Melissa Stetton and the Politics of Shame

This is a post that may require a quick background review.

Melissa Stetten on the (aptly named) website "Model Mayhem"

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.

Melissa Stetten Is Pretty and Has Bendy Arms

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.

Brian Presley and His Pregnant Wife - What a Classy Guy

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.

About Arinn

Author, Game Developer, Anthropologist, Feminist, reformed Supervillainess.
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34 Responses to Melissa Stetton and the Politics of Shame

  1. Fran Friel says:

    Well said, Arinn!

  2. Hear! Hear! After 47 years on this planet, I’ve had enough of “men just can’t help themselves.” I’m sick to death of the standard that says that women who fall for this kind of seduction are sluts and those who don’t are bitches or worse. Melissa Stetton didn’t set out to ruin anyone’s life, and if BP’s life is ruined he has only himself to blame. You’re absolutely right: this really comes down to whether he was entitled to hit on her with impunity and whether she was obligated to be polite. In my opinion, it’s a no-brainer.

  3. David says:

    I agree Arinn in many and most ways, but I also must point out that not only are men guilty of being the douche-bag. There are many women who feel just as entitled to slip off that ring, slug a beer or two and hit on a guy they find attractive to try to get them into bed.

    And lets not forget the women who do this to the married men who often feel embarrassed and try to quietly get themselves out of the ‘mess’ they feel they got themselves into even though they did nothing wrong out of fear of others believing they are the one that tried to get the woman in bed.

    No, I’m don’t defending this dirt bag… he got what was coming and I DO feel that more people need to do what she did to perhaps curb this activity that most people today feel is ok and acceptable behavior.

    • Arinn says:

      I would fully agree that men need to be less embarrassed and shamed about the awful behavior of women toward them in supposedly “private” situations. I actually have some stories about female behavior which I have never been able to tell. Eventually I may have to go there and talk about the evil that women do, and how sad and how trapped their male victims feel.

      But that is another blog, I guess. 🙂

  4. Yes! A thousand times yes! Gods, I’m so sick of people getting caught red-handed being dirt bags trying to flip the narrative. What I found most fascinating about reading the twitter feed was that initially, she had no idea who he was.
    She wasn’t targeting a C-list celebrity. She was calling bullshit on a man who struck her as sleazy, who might be feeding her a line, and who she clearly wasn’t interested in (though that didn’t seem to stop his efforts to hit on her). It wasn’t until one of her followers got curious and did the research that the full extent of his dirtbaggery came to light.

    Way to go, Melissa.

    And thanks for your perspective on it, Arinn!

  5. Marti, we’re friends, and you know where I stand on much of this sort of thing, but I have to call BS on the total lack of anyone anywhere finding a third option for all of this. Ms. Stetten had every right to slap him down there and then, in private, or to request a change of seat from the attendant. But she chose to take it public, to escalate it, and to then open herself up to charges that she lied or misinterpreted the events (I won’t give credence to any slut shaming, as anyone who pulls that crap is nothing but pond scum, and while I don’t doubt her take on things, me being a male and all, in the end this is word of one vs word of another). Hell, in the end he did nothing but act in a slimy fashion. As far as I can see he didn’t get physical, he didn’t get overly suggestive, and he eventually turned away and found something else to do, having realized that he was going nowhere with his idiocy.

    It may be that I’m just old. I see that Ms. Stetten is 22, and therefore using social media for anything and everything is probably second-nature to her. But on-the-fly crowd sourcing, as she did to find out his ID, and quick commentary on the behavior of someone you don’t know and can not be inside their brain, are both situations that are destined to do very real and ugly damage some day.

    • Arinn says:

      Sorry Derryl, but I’m calling bullshit on your calling-of-bullshit.

      Men aren’t entitled to hunt women in public and be protected by a sheltering cone of silence when they behave badly. Period. Full stop. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars. And we are done.

      Yes, you feel this is wrong because you are older. You were raised with the afore-mentioned sense of entitlement and you don’t like to see your privileges as a man evaporate.

      That’s too bad. I’m sure your Grampa was equally annoyed when women got the vote.

      You’ve said only one thing that I agree with: yes, the damage done to Brian Presley IS very real, and very ugly.

      He did it to himself. By being a reprehensible douchebag.

      Thanks to Melissa and her Twitter friends, the world is being forced to confront this man as he truly is and to face the things he really does, in public, whenever he thinks he won’t get caught. If you think that’s a bad thing, I don’t.

      • David says:

        Men AND women aren’t entitled to hunt men or women in public you mean. 😉

        Remember, after the bra burning a good number of women have notched up this SAME entitlement view for themselves and feel equally offended as Derryl is when someone calls them out on the floor for it.

        • Arinn says:

          If by “a good number” you mean, “a rare but highly unpleasant few”? Sure. But characterizing feminism as “bra burning” reveals your bias, I’m afraid.

  6. Candas Jane Dorsey says:

    I’m with Arinn on this. Derryl, you know I like and respect you and *I* know you are a kind and decent person. I’m pretty sure you are speaking from a hope that people try to do minimum harm to each other. But what about the harm done by silence in this case? The bottom line is that Presley behaved as he did because he thought no-one was watching and he wouldn’t get caught. He has made some promises to some people, and he got caught breaking them. I don’t actually care if he suffers for getting caught, and I think his wife is better to know now, before she spends her life with him, that he lies and cheats on his promises to her. If she then, in full knowledge, decides to stick with the guy, that’s another story–a sad story IMHO, but her business. Stetten had no reason to lie, and he clearly does. So. Arinn does a good political analysis, too, but like so much of human interaction, it’s all about some kind of cosmic good manners–or the lack thereof (think about it: sexism, racism, heterosexism, all the ism are really, at bottom, disrespect and therefore bad manners…). I don’t think Presley should be protected from the consequences of his actions by what I call ‘the tyranny of niceness’.

    • Right, Candas, then let me rephrase. I said “private,” not “silence.” To me, “private” meant not on Twitter and then every other part of the web. That’s all. “Attendant, this man is harassing me,” is not in silence. A raised voice to tell a guy to STFU and leave you alone is private, in the sense that it’s not out there spreading around the world like a grass fire.

      I’m not as hardwired for keeping everything to myself as this might sound, and you probably know this, having seen the plethora of tweets and/or FB posts about Aidan’s appendectomy last week (although those were mostly because Jo was in Ottawa and it was also the easiest way to keep family in the loop). I only wonder that this is becoming our default position, and that the accompanying default position is name-calling, personal slurs, or, as happened here, slurs on long-dead family members.

  7. Moonepower says:

    1) Neither men nor women are hard-wired to be monogamous.

    2) If you choose to marry, hand-fast or jump the broom (commit to one person), you are morally bound to remain faithful to that one person for the duration of the relationship.

    3) All persons deserve to be treated with honour, respect, consideration and loving acceptance.

    4) There is a distinct difference between having a pleasant, and hopefully honest, conversation with a seatmate on any form of transportation – and hitting on that person.

    5) Hitting on someone (especially if that action is fraught with lies and deceptions) is just plain wrong.

    6) We are presumably living in a civilized society. How hard can it be to behave that way?

    I am : an environmentalist; a small “l” liberated woman; not a man-hater; a former “hippie”; a supporter of alternative life-styles; a believer in the Golden Thread that connects us all and a senior citizen. I believe we can treat each other well. Let’s stop making excuses for what my mother called “bad acting” and begin to behave like the “spiritual beings having a physical experience” we are! Namaste!

    • Arinn says:

      I disagree, Moon, with at least one of your statements.

      Anthropological evidence suggests that a rather large number of men and women are “hardwired” to be monogamous, for a least as long as it takes to raise one healthy child. Marriage is a human universal, and all human universals are based on physiology. The majority of marriage rites on earth are designed to create bonded pairs, one male and one female, and a lot of people seem to gravitate toward such pair bonding.

      That being said, there are plenty of men and women who are “hard-wired” differently. Polyamory, like homosexuality, is also universal, and seems to be within the realm of human variance that we could call normal. I suspect it is just as “wired” as any other major sexual orientation.

      Maybe Brian would be a happier person if he could step outside the sphere of forced hypocrisy? But really–that’s not anyone’s problem but his own. The major issue here is not about sexual desire and its fulfillment. It’s about lying, hypocrisy, predation, and the exposure thereof.

  8. Arinn, the comment about my grandfather is poorly-dated (both were children when women won the vote) and out of line. I don’t recall trying to make it personal, and I would respectfully ask that you do the same.

    Hell, telling me that I was raised with the same sense of entitlement is remarkably prescient of you. Did this charge come about because you know me, and know the situation in which I was raised? Or instead of the words “sense of entitlement,” did you mean I’m a straight white middle-class male in North American society? Because if so, I will cop to that. But please don’t strain yourself trying to guess how my parents raised me.

    And not liking to see my privilege as a man evaporate? Again, just plain wrong. And disappointing, to see that this is the tack that is taken.

    But let me rephrase. I think this guy was an idiot. I think Ms. Stetten was right to call him on it. I worry that this decision to invoke the nuclear option from the very beginning does not bode well for Ms. Stetten or for the jackass. Yes, really. Is this an offense that means he should lose a chance at a job? Will he lose his family, maybe not because of the attempt (which maybe she finds forgivable) but because his wife can’t handle the public scrutiny?

    We all make decisions that affect other people, and then other people beyond that. Preston’s decision was to be a moron (I’ll buy your “hunter” appellation, since I am a privileged male and will not experience such a thing. No sarcasm intended), Stetten’s decision was to escalate it, including even after he was asleep (because he opened the blind).

    Whatever. This is a boogeyman I will not warn my boys about. I’d rather they know that respecting women as people is the real reason for not acting like a douchebag, rather than the fear that they will drop the wrath of thousands of people on their heads. That path leads us to respect, instead of name-calling and distrust.

    • Arinn says:

      Derryl, unlike your friends posting here, I *don’t* know you. Ergo I have no inclination to cut you a special break or assume you mean well.

      To me, you are just another white male stranger who arrives on my blog to start beating his chest and trying to Lord it over me and all other women. Because that’s what you’re doing, Derryl, when you start your post with the words “calling bullshit”.

      You were the one who came here to lecture, you were the one who made things personal, and if you don’t want to be mistaken for a duck–don’t quack like one.

      As for how you raise your boys? Yes, it’s lovely if you can raise them to be nice, ethical, decent people who respect women as human beings and don’t lie to their wives or sleaze drunkenly over pretty 22-year-old models on airplanes.

      But I think you will be doing them NO favors if you don’t also make it clear that women have power. And that women have the power to do harm. And that even if they don’t respect a woman personally, they’d best respect the datasphere and learn not to behave like douchenozzles in public.

      Just a word to the wise. It’s great to be nice. But if you can’t be nice, try not to be a moron.

    • David says:

      I have to side with Derryl on this one Arinn and not because I’m a man. I do believe he had what was coming to him… but she also has what is coming to her. TOO many people (men and women) feel they should not be held accountable for their actions. It doesn’t matter the intent, or the lack there of… if people do not think before they speak or act, they are entitled to receive the fair results for what they have said or done.

      Should the dirt bag thought about his wife, his marriage, his kids BEFORE he hit on another woman and tried to hide he was married… YES! Should his wife now suffer the scrutiny and pressures of thousands on what she SHOULD or SHOULD NOT do? No… but this now brings the ‘innocent’ woman into the play who decided to drop a tactical nuke on her situation.

      Should she sit and silence and feel embarrassed like she did something wrong trying to figure out how to get herself out of the mess? HELL NO! Should she think about the damage she can do, not only to the dirt bag bugging her but the wife and children the dirt bag has? YES! There were many things she could have done to bring to light the dirt bag was scum by oh say complaining to a employee of the plane about his actions and request either he or she is moved. This would have in turn made OTHER people aware of how bad this guy was a dirt bag and likely someone else would have did HER dirty work of the twitter leaving her clean, the tweeting person clean, and the idiot in the dirt picking up his teeth. Other possibilities were there as well but she decided to go out, make a public display of how bad this guy was and in the end… she doesn’t smell like a rose anymore but like a dirtbag herself.

      In the end, I feel they both got the what they have had coming to them for their actions. The ones I feel sorry for ARE the innocent ones. His children and his wife for what they now have to endure from thousands of people and for how long are people going to remember and judge them as ‘oh, there’s that dirt bag’s wife and kids’…

    • bear says:

      The whole of the thing is that BP was lying / using false pretense. If this was just a single guy hitting on her telling her the truth. even a bit dense with regard to social interaction. Then there would be NO story. Any time a person uses false pretense or outright lying to get something, that is wrong and should be exposed.

      If he had told her the truth and she aid STFU, then it is harassment and I would say just call the stewardess. If it went beyond, them please expose. This is only worse because it is someone in the public eye and there are impressionable youth out there that may think he can do NO Wrong and idolize the bum.

      by exposing him she did a public service and should definitely not be vilified, only lauded. I would put her up for public recognition for someone not being afraid to step out in public and expose someone doing wrong.

      If he had gotten away with it it would only convince him to do it again. Most likely brag about it and others would follow. By being exposed, It can only make him and others aware that this is unacceptable and they will only be more likely to be caught and censored.

      Great going Melissa

  9. Last word. Go back and look at my original comment. See how I addressed it to Marti? Yeah, that. Also, I don’t recall saying anything about you, your family, or how you were raised. I am disappointed to note that the answers make that rather apparent, though.

    I apologize for barging into your own online home as a stranger. It was not my place.

    • Arinn says:

      No, Derryl, it isn’t your place. Not to lecture, not to judge, and not to tell women how to handle men and the problems they create. We’ll decide that for ourselves, thanks. And if you don’t like the solution, do yourself a favor–don’t be a problem.

      As for your BS about “how I was raised”? Seriously, shove it. There’s more than one kind of shaming in the world; I won’t be blackmailed and silenced by any of it, including this crap about how Nice Girls Don’t Talk Back.

      I’ll address this rebuttal to both you AND David, since you are in the same camp and beating the same drum:

      Melissa Stetton is not your Mommy.

      The fact that she is a pretty young woman not only doesn’t obligate her to have sex with you–it doesn’t obligate her to take moral responsibility for you. She is a goddamn stranger on an airplane. The fact that she is beautiful does not mean she owes you a single goddamn thing.

      Not a quick lay. Not compassion. Not sympathy. Not forgiveness. Not tolerance. And not an easy way out of your bad behavior.

      She does NOT have to be extra nice, and extra careful, because YOU are being a dick.

      She does not get tapped to protect your wife and your children from the fact that you are a disgusting hypocritical slimeball. You cannot lay that garbage on her just because she is 22 years old, has a pretty face, and had the misfortune of being seated next to you on public transport.

      The sooner men get over the concept that women owe them something just because they were born with a penis, and that women need to be responsible for them because they can’t be responsible for themselves–the happier they’re going to be.

      It’s not Melissa’s fault that Brian Presley’s wife is married to a douchebag and had kids with a douchebag. Mrs. Presley is a grown woman and if her husband is a publicly shamed scumbag, she needs to decide what to do about that herself. It’s not Melissa Stetton’s problem, and no amount of whining and weaseling will make it her problem.

      • Candas Jane Dorsey says:

        Hang on a jiff. At the risk of getting into a firefight too, this isn’t about either Derryl or David as a symbol of all that’s wrong with gender politics. I don’t have to fully agree with either Derryl or David to be troubled that the discussion started being about two sets of ethics, the ethics of marriage and the ethics of tweeting, and has progressed to calling this particular two of the participants ‘dicks’. And I don’t have to fully DISagree with Arinn’s original post to disagree with the assumptions Arinn has made in the subsequent discussion, which has led to some abusive rhetoric. It sounds like some hot buttons have been hit here, and the end result is a huge change in focus.

        For the record, I’m a bit troubled by public shaming, no matter whose shame it is, because of the fallout on innocent bystanders. However, I recognise that private actions can have public consequences, which is why I am not a bit sympathetic to Presley or Preston or whatever his name is–really, anything anyone does could become known to anyone else, and if people can’t live their lives out of an inherent conviction that they should be civil, at least they should understand that secrecy is arbitrary and could be exploded at any time.

        But it is also up to each one of us to try to ensure that our own actions are as civil as possible, otherwise we lose what moral high ground we might have in discussing the transgressions of others.

        • Arinn says:

          I haven’t called Derryl or David any names, actually. But I have used the hypothetical “you” when discussing Presley and his actions. I do it because it makes the point more powerfully, and because it helps to expose the false assumptions and the colossal PRESUMPTION behind some of these arguments.

          Melissa Stetton is a 22-year-old girl. She is roughly the same age as my own daughter, who is also a beautiful young woman. And you know what? My daughter is not morally responsible for every jagoff that sits down next to her on a bus or a plane and thinks he can get a quick lay off her. And neither is Melissa Stetton.

          The elephant in the room of this argument is the assumption that Melissa Stetton OWES Brian Presley something. That since he is a drunk, sleazy, completely out of line liar and hypocrite, that somehow she is obligated to forgive him, protect him and his loved ones, or spare the rest of the world from the truth–which was, when she first started tweeting, that a creepy jerk was hitting on her on a plane.

          If you don’t like Twitter, don’t use it and don’t follow it. But if you are a public figure of any kind, you’d best be aware that other people have access to it, and will use it whenever and however they see fit. And strange women that you meet on planes do not OWE you anything, including “discretion”, “privacy” or any of the other privileges of intimacy between two human beings that actually have to be EARNED.

  10. David says:

    Ok Arinn, that WAS out of line. NEVER once did I even consider nor hint at nor say anything along the lines that women or Melissa Stetton owed me sex or anything of the kind. The only thing I pointed out is she is owed what is coming to her just as much as he was. The only thing I said was I felt sorry for the guys wife and kids who are the innocent victims in this who you are placing as just as guilty and owed the damage that he was. No she’s not trapped in to protect his wife, considering I was not part of it nor do I HAVE a wife or children. Age has nothing to do with it.

    The problem Arinn is that you are on a man bashing trip. A man has hurt you some place in the past so now all men have become a target for your injury and retaliation.

    Up until this point, I was mostly sided with you… however the fact that you only side on the defense of women who are equally at fault for doing the same things that Brian Presley did. And it is women like you who will side with that woman to make them appear as the one who is innocent and the men in Melissa’s situation as the guilty party.

    I am very offended by your statements and have lost a lot of respect I once had for you because of them and your one sided men basing/hating results.

    I am even sorry and embarrassed I supported you in your write-a-thon and asked my friends to support you, praising you for being such a wonderful person… I am embarrassed that I introduced them to you.

    • Arinn says:

      David, do us both a favor–don’t assume that every woman who has a sense of ethics and is willing to fight over matters of principle is just a “hurt woman” and “looking for revenge”. I don’t have to be the injured party to know right from wrong, and I don’t have to be a man-basher to bash men who act like creeps, and to refuse to spread the blame for their actions to women who don’t know them from Adam and have never agreed to take ANY responsibility for their lives.

      As for trying to blackmail me and control what I say and think with threats and shaming? Uh…no. If you introduced anyone to my work, you should have done it because I’m a good writer, not because you were under the impression that I was not a feminist. Anyone who researched my writing and career for two seconds would have known better.

      And if you supported the Write-a-thon, you should have done it because it was the right thing to do. It’s a charity donation, not a personal gift to me; I don’t make a penny from your donation, nor do I stand to gain in any other material way. Hell, if you want to impoverish me, persuade MORE people to donate and take free stuff from me; I have to donate my time to send out those free stories every week, and I have to pay for the signed first editions I send out to the big donors–the postage too! Get enough donors and you could put me in the poor house.

      I dare ya. 😛

  11. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    I have to agree with the Stetten’s decision to talk about this publicly. This kind of crap goes on *all* the freakin’ time. It is way too common. Moreover, this guy is a public figure acting in a way hypocritical to his public persona. Although I would say tweet it regardless of whether he was a celebrity or not.

    And quite frankly, I prefer this specificity. Stetten could’ve tweeted about “asshole guys” and just kept him anonymous, but then it would have been a general condemnation. I much prefer the specifics, then we can avoid engaging in generalities about guys, too, and in cases of people we might actually encounter in our professional circles, be a little wary.

    Candas talks about the politeness factor, and I think this is true. Also sometimes the freezing effect of the “I can’t believe that just happened” factor–like, you literally can’t believe somebody just said that, in this day and age.

    JeffV

    • Arinn says:

      I agree, Mr. V. Far too often, things like this get buried under passive aggressive remarks about “some men” or “guys”. This is actually a tactic which serves the agenda of the worst kind of men, and makes the better sort of man feel alienated and unjustly attacked (and rightly so).

      I think you’re right that Stetton’s approach is better for everyone, for a number of reasons. The problem isn’t “guys” or “men”. It’s this particular guy. Let him take both barrels.

  12. sj says:

    It’s not Melissa’s fault that Brian Presley’s wife is married to a douchebag and had kids with a douchebag. Mrs. Presley is a grown woman and if her husband is a publicly shamed scumbag, she needs to decide what to do about that herself. It’s not Melissa Stetton’s problem, and no amount of whining and weaseling will make it her problem.

    YES, damnit, this. I’ve been reading all kinds of everything about this and I can’t believe the vitriol directed at Melissa. This guy isn’t even enough of a big deal to have this many fans, so why all the hate? Because she dared to talk about what an asshole this guy was being in a public place? It’s not like this was a private exchange, I’m SURE they weren’t the only two people on the plane.

    Why shouldn’t she feel free to talk a little smack? I do it all the time. Granted, I usually leave names off, but she wasn’t even the one who went looking for information about the guy! It was tweeted to her by one of her followers and the whole RT/MT as a response is a common enough occurrence, especially for those who have many followers.

    [sigh]

    I’m afraid that in my rantiness I’ve stopped making sense.

    I guess I don’t understand how in 2012 people are still stooping to calling us sluts or c*nts when we dare to stick up for ourselves. If the situation had been reversed and it was a man tweeting about how he wasn’t interested in the woman hitting on him, people would have been laughing their asses off and high-fiving him all over the place.

    I’m so embarrassed to be human sometimes.

    • Arinn says:

      You’re making sense just fine. And yes, I suspect that if a handsome young actor or athlete were tweeting about some awful Christian poser woman who was taking off her wedding ring in the bathroom and drunk-a-sleazing all over him trying to get laid when she had a husband and two children, that no one AT ALL would be calling him names or telling him it was all his fault.

      People also don’t tend to object to the fact that men have a Twitter account or a large group of followers. Some of this is also based on the fact that a woman is not allowed to have enough social power to achieve this quick and effortless mass mind, which I think many find disturbing.

      Regardles, social networking is here to stay and unlike many other forms of social power, it is available to women quite easily. This sort of thing will happen more and more in the years to come.

      I wouldn’t argue that the power of social networking can’t be used for evil–it most certainly can. ANY power can be used for evil. But this time, it wasn’t.

  13. Don Thompson says:

    Hah! Too bad for the guy. Let’s be serious and practical here. Sure the lady is attractive, and sure many men prowl. But there are two ways to do it. One is straight up, and that includes straight up at home as well.

    The other is sleazy and that’s the road this guy took.

    The lady’s actions – hey, jerk, it’s buyer beware. If you’re going to lie and bullshit, please, expect to be called on it.

    Same goes the other way around.

    • Arinn says:

      I agree completely, Don. If this guy wasn’t lying his butt off and faking single to try and get a leg over, this would be a very different story, and the woman might very well be the villain of it.

  14. Russ says:

    Nicely said Arinn. I would think that if more women would do as you say to ‘out’ this abominable behaviour, men would act more accountably, or at least be made accountable, and you’d likely have less of this behaviour occur.

  15. Arcturus says:

    Dear Derryl and David,

    4 words….MAN THE HELL UP….PLEASE!

    Ok, that was 5 but close enough.

    Given how verbose you both seem to be, I am going to go out on a limb and assume you are both capable of looking out the window and understanding what you see. So tell you what, when you SEE a world where women are not being set fire to, abused, raped and enslaved in numbers VASSTLY disproportionate to men. Hell when you see a world where they even get bloody well paid the same as us menfolk, then maybe just maybe you can indulge in this sad “AW the big mean girl is being unfair to us!” routine without embarrassing every other decent guy guy on earth. Cause brother, even if you were right, which you are not, but even if you were, being unfairly grouped into the douche party on this issue, is a TRIVIAL price to be paid for being born into the half of the race that does NOT usually get set on fire for a marriage faux pas.

    But until we live in an even vaguely equal world, try not to be such god damned babies every time you feel hard done by.

    It’s…shameful.

  16. john b says:

    Slightly off-topic. I was going to donate and score some signed editions from you. Bit if there’s the risk of impoverishing you via that, well I don’t want to take that chance. 😀

    We disagree on most everything political, I had to have help off the floor after your comment that “Government is a necessary part of the solution to social problems.” Almost did in a cranky cigar smoking man with that one.

    But here, I’m 110% in your corner. Had it been me, she’d probably have maced me. Difference between Brad and I, besides my being single. I take a breath mint, and shave my knuckles. When I was younger, I could count on dragging them on the ground to keep those hobbit hairs down, but since I pretend to some degree of refinement in my dotage…

  17. john b says:

    Arcturus, three words….

    The Burning Bed!

    • Arinn says:

      Oh sure. You set ONE guy on fire, and they never let you forget it! 😛

      Seriously, John, we cannot agree on everything and we cannot disagree on everything. I’m glad you’re on my corner on some issues, and that is all I can ask from anyone.

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