Splitsider

Friday, August 26th, 2011

One Night at Asssscat, or What to Do With a Date Rape Monologue

We’ve been getting a lot of emails this morning about a particular audience monologist that performed at the Assssscat at the Del Close Marathon on Sunday, August 14. In case you don’t know, the Del Close Marathon is the Upright Citizens Brigade’s annual improv fest in New York and Asssscat is the improv show that caps off the weekend. Last night, improviser Poupak Sepehri posted on her Tumblr about the show and in it linked to a video of the monologue, posted by improviser Stephanie Streisand. Having raised his hand and been chosen by the performers on stage to tell a story, the audience member in question begins at about 38 minutes in. If you watch it or saw it in person, the most benign way to describe it is that it’s the story of the monologist coercing a drunk woman into have sex with him, despite her repeatedly telling him that she did not want to and to leave her hotel room. The more accurate way to describe it, in my opinion, is as the chilling account of pseudo-rape, told by the perpetrator as if it was a funny thing that he saw on the subway.

I was in that audience for the show, and I have lot of THOUGHTS and FEELINGS about what an incident like this means to the comedy community and how it was handled. What this guy did and what, if anything, the woman in the story can do about it is a matter for the authorities. I hope that doesn’t seem like an utter cop-out, though maybe that’s what it is. For the purposes of this article, however, I’m specifically interested in what this story, and the public venue it was told in, means to us as comedians, and comedy-loving people, specifically.

As an audience member, let me just say that his story filled me with a creeping dread. There is something so surreal about watching someone reveal something dark about themselves with a seeming total lack of self awareness, and with utter glee. Say what you will about comedians: most of us at least attempt to be self-aware. That being said, I know I've seen weird strains of misogyny rear their head at comedy shows before, though none as explicit (or, you know, real) as this one. As a white, nominally heterosexual woman I can't speak to how LGBTQ comedians or comedians of color handle similarly ugly situations, but I have been at shows of all kinds where something deeply ugly boils to the surface of someone’s psyche, and I imagine the feeling is similar in those situations: one minute we’re all laughing and having a good time, the next we're staring into the dark parts of a person's soul, and they don’t even seem to realize that it’s there. Or that not everyone is laughing with them.

I know what you’re thinking: "Halle, this story was not just an offensive improv scene or stand-up bit, but a real godawful event that took place in real life to a real human being." That is very true and very hideous, and I don’t mean to trivialize the actual incident in anyway. However, the most horrifying part of the incident, to me, was that it was a joke to the monologist. This wasn’t a story being told telling off–the-cuff: his friends pointed him out as having a superior story, certain details had clearly been finessed, and at one chilling point, the storyteller added, "This is how I tell this part to my friends." Of course, there was also the coup de grace, when the monologist acted out how he successfully implemented "the fishhook" on the woman in the story, jabbing his fingers into a phantom vagina and turning to the audience with a look on his face that suggested we should have been applauding him. It was clear that he had told his joke before and found particular delight in it. This was clearly a beloved bit about when he valiantly struggled to overcome a woman's desire not to have sex with him, and succeeded. L.O.L.

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.

Again, I don’t mean to play down this really awful, really sad event, which this person loudly and proudly told on camera, as being just A Question For Comedians. The only good that comes out of this incident is that this guy is now preserved on film, revealing the graphic, unsettling details of a night most people would opt never to repeat out loud to anyone. However, the whole thing makes me think about how many times I’ve heard someone dismissed for "not being able to take a joke" or "just not getting the joke." I think moments like this make it clear how profoundly and disturbingly different people's viewpoints of the world can be. Not to get all Marc Maron on y'alls asses (i.e. to get extremely Marc Maron on y'alls asses), but I honestly believe that we as comedians are philosophers and poets and therapists, in addition to being normal fucked-up human beings. Even when we are telling butthole jokes, it’s a way to bring to the surface all the dark garbage floating around inside our humanity and expose it to the light. And when a person gets up in a public place and mugs to an audience about successfully fucking a woman who explicitly and repeatedly made clear she did not want to have sex with him, there's a role for comedians to play, and to keep playing. And it's not just to applaud.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Caroline-Anderson/731041782 Caroline Anderson

    You mentioned Walsh and Besser, but I thought Ian Roberts (just judging from the video) handled it very well. Maybe the best. He didn't laugh at him, he just said "Choose your words carefully" and pointing out that the women in the audience clearly weren't laughing.

    • Chip Gowan@twitter
  • Halle Kiefer

    You are completely right Caroline, and that is because I straight-up called Ian Roberts by the wrong name. I just corrected it in the post, but yes, he definitely did.

    • http://www.collegehumor.com/user:328495 Chase Mitchell

      @Halle Kiefer I've gotten those two confused multiple embarrassing times.

  • Joe Berkowitz

    Really glad you wrote this, Halle. Thoughtful and well said.

  • Megh Wright

    Yeah Halle, great post. The video just makes me sad. I'm disappointed with how it was handled, but in the moment of it I'm sure it was unexpected and awkward. Either way I hope this guy quickly becomes a poster child for how to be an unfunny douche.

  • Phil Davidson

    It would have been funny if, immediately after that guy said fishhook, an actual shark hook dropped from the ceiling and impaled him. I would have laughed really hard at that.

  • Travis Helwig@twitter

    Thank you for writing this Halle.

  • Kath Barbadoro@twitter

    Nothing this guy said makes me think "pseudo rape". This dude RAPED somebody.

    But thank you for writing about this. I especially liked the fifth paragraph and the part about how "not being able to take a joke" is an inadequate defense for this bullshit.

  • cathy_kerr@twitter

    Why hasn't his identity been outed and why is he not being pursued by a cyber-lynch mob?

    • facebook@twitter

      @cathy_kerr@twitter Eric Angell is the rapist in question.

  • http://www.allnightpictures.com KidPresentable

    Hey, don't call it "pseudo-rape," please. Date rape is real rape.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Caroline-Anderson/731041782 Caroline Anderson

    I would really like to hear from the performers who were on stage. I think that not only will they have a unique take on it since they were the ones who had to use the monologue to inspire scenes, but also because they are such respected figures in the comedy community and I think that their words will probably have a more profound affect than comedy fans/bloggers/journalists/performers.

    This is an amazing post, and I'm glad that you made it. I hope that this begins a much larger conversation that includes the performers, the audience, and the monologist himself.

    I'm glad that the "online comedy community" has rallied around this issue so much. It's so important.

  • Sara Schaefer@twitter

    This reminds me of a few weeks ago when I did a college show. Afterwards, us comedians and a group of male students went to get dinner. I don't remember how it started, but they launched into a long series of "It's not rape if…" jokes. They were very proud of themselves. We tried to tell them to stop politely, but one of the guys kept going and was like "I wish I could think of more." Disturbing. Excellent article Halle, thank you for writing it.

    • Jih-Fang Jenny Yang@facebook

      @Sara Schaefer@twitter dude. Sara! i totally listened to ur podcast (I'm a Hobot) about this. F*cking crazy. This is indeed a great article. I personally agree with the opinion you expressed on that podcast episode about what is off-limits or not when it comes to comedy. It's got to be funny or give a different slant on it. I've actually sat through a former top contestant of Last Comic Standing look at my directly in the eyes (since I was the only Asian American person in the audience) and tell a joke about how he was fingering this Asian chick and pulled out a fortune) Um. Stupid. Anyway. Hope to share a stage with you someday! – Jenny Yang

  • six_dffrnt_wys

    I know eric from the community here in chicago and I can say that no one knew where that story going. HIs friends who encouraged him to tell that story only knew the story up until the part where he says "but i'm the guy who showed up". his creepy confession was apparently an impulse move from a guy who has a severe lack of good judgement. several of his friends left during his story out of embarrassment and made sure to let him know how they felt about his confession later that evening.

    • saythatscool

      @six_dffrnt_wys Ok, not to put you on the spot but I have so many questions about this. And seeing as how I live right around the corner from the club, I may just have to go track down Eric myself for some answers. But anyway, I'll ask the most obvious question first. This was not "a performance" right? This sounds too close to a public confession. It's not like somebody gave an improv assignment and said "pretend you're a rapist and tell me a story about your last encounter and try to joke about it in telling it." Because if that was the case, this guy wildly succeeded. And just so we're clear, I'm SHOCKED and disgusted by this story and I think it's real but I just want to make sure I'm not being pullled into some Andy Kaufman woman wrestling hoax.

    • six_dffrnt_wys

      @saythatscool as far as i know, this was not a bit or a prank. just a sad, misguided sociopath who seems oblivious to the fact that he did anything wrong.

      I do think that Poupak's story is unfairly exaggerated with unfounded assumptions that Eric never addressed. Exaggeration isn't needed to paint Eric in a poor light. He does that himself. Adding things that were not stated like "…and LOCKS the door behind…" or "violently" fingered is skewing the story to make something awful sound worse. It's not necessary and it's sensationalizing this thing that doesn't need anything else to make it sound terrible. it already is.

  • Boris Khaykin@twitter

    Nicely written, Halle. The one thing I still wonder is if this is this dude's account of what happened how much worse the actual incident might be. As Poupak pointed out, he makes a lot of justifications for his actions. Take away these justifications and word things in a way that drops his feeble attempt at humor and it can be escalated to an even more disturbing tale. One that could not be misconstrued as "pseudo" anything. Hopefully that's not the case for all parties involved.

  • Raven Geary@twitter

    Jesus christ, it's not "pseudo-rape." It IS rape. Come on now.

  • Emmanuel Galvan@twitter

    There is rape and there isn't rape. This IS rape.
    He is now a performer for Improv-Vegas, his name is Eric D Angell.

  • Anna Jayne@twitter

    Great post. The fact that he was so, so confused by why everyone was booing him is both terrifying – that there are people like that in the world – and pitiable – because clearly no one has taught him that that's not how you act, or talk.

  • http://eavoss.com Erik Voss

    Excellent post. I'm glad we have Splitsider for this kind of stuff. I enjoyed the group of women cheering when he said "She was stronger than me." You might have given the audience too much credit though — rather than boos of righteous indignation, they sounded more like a group of freshmen huddled around a computer reading a Tucker Max post. But I suppose uncomfortable laughter is the best kind of protest we could expect at an ASSSSCAT show with a hilarious cast, on closing night of the DCM.

  • Robin@twitter

    I wonder if the woman in the story has seen this. Not only did she survive the awful event, but now she has to hear the perpetrator use it for "comedy."

    I'll bet if Amy Poehler were present (the only original UCB 4 not present) she would shut him down right away.

    • six_dffrnt_wys

      @Robin@twitter Only two of the four were present. Matt Walsh was also not there.

  • Jake Fogelnest@twitter

    Perfect. Thank you.

  • hovi@twitter

    These sentiments reflect mine after attending an improv show at UCB last weekend wherein a Caucasian actress assumed an embarrassing impersonation of a Chinese maid and the rest of the very white cast played on the caricatured stereotype with much glee. While the offense is not as egregious, this was right on the money about the lack of self-awareness in these moments.

  • HerooftheBeach

    I saw that there were 26 comments before I started reading, and as I went through the article I was terrified that there were going to be contrarian trolls defending this scumbag. But, thank god, you are all beautiful people, and Splitsider is better than the internet.

  • Jason Farr@facebook

    I'm personally disturbed and confused and befuddled. I think his friends who gave him the number and all are bad influences. I'd like to know what the girl in the story thinks. This brings up a lot of questions outside of what is considered appropriate in a comedy venue (which is an important question) but what is considered appropriate in society. He had people cheering him on in the video at points.
    I know people are going to say she decided to have sex with him. That just makes this all the more creepy and hard to discern. But that doesn't make his behavior any more appropriate. Plus, can we really trust HIS telling? I'd be interested to know that from the girl's perspective. Gosh, I'm messed up over this and I just hate that women have to go through crap like this and then other women are asked to sit through listening to crap like this. Ugh.
    Yet another great article, Halle. You bring up a very interesting perspective and I appreciate you for it.

    • ratchet

      @Jason Farr@facebook From what I gathered with this portion of the story (her deciding to have sex with him) was that she knew she was going to get raped either way, so she might as well ask to use protection and try to get hurt (physically) as little as possible.

      And to add to the other comments, this is gross and disgusting and I'm so happy that splitsider wrote on this. I read about this last night and I haven't stopped thinking of this incident or the anonymous woman since.

    • Jason Farr@facebook

      @ratchet Someone mentioned that on another website I read about this. It's so disturbing. I am disgusted by the existence of rape and have always been so worked up over it when I hear about it happening and I STILL didn't know that kind of stuff happened. Where women gave their rapists condoms to keep them from harming them further. This just makes me so sad and the fact that rape is still going on is just disturbing.

  • kikipedia

    "The more accurate way to describe it, in my opinion, is as the chilling account of pseudo-rape …"

    The more accurate way to describe it, in MY opinion, is as the chilling account of rape-rape. No means no, and coercion does not have to be physical.

  • Zach Peterson@twitter

    Great article. I couldn't imagine anything but befuddlement if this happened. Tricky thing to write about, but you hit the nail on the head.

  • kelly

    Thanks for writing this, and also, thanks to Splitsider for existing as a place on the internet where not one of the comments on this story is vile. Couldn't get through more than a minute of this guy talking once I knew what was coming.

  • Annie Sisk@facebook

    Please trust: This "story" described an actual rape, not a pseudo- anything. That said, this is my first time at Splitsider and I have to give you all major props for being 100% righteous.

  • Barbara Gray@twitter

    What I would not have given to be a performer on the stage that night. I would have stopped that guy cold. Ugh. Disgusting. Thank you for the insight.

  • Katie Hunter@facebook
  • Sparrow Morgan@facebook

    This guy deserves all the terrible things that will ever happen to him.

    Also, why has the Internet not banded together to ruin his life yet?

    • Jason Farr@facebook

      @Sparrow Morgan@facebook I believe he deleted his Facebook. I wouldn't be surprised if we hear some story about him killing himself.

  • WeedOnBooks@twitter

    Why do you spell it "ya'll"?

  • REAL Julian Asange@twitter

    way to get all serious and sad and shit

  • LHOOQ

    Thanks for bringing this up. Just want to add to the chorus: This is not a story of pseudo-rape. This is a story of rape.

  • Ari Scott@twitter

    Thank you for this article. The anger thrown this guy's way only shows how great this improv community is. Also, I'll join the chorus of people who oppose the prefix "pseudo."

  • Pantsless Radio@twitter

    Am I the only one who think this has ZERO to do with comedy? He fucking raped a woman! Why is he not in jail? Why is no one commenting he should be arrested instead of wondering who should've shut him up at the show? The bastard needs to be off the streets before he has another 'funny' story to tell about another woman.

    • Jason Farr@facebook

      @Pantsless Radio@twitter I agree with your overall point. He should be taken off the streets. He clearly is a detriment to society if he thinks that he didn't rape a woman and that this story was just a funny story to share about his conquests. The reason it's relevant to the comedy community is because we do need to discuss how to handle situations like this when a person in the audience does something like he did. Because I wouldn't handle it appropriately. What I mean is, I don't know what handling it appropriately would be. Do we shut him up? Take him outside and tell him what he did was wrong? Call the authorities? And how do we handle when it's not a criminal act being discussed but an offensive one? We, as a comedy community, deal with random stuff like this once in a blue moon but yet we never openly talk about how to deal with it. We're also not the authorities so it wouldn't be our jurisdiction as comedians to talk about how we should get this guy off the streets.

  • Christopher Libby@twitter

    Eric D Angell has been identified as the man in the video. He has been identified as working for Improv-Vegas. A dormant twitter account linked to his name lists Improv-Vegas as an account it follows. I have contacted Improv-Vegas via email to encourage them to respond to this article publicly and immediately.

  • http://tigercomedy.tumblr.com/ Sara

    You're totally right. Good comedy is truth or valid points, put out in a way that takes your face off (or mask). Rape is obviously not okay, or "funny." Call it out.

  • Josh Guerrin@facebook

    So no one is using the thread that I was responding to so I'm just going to copy/paste here. Please someone help me out-
    (This is post one)–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.—-(this is post 2)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.—-(this is post 3)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.

    • facebook@twitter

      @Josh Guerrin@facebook Oh, she only said ONCE "you really gotta go" and only ONCE said "you're going to have to go" for a grand total of two "get out of my house"s, shit, that changes everything. It's not rape in your eyes until the No count exceeds what, a baker's dozen?

      Do you seriously think that if you enter a complete stranger's house and don't leave until you've been fucked, that what happened is fucking "pity sex?"

  • Josh Guerrin@facebook

    No it's not the amount or even the words. It's the intent. And again it's HIS story but her intent never sounded to me like get out I feel threatened. It always sounded like I am not particularly attracted to you.

  • Josh Guerrin@facebook

    I take it by your derisive use of quotation around pity sex you have never given or had pity sex. Or do you object to my vernacular. I tried to use a term I felt most would understand. What I meant was having sex with someone, not because you love them or are even that attracted to them but because sex is fun and they clearly want to have sex with you. And before you climb up my ass, I'm saying he clearly wanted to have sex and she knew it not the other way around.

    • http://www.allnightpictures.com KidPresentable

      @Josh Guerrin@facebook Josh Guerrin if you do not think the story in that video describes a rape there's a stomach-churningly high chance that you yourself have raped someone. Educate yourself about consent before you do it again, for your wife's sake.

    • Jason Farr@facebook
    • Jason Farr@facebook

      @KidPresentable That's going way too far. The story is stomach-churning. And it is something if a person doesn't think what this Eric guy described is rape, but it's not okay to say Josh might have raped someone and that he should educate himself before he does it again. That's way, way, way too far and you should take that back and apologize.
      I agree that the story described in the monologue is that of a rape. And people do need to get educated so they understand why to do what he described would be rape. But let's not start suggesting strangers who are seeking clarity have raped someone and might do it again. Way out of line. And I've been disagreeing with Josh this whole time because he keeps missing the point and misappropriating statements. But the dude is sincerely trying to understand something on a deeper level so he can raise his kids right. Which is admirable.

    • Josh Guerrin@facebook

      @KidPresentable Seriously? This is just the saddest thing ever. I don't know how there isn't "report" option on this site, but this is a little too far. Where in anything I've said is your evidence of me raping my wife? What must it be like to be as awful as you clearly are? By the way, my evidence of you being human trash is that I sought to help and defend a human being who I viewed as being unfairly attacked and your response was to say I rape my wife. What a piece of shit.

  • Julie Gillis@facebook

    @joshGuerrin We don't know (for a fact) that the story he told was true. We don't know that it was a fiction, or an exaggeration, or something he heard someone else say, we don't know for a fact if this was some kind of Andy Kaufman-esque piece of performance art. What we do know is that he told a story that provokes a pretty repulsed response in most of the people who've watched it live, watched it on tape, so much so that his peers confronted him at parties after the event and we know he's not made a statement as to the truth or fiction of the story.
    His story, at BEST, is a story of callous, coercive sex with someone he didn't give a damn about. We've already discussed what the story could be at worst.
    I'm personally turned off by lynch mobs, but this is the wild wild west of the internet, and if you go on stage and tell that story, call it a true story, and allow yourself to be filmed, then Maude help you cause people are gonna react.
    I hope he didn't do what he said he did, cause if he did it speaks terribly about both his actions and how he believed telling "comic" stories about that action was a good idea.
    If he did do those things, I hope he gets some help.

    • Jason Farr@facebook

      @Julie Gillis@facebook Julie is correct. Entirely. We don't know for a fact what went down. For all we know he could be making it up entirely. For all we know he could have been watering it down so it didn't sound as bad as what really happened.
      We shouldn't get a lynch mob mentality. That's a dangerous road to go down even when you're on the right side of the issue. Even if we knew for a fact that he raped her it's just not safe for anybody to adopt that sort of mentality. We can't let his evil behavior rise us to bitterness and anger.
      As for Josh's points, I don't think you can simply call this pity sex. Rape is when you force someone to have sex with them through either physically dominating them or giving them the impression you are a threat to them; and when you take advantage of them when they are drunk, drugged or tricking them into thinking you are someone you are not.
      We know a few things from his telling of the story. That he took advantage of her being drunk, that he tricked her into telling her where she was by pretending to be someone he is not, and by not leaving when she told him repeatedly to leave which very well could make her feel threatened. If you are a girl, alone in a hotel room, and some stranger shows up after pretending to be someone else and he won't leave even after you've told him to and he's stepped into the room and closed the door after he tricked you into letting your guard down and walking away for a minute then you are going to feel threatened. This is more than just him being socially awkward. At the least what he did was very creepy, very inappropriate and borderline date rape. That's at the very least. I believe, because of his creepiness in telling the story, that he was leaving some details out and what actually happened was worse than what we heard.

    • Josh Guerrin@facebook

      @Jason Farr@facebook I guess it's your assumption that the "real" story is worse than what we heard. Is it not just as likely that in his attempt to be self-deprecating-which he clearly interprets as funny since it works for other comics-he made it sound worse on his part. Trying to find comedy in what was an embarrassing moment in his life.

    • Jason Farr@facebook

      @Julie Gillis@facebook Well, I think that's pretty obvious. I said, "I believe" and then went on to say why I believed that. So yeah, it's my assumption. One I made after clearly stating that we don't now for a fact what went down. As far as we know different things are possible. But I believe, given the circumstances, that he raped her.

  • Julie Gillis@facebook

    Also, Josh. There is a very very broad and deep gap in the ways men and women communicate in circumstances such as this. Let's say this event occurred just as he said. He might have believed she was giving him pity sex, like…ok this will be over in 2 minutes, and then he'll leave, I'll have a hangover but oh well.
    Maybe that's what happened.
    It's equally reasonable to assume she was drunk, discombobulated by a person she didn't call showing up at her door, who apparently let himself in and didn't leave when she asked. She might have been afraid, she might have been so drunk she couldn't truly consent or make a rational decision.
    Many women in that circumstance will opt to take the 2 minute non-violent fuck (even asking for a condom to protect themselves from disease), instead of risking that the guy will get angry and take the fuck.
    I know a lot of men don't seem to believe this is true, but it is. What looks like pity sex is often "just get him out of here sex." And it shows a clear disregard of the woman from the man's point in this case. He didn't care a whit that she was drunk and uncomfortable.
    Real consent, even in one nighter, means that each person's pleasure doesn't come at the expense of the other person's safety or comfort.
    I wish more people understood this. If they did we might all have a little bit less sex, but it was damn well be much better more satisfying sex.

  • Josh Guerrin@facebook

    Okay explain this to me, as anecdotal evidence as it may be- How did a stage full of not only comic vets, but over all decent human beings, such as Bresser and Sans, here this story of not just date rape, not just "pseudo-rape", but full on, stone cold, lets get this guy to kill himself rape, and not just not stop him, but actually make jokes. Because-"That's not how you play bingo" and "No woman here could resist you right now"- are jokes. Not about rape. But about a pathetic hook up told by the most pathetic party.

    • Jason Farr@facebook

      @Josh Guerrin@facebook How do you know they're decent human beings? How do you know they would have heard it as "stone cold, let's get this guy to kill himself rape?" The "let's get this guy to kill himself" stuff didn't come from them, it came from comments you read on another blog. You can't apply that to the performers on the stage that night.
      But therein lies the whole reason Halle wrote this article. To address how we as a community should handle a situation like this, because they didn't do anything to stop him or this from happening. And maybe they wanted to. As a guy who runs an open mic, I've wanted to stop comics who were being offensive in a way that isn't allowed in the comedy forum, but I didn't. They could have been so shocked that they overlooked it. That's why we're having the discussion in the first place. But they may not have known what to do, so you can't say that because they didn't it must not have been that bad. The writer was there. And she took it the way she did, but she didn't stand up and stop him either.

    • Josh Guerrin@facebook

      @Jason Farr@facebook Exactly, that is a possibility. But given the video I saw the probability is that this was not an admission of rape that should have been stopped were people not so shocked by it's brazenness. What I saw and have seen is a grown up version of Operator. People saw the actual event and were put off by it's inherent awkwardness and it has grown from there person to person, post by post to become, This guy went onstage at Asssscat and full on admitted to violently raping someone and we live in such a misogynistic culture that no one even cares. And that is not the story. It's just the most attention-grabbing way to put it.

    • Jason Farr@facebook

      @Josh Guerrin@facebook I haven't seen one person on this site refer to it as "violently raping" other than you. So you're actually wrong about what is going on. No one used the word violent. I haven't even seen that on the other site I've read about this. It sounds like you're over exaggerating and applying that exaggeration to everyone. Which is false. Not everyone is saying that. And as far as I've seen, not even most. What you are overlooking is that what he did is terribly wrong and inappropriate. When women are saying that she was probably scared and wanted to avoid a violent situation so she had protected sex with him you have to understand how many women will view this. As a rape. Not a violent rape, but more like date rape. And as people have said on this very thread, that is real rape. And date rape is real rape. This is entirely to sketchy of a situation, even with us not knowing all the facts or the other side of the story, to defend. What he did was inexcusable.

  • Josh Guerrin@facebook

    Julie Gillis@facebook–Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is the best thing I have heard said because I agree this speaks to his social awkwardness and inability to interpret cues and definitely opens the conversation about not just a women's role in sexual politics but a mans as well. Because I'm not saying he behaved in an admirable or even funny way. But I don't get the calls to ruin him. Or why it was so cut and dry that he WAS a rapist.

  • Julie Gillis@facebook

    I'll try to answer your question Josh, as best I know how.

    Sans and Besser are hosting a show. There is, probably, tremendous pressure to keep a show going, make the audience feel comfortable and move forward.

    My assumption is S and B were waiting for some comic platform/tilt moment in the story, and they used sarcasm and mocking humor to clue Angell in to their (and the audiences) increasing discomfort. He didn't clue in, or chose not to clue in either because he was socially awkward or because he's a real honest jerk. More on that in a minute.

    As a host myself, I think it's a very fine line between shifting the audience energy away from the negative moment, and flat out stopping the moment. They used humor to highlight his idiocy and then apparently called back the story in their Armando to highlight how terrible a story it was.
    They could have chosen to stop the show and said. Dude…that's the least cool story ever. I'd have been really happy with that response, as I think the audience would have. The audience respected Sans and Besser and would have gone with their leadership in that effort. But I think what they did in the moment, being surprised was also acceptable. I do wonder how the tone and reaction would have changed if there had been women on the stage. I wish there had been.

    As for your second post well….maybe he was socially awkward, but maybe he was relying on her fear or her drunkenness.

    Here are some links that indicate how often people DO interpret cues correctly and how often men who might want to take things farther use that "socially awkward" thing to get what they want.

    http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/mythcommunication-its-not-that-they-dont-understand-they-just-dont-like-the-answer/

    http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/because_of_the_implication

    • Josh Guerrin@facebook

      @Julie Gillis@facebook Again thank you. Honestly, another reason this is so bothersome is that I have two daughters-4 and 2. And I even said to my wife after we watched the video, since I didn't hear rape in that story am I setting our girls up to be raped? Because while I would have been upset to hear that story about one of my girls, I wouldn't have called the cops based on his story. And what I'm hearing is that makes me not just a bad father, but a criminal one. Also thank you for the links. The yes means yes one was really good and one I intend to read with my girls and more importantly with my son(he's the latest edition at 6 months). Because I do think this is important. I guess to wrap up or encapsulate all this- The story was gross, rape is deplorable, but the response I've seen to this post/story is just disgusting. I do actually agree with most of these people-that rape is one of the worst things you can do as a human-but I'll be damned if the resulting behavior I've seen isn't inching up there along side it. Most of you people should be as ashamed as the villain you've created in your mind. Not you, Julie. You are actually helping to keep my faith in humanity intact.

    • Julie Gillis@facebook

      @Josh Guerrin@facebook
      Well, don't put me too high up on a pedestal. I'll probably just fall off.
      I think there is so so much more we need, as a culture, to do to really get people comfortable with healthy sexuality, sex ed, consent, joy and pleasure. Treating each other with kindness not contempt and so forth. We've got a long way to go. There are lots of stories like this. I've heard versions of them from men and from the woman's side.
      There is a lot of impolite and inhuman behavior going on out there. I don't know what to do about it. I mean, I'm totally following the story, googling links and wondering about things myself. Rubbernecking.
      Anyway, I'm gonna let it go and keep talking to my sons about how yes means yes and if you aren't sure, get a cup of coffee together and talk it out. Hard stuff. Shouldn't be that hard.

    • Cara

      @Josh Guerrin@facebook

      If you really "do actually agree with most of these people-that rape is one of the worst things you can do as a human-but I'll be damned if the resulting behavior I've seen isn't inching up there along side it", then you, young man, are out of your mind.

      It's pretty standard, when dealing with the rape culture we're all swimming in, to freak out a bit when smacked full in the face with what REALLY happens to women, and to want to minimize that so we don't have to feel sick about it.

      But calling out rape IS NOT EVEN REMOTELY CLOSE to raping someone.

      Your discomfort at having to look at it IS NOT EVEN REMOTELY CLOSE to what the woman endured in living through it.

    • Bill

      @Julie Gillis@facebook – I was reading your response and found it interesting that you mentioned the UCB guys feeling pressure to keep the show going and that could be the same thing either Eric or the woman could have been feeling. Eric could have been feeling that she was turning him down and he needed to keep selling himself. She could have felt like there was an expectation of sex and it was hard to turn him down. Somehow it seems easier to let it go for the UCB guys than for Eric.

    • Josh Guerrin@facebook

      @Cara I hate to get pulled back into this bullshit echo chamber of full blown lunacy, but I can't let this one stand.
      What I was saying "is inching up there" is, not, TALKING ABOUT RAPE. The action that I was referring to as "inching up" there, was people, based on a video that PROVES NOTHING, not just saying flat out and with complete assurance that he IS a rapist, but taking it a step further to track him down, find his name, put it out there for the psychos on the internet to play with, and even goaded people into taking action against him. I have no problem talking about rape in fact I think if we did it more often shit like this wouldn't happen as much. But this ganging up on this guy because you WISH he had done something so you could crucify him is just sick. So if you don't think that those actions against an(for all you and I know) innocent person are getting close to rape, then YOU are insane.

  • Budd Rice@twitter

    Are there reasonable people who are asking to "ruin" Eric Angell? Or is that just a straw man argument?

    Anyone is entitled to watch a confessional monologue and interpret whether or not something is hateful, misogynistic, racist, etc. within that monologue based on what they saw. And Eric Angell has every right to reply to those comments or let the debate burn itself out.

    How much evidence do we need before we're "allowed" to say that the words he used in that monologue, his body language, his comedic pauses and his physical demonstration of the "fish hook" constituted a story about a rape? Maybe we'd need to sit down with Eric Angell's psychologist, his improv coach, his Second City host-friend and the woman in question before we figured out what actually happened that night, but we don't need that kind of evidence or any further facts to pass judgment on the monologue itself.

    • Jason Farr@facebook

      @Budd Rice@twitter Thank you!

    • Josh Guerrin@facebook

      @Budd Rice@twitter "Why hasn't his identity been outed and why is he not being pursued by a cyber-lynch mob?"
      "@cathy_kerr@twitter Eric Angell is the rapist in question."
      "Sparrow Morgan@facebook
      This guy deserves all the terrible things that will ever happen to him.

      Also, why has the Internet not banded together to ruin his life yet?"
      "Jason Farr@facebook
      @Sparrow Morgan@facebook I believe he deleted his Facebook. I wouldn't be surprised if we hear some story about him killing himself."
      Does that sound like people NOT trying to ruin him?

    • Josh Guerrin@facebook

      @Budd Rice@twitter Oh my god! I just noticed YOU were the first person I saw and then copy/pasted, asking to go after this guy! Or were you talking about the pleasant "cyber-lynch mob" that leaves people un-ruined. Wow! Just wow.

    • unicorn porn

      @Josh Guerrin@facebook Perhaps the "cyber-lynch mob" comment was, as it is known in the comedy community, a "joke." And when I say "joke," I mean that I would be totally into the internet ganging up on him, but would prefer to express that sentiment in a jocular manner.

      Also, in terms of life ruining, there's really no comparison between rape and the internet being mean.

    • Josh Guerrin@facebook

      @unicorn porn Right and you would be okay with the internet ganging up on this human being because he did…what? What information do you have that has allowed you to pass this judgement.
      Also, never did I even imply that rape is the same as calling someone names. What I did imply was that IF he didn't do anything wrong, according to this woman, but people like you gleefully cheer himself on to killing himself, that quasi-murder would start to inch up there to the life shatteringly awful stratosphere of rape. And I guess that's a point your missing. If we eventually hear from this woman,and she even whispers the word rape or says she was even sort of uncomfortable with it, I'm with you. The internet should be loosed and it's full unbridled awfulness brought to bear on the head of every rapist and child molester. But it's mob thinkers like you that are the problem. You have no idea who these people are, but you sit with your blank profile pic and your shitty internet name and anonymously call for this named and faced human to be ganged up on. That is cowardly and not unlike the actions of the rapists you claim to be up for gettin'.

    • Jason Farr@facebook

      @Josh Guerrin@facebook You're misrepresenting a couple of those comments. Like mine. I said I'd be surprised if he didn't kill himself. You actually said those comments are TRYING to ruin this guy.
      Saying he is a rapist, when he is, is not trying to ruin someone. Saying you'd be surprised if he didn't kill himself is an observation. Not trying to get it to happen. You said it was "gleefully cheering someone on to killing themselves." Your whole point has been, "Where is the evidence of this" well, where is the evidence that I am "gleefully cheering him on to killing himself?" I never did that. I said I wouldn't be surprised if did. Not that I wanted that to happen. That I wouldn't be surprised. Speaking of gleeful, you know who WAS gleefully doing something? Eric Angell, when he told a story that sounded an awful lot like rape.
      You are clearly just trolling websites for arguments if you're going to go as far as misrepresenting what people said.

    • six_dffrnt_wys

      @Josh Guerrin@facebook You're totally right. Like I said, I know Eric from the community here in Chicago. He's a creep, there's no question. But why would he confess to rape in front of an audience? In the story, he's completely upfront about the woman's displeasure with his appearance. And yes, the whole story makes you feel gross and awkward, I was there for the live telling and it made me so sick and uncomfortable in my seat. But he did not rape anyone. He told a gross story in the worst way possible. That's his crime, not knowing when to shut up. This guy is not intimidating, he's not aggressive, he's not even strong. When he says the woman was stronger than him, that is a very easy statement to believe. Should he have left? Probably. Would sex have occurred if he had not refused her request for him to leave? No, definitely not. But that does not mean that rape was committed. Thank you Josh for taking to an awkward weirdo's defense against a mob of people that are trying to ruin his life.

    • Josh Guerrin@facebook

      @Jason Farr@facebook No I am not trolling I am legitimately trying to get to the bottom of how everyone like you is so sure. If I were trolling I would be instigating. I'm not. I am trying to have a discussion.
      So if I understand you correctly you are upset that I took your words, twisted them and convicted you of a crime you don't feel you committed and that's unfair? Sound familiar? I apologize if I took your comments like,"Saying he is a rapist, when he is" to mean you had already convicted him as a rapist. If you meant "he might be" by saying "he is" that's just me taking you at your word. And as far as me saying YOU were the one cheering him to kill himself, I didn't. I used your comment to illustrate people trying to hurt/ruin/make this guy feel like shit/what-ever-the-fuck-YOU-want-to-call-it. However I don't know the tone in which you wrote that post. I assumed you wouldn't be upset by it. And if you read online that someone wouldn't be upset by your suicide, would that make you feel good?

    • Josh Guerrin@facebook

      @six_dffrnt_wys And thank you. It honest to god was getting to a Zoolander-"Am-I-Taking-Crazy-Pills" point, where it seemed so obvious this guy was not a rapist, just awkward and terrible with women, but everyone else was not just sure he did it, not just sure it was full on sociopathic rape, but they wanted blood.And it got to me.

    • Julie Gillis@facebook

      @Josh Guerrin@facebook i don't know if I buy the "awkward and terrible with women" thing in cases like this. Did you read the article on communication I linked earlier? I think, in my heart of hearts, this guy engaged in creepy sex with a relatively unwilling woman who was probably drunk past the point of consent (which legally would make a scenario like this rape), and he milked the story for more creep factor because he was at ASSSCAT in front of his heroes. I don't think he'd ever consider what he did (if indeed he did it) wrong, even though the mass reaction to his alleged treatment of the woman was callous and frankly, contemptuous and in a zone of sexual misconduct we may not have a proper word for. This is kind of off topic to this comment, but to your other comment below….status games (and status wars) are sadly a feature of the primate make up, not a bug. Dominance and submission, bullying, etc we find these everywhere. I don't like it. I don't promote it. But this is the internet and this kind of gang up happens like…all the time and for far less egregious actions. In this case, I am (in a way) glad that the reaction from the improv community was WTF???? And the young man needs some real "look in the mirror" time about a) treating women the way he allegedly did, and b) how to tell a good story, cause he failed on that count.
      Women comedians and improvisers are tired of being in scenes and on stage where sex and rape jokes are the norm. Maybe that's part of the reaction. It's one thing when it's a fiction, on stage and I have to put up with it. It's damn well another when a person is basically bragging about being a terrible person in real life. Allegedly, I say, as I admit I don't really know the trufax of the actual sitch. Sadness all around.

    • Josh Guerrin@facebook

      @Julie Gillis@facebook I did read it and I agree. Please don't take what I am about to say as a defense of rape but I think it all speaks to what I am getting at. Ignorance is no excuse, but it seemed like this guy just didn't know ANYTHING about women or how to read them. Which again does not mean anyone has the right to rape someone, but it does help to clarify. It's very possible this woman had had bad experiences in the past that informed her decisions and actions, making them less clear to this guy. Which doesn't excuse rape but at least goes to explain the disconnect and confusion. And that's what I think we are both speaking to. I guess I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, and maybe I shouldn't, and assuming it wasn't as coercive as people make it sound, but either way he clearly needs some guidance on how to deal with members of the opposite sex. Whether he gets it in personal therapy or jail is, in my opinion, up to the courts and not the internet. Because after all the internet doesn't have the best track record in the biz.

    • six_dffrnt_wys

      @Josh Guerrin@facebook That girl's blog totally exaggerates eric's story to even say he "locked the door behind him". When does he say that? Baseless allegations. He shouldn't have told that story the way he did, but it's too gray for anyone to accuse him of rape, and certainly the way he describes it, it just sounds like a low point in both pasts, his and her's.

    • Jason Farr@facebook

      @Josh Guerrin@facebook You said "gleefully cheering on" to kill himself. I thought I was the only one mentioning suicide and you quoted my comment about suicide. So it's a fair question…where did I gleefully cheer that on? I stated that he deleted his account. Probably because of all the attention this is getting. And given all of that attention, I wouldn't be surprised if he killed himself. Nowhere should someone take that statement as meaning I'd be happy if he did. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that. You are reading a tone into it.
      To compare your taking my words and giving them another meaning to my taking his words and saying "this is what that actually is" is completely different.
      Maybe I just have a low standard for what constitutes rape. Everyone is drawing a different line in the sand and saying, "If you cross this line it's rape." You are basically wondering where I draw the line. I draw it at pretending to be someone you're not to get someone to tell you where they are, showing up as a complete stranger, refusing to leave after repeatedly being asked to, and taking advantage of someone's drunken state while you are sober to have sex with them. That is an entirely accurate depiction of what he described. He does not consider that rape. I do. And it looks like a lot of women do.
      Should people be contacting him to ruin his life? No. Should people hope he dies? No. Should we ruin his life in any other way? No…unless that involves being a DA and a jury of his peers. The outcome may ruin his life, but he'd have brought that on himself.
      People are going to have a reaction to what HE did. Which was tell a creepy story that sounds an awful lot like rape for comedic effect. And that reaction for many will be, "He raped that girl." If you don't want to be called a rapist all over the internet then don't do what he did. We wouldn't be calling him a rapist if he hadn't done what he did.
      Now, if it comes out that he was lying at that event, then obviously our point of view would change entirely. But I'm taking him at his word. That what he described happened.

    • Jason Farr@facebook

      @six_dffrnt_wys He would confess if he didn't think what he did was wrong. And even you said he was a sociopath. I know you don't mean that clinically, but if he is enough of a creep to be described as that then that could be the answer to your question and not evidence to why he didn't rape her.
      I think this is boiling down to what people's definition of rape is.

  • Josh Guerrin@facebook
  • Julie Gillis@facebook

    Groups throughout history have always policed each other and sometimes with pretty sadistic results. Tarred and feathered, Ridden out on a rail etc.

    In this case, the story was offensive to pretty much everyone who listened to it and people are reacting using the tools they have at hand. The internet. Is it a wise choice? Maybe not, cause we don't know the whole story. Is it the choice that winds up getting made? Yeah.

    And, in many ways it will serve a particular purpose of showing everyone who is reading the threads that that kind of storytelling (esp if true) is gonna get a very negative reaction from men and women, so on some level, the group policing is in place.

    As for ruining him, what I hope (if he indeed did the things he said he did) is that he actually gets some help/therapy/clarity that his actions and behaviors are plain wrong and that he can change.

    If he didn't do them, and the whole thing was supposed to be "funny" or some kind of Andy Kaufmanesque "Fuck You" to the audience, well….he needs to go back to improv class.

    • Josh Guerrin@facebook

      @Julie Gillis@facebook I agree that there is alot to be said for letting the majority(even if it's the internet) decide.
      My issue is that until now I had not seen any debate. It was simply, this guys a rapist and we should get him. And I SO didn't see that, that it bothered me when nearly everyone else did. I was on another thread initially(not sure what website) and a girl named optimiss or something, at first said basically what I did-It sounded creepy and awkward and not a story I would share- but not rape. And it ended with so many people telling her(as someone who WAS raped we later found out) that she was pro-rape and just as bad as a rapist; that she said the vitriol coming from people was to much and she was crying and had to leave. And that what has come out of this. It just bothers me. I was bullied and beat up and picked on, grades 1-12(because I was always the shortest kid in school)and what I have seen come out of all this is not people rising up to defend this woman or even people unable to speak for themselves, it's people looking for blood because they are angry hate filled people with a need to vent it anonymously to any perceived wrongdoing. I am not saying there should be no justice and I am definitely not saying that if he did in fact rape her he shouldn't stand trial. But this is mob mentality at it's worse. This is people breaking into store to steal just because it's easy. People have an issue with rape. Good. They should. But taking your anger at rapists out on this guy because some blogger convicted him in her mind and on her site is just a terrible facet of humanity that seems to be championed on the internet way too much.

    • Julie Gillis@facebook

      @Josh Guerrin@facebook responded to you above.

    • Cara

      @Josh Guerrin@facebook

      This is not mob mentality. Mob mentality is the pervasive idea that it's okay to laugh at rape, or the idea inherent in the culture that penetrating a woman's body is okay as long as she doesn't say no.

      Mob mentality is when the majority decides that it's more important to protect a rapist's feelings by not confronting him than it is to protect women from assault.

  • bklynkoi

    I wrote a similar story about my experience in an acting class – kind of scarily similar story about an actor doing a piece about date rape and the teacher's direction and instruction related to it.

    http://theartofsleepingeatingandmakingstuff.blogspot.com/2011_04_01_archive.html

  • Julie Gillis@facebook

    @Bklynkoi that's an amazing piece. Humans like their cruelty, don't they. Sorry you've had to go through it but I'm glad you've been able to name it and place it somewhere, the impact on you.

  • Julie Gillis@facebook

    @Josh Guerrin@facebook
    the only place I'll disagree with you is in that he told the story of what happened for effect. Meaning he realized or had some awareness of the badness of the event itself. Either he perceived it as a mortifying event (and was making fun of himself and badly) or he realized he'd done something yucky (but wasn't it sooooo funny how he laid that old girl.). He showed a level of contempt for his sexual partner which means to me, he's not completely clueless.
    Like if he was clueless, he might have been like =, "Wow that was a great time wasn't it?"
    He seemed callous to me, not awkward. Like she was a tool for him to get laid and then to laugh about. Eh.
    Anyway, I hope he gets the right kind of support and people around him and gets some things straightened out. Likely, none of us will ever know the truth or the outcome so we might should all let it go.

    • Josh Guerrin@facebook

      @Julie Gillis@facebook You raise a very good point about his self-awareness. I think probably the issue for me was that I viewed it as making fun of himself badly but I am fully aware that I could be wrong. Also I agree about letting it go. Thank you for the intelligent dialogue. At least at this point I don't feel quite so bewildered.

  • sirormadame

    Relenting is not consenting.

  • annapetrock

    I'm actually surprised that no one has mentioned this, but if you listen closely to the end of his monologue he says: "After that I went to my friends' and I found out that [...] she texted my friend that she wanted, she said 'I don't do second rape' " She admitted to his friend that she had been raped by him. How can it be any more clear?

    • kcbl

      @annapetrock
      "I Don't Do Second Rate"

      Not "I don't do second rape", as in "thanks a lot for second this second-rate chump over".
      My god you neo-nazi-feminists are on a witch hunt!

  • kcbl

    "I Don't Do Second Rate"
    Is this really the reply of a rape victim?

    At least the comedian got the self-deprecation part right.

  • keith lyle@twitter

    i have been monitoring the back and forth on this. At one point in the story, he says "SHE WAS STRONGER THAN ME". Why didn't she fight? She obviously didn't feel physically threatened by this guy.If she REALLY wanted rid of him wouldn't she put up a phsyical fight? How do we know she wasn't just being coy or playing hard to get (women don't want to seem easy, do they)? We don't know her mental state. We don't know if she EXSITS!

    There is no question that that this is a cyber lynch mob. Shame on those that have outed his idenity, trying to ruin his life. Let me also say that I know this guy and he is the least threatening person I know. My wife thought he was gay.

    You may not agree with what he did (the sex OR the telling of the story) but until charges are filed, he is technally not a rapist. I hope he files lawsuits against those that have called for his demise.

    • mina

      @keith lyle@twitter Just because he said "She was stronger than me" doesn't mean she was. It is entirely likely that she didn't put up a fight because then the sex would have turned violent. I think it was Julie upthread who said that "pity sex" and "just go away sex" are two entirely different things, and "just go away sex" is perhaps preferable to violent sex. Second of all, "playing hard to get" is an excuse RAPISTS USE. No means no. Go away means go away. The fact is that, as this douche tells it, he (and his friends, who I think are equally morally bankrupt) deceived this girl. Then he snuck into her room as she was trying to get the phone number for him to call his friend so he could LEAVE.

      Most rapes go unreported, and not all rapes are leap-out-of-the-bushes-with-a-knife-at-your-throat rapes. In fact, most rapes are done by acquaintances of the victim, and the coercion doesn't always have to be violent. Besides, if she was drunk, then she couldn't consent anyway. This guy is a creep, plain and simple.

      • Alex Reynard

        I agree with the majority of what you said here, but my sticking point is "Besides, if she was drunk, then she couldn't consent anyway." I've always had a problem with that idea. *Couldn't* consent. Diminished ability to, allright. But saying she couldn't consent implies she's not responsible for any decisions she makes while drunk. This seems to have some unfortunate consequences.

        My concern is not for cases like this, where there was clear, spoken directions for this creep to get the fuck out. My concern is for cases where two people have consensual sex after one or both have been drinking, the next day the woman either can't remember or feels regretful, and uses the 'I couldn't consent because I was drunk' idea to call her previous partner a rapist.

        Saying that someone cannot consent means they are not responsible for choices made in that state. Babies cannot consent to making business deals or signing up for the army, for instance. So claiming that a drunk person cannot consent to sex is saying, 'This person is not responsible for the choice they made to have sex, because alcohol diminished their capacity to make rational choices.' Fine. But why then can't the man in my example turn around and say, 'I was drunk too, so my capacity was diminished, so I couldn't have raped her. I couldn't consent to sex.'

        Think about that. If someone who's severely retarded gropes someone else, do we charge them with attempted rape? Or if an animal does the same thing? No, because they have diminished capacity to understand right from wrong.

        Saying that being drunk means a person cannot consent means saying that they have the same diminished capacity as an infant, an animal or a mentally disabled person. Do we really believe that? If you're a drinker, can you tell me honestly that you were unable to understand right and wrong when you were drunk?

        If someone drugs someone else's drink, or slips strong liquor into their beer, with the intent to lower their ability to resist, that is unquestionably rape. My problem is with people who claim that "one drop of alcohol" and she can't consent. That seems incredibly problematic from a legal viewpoint. Especially considering that no one ever applies the same standards to men.

  • http://recursivebee.blogspot.com Patrick Mortensen

    Before I get too upset about this, does anyone know if Eric and this lady are now married?

  • John Doe@twitter

    The guy was clearly doing something scary and wrong by entering her house. He also was doing something scary and wrong by approaching her after she told him to leave. But you would have to ask the lady in question if it was rape. She could have decided to have sex with him out of fear (which would be rape), pity, or because she actually wanted to. But we would have to ask her that.

    • flummoxes

      @John Doe@twitter When you relent and have sex with someone you do not want to just because he won't leave you alone – you're a victim of rape. It is disgusting to me that women are expected to have 'pity' or 'go away' or 'get it over with' sex with men and that it's a running joke in our society.

      Unwanted physical contact – even contact that the victim herself forces herself into is rape. It's hard to come to terms with and it's hard to understand thanks to the lines we cross and the jokes that we make but it's true. If you don't want it, if you've squirmed away or tried to talk your way out of it but relent because your partner wants it it's rape. Period.

      I feel great sums of concern and pity for men who do not believe this and women who have been conditioned to believe that this kind of physical connection is an inherent part of their sexual experience because it shouldn't be. If I tell my partner I'm 'not into it' and can't get my vagina working the way it usually does and he softly kisses me and I say 'not right now' and but he synthetically lubes me up and I just give up and let him in – that's not healthy, balanced sex and I've been violated and he's violated me. I've been raped. No matter how quiet it is, no matter what someone feels about it – it's rape and women need to be allowed to feel that and empower themselves with that information for the sake of their bodies and their minds.

  • Bill

    Overall I think it is best to not get carried away calling the guy a rapist since nobody knows for sure.

    I am also impressed with some of the discussion going on where people are avoiding a herd mentality and really debating what is known and what is inferred.

    One thing is for sure: this will not be solved on the internet.

    I think it is presumptuous for someone to take action based on this video to suggest he should lose his job or kill himself or anything other than be investigated. Unless this woman comes forward this is case closed. Her likely embarrassment over actually having had sex with him (if it was consensual) will keep her from exonerating him and if she was raped then the feelings associated with that coming to light in such a way that is not by her choice will possibly lead to her silence.

  • Jhoh Cable@twitter

    Holy fuck this article is retarded feminist politically correct bullshit that only serves to attempt to further suffocate free speech. Feminists and gays have done more to nullify freedom in America than 8 years of dumb old Bush and all the patriot acts ever did.

    "There is something so surreal about watching someone reveal something dark about themselves with a seeming total lack of self awareness, and with utter glee."

    Yeah it's called stand up comedy, welcome to reality.

    • Halle Kiefer

      @Jhoh Cable@twitter This article is about an audience member getting up and telling a true story at an improv show, not a stand-up comedy bit. Good luck learning to read, though!

  • flummoxes

    He didn't tell her who he was when he called, she told him he wasn't the guy she wanted, he entered her room without permission, she told him to leave on at least four separate occasions, he 'fish hooks' her, it sounds like she just laid there and took whatever he gave her, she told him again to get out when he was finished. Then he's like "she texted my friend she doesn't do second rate BUT SHE DID HAW, HAW, HAW" this sounds like a woman having 'just get it over with' sex with some obviously creepy idiot who will not leave her hotel room. Which, is rape. Sorry, dudes. It's rape.

    I thought the hosts handled this situation in a great way given the setting of the story – a comedy show – by making jokes that reveal the darkness in this retelling, pointing out the audiences reactions to the monologue and supporting them as they boo, and calling the guy out on his creepy/disgusting behavior repeatedly while being funny.

    All that said – Louis C.K. has the market cornered on rape jokes done right so let's just let him have that, OK?

  • will

    a damn fine article.