How stealing $2,000 turned into a biting commentary on consent

The internet is a brilliant and terrifying place

How stealing $2,000 turned into a biting commentary on consent
Stars Insider

04/12/18 | StarsInsider


Once upon a time, a guy at a bar had a pretty reasonable sob story, and the internet had its way with it. This is a story about the wild, wonderful world of comment sections. 

A woman who works in a bar tweeted about a man who had been calling and asking to check the bar's cameras because he had asked a girl to put her number in his phone, but she did something a little different: she sent herself US$2,000 on a money transfer app called Venmo. 

While this bar employee wrote, "drunk b*****s are GENIUS," there is obviously no one actually endorsing this strange maneuver. Stealing is wrong, and always will be. But when the post made it to a Facebook page, people saw an opportunity to turn the entire situation on its head.

As Upworthy reports, any sympathy for the man was quickly overshadowed by people using the same language people use to discredit #MeToo stories.

"How do we even know she did it?" one person wrote, mocking the demand for empirical evidence. 

"Maybe it's just another jealous man who has it out for her. We have to be careful with accusing women because an allegation like this could ruin her career and her future. This could follow her around for life," another quipped, "She has a family to take care of!" 

Someone asked what he was wearing, because if he was wearing a suit, "That screams 'I want you to take my money.'" Someone else challenged the notion that if someone agrees to something once, that's an open invitation to do it again, suggesting that if he opened up his wallet to spend money in the past, he shouldn't be upset that he spent money there too. "It's not like his bank account is pristine."

People demanded to see his previous reports, claiming that maybe he's "cried robbery before,"  and they hammered on the fact that he didn't explicitly tell the girl not to take his money. "I mean he did give her his phone..." 

One person shot a direct line at former US Representative Todd Akin's infamously bizarre claims that in cases of "legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down" by writing,  "If it’s legitimate robbery, the phone has ways to try to shut the whole thing down." 

Thousands upon thousands of comments wrestle with the ways people talk about sexual assault, emphasizing the absurdity of it all.

Taking a jab at victim-blaming, one person commented, "If he didn't complain in that moment, he wanted it to happen and cannot complain now." Another wrote, "Clearly a case of regret, not theft, here. Just because he changed his mind the next day he’s trying to ruin this woman’s future. Disgusting."

"Assuming this happened," someone hilariously began, "how do we know he didn’t send it to her and he’s just having post-payment regret?"

Beyond all the beautifully crafted satire was, of course, a happy ending for the man in question. The woman who began it all followed up her tweet: "The guy came back to the bar tonight & asked if I was the one that posted this tweet. I told him I was and then he thanked me for making him famous. And I was like no thank YOU for making ME famous. He also got his money refunded."

Everyone believed him, no one blamed him for putting himself in that situation, and he got what he lost back, which is something most sexual assault victims can't claim. 

So, to the vicious girl at the bar who stole $2,000 in one swift move: the example made out of this story is worth so much more.


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