the door to her hotel room thinking it was the waiter, but SURPRISE it’s the cook/host. She immediately asks him to leave, but he finds some BS excuse to go get her cell phone so that he can call a friend to come pick him up since he doesn’t have money for the taxi back (another murky part of the story). She goes to get her cell phone, and makes a HUGE mistake: she leaves the hotel room door open.

He enters her room, closes and LOCKS the door behind himself. When she comes back, she tells him to leave, again. Instead, he kisses her. Then she asks him to leave, again. Instead, he pushes her on the bed and says that she “straddled him” and was “much stronger than him” (justification#7). Still, she asks him to leave, again.

He said that he then took it to the next “level” WHILE SHE WAS ASKING HIM TO LEAVE. He fingered her violently (he shows that with a hand gesture – at this point everyone is the audience is booing and the performers are basically asking him to shut up, but he keeps talking). SHE ASKS HIM TO LEAVE. He tells her that he won’t until he gets some. I think that at that moment, she understood that she was going to be raped. She asks him if he has a condom (justification#8) and he says “of course” puts on the condom and rapes her.

He finished his story by saying “we didn’t do anything fancy; she just basically lied there and let me do my business.”

Um, yeah. That would be an actual sexual assault. There is video of the “monologue” available at Stephanie Streisand’s Tumblr (at 38:00), but Jezebel has cut to the chase on their page. What you’ll see is a guy who seems oblivious to the fact that he forced himself on someone and actually thinks it’s funny. You’ll also see not only the audience leaving his side, but the performers.

This is where Halle Kiefer’s perspective comes in. After touching on the fine line between comedy that is offensive and stories that are, at the very least, troubling, she discusses that when comedians have no idea that they’re saying things that could disturb someone else — the way this guy Eric was basically bragging about how he coerced an “old, drunk girl” into having sex with him despite all her rejections — it creates not just an unfunny situation, but a window into a truly horrifying person who has no clue that he’s done something wrong and that he thinks it’s hilarious. (And worth seeing acted out onstage.) However, she made a point to talk about the performers, who — if you watched the video — were visibly uncomfortable once Eric made it clear that he was forcing himself on this woman.

As for how the performers handled it…well, I wish for a million reasons that there would have been at least one woman on that stage. Not that a female performer would have stepped to the front of the stage and declared, “This is not right!,” nor should she have to bear the burden of that expectation, considering male performers are more than welcome to call out bullshit when they see it, and do. No, the reason female performers were needed in that show, and in every show, and in every avenue and aspect in life really, is that when the audience started booing the monologist, the storyteller turned around with a look of pure bafflement, as if he didn’t understand why an auditorium of hundreds of strangers didn’t like his hilarious story. He didn’t understand why we didn’t get the joke.

I think Matt Besser and Ian Roberts, the original UCB members performing that night, handled it as best they could, given the massive audience and extremely public venue. I also think they assumed, as some did, that the story would have a twist, a hilarious revelation that nullified the intense creepiness of the first, oh, I don’t know, 500 minutes of it. If they thought that, it is because they are comedians who expected a comedic story with jokes in it. Besser went on to specifically call out the monologue as being about rape multiple times, while Roberts tagged into a scene about suicide to say, with horror, that the story wasn’t the hilarious anecdote the teller thought it was. Each mention was met with applause because, yes, of course, exactly, right. Personally, I would have shut that shit down as soon as the teller got inside that woman’s hotel room. That, however, is just me, and excluding that option, the performers’ treatment of it was dead-on.

And the aftermath: Jezebel was in touch with another Tumblr user who identified the “comedian” on Facebook. Unsurprisingly, he has deleted his account. However, Second City, where the guy said he worked, has responded by looking into the incident and contacting the authorities.

So, there’s rape jokes and there’s this guy’s “rape joke.” Here’s the difference between the two: this guy actually raped someone, and the person in the “joke” with whom we’re supposed to side is the rapist. And that is what makes this beyond uncomfortable, beyond disturbing, and beyond disgusting. Comedy is allowed to be offensive. But this wasn’t comedy. This was a rapist. I even have trouble with anyone who is calling this “pseudo-rape,” because this woman seems to have made it clear several times that she had no interest in having sex with this guy, and he insisted on “taking it to the next level,” and actually followed through with it until he was having sex with her.

Gross. Gross, gross, gross. Click here for a picture of an adorable puppy.

(Jezebel, Splitsider, Stephanie Streisand, and Poupak’s Parisian Life in New York)

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  • Anonymous

    As a humor writer, I do not and cannot condone rape jokes – however, his wasn’t a joke, it was a confession.  This is rape culture.  A culture in which so many think it’s funny to mock a horrific crime and then get upset when the victims don’t laugh along.  A culture in which a self-entitled asshole doesn’t feel he has to acknowledge he did anything wrong.  And a culture in which a million other “nice” guys will hear this story and make excuse after excuse (drunk/ she let him in/ she was asking for it/ the condom/ and on and on) about why this poor guy is being “railroaded.”  I’m very happy to read here that someone has finally contacted the authorities.  I hope that maybe even one person will learn something from this disgusting tale and maybe dial back the rape culture one tiny iota. 

    It’s 10am Pacific and I need a drink.

  • Anonymous

    This slightly reminds me of a game of “Never Have I Ever” I played recently.  Typically the “Never have I ever”s are meant to be embarrassing so every one can have a good laugh at the people who have.  In this game someone said “Never have I ever been raped”.  I, who typically loves a good joke at someone’s expense, basically went on a rampage.

    But hey, some people say tomato, I say rape culture.

  • http://twitter.com/optimiss optimiss

    I think your statement that “this guy confessed a rape” is a leap in logic unjustified by the content of the story.  The guy was obviously trying to be entertaining, as evidenced by his choice of phrasing throughout the monologue which was most likely hyperbolic in nature. It is hard to say what was the truth and what was theatrical embellishment. Based on the story he told, at best this was the tale of a regretful woman who willingly settled for a bronze medal finish, at worst it is a despicable act of coercion that most likely left the woman feeling violated.  My point is that it is impossible to tell which is true from the story and it seems irresponsible reporting to editorialize as if it is an open-shut case.  Once again, rather than a thoughtful feminist, Mary Sue comes across as an close-minded bitch with an agenda.

  • Ms. Sunlight

    Optimiss, he confessed rape.  Weren’t you listening?  Whether the story is true or not – whether he is a rapist or not – is a separate question, but what he confessed to was forcing and coercing a woman to have sex with him even though she repeatedly told him she did not want to and asked him to leave.  His words from his mouth, no leap in logic involved.

    In addition, given his words and given no reason to disbelieve them (even if he was telling the story in a particular way for comic effect) it’s not a leap in logic to say he may well actually be a rapist.  After hearing that, I wouldn’t want to be alone with him, put it that way.

  • Francesca M

    WOW. Seriously. WOW. I’m just.. wow. That poor woman. WOW. Wow.

  • http://twitter.com/HeadacheSlayer The Crafty Angel

    What I want to know is WHY did no one call the police while the guy was still there? The video runs for another hour?? Did he leave?

    Everyone can sit around and shake their heads but I say SHAME on every single person in there for not doing the right thing and calling the cops right THEN as he was telling that horrible “joke”.

  • http://twitter.com/optimiss optimiss

    You are right, it is perfectly acceptable to say he “MAY” be a rapist.  The article says he “IS” a rapist. Big difference. Libellous in fact.

    I did not hear him confess rape. I heard him say he urged her to have sex with him and she reluctantly agreed.  He may be lying.  She may have protested completely.  But I (and you) have no idea either way. Just bad reporting IMO. Why do so many people seem to want this to be a case of rape?  Seems sick to me.

  • http://twitter.com/Sarah_Nicolas Sarah Nicolas

    This is just horrifying. Even if the story isn’t true, things like this (as well as false accusations) serve to remove the impact of sexual assault in the public’s eye. Yeah, yeah, it’s a big ole joke  – until it happens to you or your sister.

    Thanks for the puppy to soften the blow.

  • Rommy Driks

    Optimiss, the instructions were to tell a real life story to inspire the improv artists to perform a scene,so YES he intended that his story be taken as a real event in his life. How much clearer does it need to be for you?

  • Anonymous

    Hellooo? Comedy show. Hyperbolic or not, the story was NOT funny, no matter how you spin it. I suppose by your lights, we could at least convict the man of being wildly inappropriate.

  • http://www.thechildhealthsite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1 Edcedc8

    indeed, I’m pretty sure Wai Sing, a comedian who once said “The Japanese are the ones who buy the used underwear. I’m Chinese; we sell them.” wasn’t serious.
    this isn’t rape culture, this is autism culture: people can’t tell when someone is serious, like people who seem to think jim carrey is really stalking emma stone.

  • Anonymous

    If he’s not lying or making the story up out of whole cloth, he’s admitting to coercing someone into sexual activity. She told him no several times, and didn’t give enthusiastic consent to any sexual activity (first clue being that she told him he couldn’t come in her hotel room). That’s rape. If the lack of consent isn’t rape, what is it? 

    If he *is* making it up, he’s disgusting as well. 

  • http://twitter.com/smoke_tetsu Smoke Tetsu

    Does anyone really believe details such as her pinning him down saying he had to leave and that she was supposedly stronger than him and such. For all we know he was saying that backwards and he had her pinned down and she was begging him to leave.

  • http://twitter.com/smoke_tetsu Smoke Tetsu

    Does anyone really believe details such as her pinning him down saying he had to leave and that she was supposedly stronger than him and such. For all we know he was saying that backwards and he had her pinned down and she was begging him to leave.

  • Anonymous

    > I heard him say he urged her to have sex with him and she reluctantly agreed

    This is rape. Just as if a gunman tells a clerk “empty the cash register” and the clerk “reluctantly agrees” it’s armed robbery. The fact the clerk complied under duress doesn’t make the robber’s actions any less criminal. This woman didn’t agree to have sex with this man. This man locked her in her room, pinned her to the bed, and shoved his fingers in her vagina in a violent manner. She complied with a criminal’s request out of a desire to avoid further violence. She didn’t agree to have sex. Why is this so hard for people to wrap their heads around?

  • Anonymous

    > I heard him say he urged her to have sex with him and she reluctantly agreed

    This is rape. Just as if a gunman tells a clerk “empty the cash register” and the clerk “reluctantly agrees” it’s armed robbery. The fact the clerk complied under duress doesn’t make the robber’s actions any less criminal. This woman didn’t agree to have sex with this man. This man locked her in her room, pinned her to the bed, and shoved his fingers in her vagina in a violent manner. She complied with a criminal’s request out of a desire to avoid further violence. She didn’t agree to have sex. Why is this so hard for people to wrap their heads around?

  • http://twitter.com/smoke_tetsu Smoke Tetsu

    Does anyone really believe details such as her pinning him down saying he had to leave and that she was supposedly stronger than him and such. For all we know he was saying that backwards and he had her pinned down and she was begging him to leave. She was probably frightened for her life.

    I was disturbed by this to be honest it wasn’t the least bit funny or sexy. Even if he where making it up.

  • http://twitter.com/smoke_tetsu Smoke Tetsu

    Does anyone really believe details such as her pinning him down saying he had to leave and that she was supposedly stronger than him and such. For all we know he was saying that backwards and he had her pinned down and she was begging him to leave. She was probably frightened for her life.

    I was disturbed by this to be honest it wasn’t the least bit funny or sexy. Even if he where making it up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kristin-Frederickson/852880113 Kristin Frederickson

    What kind of disconnect can occur in a person’s brain that not only causes them to do that, but then to recount the story to a room full of people without an ounce of shame? I’m glad I wasn’t there, I would have puked in the aisles.

  • http://twitter.com/optimiss optimiss

    Your metaphor is erroneous. Going by the story, she held him down. He had no weapon. She was larger and stronger than him. I love how you blatantly REVERSE the details of the story to suit your argument.

  • http://twitter.com/optimiss optimiss

    The audience sure thought it was funny through most of it.

  • http://twitter.com/optimiss optimiss

    I never said I think the story is fake.  Every story ever told has been skewed by the biases of the person telling it.  ESPECIALLY when that person is telling a story for comedic value, which he obviously was.

  • http://twitter.com/optimiss optimiss

    Yeah, I agree.  That audience was obviously in a laughing mood from all the good comedy that night. Plus the beginning of his tale was quite humorous I have to admit, even if the tone by the end wasn’t.  

    Yes, for all we know he told the story backwards.  For all we know she raped him. FOR ALL WE KNOW!!!  Thanks for proving my point.

  • http://twitter.com/optimiss optimiss

    “For all we know.”  My point exactly.

  • http://twitter.com/optimiss optimiss

    “For all we know.”  My point exactly.

  • http://twitter.com/optimiss optimiss

    Realistically this could be role play of dominance and submission. It could be rape fantasy.  It could be the figment of a sick overactive imagination.  It could be a poor attempt at comedy.  There are so many possibilities. 

    He said that she did consent.  You are free to choose to believe that he is lying, but I think that says more about you than him

  • http://twitter.com/optimiss optimiss

    You are referring to the literal web? From TechCrunch: 

    “Someone says something funny, albeit in an ironic or sarcastic way. A percentage of the masses think the joke is great. Another percentage get it but don’t think it’s funny. The rest take the statements absolutely literally and go nuts. Hilarity ensues”

  • Ms. Sunlight

    “The audience” is not a single being with only one opinion.  At least one person who was present has posted on the internet about how uncomfortable it made her.

    http://splitsider.com/2011/08/one-night-at-asssscat-or-what-to-do-with-a-date-rape-monologue

    I don’t know why you’re so invested in defending this guy.  All the hypothetical situations that you have come up with might be true – that it was a fantasy or a roleplay or whatever – but taken at face value it’s a man telling a story about how he sexually coerced a woman.  In this story, he repeatedly refuses to heed her requests that he leave and stop what he is doing.  This is a story he says he tells to his friends, a story he is presenting as truth or at least something close to the truth.  His words.  Do you know something that the rest of us who watched the video don’t?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hannah-Capricious/1046982538 Hannah Capricious

    Ugh. This is. Ugh.

    Wonder what the guy’s verdict will be. After all, it’s not everyday that you get a case where the perpetrator of the crime openly and shamelessly confesses in front of a huge live audience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000132443742 Eric Bazilio

    So, any updates on the whole reporting to authorities?

  • Anonymous

    Blatantly reverse? Did you catch his body language as he mumbled that she pinned him down? Did you notice he only added that after the male judges made it clear they suspected a crime was being committed? Kind of like how a perp will suddenly change their story to make it appear more innocent if it looks like their interrogator isn’t buying that it was all a misunderstanding?

    I know it’s really scary to think this guy is a rapist. It’s easier to think this was all just a comedy act or bdsm or what have you. I get that making excuses for him might help people feel safer at night, might keep them from getting sick with worry that this could happen to them, or their sister, daughter, or mother. But making excuses for rapists doesn’t help the victims and it doesn’t help the justice system get rapists off the street and it certianly doesn’t teach boys and young men to respect their sexual partners. One of the first steps to lowering the number of rapes committed is to quit sticking up for rapists. That’s something we can all do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742530231 Amanda Jean Carroll

    Here’s the deal. 
    Rape: very bad. 
    Potentially confessing to rape in front of an audience: very dumb. 
    A legitimate news source reporting something that isn’t verified as though it were fact: poor, irresponsible reporting that instantly loses large amounts of credibility. 
    A nerd-news blog reporting something that isn’t verified as though it were fact: lazy and frustrating. 

    Assuming that you know everything about a situation because you watched a video on the internet no matter what the video is of: really, really dumb. 

    We DO NOT know what happened. We must resist the temptation to make assumptions and snap judgements. We can’t go running around with torches and pitchforks just because we assume that we know or understand or have the ability to judge a situation or person. That kind of behavior is incredibly dangerous. 

    I would never say that I trust the American legal system. But I do believe that EVERY person has the right to be considered innocent until they are proven guilty, no matter how guilty they may appear.

     The mob can’t be judge and jury. Ever. 

  • Anonymous

    Dear Optimiss,

    Okay, so everyone here is trying to make you realize you are wrong. But you’re obviously not having it! You know better than the bitchy writers of Mary Sue!

    But guess what? You’re wrong. I know it’s the internet and blah blah justification and evidence and bullshit. But it’s also the internet and I’ve only been able to convince people on the internet a couple times. And you’re apparently smarter than all of us, so I won’t try.

    But may I make a suggestion? Go and talk about this to some friends that you know in real life. Talk with some people–people you know well and people who you don’t know as well. See how the conversation goes. If you find yourself justified by all your friends, including the female friends, then keep doing what you’re doing! I mean, if you’re surrounded by a bunch of friends who all think like you then you must be a wonderful person.

  • Anonymous

    Regardless of whether we can prove this happened or not (I highly doubt we Mary-Sue commenters were there when it went down and that’s really not the point), the fact remains that he told a story – real, fictional or a motherfucking Powerpoint – about *MAYBE* having consensual sex with a stranger. NOTHING IS FUCKING FUNNY ABOUT MAYBE HAVING CONSENSUAL SEX WITH SOMEONE. Nothing. If you were cornered by a stranger trying to MAYBE have consensual sex with you – would you find it funny? I know I wouldn’t. Fuck everybody who thinks this is funny. I guess I’m just gonna have to be offended by the internet because I think this is awful! Go ahead world, brand me a HUMORLESS feminist!!! IDGAF

  • http://twitter.com/Shalliw Shannon Halliwell

    Optimiss, I don’t understand why you defend this mans story and attack The Mary Sue. I guess because you don’t believe this story is true, you think TMS shouldn’t have written an article where they express their disgust for this man and his story. Now maybe I don’t fully understand you, but I did NOT feel that The Mary Sue came off as a “close-minded bitch with an agenda”. 
    The Mary Sue confronted a very difficult topic, where they expressed disgust, not just for the man and the assumption that he committed a crime, but for his use of rape as an acceptable subject for comedy. This was not just about blaming “rape culture” or “men” for this event, but highlighting the very serious problem of ignorance surrounding sexual assault.
    So whether this was a real event retold for humor or a made up story told in a horribly misguided attempt at comedy, this man felt it was appropriate and acceptable use this kind of a story, about a man taking advantage of a woman in an aggressive manner, as a viable form of entertainment. This is a problem. Worse, he doesn’t realize the story he is telling is a story of rape. That is a problem. So, true or not, his acceptance of this situation as “O.K.”  let a lone “Comical”, is a huge problem. 

    “And that is what makes this beyond uncomfortable, beyond disturbing, and beyond disgusting.” 
    Also addressing your comment ”He had no weapon” Their doesn’t have to be a gun or a knife to fear that someone might kill you or seriously hurt you. One of the most common ways in which men attack women is strangulation. For that you only need your hands. Also, If at any point someone feels their life is in danger (such as being locked in a room with an uninvited stranger) they are under duress. Which makes any sexual advancements in the situation harassment or sexual assault. You will see a similar kind of situation in work-place sexual harassment. If an employee feels that their job is threatened if they do agree or comply with sexual advances made by a fellow employee or boss, that is sexual harassment. Honestly Optimiss, I’m just confused as to why you reacted so angrily against TMS. Yes, since we cannot yet prove that any of his story was true, we cannot call this man a rapist. But that does not mean we cannot express our opinions when it comes to ignorance of sexual assault and rape as humor. That rape could ever be used as the subject of a joke, is deplorable and horrifying. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/1shewolf JoAnna Luffman

    We can all agree this guy was not funny.

    The thing is, while his story is horrifying, he may or may not have done what he described. It is wrong to assume because he thought this was funny that he must be a rapist. 

    I’m not going to do a long wall of text discussing why he may have been amused, or why he’s skeevy. I am disappointed with the number of folks here that have decided he must have done what he described. 

  • http://www.thechildhealthsite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1 Edcedc8

    she has a differing opinion! get her!

  • Randy Bounder

    I’m not sure anyone here is saying he did it.  What *I’m* saying is that at least he should be arrested so he can go to trial to see if he did it.  And asking your rapist to put a condom on does not make it not rape.  This discussion has already taken place. 

    I’m all for differing opinions, but I think we’re wasting a lot of time here stating the obvious things we all agree on: What he said was despicable and should be investigated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=563223409 Vic Horsham

    You know, we can say that the man isn’t a proven rapist.  Because “we don’t know” whether the story was true or not. Or how much was changed from a true event to fill out the story for comedic value.

    But the story he told was still a story about raping someone.  Whether what he said is true or not? He was asked to tell a funny, true story. And he told the crowd a “funny, true” story about raping a woman.

    Why are we to assume that his “funny, true” story isn’t true?  Why are we to assume that a guy, given the choice to tell a funny story, chooses to invent a false story about him raping someone?

  • Anonymous

    The story, *as he told it* is a description of rape.  His description of her “consent” is her realizing that he was not going to leave until she let him rape her.  Not have consensual sex, but rape her.  She was not, in the story *as he told it*, a willing sexual partner.  She just gave up trying to convince him to leave and wanted it over with.  That’s not fun, mutual sexytimes.  If his version, which is designed to make him sympathetic, is already a rape then what we’re all saying is that the reality can only go downhill. 

  • Anonymous

    So this is the first thread I have read about this incident with a few sane rational people. And I would like to address what I think is the underlying problem. Most of the people commenting are basing their comments and deciding the guilt of this guy based on a description of what was said, and that description IS WRONG! My wife and I have watched the video start to finish 4 times now and it does not play out as described in these posts.  She(according to him) never said “No” or  ”ordered him to leave”(And I understand this is a fine semantic distinction, but an important one), she said ONCE “you really gotta go”(according to him) which people say all the time. He then said “you don’t want me to go” and she said “yes I do”. They then start to make out(according to him), and she says”you’re going to have to go”, and from that point on (according to him) she does not say anything in the negative about him being there other than the fact that she clearly isn’t into him. The original post has her asking him to leave at every turn. The original poster also mis-remembers quite a few important things;according to her he “pushed her on the bed” and “fingered her violently”. Not according to him, which yes, he COULD be lying, but to all you people, he IS lying. The original poster says in her update that even though the video exist she won’t watch it because,”I can almost recite the whole thing by heart and it was disturbing enough the first time)”   That seems cruel and irresponsible when what you are doing is publicly convicting someone of rape. I have seen so many comments saying that people should get together and track this guy down and ruin his life. I’ve seen multiple people saying he should kill himself or hoping he would.        

  • Anonymous

    Also I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that the reason I am posting this at all, is that, my wife(who is a woman) and I watched the video together and at the end both came to the same conclusion-This is a sad story by a socially awkward guy about the time he got pity sex from a woman who set out to have sex at the beginning of the night but had to settle because the guy she wanted didn’t show. WE COULD BE WRONG! But it just seems pretty straight forward. 
    Has no one here ever settled while hoping to have sex? Has no one here ever hoped to have sex? Are we all so suburban as to believe that no woman could ever set out to have sex? Is that an arena only for men?
    This story sounds like a guy who was trying to be self-deprecating when recounting this tale by including the fact that she was obvious that he was not her first choice. Does that mean he has poor judgement? Yes. Does it mean he probably will continue to have trouble having sex? Yes. But does it make him a rapist? Far from it. It makes him like all of us-more awkward than not. 
    But no, I agree, let’s push him to suicide. Let’s destroy his life. Let’s label and deride him to the point of breaking. Because he’s not a human being. He’s a rapist-trust me the internet told me.
    It is ironic that the alleged crime is essentially not treating someone as a human being and instead an object to be used and the majority response is to treat him like he’s not human and instead use him as an object to vent your frustrations and anger about other things.

  • Anonymous

    Much like the original post upsets me by using language like ”fingered her violently” it bothers me that you say things like “such as being locked in a room”. She was(according to him) NOT locked in a room with him. He locked the door. BIG difference. You take his language as an admission of rape. I take it as a description of events. When I enter my apartment and lock the door behind me, I’m not “locked in my apartment. I just locked the door. But your language conjures up images of him twirling his mustache while hiding the door key-her only means of escape!- and progressing with his rape plan.  

    I guess I need you or someone else to explain how this is so definitively rape. Because according to you whether he did it or not it was rape.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously? No one is on this thread any more? I swear I’m not trolling or looking for a fight. This has been eating at me since I saw it the other day. It’s all I can think or talk about. Most of you people are looking for this guys head and I need to hear your evidence. How is everyone SO sure he is a rapist that deserves to be destroyed literally and figuratively? How did I get this so wrong? I am asking legitimately. Please someone explain their point of view on how this was a cut and dry admission of full on rape.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kristin-Frederickson/852880113 Kristin Frederickson

    She may not have been locked in with him, but I sure as hell would interpret locking the door to be a threatening behaviour if someone came into my house/hotel room uninvited. It would also be an extra barrier between her and the world if she decided to run, as she would probably be caught in the extra two seconds it took to undo the lock if he chased her (and if you run you have to be sure you’ll get away. Seeing their victim run makes a criminal panic and would be a great way to skip the “pleasantries” and jump straight into violence.)

    Not to mention the way he describes how he came to lock the door in the first place.
    1) The guy shows up.
    2) The woman asks him to leave.
    3) The guy asks if he can use her phone.
    4) She begrudgingly complies, goes in to get her phone for him, leaving him at the door.
    5) She is in another part of the room, presumably with her back turned to get her phone.
    6) The guy sees the door has been left open, literally thinks “Bingo.”, enters despite the fact he was asked to leave.
    7) He immediately closes and locks the door behind him.

    If he had been asked into the room, closing the door would have made sense. But he was asked to leave, and the woman was just trying to do him a quick favour to get him to leave faster. It’s not really equatable to locking your apartment door when you get home. It was creepy as balls, to put it bluntly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kristin-Frederickson/852880113 Kristin Frederickson

    I find it a little disturbing that you can discount it as rape simply because the woman didn’t phrase her “no” the way you and your wife would have liked. The fact that she asked him to leave after every single move he made should have made it obvious enough, regardless of how forcefully she said it.

    As a shy person, I’m pretty much guaranteed to use weaker language when dealing with people, rather than direct orders. In a situation where I felt I was in danger (such as being trapped in a room alone with a strange, threatening man), I certainly wouldn’t have been able emotionally or intellectually to use strong language that may provoke him further.

    She asked him to leave multiple times, he acknowledges it, and ignores it so he can “take it to the next level”. That should be more than enough to define what happened. Rape.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, for some reason I wasn’t seeing your posts until a minute ago.
    No, it is not the language, it is the intent. And I didn’t hear from that story someone who sounded threatened and was demanding he leave. 
    I was just discussing this with someone else and she brought up the issue of sexual politics insofar as his responsibility and hers in reading the situation and that I feel is a much more sane discussion to be having after watching this video. Rather than what I’ve mostly seen which is- we need to find this monster before he breeds and kill him. It’s all so easy for people in the internet age to anonymously ask for someones head. And as awful as rape is, it’s just as awful to goad someone to suicide based on an assumption.

  • http://www.facebook.com/heidiestrin Heidi Rabinowitz Estrin

    I just want to thank The Mary Sue for being on my wavelength. Ending a story about rape by saying “gross, gross, gross” expresses exactly how I feel after reading it. Offering an image of a cute puppy to cleanse my brain of such offensiveness was also a truly thoughtful touch. I’m not joking, I really did find that helpful.

  • Anonymous

    Haha yes perhaps I was a bit harsh. But honestly I don’t think this is the kind of thing that can be properly discussed over the Internet–and I think she may have a point, but she’s defending it clumsily, to the point that the point becomes indefensible, because she keeps reaching.

  • Ms. Sunlight

    I think you’re kind of selectively ignoring all the people who are trying to discuss this rationally and not screaming “off with his head!”

    There are a lot of us.  Just saying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kristin-Frederickson/852880113 Kristin Frederickson

    Are my posts getting deleted, or can I just not seeing them for some reason?

    Anyway, I certainly never suggested this guy should commit suicide, but telling a story like that does warrant police investigation. I think there’s definitely an obligation to find out who the guy is, who the possible victim was, and how much of the story is/isn’t true.

  • Anonymous

    Depends on your definition of rape. Which, by this thread, ranges from ‘no means no’ to ‘well, she never explicitly said no… so that means yes.’

  • Michelle Scott

    She said NO, repeatedly. He kept going. He fingered her, he had sex with her. And let me repeat SHE SAID NO SEVERAL TIMES BY HIS OWN ADMISSION. That is rape.

    And you, my dear, are a rape apologist.

    I think the only agenda here is to bring to light how these kinds of things are excused by people like you and the douchebros who agree with you. How you’re immediately blaming the victim with your “regretful woman who willingly settled for the bronze medal finish”.  Do you not get that he locked them in her hotel room? That she did not know this man at all, thus had no clue how he may react to her continued resistance? That, AGAIN, she said NO? That he admitted she didn’t want to have sex with him?

    As Lucy said…that is rape culture. It is a culture that by your words you are condoning and excusing.  If that’s not one of the biggest indications of a bad feminist, I’m really not sure what is.

  • Michelle Scott

    Yes, it’s always extremely funny when a bunch of comedy club hanger-ons start making fun of the older drunk woman who’s hitting on one of them and then equally as funny when one of the asshats pays the other to go to her hotel room, uninvited I might add.

    That is truly high comedy, oh yes it is. /sarcasm

  • Anonymous

    The crime /he/ alleges to committing is cornering a woman in her hotel room and coercing her into sex. It is incredibly disturbing to suggest that she was “settling” after he invaded her space and gave her good reasons to be afraid.
    “Hoping to have sex” is not an open invitation. (never ever, absolutely not, no.)
    You might want to have sex with your wife, absolutely no one should feel entitled to access to your body because of that.

    The Mary Sue is not in fact a court of law. Opinions and judgments made here are not legally binding, much less court sentences. The article doesn’t actually comment on what should happen to him, and the focus of the article is not whether or not the author can convict this speaker of a crime, but that he stood up and said that he committed one. A person who thought it acceptable to assault another human being, and then share it as a comical anecdote had problems long before blogs started to talk about it.

    I am strongly opposed to vigilantism and mob action, and this article suggests nothing of the sort.
    Even if the story was a complete fabrication despite the fact he presented it as truthful, this individual took actions that are unquestionably appalling.

  • Anonymous

    When someone says “I did this” and “this” is a crime, that is a confession.
    Coercing someone into sex is rape. That is the definition.

    While you are correct in noting that The Mary Sue is not in a position to decide if his words were truthful, or the scenario he described a factual one, it is very straight forward to say that someone who said “I coerced a woman into sex” has confessed to rape.

  • Anonymous

    It’s true that we can’t ascribe the attitude of the speaker to anyone but him. He is not representative of the audience or any other population.
    At the same time, it is worth discussing how he could possibly feel that saying these things would be acceptable, let alone get him positive attention.

    It is nicer to think that he told this story in front of an audience only because he is a dysfunctional and stupid person, but we also need to consider whether our society has failed to sufficiently reject and condemn these attittudes and behaviors. It clearly wasn’t obvious to him that the scenario he described was criminal and appalling, and here, on a feminist pop-culture blog, there are commenters wanting to debate whether his actions were really really wrong. That should be meaningful to a lot of people.

    I also have to agree that the article errs in declaring that he is, rather than that he is claiming to be a rapist, however this is also not a trial. I didn’t see any calls to vigilante justice or targeting of this individual for harassment, but I do agree that if they’re there they should be corrected and encourage you to point them out.

  • Anonymous

    Comments excusing this, trying to say the facts were twisted or that we “just don’t know, jeez”: that is rape culture, pure and simple. Congrats.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ernesto-Jose-Narvaez-Osorio/100000325861618 Ernesto Jose Narvaez Osorio

    Just stop. theotherjosh, just…stop.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742530231 Amanda Jean Carroll

    This argument would hold more water if the main discussion about this issue was a search for a reason and a solution. What I see, for the most part, are a large number of people either vying for the apparently coveted role of “most disgusted” or lining up to berate optimiss for having a divergent opinion of the situation. 

    To me, the story here is much less about the individual who seems to have somehow failed to absorb the lesson that rape is evil and far from funny (the prominence of rape in porn culture and the near-absence of ethics study in public schools probably share some of the blame) and more about the reaction to it. 

    Here’s a quick overview of what I’m seeing: 

    1.) Lack of interest in truth over assumption and opinion — People assume that they understand this individual and his story, and they feel strongly about it to the point that any other interpretation of the situation is considered “wrong”. 

    2.) Reaction to differing opinions that includes shaming and behavior that could be considered bullying. 

    I believe that this is unjust behavior that deserves analysis. 

    As for your encouragement that I point out any calls to vigilante justice, etc., it is my feeling, firstly, that the judgement of this person without the presentation of fact could be considered harassment. Furthermore, I also don’t believe that, even if there had been calls for justice or targeting, that the people doing so should be “corrected”. I have stated my opinions on the matter at hand: differing opinions are welcome, no matter how extreme they may be or how wrong I may believe they are. I have no interest in the homogenizing effects of culture and society — I try to ignore them when possible, and have no problem with others doing the same. 

    In short, I feel that jumping to conclusions is both foolish and dangerous, and that judging a person based on those conclusions is even worse. With this in mind, we don’t know much about this situation and should, perhaps, consider discussing those elements which don’t assume guilt. That’s what I am choosing to do by discussing the reaction more heavily than the initial incident. 

  • http://brownbetty.dreamwidth.org/ Betty

     Oh, ableism, brilliant.  My respect for your opinion on rape has sure increased now.

  • http://brownbetty.dreamwidth.org/ Betty

     Sure, we do not know what happened, but it’s not inaccurate to report that he confessed to rape.  He was instructed to tell a real life story, then he stood up, and described a scenario in which he had sex with a woman who refused consent.

    Maybe that didn’t happen.  Maybe he told that story because he thought it was funny, or he thought it made him look cool.  I can confess to murdering Napoleon Bonaparte, doesn’t mean it’s true.  It’s unlikely, given that Napoleon died in 1821, and you might doubt anyone on the internet is that old.

    However, it does mean The Mary Sue can truthfully report I made that confession, even if, given the facts, it would be irresponsible of them to do so without noting it’s whoppingly unlikely.

    On the other hand, we know rape happens.  It happens a lot.  And rape is perpetrated by aliens, or monsters, it’s perpetrated by people who, for the most part, can seem trustworthy enough to get through people’s defences.

    So, yeah, we don’t know he’s a rapist.  We do know he doesn’t know what consensual sex is, though, so frankly, there’s really no guarantee he isn’t.

  • http://brownbetty.dreamwidth.org/ Betty

    Where are you from?  Is it a place where the punishment for rape is literal or figurative destruction?  Is it a place where everyone who has charges for rape brought against them is immediately loaded into an incinerator?

    As for ‘is he a rapist?,’ to me, the point is that he didn’t see any reason why he should make sure he wasn’t.  If someone who you are about to have sex with says “You gotta leave,” in the interests of NOT BEING A RAPIST, it is a good idea to leave.

    Maybe when she said “You gotta leave” she meant “Ooh, this sex is naughty, and turning me on,” but you know what?  Not raping people is kinda important, so unless you’ve pre-arranged signals, the old stand-by is “yes means yes, and no means no.”

  • Anonymous

    Harassment is something that is directed at someone personally, hurts them, puts them in harms way or makes them feel unsafe. I agree, and I think The Mary Sue agrees that those behaviors should not be happening, and again, I encourage you to point out any instances of that kind of behavior. Just saying that bullying is happening is not substantive or helpful to the discussion. Telling a person that they are wrong is not bullying.

    Decrying a person’s actions is not harassment.
    In fact, repeatedly and publicly rejecting these attitudes and behaviors is the solution to this problem.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_52IHJ62NWT5NRFJSIWXMJEYXBE norman h

    No wonder you idiots are so easy for politicians to manipulate. I know this kid and have worked in this buisness for a very long time. He story was amazingly creepy and sad in the end, and HE WAS LYING!!!! You dopes went to an improv show and believed a improvised monolouge?!!! Burn witches much? You morons litterally bypass all logic to get to the false drama you’d love to have in you pathetic lives. Please string me up for the 10,000 failed scenes I’ve directed that certainly were very offencive until they were fixed or disgarded. This kid has commited the crime of being wildly untalented and inexperienced. Thank goodness you’ve hung him. Feel proud.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742530231 Amanda Jean Carroll

    Assuming, without concrete evidence, that a person is a rapist is harmful to that person, and the statement that the person in question “is a rapist” is undeniably personal. The harassment I was referring to was that of the man in the clip. 

    Perhaps I should not have implied that the reaction to those who have different opinions of the situation (citing the fact that the man explicitly said he did rape the woman in his story as evidence that this may not have been the cut-and-dried confession some have interpreted it as) may have been (or may have felt) bullied. I was referring in particular to Optimiss, who received a fairly large number of less than polite replies to her statements. I suppose this was less bullying than societal shunning, a concept I personally consider sad. “Telling a person that they are wrong” is a concept that applies to subjects of concrete correctness — the answer to a math problem, say — but not to a matter of judgement or ethics — whether or not theft is wrong, for example. Different people have different opinions, and while disagreement is natural and encouraged, the statement that any person’s answer could be “wrong” is misguided. 

    Your feeling that “repeatedly and publicly rejecting these attitudes and behaviors is the solution to this problem” is one I am sure many people would agree with. I personally am opposed to using societal pressure to guide the ethics of others because I believe that difference is good, homogeny dangerous, and that morality should be first and foremost a matter of personal choice. 
    Just so I know I’m being completely clear, that does NOT mean that rape is okay — any action that goes against the rights of another individual is wrong (and, though I shouldn’t have to say this, I obviously believe rape to be horrible). 

    But I do believe that everyone should be allowed to think whatever they want and say whatever they want without formal censure. 

    So, I suppose I am led to the idea that perhaps I never should have bothered saying anything in the first place. 

    But on the other hand, judgement based on assumption alarms me, no matter what the situation. 

    Regardless, I feel I have said all I can about this situation. 

    Well, maybe just “hooray! We have different opinions!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742530231 Amanda Jean Carroll

    If you reread, you will find the phrase “this guy actually raped someone” in the last paragraph, in which he is also called “a rapist”. That goes beyond reporting a confession to making an assumption. 
    I totally get that the situation seems cut-and-dried, but it’s impossible to know what really happened. We can’t know that he wasn’t just a terrible, terrible storyteller, or that he wasn’t exaggerating because he was used to getting laughs from his idiot friends, or that he wasn’t leaving out really important information. That’s why the leap from “arguably confessed to rape” (I say arguably because while what he describes IS rape, he also states that he didn’t rape her), to “rapist” is one that I consider dangerous. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742530231 Amanda Jean Carroll

    And assuming someone is guilty without concrete factual basis is what, exactly? 

  • Anonymous

    Completely not relevant to this discussion?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742530231 Amanda Jean Carroll

    Okay. Perhaps I misinterpreted your comment, in which case I apologize.  I can say, with absolute certainty, that everything I have said has been in an effort to point out that this situation involves no clear-cut evidence and may have been subjected to misinterpretation by multiple parties. There are very few facts to twist — all we have is a story, told by someone who is trying to be funny. That it was supposed to be true doesn’t mean it was — that it was told a certain way doesn’t mean it tells exactly what happened. This kind of “confession” doesn’t constitute concrete evidence, though it may invite further investigation. 
    That’s not rape culture, and it’s not pure and simple. It’s an uncomfortable, messy search for truth, regardless of assumptions. 

  • http://www.thechildhealthsite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1 Edcedc8

    oh, [incorrectly] labeling and categorizing other people, you’re intelligent. My respect for your opinion on *anything* remains unchanged.

  • Anonymous

    If you walk into a broom closet, and lock the door behind you, you are locked in the broom closet…until you unlock the door. You’re using a poor semantic example to draw attention away from the argument. This is not a Schroedinger’s Cat phenomenon where no one can tell if you’re locked in your apartment until you unlock the door. Generally, a lock is binary, has two functions “locked” and “unlocked”. Certainly you are able and capable of unlocking the door, but that is not always the case. So yes, with the door locked, she was locked in the room. Whatever the situation, her inability to escape, or the implied desire to escape notwithstanding, she was locked in a room with a man, who, by his own admission, was intent on assaulting her with the personal opinion that because she had been drunk and gave out her information to one person, it entitled him to take advantage of what she had been offering to someone else. No one but him and the woman know what happened behind that locked door – but trivializing the potentially criminal and definitely horrifying implications because you think they were playing a funny game of keep-away is irresponsible and disturbing.

  • Anonymous

    Someone says “tell me a true story” and you say “I killed a man and buried him in my back yard, right over there, actually”. There’s a moment where your audience says “wow, he killed a guy! And buried him in his back yard! Right over there!” This is not a game of “two truths and a lie” where your audience thinks, potentially, you could be a giant fibber. Sure, blame everyone for believing a story in a situation where the man in question was asked for a true story and then told a pretty horrifying story which paints him as a rapist. If it wasn’t true, it was in extremely bad taste to pretend it was for comedic value in a society where women (and some men, admittedly) are blamed for their own assults because they “asked for it” by dressing provacatively, being intoxicated, or giving out their phone numbers and not kneeing their assailants in the family jewels and running away. This is not false drama, this is one more example we’re putting to our society of why rapists get away with it: because he’s not the only one who thought his story was funny, and there’s an underlying issue to be discussed, whether he committed the crime or was just being wildly inappropriate.

    Your use of diminutive language to assert yourself does not give creedence to your argument.

  • http://www.commonplacebook.com electrasteph

    I’ll guarantee I would have been on the phone, and making sure the guy didn’t leave before the cops arrived.

  • http://www.commonplacebook.com electrasteph

    “We DO NOT know what happened” – Oh, but we can find out. And we have an obligation to do just that. If they can track the guy, they can track the woman, too. It sounds like people are already on the case. I hope they keep it up.

  • http://twitter.com/barahlin Bára

    You realise, I am sure, that coercing someone who does not want to have sex with you into having sex is rape. In fact, having sex with someone who has not expressly given consent is rape. And that at no point does the man indicate that the woman said she wanted to have sex with him. The supposedly “funny” part of the story is that it is a story about a guy who manages to have sex with someone who doesn’t want to have sex with him. The only way it is funny is if you think rape is funny.

    You only have to say no once. You don’t even have to say no, if it is clear you don’t want to. And after someone barges into your room, ignores your pleas for them to leave, forcibly fingers you while you tell them no and then has intercourse with you despite all of the above, that is a rape. Telling someone to leave and saying no means it is nonconsensual. At no point does the man indicate that this was part of an agreed-upon power play. At no point does he indicate she wants to have sex with him. Pleading with a rapist that he use contraception so she will not also risk pregnancy and STDs is in fact the most heartbreaking point of this story, the point where no matter how much she argues, she realises he just won’t stop. From the only available testimony, his own, this man claims this is a true story. It is a horrifying story. It is rape.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, as he told it, after he repeatedly pushed through her boundaries and refused to head her requests for him to leave, she said (direct quote from his narrative) “Do you *at least* have a condom?” That is not consent, it’s accepting the inevitability rape – he was not leaving until he got what he wanted – and asking a concession from her rapist so that her risk of sexually transmitted disease was reduced. It was a harm minimization strategy, and one that allowed her to avoid a more violent rape.

  • Anonymous

    She did not consent. ever. she took off her pants after being coerced and asked if he “at least [had] a condom” there was never verbal consent. you’re injecting it in contrast to the several verbal noes and attempts to get him to leave. then there’s the parts where she did things voluntarily: that doesn’t fit ANY rape fantasy narrative; it fits MANY REAL VICTIM ACCOUNTS. occam’s razor, please.

  • Anonymous

    this is not a reversal. it is the converse. you need to read real rape accounts or learn them. this actual normal victim behavior. and as per the analogy:  presence of a weapon is not something MOST victims test for during a crime. you are very very incorrect. it sounds like your idea of rape comes from tv.

  • Anonymous

    right: it’s not even a “good” story if the point of the story is not that he “won” something “in spite of all odds”.

  • Anonymous

    @sneezey:disqus bingo: the only real argument she has is libel. and it doesn’t belong here.

    and even if it is libel, that doesn’t make the story any less a confession, so still a bad argument.

  • Anonymous

    BINGO.

  • Is foiekaj

    “”Telling a person that they are wrong” is a concept that applies to
    subjects of concrete correctness — the answer to a math problem, say –
    but not to a matter of judgement or ethics — whether or not theft is
    wrong, for example. Different people have different opinions, and while
    disagreement is natural and encouraged, the statement that any person’s
    answer could be “wrong” is misguided. ”

    This is the most progressive philosophy I’ve ever seen expressed in an online forum – a statement that should carry more weight in the context of my venturing through and rummaging in a multitude of blogs populated with self-proclaimed “progressives” for quite some time.

    “I personally am opposed to using societal pressure to guide the ethics
    of others because I believe that difference is good, homogeny dangerous,
    and that morality should be first and foremost a matter of personal
    choice. ”

    As noble as that position is, morality is one of the biggest obstacles to true understanding (if ever achievable). Moral pressure is one of the most powerful societal influences suffocating open-minded venture that has plagued civilization since its birth. The concept of an absolute truth in the form of righteousness should have no place in any discussion because it perpetuates preconceived notions of relevance in intellectual endeavour, ie close-mindedness.

    Even in the field of mathematics everything is only entirely sound in theory. We deem it to be truthful only because it appears correct in all practical application, but our understanding of the physical space around us is so limited at this point that any evidence to suggest an uncovered truth should be taken with a grain of salt.

    If websites like this one want to claim the title of progress, they need to priorities a culture of open-mindedness on all accounts, not just when they deem it convenient to do so. A good first step would be to stop calling posters out for being “wrong” when they dare question the legitimacy of an accusation, even if one considers the alleged crime to be unforgivable.

    Going into auto-pilot when someone mentions the word rape and gives a name to smack around with it by expressing disgust and antagonising whoever has that name attached to them is not progress. The above “editorial” reeks of obligation to attack, and it seems like there are all too many ready and willing to take the bait.