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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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Kootiepatra
5 years ago

@sunnysombrera, you can add to that list “Patronizing nicknames for other commenters”

Dvärghundspossen
5 years ago

@Kat: All the cyberhugs. 🙁

suffrajitsu
suffrajitsu
5 years ago

no reputable magazine would ever hire someone and tell them to put themselves in danger just for the sake of a story.

I can’t imagine anyone risking rape for a story, but now that you mention it, are Nellie Bly-like undercover missions still legal?

Dvärghundspossen
5 years ago

She was sad, he totally meant to be comforting and supportive. Intent is magic and telegraphs itself to all and sundry in a ten mile radius, especially strangers who might be otherwise ill at ease.

I just re-read Kant’s the Metaphysics of Morals (for the record, I think Kant had some messed-up views on certain particular issues (masturbation is wrong because you’re sexueally molesting yourself, hey!) but I think his overall moral philosophy is pretty much right). Now, Kant’s moral philosophy makes right and wrong all about intentions, but there is so much that goes into having a truly good intention.
A person who acts with good intentions, according to Kant, is one who sees other people as equals and respects them, who regards their goals and purposes as reason-giving for zir as well (insofar as their goals and purposes aren’t straight-out immoral, that is), and never hides away from uncomfortable facts such as some people being poor, oppressed and so on, but faces the problems of the world with open eyes. If someone satisfies all these conditions and still, somehow, messes up, zie didn’t do anything wrong, according to Kant, because zie had a good intention.

In my experience, roughly 99 % of all people to whose behaviour others object and who responds with “but my intentions were gooood!” don’t live up to all this at all. They sort of mistake saying “my intentions were good” or perhaps thinking “my intentions were good” for actually having good intentions, but these are very different things.
It’s pretty clear that if you really do regard other people as equals and respect them and see their goals and purposes as reason-giving for yourself, then most of the time people will also feel well treated by you.

Nequam
Nequam
5 years ago

Gosh, talking about giving a guy enough rope to hang himself.

And you just know that by the time he’s done it’ll look like a botched autoerotic asphyxiation.

Cerberus
Cerberus
5 years ago

I think Sage’s “defense” also exposes the gaping lie that is “oh men can’t possibly know when they are committing rape or being harassing, it’s all so subtle and shocking to find out after the fact and so all these innocent men are caught unawares by evil feeemale’s accusations of rape.

Neither Blair, nor Jeff Sharlet ever accused Sage of rape and were in fact very forgiving of his rapey overly touchy and boundary violating ways, only noting how creepy they felt and unsettling and weird the whole thing was.

But Sage gets it. He jumps to the word rape and starts “woe is meing” over the false accusations. Because he is fully aware that his actions were rapey. Because he fully understood that he was pushing against a woman’s boundaries. Because he understood implicitly and fully without anyone even pointing out the connection, what his actions represented and meant.

And that’s the big huge revelation in his “defense”. That the rapey PUA guys who push on boundaries know full well that this violates consent. That they are fully aware of subtle social cues. That they directly look for opportunities where their victims have less power to harm their “image”.

That they, in essence, get all the things they play dumb about when feminists talk about rape culture and consent. All the things they throw autism spectrum people under the bus* about whenever they are called out publicly for their creeping. That they understand exactly what they are doing and what social niceties they are exploiting or can exploit to do so (including calling women whores or saying they are leading them on, or that they interpreted perfectly innocent predatory behavior as predatory even if they didn’t say that).

And it’s refreshing to see that. That these people know exactly what they are doing wrong and to see exactly all their favorite defense tactics (in the absence of anything more than someone noting what they did with little other commentary), because it really helps defeat the smokescreen that abusers like this always through up.

These guys know that they are being rapey. These guys know they are taking advantage of sexist structures to get away with it. And most importantly of all, they know that their behavior is wrong.

This really is the abusers lobby and they’re all trading skills with each other.

*This bullshit, oh I’m autistic, so clearly I could never have been aware of boundaries infuriates me because I work with autistic spectrum kids a lot for my job and they are the most aware and respectful of boundaries kids I’ve ever met, because they know it is hard for them and are aware of the social cost of messing up, so they tend to be hyper focused and hyper paranoid about respecting other people’s boundaries.

GrumpyOldMangina
5 years ago

I said this before but I’ll repeat it: I think we were watching PUA “game” in action: violate a woman’s boundaries and see if you get away with it, then …

GrumpyOldMangina
5 years ago

Ninja’d by Cerberus. Oh, well.

Cerberus
Cerberus
5 years ago

I think the bit about “sensing a trap” is part and parcel of how this little intersection of “white, atheist, libertarian, and MRA” interprets being wrong.

See to them, they know they aren’t typically excelling at toxic masculinity standards by the usual metrics of physical aptitude and sports, so instead they view intelligence and always being right as key aspects to their identity and resolving this worrying concern with not appeasing the dragon of toxic masculinity they are all willingly chained to.

So, manliness is expressed by always being smarter than everyone else and knowing all the things better than anyone, especially those designated as social inferiors (because they must be inferior intellectually, otherwise it would mean acknowledging an external system of privilege where one’s social position was due to oppressive systems rather than inherent superiority). So any woman, POC, queer individual, trans* identified individual, and/or poor person who expresses an opinion different from them must be wrong, because to acknowledge that they aren’t means that the fedora-bearer is incorrect about something and thus less manly and also maybe less deserving of his systemic support, and that notion is terrifying and counter to their self-image.

And it especially happens whenever they end up being chumps, either because they were scammed by a scam artist who took advantage of their reflexive sexism and racism or because they were revealed to be the man-children they were by people paying attention.

Suddenly then it becomes a tale of how intelligent they were to recognize this evil person and what they were going on about and how this totally was the reason that they didn’t invest even more money/do something even more heinous, because again to do so would mean they weren’t the smartest and most aware person in the room and that means a threat to their self-image.

And that self-image is critical, because as noted earlier, it is their personal entry into why they meet the standards of toxic masculinity and deserve its protection as men and not its ire as not-men. So to them, admitting a need to grow or a need to learn or recognizing and changing toxic behaviors, especially due to the commentary of an “inferior” is like voluntarily stating oneself to be a not-man and agreeing to be treated like a not-man by those others who buy into toxic masculinity. And as they know exactly how awful “not-men” are treated by their own and how many of their social support network they’ve built to only include those most invested in toxic masculinity, they and their brains will do anything to avoid facing any mental situation that involves admitting the slightest amount of fault, wrongdoing, or anything less than the pinnacle of intellectual prowess and awareness.

And that fucks over that group a lot, because closing oneself off from ever learning something and convincing yourself you know everything you’re ever going to need to for all time is the single-best way to make yourself ignorant and to mean you’re going to have less accurate and supported intellectual opinions the more years you continue in this state.

But then that is part and parcel of how toxic masculinity harms men too.

dhag85
5 years ago

Went through picture folder on my old hard drive. Found baby pictures of my cat! Awwwwwww

http://i374.photobucket.com/albums/oo188/dhag85/07c53e4b-8cd3-4d0c-826f-5a573b96785d_zps3vjuc5xo.jpg

Cerberus
Cerberus
5 years ago

GrumpyOldMangina-

Yup. All I could think of reading that description in the GQ article was “sounds like kino and a bunch of other ‘we swear this is the secret incantation that makes the boss monster remove her panties due to 20 pts fake empathy damage’ type crap”.

I mean, it’s pretty well established with the unwanted touching and escalation and isolation which are pretty big staples of that “genre” and it explains inexplicable actions like the “poetry”, the constant attempts to infantalize her, and the “I heard about your Earth empathy concepts” level of “connecting” pretty handily.

And I think that’s why he’s busting out the “defending himself against an accusation of creepiness at the bar” standards here instead of rebutting that he did any of it, because that really is his main MO at bars and he’s used to gaslighting a single person or a small group of people about it instead of the entire nation.

So yeah, I think you were spot on on that.

And it’s disturbing/refreshing to see that the PUA types do fully understand that they are rapey creeps and what they are doing goes against consent and what that means.

Because it means that if we can fix our culture’s blindness/disregard for consent we can starve these rapists out of their little exploitations of social niceties and societal sexism.

GrumpyOldMangina
5 years ago

@Cerberus: It just seemed to be that he was consciously seeing how much he could get away with, that maybe if he played things right he could get her all the way to bed — that he was thinking of sex right from the start, and none of the things he said were meant to help deal with “her friend’s problem”, it was all meant to attack what SG saw as an emotional weakness that he could exploit.

A few months ago Jeff Sharlet gave a speech here in Concord, and I had an opportunity to chat with him for ten minutes afterward. He is in person the sort of slightly chubby, balding, unprepossessing person who is easy to talk to and very easy to underestimate, and I can understand why people might tend to forget that they are in the presence of a very smart journalist — and start to behave the way they would if nobody who could record their nasty behavior were present. The MRAs underestimated him and got badly bitten — and I hate to say it, but their yelps of pain are music to my ears.

katz
5 years ago

KITTY!

portlantonio
5 years ago

Whenever I see pictures of these guys, it’s no wonder they’re so bitter about women. They whine and moan that women only like bad boys, while dismissing all but relatively fit women (and some of certain body types who are fit) and declaring women ruined by 25 or some none sense.
Meanwhile, they’re all out of shape and possessing zero fashion sense or grooming sensibilities.

I mean, that dude can’t have any real friends. “Dude, if you want women to be more attracted to you, try cutting your hair in a way that makes you look less like a banging carrot top (before the steroids)

portlantonio
5 years ago

That should be balding, not banging.

dhag85
5 years ago

The thought of “a banging carrot top” did make me giggle. 🙂

GrumpyOldMangina
5 years ago

@Portantonio: You just don’t get it. Trying to make yourself attractive to women is totally beta behavior. Old Roosh V thinks that even wiping your butt is beta.

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

Gingerkittysqueeeeee! Wookit dat widdle pink nosey!

Charles RB
Charles RB
5 years ago

“Unfortunately for Jeff, I have an ability to detect manipulation, and I do not think with my dick.”

You didn’t rape someone because you have an ability to detect manipulation?

I assume you didn’t meant to say that but what you ACTUALLY SAID was…

proxieme
proxieme
5 years ago

I have nothing to add to creepfest-ughs, so here’s a picture of my cat in a box:

http://imgur.com/MTaFCll

Charles RB
Charles RB
5 years ago

@suffrajitsu GQ just says Braverman was wondering if her friend was innocent, with no details beyond that – I’m assuming it’s true because if she made it up and GQ didn’t report it, that’d be very shifty. Sage is the one adding the BDSM stuff and saying she definitely believes it’s fake. Considering it’s Sage, I assume he’s telling a porkie or two

Ellesar
5 years ago

I am still laughing at the ‘banging carrot top’! Carrot Top is unknown in the UK, but I am a big fan of Seinfeld.

katz
5 years ago

Aww, sweet calico.

katz
5 years ago

frances: Wat.

frances
frances
5 years ago

http://zenmen.org/rape-culture-flyer-sparks-outrage/
Zen Men is the student group at KSU that’s affiliated with AVFM. Sage Gerard is heavily involved.

laikacomehome
5 years ago

I’m a student at Kennesaw State, and I can honestly say that we aren’t doing nearly enough to deal with this asshole. I’m probably dealing with him more than I should.

I spoke with Sage personally (interviewed him for a research paper) and he was just plain spooky. He asked me and my friends for our full names, email addresses, and student ID numbers.

I went to his debate with “feminist” Brian Clyne and asked him a question. I’m the meek girl towards the end that Sage can barely hear.

I was at the conference, and it was a mix of both boring and frightening (you don’t know terror until you’ve faced down Dan Perrins’ crusty beard).

I’ll probably go to the “rape culture don’t real” event. I don’t know why.

I’m so so so glad people are starting to realize what a massive creep he is. I only wish they’d figured it out before he started terrorizing the faculty.

Ice and Indigo
Ice and Indigo
5 years ago

I went over to Gerard’s site, and he’s complaining bitterly that Sharlet didn’t ‘choose a better picture.’ (Despite the fact that the GQ picture was actually one of the more flattering ones he displays.) Evidently appearances matter to him. So, in the name of charity and helping one’s fellow man:

Dude. DUDE.

1. Get a haircut. When your hair’s receded that far it’s time for the mop crop.

2. Gold glasses do not work for your skin tone. Try bronze or tortoiseshell.

3. Those glasses wouldn’t work on anyone. The thick legs combined with narrow eyepieces and sharp corners look weird. Save up some money, go buy a new pair, and ask the staff in the shop which ones work for you.

4. Shave properly.

5. You need a smaller neck on your shirt, and probably a smaller size. That one makes you look like you’ve got no shoulders at all. And for fuck’s sake straighten it out before you take a picture.

6. That shade of blue makes you look washed out. Earth tones, dude.

I mean, I could go for ‘Be a decent human being’, but since you clearly think it’s the photographs that make you ‘look like a huggy rapist’, let’s see a little self-help here.

Lea
Lea
5 years ago

Ice and Indigo,

Bless you for your generosity, but I don’t think that turd is polishable. 😉

Ice and Indigo
Ice and Indigo
5 years ago

Lea – thing is, there’s nothing particularly wrong with his features. With a bit of inner beauty and some basic effort, he’d be fine. He’s just got a serious case of Premature Face You Deserve.

freemage
5 years ago

suffrajitsu | February 28, 2015 at 8:52 pm

If you see “flirting” (it doesn’t sound like she was, but anyway) and think “devious plot to get raped”, you must spend a heck of a lot of time thinking about rape. These guys love to accuse feminists of “seeing rape everywhere”, but it really doesn’t take much for them to pull out the R-word themselves.

Incidentally, back in high school I had a story idea about a 1970s revenge film style teenage female vigilante that would ‘lure’ adult sexual predators, then kill them in self-defense. The whole idea was that even if she did ‘lead them on’, the impetus was on them not to rape so she could keep killing criminals legally. I never wrote it, but there actually are women whose ‘job is to get raped’…or at least, to pretend that they’ll almost get raped. They’re undercover cops, who often pose as ‘decoys’ for online and real-life sexual predators. Somehow, I don’t think ‘she was there to get raped’ would be a very effective excuse if Sage Gerard ever found himself in a situation like with that lady in the park in The Warriors.

I’m gonna second the reference to Hard Candy. It’s a good movie, though difficult to watch at times (seriously, all the trigger warnings on this thing).

And yes, this is seriously the most inept defense I’ve seen presented by the MRM yet. I’m starting to wonder if all those bad things my journalism profs used to say about PR folks are bunk, because apparently, there’s no competent PR person willing to be hired by these outfits to help them sculpt their image. An entire industry dedicated to faking sincerity, and they won’t have anything to do with these asshats.

Ice and Indigo
Ice and Indigo
5 years ago

Well yeah; PR companies tend to employ women. When you paw every woman who comes into your enclave, you’d have to have waaay more money than these guys to sell that commission.

Orion
5 years ago

Ice and Indigo, I’m not super comfortable with the direction your post is going. We call out sexists all the time for their habit of critiquing a woman’s clothes rather than her speech; I’m not sure poking at our adversaries’ fashion puts us in the best light. I understand that there are times it’s legitimately relevant, and there are two potential reasons in play here. Fir. st, looking at his presentation does contribute to a look at the efficacy and seriousness of the MRM as a whole. If you just want to point out that they’re not ready for prime-time, and that they spend more time hating on people than building themselves up, then sure. Second, it does undercut some of their claims about sexual oppression and about dating being rigged. If someone is complaining that sinister social forces are ruining their love life, it’s valid to point out that there are factors under their control they might work on. Even so, those aren’t the central issues in this thread. I’m not even sure where David got that photo, since it’s not in the linked AVFM post, so I’m not sure to what extent Gerard intended that photo to represent the MRM.

When I look at the photo, I’m honestly not sold on the substance of your critique either. As far as I can tell, the basic problems with the photo are that the lighting is fucked and his mouth is open but not smiling. Beyond that, it’s very difficult to say. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with pale redheads wearing blue clothes. I’ll agree that the shirt looks a little off in this photo, but honestly it could just be a problem with the light. I’m pretty sure his glasses’ sidepieces are already bronze or tortoiseshell, and the gold frames don’t bother me at all. The shape is not good, but it’s unfortunately the current style in men’s glasses. I can tell you from experience that asking the people in the shop for help will not protect you. I had to spend a great deal of time looking for something less blocky that wasn’t horrible for some other reason, and in the end I bought women’s frames. I don’t see 5-o-clock shadow on a young man as something worthy of scorn. Yes, the shirt is too big and he could do something with his hair, but if someone took a decent picture, I bet he would look totally normal for a college kid.

Actually, I don’t have to bet, because if you click through to his post and look at the photos of himself he would prefer to use, they’re much more innocuous. It’s amusing to illustrate posts with photos of opponents looking their worst, and with folks like Elam it’s even a worthwhile reminder of how out-there they are, but let’s not pretend the shots we choose for mockery reflect the person as they really are.

sunnysombrera
5 years ago

@proxieme

That’s a good Guardian article and I’m glad someone isn’t letting the outrage from the Delhi bus gang-rape atrocity die. What I’m not glad about, is the people in the comments trying to argue that India doesn’t have a rape problem and according to stats other countries are worse so jeez guys, leave India alone huh? No fair!

This keeps happening no matter how many people tell them that the reason reported rape stats are lower than other countries is because women are routinely blamed or even attacked for being raped. They respond with “well homicide and other forms of violence are at low levels so that means rape is too! Neener neener!”

Head, meet brick wall.

Ice and Indigo
Ice and Indigo
5 years ago

Orion – well, I can see your point, though I disagree with your defence of his fashion choices. You’ll notice I was a bit careful where I drew the line: I said nothing bad about his features or figure, just his grooming and clothes, which is less personal. I reckon that if you paw a woman and then complain that it’s the GQ photo that made you look bad then you’ve put the subject on the table, and considering how shitty they are about women’s appearance I have little sympathy if they get a bit of their own medicine, but if you don’t like it I won’t carry on.

Talulah42900
Talulah42900
5 years ago

I find it very informative that AVFM says GQ accused Sage of “Hug Rape” when the article says nothing of the sort. I guess we finally know where all the “false rape claims” the manosphere keeps talking about originate – from themselves.

Lea
Lea
5 years ago

I don’t think his face is the unpolishable part. Send him to a stylist and wrap him in Armani and he’ll still be a turd.

M.
M.
5 years ago

From Proxieme’s link:

Mukesh Singh says: “You can’t clap with one hand – it takes two hands. A decent girl won’t roam around at night. A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy … about 20% of girls are good.” Jyoti fought back. Singh says: “She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they would have dropped her off after ‘doing her’ and only hit the boy.

“It’s the woman’s fault for allowing it to happen! She should have stopped fighting and let it happen!”

ಠ_ಠ

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago

@Lea:

You totally can polish a turd, though the technique is usually done with mud. It’s just that the style doesn’t negate the substance.

M.
M.
5 years ago

Oops, accidentally cut a quotation mark off the quote. Oh well.

Lea
Lea
5 years ago

I don’t think critiquing a man’s appearance is entirely comparable to critiquing a woman’s. There is not a culture surrounding men that tells them that their only value is in their looks. Style is chosen. It isn’t innate. Further, he is not being told that he is wrong because of his look. I think those things make a difference, but I might need to reconsider.

fromafar2013
5 years ago

You totally can polish a turd, though the technique is usually done with mud. It’s just that the style doesn’t negate the substance.

Wasn’t there an episode of Myth Busters where they literally polished turds and measured their reflective index, or something?

*to the google machine*

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago

@fromafar2013:

There was indeed! That’s how I heard of it. There’s a description of the episode on the wikipedia article I linked to.

M.
M.
5 years ago

Yeah, I think the difference is that MRAs say “You’re wrong because you’re ugly,” while people here are saying “He’s ugly because he’s wrong.”

Lea
Lea
5 years ago

I think they polished a giraffe turd.

fromafar2013
5 years ago

Yep. They even learned the dorodungo technique from your link!

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/videos/polishing-a-turd-minimyth/

/off topic

fromafar2013
5 years ago

There’s a description of the episode on the wikipedia article I linked to.

Duh! I should have just scrolled to the bottom. LOL

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago

dorodungo

*snrk* Surely you mean dorodango? 😛

fromafar2013
5 years ago

Hahahahaha… omg. I didn’t even do that on purpose. Or did I? 😛