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There’s a very interesting post over at the All About Romance blog, entitled Drawing The Line.

The columnist, Jane, writes:

I’ve been thinking about Voltaire lately. Specifically, one of his most famous quotations: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

Last Monday, my campus newspaper printed a column by a male writer. In this piece, he called feminists and gay activists “a sniveling bunch of emotional cripples,” declared that date rape is an “incoherent concept,” and essentially that drunken flirtation is consent.

Jane then goes on to describe the resulting outrage that those comments caused in InternetLand over the next few days.

For me, the fact that a male writer dared to write those things in a public forum wasn’t the thing that captured my attention the most (after all, he’s a columnist trying to get people to read his musings) no, what perked up my interest was firstly, Jane’s take on the issue:

I think the views the article espouses are uninformed, ignorant, misogynistic, and arrogant. But here’s the thing. I’m glad this article was published. I’m sorry it caused people pain and I agree there were editorial mistakes, but the potential of offending people is not grounds for censorship…But let’s consider the result of the article. People are discussing what “consent” means and whether or not drunk sex (or forced seduction) is rape.

People are coming out of the woodwork in support of rape victims and women’s rights and creating organizations that support victims of sexual violence. People are exercising their own freedom of speech by writing letters to the editor of the paper. There are plans to host a “constructive dialogue,” and students are debating censorship and the freedom of speech. Are these things bad?

She makes some interesting points, however I’m not sure that I agree with her entirely. I do think there are some things that shouldn’t be allowed to be said in public. The rape comment isn’t just merely offensive, the fact is, there are actually people out there who will read this dickhead’s opinion and take them as the gospel truth. And that’s where the danger lies. It’s all very well people coming out of the woodwork in support of rape victims, as a result of his shock-jock tactics, but what if those very dangerous comments actually leads to a girl or woman being raped? Would this man exercising his freedom of speech be seen as such a positive thing? Really?

And now onto the most interesting part of the column – this comment, (backed up by a couple of the other posters, including AAR Rachel) left me speechless:

Rachel and Nancy, I totally agree! Sex belongs in marriage. For years now young people are being taught that sex outside of marriage is okay as long as they have protection. There is an old saying, ‘A lie will make its way around the world before the truth has had a chance to put on its shoes!” How true that is. People keep drinking the Kool Aid and buying the lies. Lies that are killing people with countless STD’s!

There is no such thing as safe sex. The only safe sex is in a monogamous marriage or no sex at all. What is a life giving gift has been abused and distorted and turned into a sport. Our society criticizes young men who use steroids yet think its wonderful that young women pump their bodies with unnecessary contraceptive hormones. Fertility is not a disease to be treated, it is a gift. It is ridiculous to teach young people that they can say no to anything except their sexual urges!!!

I know, my jaw dropped too, but don’t worry, Maria had loads more to say on the matter:

Sex outside of marriage is certainly worse. Look around you at all the consecuences. Abortion (murdering innocent children-4,000 a day, shameful), rampant divorce, unnatural sexual acts and relationships becoming mainstream and accepted as natural, STD’s, sexualizing our children, pornography becoming bigger than the oil industry, etc….. Yep, seems no worse to me!! I have no compassion for women who place themselves in dangerous situations. Actions have consecuences!!

Hey, that’s not all, there was more!

And I definately do not have to support women, especially when they are wrong. If both sexes would behave virtuously what a world we would have. Oh wait, virtue is so old school and boring!! I’m proud to have an old school view and a hope filled life. For women like to experiment, just remember how many experiments backfire and actually never work out. As much as that line has been blurred with lies, women always have much more to lose than men. If they want to behave like men they should be treated like men.

Phew. So in summary, sex outside of marriage is a really bad thing, and is the reason for so many abortions, and so many divorces. Not only that, but any woman who has sex outside marriage deserves to be raped. Did I get that right?

Anyway, Maria wasn’t alone in her thinking, a reader called Nancy had this to say:

My take is this: as long as individuals believe in free sexual relations outside the contract of marriage, what is being discussed above will exist. Rules of behavior exist for a reason – unwanted consequences.

What I don’t get is how people who read romance books can have those sorts of viewpoints? Unless of course they only read inspirational romance. That would totally make sense then.

AAR Rachel’s viewpoints were just as controversial. She seemed to be shifting the blame onto the girls for putting themselves in a position to be raped in the first place:

I don’t think guys are savages. I think they respond to stimulus and girls that age are very stimulating. College age men are at the age when their sexuality is pretty overwhelming. Play with fire if you will, but acknowledge that it’s fire.

The Sarah Palin Award Nomination still goes to Maria though, her comments were just…astounding.

Edited To Add:

This was the original comment from AAR Rachel:

I agree with Alex Knepper. I am SO tired of women thinking that since the Sexual Revolution, sex is now roped off and controlled, bureaucratized, no longer subject to natural law or the lusts of man (and woman).

Men do not go to frat parties or bars during meat market rush to talk Plato and sample the culinary repast. They go to 1) get drunk and 2) get laid. Do women not know that? Come on, they have to know that. If you go to these venues scantily dressed, intend to flirt a lot, get all kinds of validating male attention, and go home on an ego high, you are a tease. You get something, they get nothing. Again, they don’t care what your thoughts on Plato are. Men accept the possibility of failure, but still it’s a set-up. They provide the booze and atmosphere, and hopefully you provide the ____.

So, yes, she totally agreed with the Dickhead’s comments, and not only that, but she thinks that wearing skimpy clothes is tantamount to asking to be raped. I look back at my younger days and remember the skimpiness of some of my clothes, and I understand this, had I been raped, it would have totally been my fault. Nice one Rachel.

89 Comments »


  • Las
    April 11
    1:27 pm

    Exactly. You’d be an idiot. A raped idiot. Secure in the knowledge that it was not your fault. Would that knowledge assuage the trauma of rape?

    Way to miss the point, MaryK. Brilliant.

    Anon, I get what you’re saying about date rape, and if I believed that that kind of stuff was happening all that often I’d be right behind you. But, whatever the laws might state, let’s be real…those kinds of convictions are not happening with enough frequency to justify this “poor, poor misunderstood, cock-teased man” mentality. I have little interest in hypotheticals. hey make interesting thought experiments, but it’s much more important to me to discuss the actual realities, and the numbers tell us that many, many rapes go unreported, many of those to do get reported go unpunished, and while, yes, some men may get falsely accused, it’s certainly not enough to justify the endless assumptions about what women must be doing wrong whenever the topic of date rape occurs.

    Oh, and that man you described has issues. Seriously. All he had to do was make his move and see what your response was. That fact he did nothing despite what he thought were clear signals says more about him than about the other women he’s been in contact with.

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  • Widget
    April 11
    1:34 pm

    I am surprised at the attitudes cited here from AAR although I haven’t read the boards much since Laurie bowed out– or for a couple years before then to be honest. I doubt if it’s the poster’s age. I had a fantastic time when I was younger and wilder and certainly regret none of it now.

    I agree with Michelle. Part of this is bargaining with fate– if I do everything just the way I was told then I will not be raped.

    Good advice from Throwmearope. Second part to it– do whatever it takes to avoid being taken to a second crime site– the second site is always more violent.

    Finally some things you simply cannot plan for. A private agency, middle aged social worker makes a scheduled visit to a young couple and their child in their home as part of ongoing assistance– For no reason that anyone can come up with, they knock her out, sexually assault her then kill her and keep the body around for a few days before trying to dispose of it by setting the body and her car on fire.

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  • Lee
    April 11
    2:25 pm

    Before any more people comment on how bad AAR is, please do yourselves a favor and actually go to AAR and read through the posts there. Exactly one AAR owner/reviewer is spouting the ridiculous theory that date rape victims ask for it. Just one. And the other two who have weighed in on it have stated vehemently that they disagree completely with Rachel. Me too. And there were exactly 2 other posters who agreed with Rachel – 2 out of over 100 posters. So those of you complaining about AAR appear to have other axes to grind. Why comment on something when you haven’t actually read it?

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  • FD
    April 11
    4:43 pm

    @Lee
    Unfortunately for ARR, the three people whose views I most vehemently disagree with are either regular commenters, or actually affiliated with the site.
    As such, I’m finding myself feeling that that the more moderate people at ARR are tainted by association. I have read the discussion, and I take your point, and I’m sorry for Jane that her thoughtful post on freedom of speech being useful as a trigger for awareness and debate has been derailed in such a manner, but the sad fact is that for me, even one person officially affiliated with ARR espousing such views is one too many.

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  • Sunita
    April 11
    4:53 pm

    Lee, I *have* read the post and all the comments. I’ve been reading AAR for about a decade, so I’m pretty familiar with the site. And I don’t blog or have a competing venue, so I don’t have any of the obvious possible axes to grind (unless you’re referring to something else?). Whatever my differences with aspects of AAR over the years, I have appreciated many things about it.

    I have two problems with what is going on over there. (1)When an editor/publisher comments, it’s different from a non-invested commenter. Do you really think that if Bill Keller posted some misogynistic crap on an NYT blog, it *wouldn’t* reflect back on the NYT? I don’t assume every poster or every publisher/editor agrees, but all the editors/publishers represent the site (which is different from being *representative of* the site).
    (2)Everyone has a right to express their opinion. What I find disheartening and disappointing is the fact that when a couple of posters brought up their own experiences with rape and/or assault, none of the posters who are taking the “it’s your responsibility” view have the time or inclination to say anything kind. They’re quick enough to then emphasize that they don’t think the person deserved it, but that’s about them, not about the other person. I find that kind of attitude unpleasant from anyone, but from someone with an official responsibility for the venue? Apparently responsibility is defined differently than I have understood it, and it’s okay for someone coming to a blog that’s purportedly about romance novels to find out that there are people running the blog and site who think one of the worst things that happened to them was avoidable and a logical outcome of their behavior.

    I appreciate that you have tried to fight back in the comments. But at 120+ posts, it probably would have been better to just let the hatefulness sit there on its own after the first few replies.

    Although then we wouldn’t have had Shiloh’s post, which was incredibly wonderful and to the point.

    Poor Jane. When she posted the blog she certainly didn’t expect this. Let alone to be sabotaged by her own colleague.

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  • Lee
    April 11
    5:23 pm

    @FD – you’re certainly entitled to your opinion. If you don’t agree with the other regular commenters, you are wise not to go there anymore. I do that myself on some sites I used to enjoy. I was directing my comment at those blaming the entire AAR site for being anti-women or right wing (which I have never, ever been accused of before, let me tell you) because of one off the wall post by one owner/reviewer.

    @Sunita – as I explained above, my post was directed at those who hadn’t even read the posts, but were commenting as if they had. If you’ve read them and formed your own opinion, I have no quarrel with you. Personally, I think an owner/reviewer should be held to a higher standard than a reviewer. I know that I will not read anything by Rachel without it being tainted by her bias evident in her post. But the site is so much more than this one blog and this one reviewer. That said, I also understand while others such as yourself might feel differently, which is also why I think Rachel has bitten the hand that feeds her.

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  • I was never an active member of that community, I did visit the site for info and was subscribed to the blog, though exclusively as a lurker. I did read the whole thing. I unsubbed from the blog permanently. Rachel has the right to her opinion, of course, but as co-owner of ARR and blogger associated to ARR, she should have known better than to spew what she spewed on a public blog… unless she did that on purpose to increase the traffic to that blog. Everything is possible I guess.

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  • I’d like to add that this is kind of like saying the only way to avoid death is to not be born in the first place. It’s a non-sequitur.

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  • Laura
    April 11
    9:33 pm

    There seems to be a common thread about how “easy” it is for a woman to charge a man with date rape. Ummm, no. She can make an accusation, but it’s up to the legal authorities to actually charge him. How often do you think that really happens? Is your local community awash with date rape trials? Because other than a few high profile cases, I don’t recall a whole lot of rape trials of any variety being at the forefront of our criminal system.

    Generally, the police might interview both parties, but it is most often a he said/she said situation, and no DA is gonna file on that.

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  • S Smith
    April 11
    10:29 pm

    No woman has the right to believe she can go out, get drunk and not be raped. Doesn’t matter if she might have done it 30 times before and been safe. It’s not a reasonable expectation for women to have. Because every man out there is an animal just waiting for his chance. Is that what I’m being told? Both schools of thought are repugnant.

    I went out many times when I was young, got drunk as hell. But I damn well expected that nobody would ever rape me. If I went out tonight and got drunk at the local bar or party, I would damn well expect nobody would rape me. Me going out and getting drunk doesn’t have a damn thing to do with the possibility of me being raped. It never has and it never will.

    Nor is sex within marriage the end all be all safe haven some seem to think. Unless you discount husbands raping their wives or daughters.

    It seems to have escaped some people’s memories that men have had sexual freedom all these centuries. No problem there. Other than occasionally being forced to being married when a kid is on the way. Oh, and an occasional STD, but then boys will be boys, ya know.

    However, now women have sexual freedom, our entire society will fall. And it’s their fault when the bad shit happens. Give me a fricking break.

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  • Why comment on something when you haven’t actually read it?

    Because I don’t need to read every one of 100+ comments to know nothing else said will change how much it bothers me to read this one comment:

    I have no compassion for women who place themselves in dangerous situations. Actions have consecuences!!

    For the record, I personally don’t hold AAR accountable for one of their owner/reviewers’ opinions (eta: or the opinions of their commenters).

    However, I can see how the commentary of some people is doing to affect how some view AAR.

    Is that entirely fair? Maybe not.

    But there were a lot of comments made that tore open some very ugly, very deep wounds. Estimates are that about 1 in 6 women will be/have been sexually assaulted, so a sizable amount of those who read that thread have been a victim at some point in their lives, and those thoughtless, cruel comments made by a few commenters tore open wounds. That wasn’t fair, either.

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  • Lee
    April 11
    11:48 pm

    Shiloh, you’re a writer, right? Would you write something without doing all of the research? What I was saying was that 99% of the posters on that blog AGREE with you. But you don’t know that because you don’t “need” to read it because one of the posts bothered you. It bothered a lot of us. Tremendously. Me included. So I posted how those ridiculous posts about date rape being the woman’s fault were wrong. So it’s more than unfair not to read all of those posts and then brand the whole site as tainted. It’s irresponsible. Especially for a writer.

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  • Las
    April 12
    12:28 am

    I’d like to add that this is kind of like saying the only way to avoid death is to not be born in the first place. It’s a non-sequitur

    Heh. Exactly.

    The people who point at women’s behaviors as the reason they get raped are really showing their asses. Women who dress in skimpy clothes or otherwise sexually tease men are not the only ones getting raped, and I’m going to guess they’re not even the majority of rape victims. There’s no logical reason to harp on all those “slutty” women, since there’s not a single thing out there that indicates that dressing “modestly” and the like is going to prevent anything. It’s all misogynistic bullshit meant to keep us in our place, because there are actual people ignorant enough to believe in those mythical good ole days, where sex only happened inside of wonderfully happy marriages and STDs didn’t exist.

    So it’s more than unfair not to read all of those posts and then brand the whole site as tainted. It’s irresponsible.

    Not when the comment that started it all was made by one of the people WHO RUN THE DAMN SITE! Random commenters can say whatever the hell they want, but when someone who represents the site fucks up, there needs to be consequences, and since I doubt Rachel will get fired, the whole place is tainted.

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  • Lee
    April 12
    12:43 am

    But does she represent the site? She was posting to another reviewer’s blog. Other owners of the site have totally disassociated themselves from Rachel’s POV. They didn’t know she was going to say what she did. She seems to be a rogue agent, much like La Palin. But I wouldn’t want to see her fired. It’s much better to pick up a rock and expose what’s underneath to the light than to pretend there’s nothing there.

    Edited to add: I’ve got to get 3 of my 4 kids to bed. If I don’t respond further, that’s the reason.

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  • So it’s more than unfair not to read all of those posts and then brand the whole site as tainted. It’s irresponsible. Especially for a writer.

    Exactly when did I brand AAR as tainted? I did not.

    I very clearly said I do not hold AAR accountable for the opinions of one owner/review, nor the opinions of their commenters.

    So I’m unclear how I branded them as tainted, unless it was when I pointed out:

    However, I can see how the commentary of some people is doing to affect how some view AAR.

    *ETA… DOING should actually GOING

    Pointing out the obvious isn’t tainting. It’s pointing out the obvious. All anybody needs to do is skim the comments here, see some of them on twitter, and that’s pretty clear.

    If AAR wants it made clear that they do not share the opinion of one review/commenter, then their best bet is going to be to address this, and not via comments.

    People shouldn’t be made to feel as though they have to read through 100+ comments before they are allowed to voice their own opinion.

    I’m kind of confused as to what I did that bothers you so bad, unless it’s just pointing out the obvious. I don’t believe in sugar-coating things.

    But not once did I attack anybody.

    Not once did I say anything negative about AAR, any of the staff, any of the reviewers.

    I stated, simply, what I took exception to, and why, and I left it at that.

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  • Throwmearope
    April 12
    2:06 am

    Whoa, spend a day trying to find out if I still have a house left under all the clutter (and a few unidentifiable items–best not to think about them too intently) and miss this.

    @Amarinda Jones, you are welcome to use anything you find useful.

    @Lee (in case you come back later), to my mind it makes a lot of difference if the owner of a site posts something inflammatory rather than a commentator like myself. Are you saying you wouldn’t hold SB Sarah (make that SB Candy–when she used to be around enough to start stuff up)responsible for stuff she posted in the comments even though she sorta owns SBTB?

    @EC Sheedy–hope your daughter never needs to defend herself. But better she be prepared. Once in my misspent youth, the bat sh*t thing actually worked and scared off an attacker.

    @Shiloh, thank you for reminding Christians that Christ is the basis for Christianity.

    Finally @Mary K–honey, if you think you’re safe in your law office, you’re kidding yourself. (Lots of peeps in the world dislike lawyers and blame them, usually unfairly, for a lot of stuff.)

    We had lots of fights in the ER, it was County and we had the Blood and the Crips, the H*ll’s Angels, the Mexican Mafia, the idiots who did PCP for entertainment, etc.

    But I was once threatened by a long time patient in my private office. I was so dumbfounded I just started laughing. I was just incredulous. I could not believe he was threatening me in my own office.

    Luckily, by laughing at him, I got his attention and he calmed down immediately. Two of my octogenarian patients were getting ready to attack him with their canes. One guy, a retired cop detective still in good shape at 60, was getting ready to do a lot more than that.

    (People have accused me of making this stuff up, but if I could make this stuff up, I’d be a writer.)

    I take precautions, I watch everyone around me, I know where all the escape routes are. But I know that I could get attacked and even the tricks I learned in the ER might not save me.

    I refuse to develop agoraphobia, however. I live my life as freely as I can.

    My old granny used to say, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and shoot for the middle.”

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  • Thank you , Throwmearope. This was my point,

    I take precautions, I watch everyone around me, I know where all the escape routes are. But I know that I could get attacked and even the tricks I learned in the ER might not save me.

    @ MaryK, I wasn’t saying screw all safety precautions. When someone is intent on doing you harm they will do you harm. You can follow all of them to the letter and still something can happen to you. My point is that by not following those “rules” to the letter doesn’t mean you should hold any blame.

    Now your saying I’m in as much danger at the law office where I work as I would be in the dark alley or frat party. Every situation is sexual to somebody, so all situations are equally unsafe.

    Yes and the simple fact that you don’t believe so or that you can’t phantom how that could be possible makes my point. Most rapes occur by someone the victim knows. It happens in a place where you feel safe.

    And safety precautions are an ideal. All those defense classes, security alarms, security lights, pepper spray – those are just useless, money making gimmicks.

    Yes, all those things make money. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen or heard that OnStar commercial. Do I think those things are useless? No. Do they stop every criminal? Um, we’re having this discussion so apparently no. Should the people who haven’t taken defense classes, have security alarms, security lights, pepper spray take any responsibility for any crimes committed? For being victims? NO!

    The bottom line is bringing up safety precautions when it pertains to rape on any level is bound to put up people’s back. Again, it walks the fine line of since you weren’t being safe… To me it speaks to an naivety of the very dark side of human beings. When you can be safe do it. But you can’t be ON all the time. If for one second you aren’t, you shouldn’t have to carry that weight around.

    By that logic, you’re right, we might as well all just lie down and take it because it’s going to happen.

    And I repeat, WOW. Fucking. WOW.

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  • And safety precautions are an ideal. All those defense classes, security alarms, security lights, pepper spray – those are just useless, money making gimmicks.

    I disagree. Would you like to know why?

    Taking safety precautions promote self awareness. Now, self awareness will NOT prevent any and all violent assaults.

    But. Sexual predators are predators.

    Predators… prey.

    Predators look for what strikes them as prey.

    Now for some sexual predators, they will attempt to strike no matter what.

    But for others?

    Here’s the deal-if a woman is walking with her head down, scurrying like a mouse and giving off the vibe of fear, she LOOKS like prey to a predator.

    If a woman walks with her head up, confidence in her step and she makes it clear that she will is NOT prey, a number of predators will not look at her as prey.

    If having pepper spray gives her that confidence? Security alarm? Then, no. It’s not a gimmick-it serves its purpose.

    Those ‘gimmicks’ also serve as a weapon. A woman who’s clear-headed enough to shoot a man’s face full of pepper spray is going to have much better chance at getting away than a woman who have nothing and is too scared to fight back.

    Self-awareness, self confidence are powerful tools and be shouldn’t be disregarded-if those small items help a woman find that awareness and confidence, more power to them.

    Personally, I think the best thing a woman can do is take courses in self defense. And not just one-you may not need to go for your black belt in martial arts, but if you take a course in women’s self defense, often taught by martial artists or cops, every few years, learn exactly what you can do to stop a man cold-THAT is a powerful tool.

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  • Lee
    April 12
    12:11 pm

    @Shiloh,
    What I was saying is that you and many others here, and on Twitter, and on other blogs, have read merely one odious comment by Maria, a commenter, and another ridiculous comment by Rachel, one of the 4 owners, and have extrapolated that as being the opinion of everyone who posts at AAR.

    Why would that be?

    No it’s not fair, as you suggested. However, it’s possible that you, and every other reasonable person, would not hold that opinion if you read all of the contrary opinions expressed. That’s judgment of the worst kind, without a full hearing. It bothered me because I am a part of AAR, as a poster and reader, and I don’t appreciate being portrayed that way. I don’t believe in sugar-coating things either. But I do believe in civility. And as a writer, like Rachel, what you say on public forums might affect how some are going to view you too.

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  • Las
    April 12
    12:31 pm

    What I was saying is that you and many others here, and on Twitter, and on other blogs, have read merely one odious comment by Maria, a commenter, and another ridiculous comment by Rachel, one of the 4 owners, and have extrapolated that as being the opinion of everyone who posts at AAR.

    But no. One. Has. Said. That. Rachel is one of the owners of AAR. She posted her comment using the name AARRachel. That means she was posting as a representative of that site, not just as a regular person giving her (incredibly ignorant) opinion. It doesn’t matter that the other owners disagree, she’s representing the site. If the other owners don’t make an official statement about it, they are condoning what she said.

    How many times in business does stuff like this happen? Someone says or does something fucked up, and very often they lose their job, or at the very least there’s a statement about how the company in no where endorses what the asshat said, blah blah blah. Why? Because they are representing their company, and what they say and do publicly reflects on that company. Rachel could have gone all diarrhea-of-the-mouth as just plain Rachel, but no, she had to be AARRachel. There’s a huge difference.

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  • Lee,

    I do NOT need to read everybody’s opinion before I’m capable of forming and speaking mine.

    I’m not trying to be unfair, and I’m not trying to be rude-but I’m not the sort of person who has ever changed her opinion based on the opinions of others. Even if I had read through every last comment, I would have still stated what I stated.

    You seem to think I should regret highlighting a few biblical passages that mentioned mercy and compassion. Even though I did it without attacking anybody, even though I did it without laying blame anywhere.

    Well, I don’t regret it and nor do I feel as though I need to go back and read everybody’s opinion before I feel more equipped to form my own.

    And…again… I never once, anywhere, said placed the blame for this on AAR. I very clearly said:


    For the record, I personally don’t hold AAR accountable for one of their owner/reviewers’ opinions (eta: or the opinions of their commenters).

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  • Lee
    April 12
    12:48 pm

    Las,
    See. Post. 54.

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  • Lee
    April 12
    12:54 pm

    Shiloh,

    That’s fine – we just disagree. I, on the other hand, like to listen to a lot of different viewpoints before making a decision. Of course, I have a gut instinct of how I’ll decide, but I don’t make a decision with blinders on. And I made no reference to your biblical remarks, so I don’t know why you think that I feel you should regret it. I was talking about how your not sugarcoating things might come across as rude – to some.

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  • Throwmearope
    April 12
    1:31 pm

    Lee–

    I noticed you skipped my comment. Let me try again.

    At Making Light (one of my favorite websites), one of the owners got a little hot under the collar and said (well, typed) something unfortunate.

    So another owner of the site took the responsibility to shut down the comment thread.

    Do you see the difference?

    Civility vs incivility. If you represent AAR, then step up when a co-owner behaves like a tool.

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  • Lee
    April 12
    1:58 pm

    Sorry, I didn’t see your post to me. But I did go back through this thread to read it once you pointed it out. I don’t know who Sarah is or Making Light. But I think shutting down a thread is censorship. I’d much rather have everything out in the open so everyone knows where everyone else stands. And 2 of the other owners did comment on the blog that Rachel speaks only for Rachel.

    My question is, is Rachel just an owner, or is she also meant to give her opinion, like it or not, like Andy Rooney or Glenn Beck or Rachel Maddow? I think the format of that blog is to have the bloggers give different opinions on a myriad of topics and then to have a discussion ensue. I have now seen Rachel in a different light, and choose to give her opinion no credence. But I do value the others’ opinions and find my opinion to align with them often. Should I stop visiting the entire site on the principle that Rachel is a dope? Throw out the barrel cuz of one bad apple? Throw out the baby with the bathwater? To me, that would be a waste of a great resource.

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  • Of course, I have a gut instinct of how I’ll decide, but I don’t make a decision with blinders on.

    I don’t view as making a decision with blinders on.

    I view it as knowing my mind. It’s just that simple-the opinions of others do not affect mine. This doesn’t mean I won’t or can’t respect the opinions of others, but their opinions will not change how I view things, their opinions will not change shape mine.

    I think it’s probably best if we just agree to disagree on that front, because we could debate it all day long and I dunno about you, but this whole mess has been frustrating and sad for me.

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  • Lee
    April 12
    2:18 pm

    Sure, this has gotten way off topic.

    I just saw that I am one of the top commentators on this thread, and that’s never happened to me before, so I’ll bow out now, glad that I was at least allowed to present the other side (wrt AAR), even if no one agrees with me.

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  • Hee
    April 12
    2:24 pm

    I say just fire Rachel already.

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  • […] So during a twitter discussion last night, inspired by discussions taking place in blogland-I’m mostly watching the talk at karen’s, it was suggested to me that I have a responsibility as a […]



  • Karen Scott
    April 12
    9:54 pm

    Lee, I don’t know why you keep having a go at Shiloh, I think you’ll find that one of the first comments linking AAR and right-wing nutters was made by myself. I’ve always suspected that there was a right-wing element to AAR and Rachel’s comments just brought the question to the fore again for me.

    Also, as Shiloh already said, one doesn’t have to read through every single comment to decide how one feels about the matter.

    And finally, as far as I’m concerned, as one of the people who run AAR, Rachel’s actions does affect the overall image of the site. Fairly or unfairly, by virtue of her position within AAR, she’s held to a higher standard than the likes of Maria or Nancy who are merely commenters.

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  • I can remember when I went to an all girls catholic high school, the principal told us if we did something while we were in uniform that was wrong or shocking, regardless of being off school property, we were held accountable for our actions and would be reprimanded and possible suspended based on the act.

    As long as we wore that school uniform outside of school, we were a representative of that institution and the same rules.

    Some may think the same applies when a person of authority, who is in charge of website such as AAR and is vocal about a subject or topic, must follow these “rules”.

    But again I am not sure if I would say that Rachel resign. But I guess that is for her and the AAR staff to decide among themselves.

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  • I think there is something between saying it has nothing to do with AAR and saying she should resign–which is pretty much where we are now.

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  • Late to the conversation. Trying to keep head from exploding.

    I had every intention of reading through the entire string of comments over at ARR, but I couldn’t get past the first one, from AARRachel, because of its ending:

    So I’d just as soon not have women teasing men into a frenzied rage and looking to vent that rage on a bystander to this sexual chaos (me). I managed to make it all the way through college, life abroad in a collapsing system, and a number of other situations without getting raped. I’d like to keep it that way.

    If my reading comprehension is up to snuff, this means that when a woman is attacked at say, her home, by a serial rapist, the fault lies with all those scantily clad women five miles away at the beach? Or perhaps with the Miss America pageant? Or, wait! It was all those horrid, lewd pictures on magazine covers at the supermarket, right?

    Yeah, that’s it.

    We should henceforth all go around covered head to foot just so that AARRachel can feel safe.

    No, I don’t feel very diplomatic, what gave it away?

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  • Michelle
    April 13
    11:54 am

    Why it just gets better and better over there (yes I have read all the comments) poor lil ole Rachel is being #1 misconstrued and #2 persecuted. My mind boggles.

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  • What about all the men teasing women into a frenzied rage, I want to know? Not to mention the other men (we know they’re more susceptible, poor dears, what with their parts hangin’ on the outside and everything). I mean, everytime you go outside, there’s some guy flaunting his body in form-fitting T-shirts or even displaying his manly legs in shorts. And then there are those awful sluts who allow their butt cracks to make an appearance! I mean, what are all the lustful women and men supposed to DO when confronted by all this delicious, hairy, often plentiful flesh??? OMGs!! What is this society coming to! I blame TV. And maybe sports. Those athletes are always ripping off their clothes. Whores. I mean, not that they DESERVE it, but they get what they deserve if they get attacked and mauled by the women (and men) they deliberately enticed into paroxysms of desire.

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  • Las
    April 13
    7:08 pm

    According to Mrs. Giggles Rachel has resigned via a ranty post in her blog that she has now deleted. I wonder if anyone at AAR will comment.

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  • […] piece on the AAR blog. In the comments, AAR Rachel gave her perspective. It was a perspective that offended a great deal of people. Her viewpoints are one’s that I find personally offensive but I […]


  • While I don’t agree with Rachel’s views AT ALL, I did like her reviews over the years and I’ll miss them.

    I’m torn over the whole issue of free speech/hate speech, etc., and whether or not one person’s views taint the whole site.

    Personally, I never assumed that Rachel was speaking for AAR and/or stating official AAR policy. She always uses the AAR Rachel moniker for commenting. On the other hand, she had to know how negatively her comments would be received by the majority of visitors to the site, and that her position as one of the publishers of AAR made it hard for people to judge her as they might another commenter.

    Permitting people to express their opinions is something I feel strongly about, even if they’re ones to which I’m vehemently opposed. Hell, I’ve even voted for stuff that I personally disagreed with because voting against would have impeded someone else’s right to decide for themselves.

    So…yeah.

    ReplyReply

  • […] the post — and ensuing drama — was picked up by a few other romance blogs. The post at Karen Knows Best sums up some of the best (worst?) […]


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