This is a post that may require a quick background review.
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young woman named Melissa Stetten. Melissa is 22 years old, and in the top 10% of whatever human attraction index is set for our civilization; she is so attractive that she can make a living out of being attractive. Melissa Stetten is a professional model; her job is to be attractive-for-hire.
One day Melissa got on an airplane to ride from Los Angeles to Manhattan. The man who sat down beside her was Brian Presley, an actor. Brian Presley noticed that Melissa was attractive. Brian decided that he would try to get Melissa into bed. Unfortunately for Brian, Melissa was carrying a Smartphone, and started live-tweeting his entire attempted seduction via Twitter…while her followers and friends linked her to information about Brian Presley’s life, marriage, career, and all the other publicly available info that you can find about any actor on the Internet.
This was very funny, in a mean kind of way, and the power that Melissa exercised when she exposed Brian and his hijinks was so unusual that it was picked up as a news story. You can find a listing of her Twitter posts here.
Some people didn’t like Melissa for doing this, of course. So they reacted by trying to “slut-shame” Melissa Stetten, to make her the villain of the story. Despite Brian’s awful behavior, these people tried to make this incident about Melissa, and blame her for what happened, or at minimum make her equivalent to Brian, and equally morally wrong.
Yes, despite the fact that he was a married hypocrite slipping off his wedding ring in an airplane toilet stall. Despite the fact that he was a father of two trying to deny that he had ever been in a serious relationship. Despite the fact that he was a person who had publicly claimed that he had “de-toxed for Jesus” guzzling beer and hitting on strange women on a plane.
Despite the fact that Melissa Stetten’s only crime in this situation was being young, attractive and traveling alone in public, and being willing to expose and discuss a man’s abominable behavior, live, in real time, and in public.
For the record: I don’t generally comment on this sort of scandal. I honestly don’t care much about the petty peccadilloes of other human beings. And at least until the slut-shaming began, there was no new information in the Melissa Stetten incident.
1. Beautiful women get hit on by men of all ages, colors, shapes, and states of relationship/marriage? Check. Knew that.
2. Beautiful women are hit on so often by married men that they have learned to spot literally EVERY lie and sleazy denial tactic, because every tactic has been tried, multiple times, by multiple sleazoids? Check. Knew that too.
3. Many men, although they feel entitled to try and get sex from every attractive woman they encounter, have NO sense of guilt or shame about their behavior, until they get caught? Check. Knew that too.
4. When such men need help covering their asses when they are caught red-handed trying to do something that is deeply morally wrong, they can always plead innocence or weakness and try to blame it on the woman? And they will get backing from every man who feels equally entitled? Yep. Yet another check.
But here’s the new information that is revealed when people react to Melissa Stetten by trying to “slut-shame” her into silence about her latest would-be Lothario’s bad behavior: the fact that WOMEN are just as eager to defend the male perpetrator in this scenario as the men are.
Truly, I am sorry to see how many women are struggling with this, and attacking Melissa Stetten for being “not classy” because she did not endure this behavior in appalled and ashamed, self-blaming silence. I am downright EMBARRASSED for any woman who believes that Melissa Stetten needs to be shamed for “loving attention” because she runs a Twitter feed about her life–including the part of her life where lying, cheating, drunken douchebags try to hit on her on airplanes.
Here’s my opinion on the matter: allowing men to behave this way in public without comment is not “classy” by any stretch of the imagination.
Everyone appears to be struggling with the assumed entitlement of men: in this case, the idea that they have the right to try to get any strange woman they meet into bed, regardless of her level of interest OR their marital status. But we’re also struggling with the assumed obligation of women: in this case, the assumption that it is “classy” and morally correct for a woman NOT to expose the routinely awful, vulgar, stupid, and grotesque male behavior to which she is subjected, often on a daily or mutliple-times-daily basis. That it is somehow “classy” and morally correct NOT to reveal the ugly underbelly of any beautiful woman’s life to the rest of the world.
Guess what: neither the entitlement of men NOR the obligation of women exists. And this Twitter escapade is just the tip of a massive Shame Iceberg which will reveal more and more of its hideous surface as the waters of public censure and “privacy” recede.
You go, Melissa. I wish the exact same thing on every other creep who tries to slip off his wedding ring in every bathroom on the planet. And I wish that every beautiful woman could own a Smartphone, and tweet the behavior of every slimey jagoff live on the Internet. Maybe if they did, all women–and all men–would be a little bit smarter.