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Yale confirms it: When it comes to rape, “No” really does mean “Yes”!

14 Sep

This absolutely made my day.  Completely hilarious.


A bunch of obviously confused women’s studies majors, where they basically train in contradiction, irrationality and hypocrisy, decided to explain to their kindergarten adult students exactly what consensual sex looks like and what the penalties will be for failing to grasp the Rules for Fucking at Yale.

Called the “Sexual Misconduct Scenarios”, the memo is designed to get students to understand that if they are having any kind of sex that is not robotic and not routinely peppered with super romantic legalese, they are doing it wrong and will get no cookies.  No.  Cookies.

And also that if she says “No” a whole bunch of times and then you have sex anyways, “No” actually means “Yes” and you get ALL THE COOKIES!  Hooray!


Let’s just dive right in.

Oh, and you can ignore all the bullshit androgynous names, since Team Fucking gave up by the last one, and just called the dude Tyler.

1. Ryo and Casey are dating. Casey is uncertain about whether they should have sex, but Ryo is persuasive and finally obtains Casey’s voluntary agreement. As they engage in sex, Casey says “wait – stop – that hurts.” Ryo nonetheless continues for several more minutes, restraining Casey. Afterwards, Casey is upset. Ryo apologizes, but says they were past the point of interruption.


While there was initial consent, that consent was withdrawn. The UWC penalty would be expulsion.

You can see the team high fiving each other for an unmistakable slam dunk!   Woo hoo! We nailed it!

“That hurts”?  What is “that”?  Is Casey referring to a particular angle or thrust or to the whole sexual encounter? Is the hurt something that can be remedied and then carry on, tally ho?

Basically, Yale is going to expel Ryo for forgetting to bring lube? And Casey reached a degree of trauma that can only be described as “upset”? Ryo is a clod, no doubt, but in order for that to be rape, Casey is gonna have to be a little more clear.


“Dude, you’re hurting me.  You need to stop right now.”

Fail.  Scenario is totally ambiguous.

2. Jessie and Vic have been flirting all semester, and agree to meet at a party. After dancing closely together for a while, Vic proposes going to one of their rooms and Jessie agrees. On the walk to Jessie’s room, they send a few texts, letting Vic’s friends know not to worry and asking Jessie’s roommate to please sleep somewhere else. Once in the room, they begin touching. Each is interested in hearing what the other wants, and each is paying attention to the other’s signals. They reach and sustain clear agreement upon mutually desired sexual activities.

This is consensual sex: Vic and Jessie reached positive, voluntary, unambiguous agreement to engage in sexual conduct together.

Vic: Baby, do I have your sustained clear agreement?

Jessie: Oh yeah, this is mutually desired activity.

Vic: Ooh, is consent still in effect?

Jessie: Mmmm, but check back in twenty seconds, honey, in case ambiguity arises.

Vic: Oh no, baby, no ambiguity.  I can get expelled for that.  Did you bring the lube?

Very. Sexy.


Who has sex like this?  Who wants to?

3. Sidney and Harper are dating. On several occasions they are physically intimate, but within limits set by Sidney, who is opposed to having sex at this stage of their relationship. One night, when they are being intimate within their mutually agreed upon boundaries, Harper begins to cross them. Sidney expresses concern, but Harper is encouraging, saying “it will be okay just this once.” Sidney replies “we shouldn’t do this,” but continues to touch Harper in an intimate way. As Harper initiates sex, Sidney says “this is a bad idea” and begins to cry, but embraces Harper and the two proceed to have sex.


Initial consent was followed by ambiguity. Sidney’s acquiescence to sex was accompanied by too much dismay to constitute unambiguous agreement, especially given Sidney’s longstanding prior refusal to engage in sex. The UWC penalty would likely fall in the range of probation to suspension.



“No” really does mean “Yes”.

Sure, Harper is probably going to face a suspension of some sort, but that’s a small price to pay for the knowledge that no matter how many times she said no, you can turn that into a yes by fucking a crying girl.


I still wouldn’t call this rape, not by a long shot, but what kind of douchebag has sex with a woman who is crying?  If her kitten just died, or she failed an important exam or her highlights turned out just terrible, I can see the sex and tears scenario, but this is what passes for acceptable by the #rapeculture brigade?

And what is the initial consent, might I ask?  That Sidney expressed reservations but continued to touch him?  So the act of touching implies consent?


Good to know.

4. Jamie and Cameron are at a party. It is crowded on the dance floor and they are briefly pressed together. Later, Jamie encounters Cameron in the hallway and smiles. Cameron, who is now very drunk, follows Jamie into the bathroom and forces Jamie to have sex.

There was no consent to have sex. The UWC penalty would be expulsion.

Finally.  An actual rape. The appropriate reaction is a criminal conviction.  Who gives a fuck what UWC thinks?

5. Devin and Ansley are engaging in a consensual sexual encounter, which Devin begins to intensify. Ansley responds by pulling away slightly, moving Devin’s hands and saying “not so fast; I’m not sure.” Devin cooperates briefly but then intensifies the contact once more. Ansley inches backwards and then becomes still. Nonetheless, Devin has sex with Ansley.

While the initial sexual activity was consensual, that consent was not sustained. The UWC penalty would likely range from multi-semester suspension to expulsion.


Oh, she inches backwards and becomes still?

Yeah, no.

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

If you no longer consent to sexual activity then you need to let the other person KNOW that.  Devin CANNOT read Ashley’s fucking mind.  And don’t give me this “if she goes still” it’s rape bullshit.


Ever hear of the mannequin?

Lots of women stiffen with pleasure.  If you’re stiffening because you are no longer down with sex, then SAY so.


100% fail.

6. Alexis and Riley are studying together in Riley’s room. During a break in their studying, they rub each other’s shoulders. Alexis then introduces some intimate touching. Riley moves closer and says “Okay, but I don’t want to go too far – we still have a lot of work to do.” Alexis continues to touch Riley in an intimate way. Riley willingly agrees to some contact, but mostly sets boundaries. Alexis jokes that they deserve to have sex as a reward for their hard work studying; Riley laughs. After their studying is done, Alexis suggests again that they should have sex. Riley responds they should probably get some sleep but continues to touch Alexis. After a few more minutes, Alexis asks once more. Riley pauses, then says okay and pulls Alexis closer. They have sex.


This is consensual sex. Despite initial hesitation, the ultimate agreement to have sex was voluntary and unambiguous. There is no violation of the sexual misconduct policy. The UWC would likely counsel Alexis about the inappropriateness of sexual pressure, and recommend SHARE’s sensitivity training program.

Aaaand BOOM!

“No” means “Yes”.  Again.  And this time the price is just a little sensitivity training.

Really, Yale, what exactly are you trying to teach?

Personally, I think no means yes a whole lot of time, but this seems rather….inconsistent, shall we say with the whole No Means No argument.

I think you’re gonna have to pick one, or just throw your hands up and let individual women take responsibility for their own sexual choices.

Oh, wait.

How can you punish men if women are actually responsible for their own choices?

Such a conundrum.

7. Morgan and Kai are friends who begin dancing and kissing at a party. They are both drunk, although not to the point of incapacitation. Together they decide to go to Kai’s room. They undress each other and begin touching each other. Morgan moves as if to engage in oral sex and looks up at Kai questioningly. Kai nods in agreement and Morgan proceeds. Subsequently, without pausing to check for further agreement, Kai begins to perform oral sex on Morgan. Morgan lies still for a few minutes, then moves away, saying it is late and they should sleep.

There was initial agreement, but the bounds of that agreement were not clear. Kai may have thought that Morgan had consented to reciprocal oral sex, but took no steps to obtain unambiguous agreement. The UWC penalty would likely be a reprimand.

Seriously?  This makes approximately zero sense, no matter how you spin it.

If Morgan is the woman, then she gives a Kai a blowjob, which he has agreed to with a nod.  Then when Kai turns around and goes down on Morgan, she lies still (see mannequin, above) and then moves away.

If Kai is the woman, then Morgan kneels in front to her and performs cunnilingus, and then when Kai returns the favor and starts giving Morgan a blowjob, he lies still and then moves away.

I guess they could both be men, or both be women, but it comes down to something fairly obvious, no?


Someone sucks at oral sex.

Ladies, nail down that deep throat technique, or you could face reprimand.  Gents, perfect that muff dive or your record will be permanently amended.

And I’m almost speechless…

8. Tyler and Jordan are both drinking heavily at an off-campus event. Tyler becomes extremely drunk. Jordan offers to take Tyler home. On the way, Tyler has trouble walking, and makes several wrong turns. Once in Tyler’s room, Jordan initiates sexual activity. Tyler looks confused and tries to go to sleep. Jordan has sex with Tyler.

There was no consent to have sex. A person who is incapacitated—lacking the ability to make or act on considered decisions to engage in sexual activity—cannot give consent. The UWC penalty would be expulsion.

Wow.  A case of male rape.  And Jordan gets expelled.

I’ll just hold my breath waiting for that to happen in real life.

Call me a cynical bitch, but isn’t it rather touching that the single case where gender is unambiguous, and the man is the one raped, is the very case in which drunk women are excused for their behaviour by proxy?

…lacking the ability to make or act on considered decisions to engage in sexual activity  is rape.

And who will the accused be in most of these scenarios?



Because women never get drunk and take advantage of men?


It’s because men aren’t self-pathologizing, perpetual victims weeping  while constantly seeking someone else to blame for banging that fat chick while drunk.


So, we can summarize the Yale Fucking Rules as follows:

  1. Being an inconsiderate sexual partner IS rape
  2. Having robotic, tedious, constantly assessing legal consent sex is NOT rape.  Or fun.
  3. Having sex with a crying woman who has continuously said no is NOT rape.
  4. Dragging someone in the bathroom and forcibly fucking them IS rape.
  5. Being unable to read someone’s mind IS rape.
  6. Pressuring someone to have sex when they would rather study is NOT rape.
  7. Being bad at oral sex IS rape.
  8. Having sex with drunk women IS rape.

Holy hell, Batman.

I think Yale is gonna have to change their motto:

Lux et veritas

Light and truth?

More like

Erratus et inconditus.

Lost and confused.

Then again, on the bright side, at least Yale has cleared up that “No” does indeed mean “Yes”.  Now they can get to work figuring out if “Yes” really does mean “Anal”.


In which case, definitely do not forget the lube.

Lots of love,


Peter Lloyd wants to end publicly identifying men accused of sexual assault. I disagree. Let’s name the women, too. Wouldn’t you like to Google your date and she what she has been up to?

13 Sep

Here we go again.

Just days after Michael LeVell was acquitted of raping a young girl, who claimed the actor had abused her when she was only six years old, we have an entire trial collapsing in the face of new evidence against the nine accused men.

According to the crown prosecutor, a Twitter feed came to light that has basically destroyed the prosecution’s case.

The precise content of the Tweets was not disclosed to the Old Bailey, but prosecutor Samantha Cohen said they had been reviewed at the ‘highest level.’

‘The consequence of the review of that material which has been conducted at the highest level is that there is no longer a realistic prospect of a conviction of any defendant on any charge on the indictment,’ she said.

‘For that reason the Crown offer no evidence against the defendants in this case.’

Wow.  That must have been some Twitter feed.

Given the fact that evidence has come to light that ALL the charges all complete bullshit, you would think the media would have some sympathy for the accused.  Nope.  All the men’s names, who range in age from 21 to 30, are published in the reports.

The false accuser, of course, retains her anonymity.


Peter Lloyd, whom I believe may be the only journalist in the British popular press who covers issues from a men’s rights perspective, has written a column in which he discusses the very real consequences of naming and shaming men accused of gut-churning sexual crimes, who are then later exonerated.

…like thousands of men all over the world, Le Vell’s life has already been destroyed by a system which considers men’s innocence a bonus – not a baseline. And it has to end.

The case not only proved that pre-conviction identification doesn’t work, but reiterated a very pertinent question: why, in our best-ever age of equality and human rights, are men still being denied their right to anonymity ahead of a guilty verdict?

It is – quite frankly – inhumane and has no place in a civilised society.

Peter quite rightly argues that people are irrationally prejudiced against certain men, for a variety of reasons, and will convict that man in their minds regardless of what a jury concludes.

Haters across the world will decide that he is guilty by default. That he is a rapist simply because he is male. Or working class. Or an alcoholic. Perhaps even all three. They will gather around the water cooler and say: ‘there’s no smoke without fire’ or ‘he looks the type’.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is precisely why a court of law, not a casual observer who is not armed with all the evidence, should convict a defendant.

In fact, the law in the UK used to extend anonymity to the accused for the simple reason that rape and sexual assault are special crimes with a unique ability to destroy the accused’s life.  Prior to 1976, the accused were protected, but the law changed in 1988, ostensibly to assist police in their investigations.  Not everyone in the British judiciary agreed with that change. Lord Corbett, who introduced the 1976 mutual pre-trial anonymity law, argued that:

Rape is a uniquely serious offence and acquittal is not enough to clear a man in the eyes of his family, community or workplace. He is left with this indelible stain on his reputation. The case for matching anonymity for the defendant is as strong now as ever


Julie Bindel, one of the most heartless and rabid feminist journalists in Britain had a good sneer at the idea that being accused of rape could have any negative consequences for the accused.

In reality, rape is not really seen as a heinous crime, only those cases Whoopi Goldberg notoriously described as, “rape-rape”. Indeed, the most commonplace rapes – those committed by partners, friends, acquaintances, family members and work colleagues – are often not considered rape at all, which is why the vast majority never get to court or are acquitted if they do.

A fair number of celebrities including footballers, musicians, actors and authors have been accused of rape in the past and do not seem to have suffered longer term. To say that an accusation ruins lives is perhaps a sweeping generalisation.

No, Julie, you have that exactly ass-backwards.  Rape is indeed seen as a heinous crime, which is why juries tend to require EVIDENCE before they are willing to convict a man for an offense that will haunt him for the rest of his life. Rich men tend to escape the consequences?


Tell that to Roman Polanski. Or Julian Assange.

But in the rush to protect men from the consequences of a false or unprovable allegation, I think that Peter is missing an opportunity to protect men from a false allegation happening in the first place.

Why not name the women who make the accusations?

It took ELEVEN false accusations and a decade before the delightful Elizabeth Jones was jailed for falsely accusing men she didn’t like of raping her.


While the Telegraph doesn’t name the accused, at the time the crimes were alleged, they would have been well within their rights to do so, all the while protecting Lizzie’s identity.

It took eight years and five false allegations against men who dared to break up with her before Leanne Black was finally jailed, too.


Linsey Black picked a man she didn’t even know off a Facebook page and accused him of raping her, quite nicely destroying his life in the process.

Linsey Black and Gary Attridge.–ruined-victims-life.html

Eventually, Lizzie, Leane and Linsey will get out of jail, and will no doubt be looking about for their next boyfriends.

Let’s hope those boyfriends know how to use Google, huh?

Forcing women to own their accusations by making their identities public provides a valuable public service by letting men known just what their Princesses have been up to in the past.  When some little chickie decided to accuse Jose Consenco of rape, he immediately took to Twitter to defend himself by revealing his accuser’s name.

I wonder what happened to that case?

Oh, look.  The woman was so intimidated and frightened when Jose posted her details she withdrew all charges. Jose took a lie detector test and passed and the police closed the case.

And what happened to cupcake who claimed Jose drugged and raped her?



Except that now any man who decides to take cupcake for a spin knows just what cupcake is capable of, thanks to Jose.

The obvious objection to revealing the names of the accusers is that it will make women even more afraid to bring forth accusations.  Is that really such a bad thing? Perhaps women should be reminded that accusations of rape are very serious indeed, and they should never, ever be alleged without evidence. Charging a man with rape should come with some serious consequences for the accusers, including being named and shamed along with the accused.

The only argument against revealing the name of the accuser that holds any water with me is that women who really were raped and who have secured a conviction against the accused may not want the details of a very terrifying ordeal made public for every person they will ever meet who has access to the internet to know about.  Rape is an enormous violation and I can completely understand that women who have experienced it might wish to keep that private.

And that is what it comes down to.  Privacy.  Only convicted criminals should be forced to surrender their privacy, especially when it comes to allegations of sexual misconduct and assault. The very basic premise of our entire justice system is that the accused are innocent until proven guilty, and it is only the guilty who should face the court of public execution.


Women who are raped and who can prove that in a court of law are not guilty of anything, nothingwithstanding having deliberately put themselves in a vulnerable position. Their right to privacy remains intact.

Which means that Peter is right.  Anonymity for the accused protects the accused from being assumed guilty.  It assures that justice is carried out.

The overwhelming majority of men are not rapists – not by a long shot, and the law must remember this.–human-right-High-Court-judge-Maura-McGowan-correct-says-Peter-Lloyd.html

It is true that affording anonymity to men accused of rape who really are guilty but walk away because there is insufficient evidence for a conviction are then free to go on and rape others, and future victims have no way of knowing that previous allegations of assault have been lodged, but that is true for accusers, too.  Women who have falsely accused men of rape will not have their identities revealed, and their future victims will also have no way of knowing that previous false allegations have been lodged.

But that is the price that we all pay for adhering to the basic premise of justice.

innocens nisi probetur nocens

Innocent until proven guilty


It is better that ten guilty escape than one innocent suffer.

William Blackstone

It’s still a good idea to Google your dates, though.  You never know what Twitter might reveal.

And you can subscribe to Peter Lloyd’s RSS feed here.  He always has something interesting to say.

Lots of love,


Helena Andrews explains why men should always pay for dinner. You’re gonna love it! Trust me.

9 Sep

A regular reader sent me an email asking me to address the curious case of “who pays for dinner”, specifically requesting strategies to avoid always being on the hook for the bill.  We’ll get to that, but first, let’s take a look at some of the justifications women trot out to explain why they think men should always ruck up for dinner.


The conversation has been in the media a lot recently owing to this new study that shows most women are incredibly happy to let men pay all the expenses in exchange for the pleasures of her company. Men, of course, are not quite so enamored of the wallet-rape, and would like women to pick up a few dinners here and there.

Consistent with conventional norms, most men (84 percent) and women (58 percent) reported that men pay for most expenses, even after dating for a while. Over half (57 percent) of women claim they offer to help pay, but many women (39 percent) confessed they hope men would reject their offers to pay, and 44 percent of women were bothered when men expected women to help pay. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of men believed that women should contribute to dating expenses, and many feel strongly about that: Nearly half of men (44 percent) said they would stop dating a woman who never pays. A large majority of men (76 percent), however, reported feeling guilty accepting women’s money.

Elizabeth Tannen at the Huffington Post thinks men should pay because women aren’t equal.  That’s a strange bit of logic, isn’t it? If women paid for dinner in equal measure to men, wouldn’t that in fact MAKE them equal?

She also thinks men should pay as a signal that he recognizes women must be pursued, wooed and flattered.  Again, not exactly an egalitarian relationship, is it?

But isn’t there power, too, in letting a guy pay? Doesn’t it, too, illustrate that our affections need to be earned, that we need to be wooed, courted, because we are worthy? Isn’t that also its own assertion of power?

Jezebel commenters trip all over the issue, too, coming up with the seemingly fair solution of “whomever does the asking does the paying”.  Right.  Except that it’s almost always men who ask, which means it will almost always be men who pay.  And it doesn’t look like that will be changing anytime soon.

Nice run around the tight end, there, ladies!

The comments for both these articles are pretty instructive – a self-declared feminist’s sense of being entitled to a man’s money is really quite astonishing.


Oh boy, this brings up a lot of issues for me. I am a women’s college educated feminist. My boyfriend makes at least twice as much money as I do. He won’t pay for anything for me. And yes, I have mentioned this to him. We live together and everything is split straight down the middle. *sigh* It would really be nice if he bought me a burrito every once in a while

Aesop’s Foibles

Ugh, the anal-retentive-about-money boyfriend. Had one of those for six long years. Never failed to piss me off. If we didn’t split the check, he would ask me if I had any cash for the tip. And he made around 50k a year! And a lot of the time during that relationship, I wasn’t even working. Needless to say, that shit got old real quick. For example, one Christmas, I was on unemployment. We were discussing gifts. He said, I’d like to set a dollar limit on gifts for each other, so neither of us feel like we’re getting taken advantage of. Meaning, he knew I wouldn’t be spending much, so he didn’t want to spend too much on me. Because that would somehow mean I was “taking advantage” of him. I couldn’t believe that shit!! It ruined my Christmas, that year. Boy am I glad that’s somethin I no longer have to deal with. Talk about stabby!!!

Seriously? This just blows my mind.  Ask a feminist about equality as she will “rah rah rah” your ears off, but ask her to pay her own way and suddenly she gets’ “stabby”?

I think this article at xojane on the subject takes the cake, though.

This is Helena Andrews:



Aren’t we all a little confused when it comes to the right or wrong way to date in the 21st Century?

Back in the day, I went out with this guy who refused to take me to dinner on our first date.

Why didn’t you take him?


We’d met at a bar a few weeks before, late-night chatted on the phone a couple of times and then finally he’d asked me to meet him at a Smithsonian after work. Apparently there was going to be a nearly sold-out lecture on volcanoes in outerspace that he just couldn’t miss. My “good story to tell the girls later” button flashed bright red.

So you don’t really like the guy and you aren’t very interested in science lectures at the Smithsonian but you still agreed to meet him after work?

Did you carry a flashing neon sign that said “looking for a free meal”, because you might as well have.

After said lecture, which was as wildly inappropriate for a first date as one would imagine, we walked through DC’s version of Times Square in pursuit of what I assumed would be food. Because, hello, date. It was dinnertime, past 8 o’clock, and my stomach roared angrily as we passed one cheesy tourist trap after another.

Why is a lecture about volcanoes in outer space inappropriate for a first date?  I think it sounds pretty awesome.

And you “assumed” food, did you? Because date? Okay.  No problem with that.  It’s the “free food” assumption that kind of grates.  You didn’t even enjoy the lecture, which I’m sure you were ever so clever to disguise completely, right? No sighing or eye-rolling or acting like a spoiled brat?

And now you think he should pay for your meal?

“Oh, tapas! I love tapas!” I shouted cheerily as we strolled by an al fresco pan-Latino joint. He grunted and kept it moving.

“Hey, let me buy you some tapas!”.

Try that next time, sweetheart.

Over the next five blocks, we lapped watering hole after watering hole on the long walk back to the metro and all the while I didn’t get why he kept shooting down every single one of my suggestions. What is this guy? An asshole or something?

An asshole because you haven’t offered to pay yet, and he doesn’t seem thrilled about reducing his own resources?  Wow. It doesn’t take much to be branded an asshole, does it?

Once we finally got to the train station — me hot, tired, and starving, him not — I just blurted out, “What is your problem?” “What do you mean?” he asked so sweet and innocent I almost forgot how damn hungry I was. “Um, I’m friggin’ starving. I don’t know what you’re trying to do right now. But I’m going to go get something to eat.” Clearly I hadn’t forgotten entirely.

I’m going to get something to eat.  She still isn’t including him!  What planet is this chick living on?  She really thinks he should be overjoyed at the prospect of spending his money on someone so incredibly selfish? And bitchy!

“Yeah, well, I have some chicken breasts and frozen vegetables at the house,” he answered meekly. “You’re welcome to that.”

He goes from grunting asshole to meek in the span of a few blocks.  Nice to see Helena not deploying any casual stereotypes about men, isn’t it?  He grunts. Obviously stupid.  He’s gets meek.  How unmanly.

What? I was so taken aback that I laughed, which in retrospect was a real jerk move. But come on, I hardly knew this dude. There was no way this Olivia Benson groupie was going back to his killer kitchen where unsuspecting first dates got deep-fried and I told him as much.

Well, she gets points for admitting that she’s a jerk, and for taking the sensible precaution of NOT going back to some guy’s apartment when she barely knows him. Maybe the deepfried comment was a bit over the top?

This is quite possibly a good time to discuss the difference between assuming all men are rapists and murderers, which is insulting and ignorant, and yet at the same time understanding that certain actions will make you vulnerable and it’s best to assume a little personal responsibility and stay out of those situations.

I don’t need to believe that all Mexicans are thieves to know that I should probably not carry my Ipad under my arm in Tiajuana.

No, no, no, he explained. He’d been on a budget — a tight one — and taking dames to dinner just didn’t compute. I was shocked and, more importantly, touched by his honesty. So much so that we continued to date despite me not being that kind of girl. The kind that doesn’t demand some good ole fashioned courting from the giddy up. I expect doors to be opened, men to walk on the “outside” down the sidewalk, and dinners (at least the first few) to be paid for.

And there’s that giant disconnect again.  Helena considers herself a proper modern woman, and she wonders why Steve Harvey wants her to act like a lady but think like a man, because she is neither.  She doesn’t read books, hoards Clinique make-up and fakes orgasms.  She is 31 years old.

helena 2

Uhm, honey, you are not looking like you have a whole lot to offer men, but you still demand a man’s protection, chivalry and money?

Why?  What do you have to give in exchange for that?

I know I know. This is so heteronormative. So detrimental to the fights against binary gender roles. So completely archaic and outdated. But so what?

Hey, what’s a little brutal hypocrisy between friends, right?

According to a new study “Who Pays for Dates? Following versus Challenging Conventional Gender Norms” most people still hold some conventional views about who should foot the bill.

This is the study I referenced above.

“Men (84 percent) and women (58 percent) reported that men pay for most expenses, even after dating for a while. Over half (57 percent) of women claim they offer to help pay, but many women (39 percent) confessed they hope men would reject their offers to pay, and 44 percent of women were bothered when men expected women to help pay. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of men believed that women should contribute to dating expenses, and many feel strongly about that: Nearly half of men (44 percent) said they would stop dating a woman who never pays. A large majority of men (76 percent), however, reported feeling guilty accepting women’s money.”

What’s most interesting here is how conflicted and confused and utterly contrary everyone seems to be. Women will “offer” to pay but secretly hope that offer will be rejected. Men say they’d stop dating a woman who never paid (so would I) but then confess to feeling guilty about accepting a girl’s debit card. It’s a rhythmless two-step we all seem to be doing with no dance teachers in sight.

Go back and read the study again.  Most men think women SHOULD contribute to dating expenses. Less than half of women report that they DO actually help out, and even when they offer, a significant chunk want their offer rejected.  Almost half of women are BOTHERED when a man expects them to contribute.

No one seems particularly confused, and the only contrary ones are the women who refuse to pay their fair share, or even any share at all.

For me, it’s about combating the “no date” dating culture that’s cropped up around hooking up and not taking names. Don’t get me wrong, if all you want is a Midori Sour and ride on the skin bus, then go ahead and treat yo’ self. But I’ve found during my unintentional field research on the subject that a good litmus test of whether or not something is a thing is if someone’s willing to plunk down the first of five easy payments. That sounded gross, but I’m being for real.

Five easy payments.  How do you know when something is a “thing” and not just a ride on the skin bus?

When the man pays.  Five times.

Okay then.  Do you let them know up front they are expected to pay for five dates or do they just have to guess?

Usually if I pay for dinner, especially if it’s the very first dinner out with a potentially romantic partner, it’s because I want to leave as soon as possible. Not that I can’t leave if someone else pays, but if I’m paying then I’m the one flagging down the waiter and twisting around in my seat for my coat. Bad sign.

Jesus Christ.  Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, peaches!

But when someone else is paying then I’m surrendering my time in a way that says, “What’s next.” All that logic, of course, is Helena specific and has been thrown out the window more than once.

Is he not also surrendering his time?  Why does that time have no value?

Case in point: The Volcanoes Guy. I should have known it wouldn’t work out. Not because he didn’t have the scratch for a proper first date (whether it be dinner or a damn ice cream cone) but because in the end it said something more about how he valued me and my time.

Another week or more went by before we actually sat down for a meal that he paid for. This only after he explained — in detail — about how he never takes women to dinner at the onset because he didn’t want to waste his time and money on someone he was just iffy about, which, of course, made sense but in the douchiest way possible. That same brand of bravado-slash-stinginess bleed out onto the rest of our interaction until there was nothing but red correction marks over the whole thing.

But…but….but…. didn’t Helena just say that paying for dinner FIVE TIMES is exactly how he shows that he’s not “iffy” about things?  Isn’t that SUPPOSED to be an indication that he is serious about the relationship?  Why should he shell out if he’s not yet certain about her potential as a romantic partner?

The only way this makes sense is if Helena feels entitled to ALL meals being paid for up to that magic number five, at which point she knows the relationship is a “thing”.  And then what?

So yeah, I was never in it for the free meal, but I was interested in being treated like I deserved it.

There we go.  She wants to be treated as if she deserves free meals.

Why you might ask? Why do you deserve anything?

Good question.  Really good question.  Why do you deserve anything, Helena?




Because I said so.

Oh my god, it’s too much.

Did she really write that?

Because I said so?


And if I don’t say so then who will?

Awwww.  No one to tell you deserve everything you little heart desires on someone else’s dime?  Are you single, Helena? I’m so confused as to why.  You’re so delightful!

Maybe if I’d been the one doing the pursuing I would’ve taken him out for dinner, but that’s not how this particular chase went down. Perhaps therein lies the line? Whoever does the picking up should also pick up the check? I’m not sure there can be any overarching rules besides the ones we make for ourselves, but I am sure that once you’ve made them, you should stick to them.

Well, if you’re going to stick to your rules, Helena, you should probably get a cat.  You’re gonna be lonely.  And again, creating the “rule” that the person doing the “picking up” should pick up the check is really sweet in theory, but when the practice is that only men pursue, it will always be only men that pay.


The comments on the xoJane article veered off weirdly into trying to parse why men should walk on the outside of the sidewalk:  most commenters agreed that it was to protect the lady from potential threats that might arise on the street.  His body is a shield she can use against runaway cars or pickpockets or errant bicycle couriers.

Interesting that very few commenters had anything to say about the expectation that a man pay for a woman’s company, and that her time is valuable while his is not.  Very few people want to discuss that at all.  Which leads me to believe that women like Helena are actually very common.

So what is a man to do, facing down these 31 year old shrews who think all meals should be free? How do you avoid that situation in the first place?

Personally, I agree that men should always pay for the first date.  But Helena and her fans have made me realize that there are two types of women:  women who accept a man’s care and see him as a potential provider, and women who feel like they are OWED money and food and flattery and chivalry and protection.

The trick is to distinguish between them.

There is a fairly simple, straightforward way to do that:  make the first date really cheap.  No matter how sad your budget is, almost everyone can afford a loaf of bread, some apples, a bit of cheese and a bottle of wine.



If you’re not up for even that amount of food preparation, scout out a hotdog cart and a scenic spot to sit in the local park, or along the river.  If you insist on a proper restaurant, check out the local Vietnamese noodle bowl shops and then pre-order two giant steaming bowls of delicious noodles to be ready when you set foot in the joint.  Noodle bowls are usually dirt cheap.

My first date with Mr. JB took place in a bathroom and we ate McDonald’s out of a paper bag.  That was memorable.

No matter how much money you have or don’t have the first date should be dirt cheap because it will tell you a lot about the woman you are with. If she gets pissy about eating hotdogs or a fresh baguette on the river bank, she is not interested in YOU.  She’s there for a free meal, and you know what?

Fuck her.

Any woman who sneers at a man who is careful with money is an idiot.  She is not thinking long-term.  She’s in it to grab as much as she can for herself.  And the expectation that you should spend oodles of money on her because “she said so”?

Run. For. The. Hills.

Never, ever try to impress a woman with money on a first date.  The ones who are there for YOU and the ones who are there for your money will be impossible to distinguish.  In fact, the more money you have, the more reluctant you should be to spend it on the first few dates.  Save the Broadway show and five star restaurant for much later.  The first dates are investments in a potential future.

Men should absolutely pay for the first date, and maybe even the second and the third and then it’s time to see if she has her priorities straight.  She needs to provide a meal for you.  Not necessarily pay for, but provide.  Not every woman can cook, and that’s fine.


What she needs to do is CARE.

Anyone can learn to cook or just become really good at ordering in, but it’s hard to teach someone to care about someone other than themselves if they really don’t. Providing food is the most basic way to show someone that you care.

No matter how otherwise great she is, if a woman doesn’t offer to provide you with food fairly early on in your relationship, she is not the right woman for you.  Wait for the woman who cares that you’re hungry and brings you a bacon sandwich. Wait for the woman who cares that you’re cold and brings you hot chocolate.  Wait for the woman who knows you are working late and brings you a warm dinner.

If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.

Cesar Chavez

And always buy unsalted butter for your fresh bread.  Why?

Because I said so.

Holy crap, that makes me want to slap myself!  I hate that phrase!

But seriously, salted butter is icky.

Lots of love,


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