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GQ hired a woman to attend A Voice for Men's conference last year in hopes she'd be raped, creepy AVFMer charges

Sage Gerard: Totallly not a creep
Sage Gerard: Totally not a creep

In his must-read GQ story on A Voice for Men’s conference last summer, Jeff Sharlet detailed an unsettling encounter between his friend Blair and AVFM’s “collegiate activism director” Sage Gerard, who, Blair told Sharlet, crudely propositioned her and gave her “the most unconsensual hug I have ever known.” (I wrote about it here.)

Now Gerard has offered a rebuttal of sorts to Sharlet’s article and, well, it’s nearly as creepy as the incident itself. Gerard admits that he was indeed flirting with her and that, yes, “[m]y talking to her included a reassuring knee pat and a hug.”

He also claims that Blair was literally hired by GQ in order to flirt with men at the conference and lure one or more of them into raping her.

Gerard starts off by declaring, with no evidence whatsoever, that Blair was a “plant hired specifically to flirt with men and get GQ a story.”

Then his accusations get even uglier:

Blair’s job was to get raped.

Jeff [Sharlet] wanted that to happen, not MHRAs [Men’s Human Rights Activists]. Blair would play Seven Minutes in Heaven if it got Jeff a rape story. She was there to confirm a presumption that MHRAs, MGTOWs or other red-pill folk are incapable of self-control and are ready to rape at a moment’s notice.

Happily for Gerard, he writes, he was able to see through this subterfuge in time, I guess, to keep from raping her.

Unfortunately for Jeff, I have an ability to detect manipulation, and I do not think with my dick. He calibrated his bear trap to clamp shut on a hug-trigger, which meant he could try to make me look like a pervert even with totally appropriate physical contact. Since he was obviously desperate to catch prey, his trap misfired and merely ripped my jeans without biting me to a standstill. Having narrowly evaded pseudo-journalistic “capture,” I can easily show you that Blair was, indeed, a trap.

He then proceeds to “show us” absolutely nothing  that backs up this accusation. After briefly describing his conversation with Blair, which (aside from the “reassuring knee pat” and unconsensual hug) dealt with a friend of Blair’s who claims he’s been falsely accused of rape, he wrote.

I never intend to sleep with strangers, but Jeff framed this interaction as me using Blair’s pain as an excuse to eat her out.

I have no idea where that last bit came from either.

He follows this with a bunch of rape jokes I won’t bother to quote.

I’m not quite sure how Gerard expects that writing this creepy-as-hell post will somehow make him seem like less of a creep.

 

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LBT
LBT
5 years ago

Wow, that is a TORTURED metaphor. It sounds like someone describing a D&D scenario rather than, you know, real life.

The idea that innocent women ‘lure’ men into raping them is just so impressively absurd that I can’t even take it on. It’s like someone who’s absolutely determined to believe that murder victims lure their murderers into doing it for the sake of sympathy. Like, it’s so wrong, you can’t even start to take it on, because the premise is so ridiculous there’s nothing to get a hold on.

davidknewton
davidknewton
5 years ago

“He calibrated his bear trap to clamp shut on a hug-trigger”

This isn’t a sentence. It’s a string of crudely nailed-together words.

sparky
sparky
5 years ago

Apropos of nothing, the turd polishing bit is one of my favorites from Mythbusters.

alaisvex
alaisvex
5 years ago

More turds from Sage Gerard.

I happily blame the victim here. If people are feeling down, they’re just askin’ fer a hug. You hear me, world? I’m going to hug and love the shit out of you!

So, people aren’t allowed to express emotions without having a stranger invade their personal boundaries?

Honestly, if me hugging someone is the worst thing Jeff and Blair could spin, then that shows how little dirt on me they had to begin with. Think about it: this is a news article where the author presents the opinion of his own friend as fact.

If it was Blair’s opinion that the hug that Sage gave her was unwanted, then it was unwanted. Only Blair can know whether or not she wanted the hug. In a sense, yes, it was her opinion that she didn’t want it, but seeing as she is the only person who can judge what her wants were, then her opinion on whether or not she wanted to be hugged proves the fact that the hug was unwanted.

LBT
LBT
5 years ago

RE: alaisvex

UGH! NO DO NOT WANT. D:

When I feel bad, a hug is usually the LAST thing I want. (Unless you’re my husband. He gets a pass.) It’s hard for me to hug even my other system members, often, which is shameful but still. DO NOT HUG ME without my permission.

Times like this, I wish I was an X-men who could grow spikes or something.

alaisvex
alaisvex
5 years ago

@LBT,

RIGHT! Sometimes, when you’re upset, being touched is the last thing that you want, unless maybe it’s coming from someone who’s already intimately close to you. You’re definitely not the only person out there who has those kinds of reservations when you’re sad, which is why people like Sage Gerard need to observe proper personal boundaries.

KSRay
KSRay
5 years ago

“Honestly, if me hugging someone is the worst thing Jeff and Blair could spin, then that shows how little dirt on me they had to begin with.”

Um, how much more dirt do you really need besides “he pressed his body against somebody else’s without her consent”? He even admits to doing it. That’s frelling creepy.

LBT
LBT
5 years ago

Yeah! Like, I’ve had touchy-feely friends hug me, not realizing how bad an idea it was. But because they were nice people, they immediately let go of me because they realized how uncomfortable I was! (That or were fine when I put up my hands and said no.)

Seriously. It’s not a big deal for most people, because most people obey no and can see cues. (And if they miss the cues they apologize and don’t do it again when told.)

alaisvex
alaisvex
5 years ago

It’s not a big deal for most people, because most people obey no and can see cues. (And if they miss the cues they apologize and don’t do it again when told.)</blockquote.

I suspect that the types like Sage Gerard can recognize when people don't want to be hugged (at least not by them) but ignore the cues because the Sage Gerards of the world think that everyone, especially women, should be comfortable with being hugged because, ya know, it's such a nice, thoughtful, comforting gesture, and if you don't agree, then you're wrong and need to be hugged anyway so that you can see the light.

alaisvex
alaisvex
5 years ago

No! Blockquote mammoth! Why?

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago

I wish I could find where I read the description of the hug… EVEN IF you weren’t sure whether someone wished to be hugged or not, the situation was not one where a hug was even remotely something anyone would think of.

If I remember correctly, Sage basically pulled her aside, said “I hope you don’t mind me hugging you,” then before she could respond immediately went into a full hug with back stroking. Out of nowhere. While she was being hit on by a bunch of them.

No facade of trying to be comforting about anything or thoughtful towards anything, just “I feel like hugging you now, so I will.” Frikken creepy as all fuck.

Add that context to the AVFMer’s description of her as a super attractive honey pot meant to seduce them into acting creepy, and you start to get a wonderful sense for why Blair described it as “the most nonconsensual hug of my life.”

GrumpyOldMangina
5 years ago

I think it was clearly not a friendly hug. It was a let-me-violate-your-boundaries-and-maybe-you-won’t-object-and-then-I’ll-try-the-next-move-in-the-“seduction” hug.

alaisvex
alaisvex
5 years ago

I think that you’re right, GrumpyOldMangina.

GrumpyOldMangina
5 years ago

I mean, SG is supposed to be there as an important figure in a “human rights” conference. So he meets a young woman who is (1) a journalist (2) accompanied by her boyfriend and (3) a guest of a nationally known journalist — and STILL he puts the moves on her, more or less in public.
Sage Gerard should be the poster boy for thinks-with-the-wrong-head.
But probably he’s pissed off the women at Kennesaw State, so this might have seemed like a rare opportunity for him.

alaisvex
alaisvex
5 years ago

Sage Gerard should be the poster boy for thinks-with-the-wrong-head.

Ah, but that’s where you wrong. As Mr. Gerard has boasted on many an occasion, he can avoid thinking with his dick long enough to refrain from raping a woman, as long as refraining from rape is in his best interests.

/sarcasm

Falconer
5 years ago

@LBT:

Wow, that is a TORTURED metaphor. It sounds like someone describing a D&D scenario rather than, you know, real life.

Hey now, some D&D scenarios aren’t that tortured. “That dragon is sitting on our gold pieces” is perfectly straightforward.

Times like this, I wish I was an X-men who could grow spikes or something.

With your luck, you’d end up as Marrow. (Content note for some body horror.)

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

I’m not trying to give you a hard time GOM, so sorry if it comes across that way.

I really hate the phrase “thinking with the wrong/little/other head. I think it really feeds into the notion that men can’t be expected to have any self control. It really takes responsibility of them. It implies that if a man is aroused he can’t be held responsible for raping someone or committing infidelity because his penis took control over his body. But that’s not how it works. Rape, harassment, cheating etc are all choices.

GrumpyOldMangina
5 years ago

@WWTH: No problem at all. You only think with the wrong head if you don’t keep the right one in control. It’s sort of like that old excuse for drunken misbehavior, “It was the liquor talking” — well, you chose to drink it, and don’t try to tell me you didn’t know what might happen.
I think I get your point — some guys will try to use it as a defense — as in, when my penis talks, I have to follow its orders. I’m having trouble phrasing this well, but what it comes down to is living in society requires (or at least should) self-control,– the ability to resist temptation, including sexual temptation (I’m sure women have to do it too at times) — and if you can’t keep the little head (or whatever the female equivalent is) from taking charge, you’re going to eventually find yourself in a lot of difficulty.
Maybe 100,000,years ago it was a good excuse — but that was then, and it’s not now.

alaisvex
alaisvex
5 years ago

@GoM,

Perhaps you’re not actually saying that he’s incapable of resisting his sexual urges but rather that he doesn’t care about resisting his sexual urges, even if following those urges could hurt someone else and that he cares most about serving and satisfying his sexual urges?

lith
lith
5 years ago

@kirbywarp:

I wish I could find where I read the description of the hug… EVEN IF you weren’t sure whether someone wished to be hugged or not, the situation was not one where a hug was even remotely something anyone would think of.

Here it is, in all its nonconsensual glory:

Sage, notes Blair, pets her thigh. “I’m not angry at women,” he explains, “but I’m angry at what they can do. You could put down your book right now and yell ‘Rape!’ and I would be led away in handcuffs.” They think about this. Sage says, “I hope it’s okay if I hug you.”

Before she can respond, he pulls her in, pulls her up out of her chair, pulls her against his chest, and holds her there. He rubs her back. An embrace Blair will later describe as “the most unconsensual hug I have ever known.”

Blair: “I still don’t know what to do about the poem.”

Sage loosens his grip. “I apologize for dragging you away,” he says. “I wasn’t going to feel okay until I talked to you.” He warns her not to send mixed messages. For instance, she shouldn’t put her hand on a man’s knee if she doesn’t want to have sex with him. Sage puts his hand on Blair’s knee. This is not a mixed message, he wants her to understand. She’s here, in the VFW. She’s taken the red pill. She needs another hug. He needs to give it to her.

sunnysombrera
5 years ago

@Lith I don’t know how anyone could take a hug like that as anything other than unconsensual.

“I’m angry at how women can screw over men and get their way, like they have a desire to. You could do it to me. Anyway I want to hug you for no apparent reason, person that I don’t know and isolated from other people, and I will.” *tight, back rubbing hug* “I don’t want you to be annoyed at me for dragging you away but I did it because I really really wanted your time and attention.”

lith
lith
5 years ago

And it’s not entirely clear but it sounds like he went back for more. After making it clear that the message he was sending was sexual.
I imagine based on the article above that he’d claim it wasn’t, to which I say:

“Don’t put your hand on someone’s knee unless you want to have sex with them” -> puts hand on her knee.

I’m sorry, that’s not open to interpretation or ambiguity, even if you change the word “someone” for “man” it’s clear how it was meant. Note how she didn’t respond by putting her hand on his knee. That’s a Nope and that hug was creepy-time.

sunnysombrera
5 years ago

Creepiest creeper that ever creeped. No doubt the AVFMers would combat that with a cry of “if he was handsome you wouldn’t say that!”

Skye
Skye
5 years ago

Creepiest creeper that ever creeped. No doubt the AVFMers would combat that with a cry of “if he was handsome you wouldn’t say that!”

To which, I would reply, “Yep. Yep, I would.”

Bruce H
Bruce H
5 years ago

This seems eerily close to the Dunning-Kruger effect, in which incompetent people do not realize the level of their incompetence. Do really creepy people not think they are creepy? I suspect they would be shocked to learn that most people find them creepy at all, and even simple explanations or examples wouldn’t convince them of it.

Robert
Robert
5 years ago

Bruce H – I think it’s related to other-blaming. As in, the dudebro who wonders why all his girlfriends ‘go psycho’ after a while – why are they all like that? The idea that the common factor is him is too threatening to conceive, much less articulate.

Kootiepatra
5 years ago

@Bruce H:

This seems eerily close to the Dunning-Kruger effect, in which incompetent people do not realize the level of their incompetence. Do really creepy people not think they are creepy? I suspect they would be shocked to learn that most people find them creepy at all, and even simple explanations or examples wouldn’t convince them of it.

I think chances are very high that Sage thinks it is unspeakably unfair for anyone to label him “creepy” for what he did—but I don’t think that he is blissfully unaware of his own creepiness. I think he knows full well that his actions can/probably will creep people out (hence the “I hope it’s okay if” and “I’m sorry for”, even though he never gave her a chance to object). But I think he just feels entitled to not being called creepy.

In other words, he has decided that because he is just practicing Game, what he does somehow shouldn’t qualify as creepy. If a woman is uncomfortable with that, that’s her fault. If she calls him out, she’s mean. Because to him, “creepy” only gets to be defined by the self-proclaimed motives of the creeper, not by the feelings of the person being creeped-out.

He doesn’t think he never comes across as creepy. He just thinks everyone else should redefine creepiness to exclude his behavior.

Christy
Christy
5 years ago

I really like your blog and I’m glad someone is standing up to MRAs etc. but would appreciate it if you didn’t flippantly use the word r*** in your headlines and blog posts. Really the words “sexual assault” gets the point across without being exploitative and clickbait-y. Thanks.

dhag85
5 years ago

How is it “clickbait-y” to quote someone’s actual words?

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

What? How are we supposed to talk about rape and rape apologia without using the word? I get that it could trigger some people, but it says right at the top of the page that this isn’t a safe space. We can’t really talk about the awful things they say without quoting those awful things.

isidore13
isidore13
5 years ago

I don’t agree that ‘sexual assault’ works just as well. Sexual assault could mean groping. Rape is unambiguous.

Lea
Lea
5 years ago

Rape is sexual assault. Don’t try to downplay that. It’s a hideous thing to do. It isn’t David who is lacking in ethics here. It’s you.

Lea
Lea
5 years ago

I’m reminded of mainstream media calling rape “non-consensual sex”.

isidore13
isidore13
5 years ago

I’m sorry my comment implied sexual assault wasn’t as serious or wasn’t as bad as rape. I’m don’t know what I was thinking.

BoinkBoinkBoinkBoinkBoinkBoink
BoinkBoinkBoinkBoinkBoinkBoink
4 years ago

Just jumped in to add, in some (United) states the legal definitions of rape and sexual assault are interchangeable, and in some states it’s different.

For example in Texas all forms of rape are classified under sexual assault: https://apps.rainn.org/policy-crime-definitions/index.cfm?state=Texas&group=3

Whereas in Idaho they have separate categories for female rape, male rape, and rape of spouse…but none for sexual assault: https://apps.rainn.org/policy-crime-definitions/index.cfm?state=Idaho&group=3

You can go to https://rainn.org/statelaws and look up each way every state defines rape and sexual assault.

In Georgia male rape is only listed under “sodomy/aggravated sodomy”. In New York, all of the language is gender neutral.

It was quite the revelation for me when I discovered it. It’s no wonder America has such trouble with progressive, anti-rape dialogue. We’re not even using the same language or working off the same definitions.