Giving Steve Ward & VH1 Some Tough Love Of My Own

I’ve been watching VH1’s Tough Love for the past few weeks now and, despite his somewhat slower-than-I up-take on females and a need to nurse along a viewing audience, I have agreed with Steve Ward nearly word for word — up until tonight that is.

Tonight Steve Ward began to very tactfully, once again, help Arian to see that her automatic defense mechanism, using overt hyper sexuality to turn away men before any attachments could be made (and so avoid being hurt herself), was a bad thing. True, such actions will keep her from being hurt; but they will also keep her from finding what she really wants: to be in an honest, truthful, committed, loving relationship. Where Ward went wrong was saying that if Arian continued on this path, she’d end up raped. Now the already defensive and shut-down Arian used the powerful word of rape as her cue to end the conversation. She was going to do that anyway because she is in complete denial — and wishes to remain there. But Ward was way out of line here.

Rape is not about sex. It is not borne of lust. It is not caused by the penis’ desire for pleasure, nor a biological drive to pass on DNA. Rape is an assault of rage, anger & power. The penis (&/or other objects) are used because the physical penetration and friction of intimate walls violates emotional and spiritual worlds, echoing on in the psyche, forever haunting that person (and those who love them). Whereas death is but a moment’s passing, and therefore finite.

Ward’s perpetuation of such dangerous misogynistic mythology not only places (once again) the responsibility for male behaviors squarely on the shoulders of females, leaving victims to face guilt, but by covering up the truth, leaves more women ill-prepared and therefore vulnerable to attack.

Ward should apologize. And undergo the proper education.

So should everyone behind the show at VH1.

But perhaps even more alarming than Ward’s perpetuation of this dangerous myth, was the fact that all the other women present did not correct Ward — in fact they repeated what he was saying as if it were the truth! (I at least expected my girl Jody to speak the truth!) They are as brainwashed by the rape myth as Ward.

Can you see the huge tears rolling down my face?

As for Arian & the show, she was set to run off set anyway. But it was stupid to even try to talk to a woman who is so wrapped-up in the belief-fear that her only value is her body, by talking about her bodily risks.

It’s been clear to me from the start that Arian’s projection of hyper-sexuality is based upon a fear that this is all anyone sees her as. (And some sexual abuse signals were seen by me with the first watching of the show; so watch for that reveal too.) If she is to feel valued for herself, Ward’s conversation should have focused (more accurately) on the fact that, with continued use of her defense mechanism, the danger Arian faces the continuation of a succession of one night stands — but if she express more value of herself past her sexuality, exhibits less signs of sexual availability, then she increases her odds of finding men who will view her in terms of total person-hood and not just a great lay.

So Ward f-ed up all over tonight.

You’ll notice, if you’ve seen the show, that VH1 conveniently doesn’t have a clip of Ward saying she’ll be raped — they have the clip just before that line (which, if you haven’t seen the show, is evidence of Arian’s hyper-sexuality) and the clip after it, of Arian leaving & the other women’s reactions.

No go to VH1 & demand an apology and proper education for all.

You can also contact Steve via his matchmaking service’s site: Master Matchmakers.

UPDATE See how the story unfolds:
More On Moron Steve Ward & The Rape Issue

Mommy, Make The Bad Man Stop

Enough Is Enough

Please take action!


  1. I’m so upset by this. I posted my complaint at VH1 (and linked at my blog too to get others to join in), where I was shocked by the other ignorant comments! I’m still so angry… I hope I can cry to release this a bit.

  2. I love the Steve Ward and VH1 comment above. I couldn’t have written it better. I’ve written to him and VH1 demanding an apolgy.

    I think that Steve Ward is a complete asshole after this weekend’s episode. I can’t believe he told Arian that because of her supposedly lude behavior, that she is going to end up raped or getting a STD.

    COME ON!!! For Christ’s sake – it’s the woman’s fault if she gets raped? Really? And the guy has no responsibility as to his criminal act of violence in rape. So I guess guys just lose all self control and against their will rape a woman because she is asking for it. Man – aren’t women powerful. This is so typical. Do you know how many decades women have been considered responsible for their getting raped? Because they supposedly incited the violent act of rage with mere words or how they dress. And then, bummer – some guy loses his mind and involuntarily must attack a woman – much as he would have preferred otherwise – but then how can he help it right. Wha is this -Afghanistan? Iraq? I supposed women in America should cover up like the Moslem women are forced to. And if they leave the house without a man to accompany her, they deserve being flogged right like the NYT’s article on it yesterday? This is pure bullshit and I think this show sucks after the matchmaker’s ignorance in making such an announcement.

    I’m disgusted. Especially since I LOVE reality shows. No more Tough Love for me.

    Thanks for listening.


  3. just an FYI… the online version edited out him saying she’d be raped, but when it aired (and from what I know now.. its still playing unedited?) it included it.


    Where do u go to complain?

  4. Ladies, as a gent who just watched the show, Steve may have been impolite in his choice of words, but he spoke the truth. This does not imply that Arian deserves to be raped. He is stating a simple fact. If Arian continues to talk about her “oral skills” or stroke some guy’s cock at a bar, odds are that some guy won’t take “no, I’m sorry, I’ve changed my mind”for an answer some day. That’s not condoning in any way, shape, or form sexual assault. However, there are disturbed individuals who will read that in her behavior.

  5. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for adding to the conversation (and no, you won’t be dumped on for being a man lol)

    What are you are arguing is precisely 1/2 of my point: What you, and others, are saying is that it’s up to a woman to modify her behaviors in order to stop a man’s reaction — when his action is wrong, illegal & violent.

    Infuriating as this shirking of male responsibility is, it’s also grossly inaccurate — dead wrong.

    Rape is not about lust or sexual gratification; it’s about power, control & violence.

    So it has nothing to do with his “not being able to stop”.

    If it is a “disturbed individual’s” reaction, then the problem lies in his disturbed nature and her actions have nothing to do with it — the disturbed individual lives in a world with random rules & reactions we both cannot know (and so comply & modify our behavior) and cannot condone (which is what we do when we investigate and blame victims).

    This is why Ward’s statement wasn’t just “blunt” or “impolite” it was Wrong with a capital ‘W’.

    And your response, along with so many others, exposes just how prevalent & pervasive the Wrong thinking is.

  6. I am trying to imagine a child being abducted and found and then being questioned about why did he talk to a stranger. It would not happen.

    I get what Steve was trying to do. I believe that his words actually came from a place of genuine concern. That does not make them the right choice of what to say. And you know, I suspect if we asked Steve “If a woman is raped, is it her fault?” He would say no. I get why people are defending him.

    But it’s one thing to offer recommendations of situations to avoid in an educational setting. But when you are addressing a specific person’s life, and your comment boils down to “you are on the road to rape”…well, intentional or not, that *is* blaming the victim.

    Like Alessia, I’ve enjoyed the show up until this point. And while there have been some small comments here and there that made me cringe…this is the first time I actually thought “that’s just messed up and wrong, Steve.” I think Ward means well. I think he is genuinely concerned about Arian’s choices. I think her actions and attitudes betray her attempts to play things off as “I am just having fun! I am just a very sexual person!” She is sabotaging herself in many ways. But to suggest she is gonna end up raped-as if following Ward’s recommendations means she won’t? It’s just a line one should not cross.

  7. “I am trying to imagine a child being abducted and found and then being questioned about why did he talk to a stranger. It would not happen.”

    You “get” it; you “get” me.

    Thank you, Thom!

  8. Sorry I haven’t responded. This topic gives me so much angina, I can’t even think straight.

    I don’t know why men aren’t up in arms about this. Don’t they find the implication that they’re essentially dumb beasts of burden tied hand and foot to their dicks, completely incapable of thought and self-control? Because that’s what it means. A woman must moderate her behavior so as not to accidentally stir men’s uncontrollable passions, those poor beasts! They know not what they do!


  9. Thanks for stopping by, my dear AV.

    I too wonder why men aren’t upset with this reduction in their credibility and control — those two C’s seem to be what they are after even when they take or try to take our C’s.

    I hope your angina stops achin’ soon — for all our sakes.

  10. I totally agree with you. It made me really angry when he said that. It is part of the victim blame mentality that people still have. I also could not believe that none of the other girls said anything about that. A girl does not invite a man to rape her in anyway and I hope he apologizes for his comment.

  11. I am a female who was recently attacked, and am currently going to court to put the man who viciously beat and violated me in prison.
    I know that rape is a crime for control and all that. But, rape takes many forms. Date rape, Rape as many people know it, and even when a man has sex with a drunk girl and he is too drunk to consent.
    Although many of you disagree with what steve said… he has a major point…
    She is headed in the wrong direction… and that just may be the ultimate outcome for her if she continues her actions..
    He was speaking the truth.. and like Arian.. many of you dont wanna hear that truth…
    I was attacked just walking home at night…
    But when a girl puts herself out there like that, men take that as she wants the sex.. and some men wont stop when a woman says no…
    So yes, Arian was upping her chances of getting raped, EXPONENTIALLY.
    If you guys dont wanna face reality.. Then that might end up hurting many of you someday…
    But i guess thats why the call it tough love huh?

  12. I’d seen the show a couple of times till Steve disgusted me. There was something that was bothering me about him. When he basically said that the girl deserves to be raped. The fact that he would condone and excuse a rapist’s behavior shows what kind of a disgusting human being he is. No one ever ever ever deserves to be sexually violated in any way. Noone ever has the right to violate someone in a sexual way, no matter what. I don’t care if they are walking down the street naked. There are millions of women who are fully clothed who are raped everyday so it doesn’t matter either way, clothed or not. Also, just because a woman may use her sexuality doesn’t mean she’s avoiding attachments. Those women who agreed with Steve should be ashamed of themselves. They must be jealous bitches. I wonder how they would react if they were ever in position to fight some asshole off. I am so outraged by these disgusting human beings on that show.

  13. Hi Samantha,

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been attacked and violated; I wish you well with your court battle (and if I can be of any help, please let me know!)

    I hope that you will come to see that no matter what you were doing, wearing, saying, what you did for a living, etc., that you neither encouraged nor deserved such a horrible thing. And that, as you move through healing on this issue, that you’ll come to see that Ward’s statement wasn’t “tough love”, but was blaming a woman for a rape — however “potential” or “exponential.” Excusing the rapist because he’s not expected to stop, is blaming the victim. And that’s neither appropriate nor accurate.

    It’s not that I don’t want to hear it; it’s that I hear it all the time and it’s wrong. And, Samantha, if anyone is counseling you otherwise, get another professional who knows the facts.

    Again, I hope you find justice in court and that your recovery includes happiness, not mere survival — and I’m sincere about offering whatever help I can. I’m no lawyer or therapist, but if you ever need a shoulder or an ear, I am here.

  14. Samantha, I’m so sorry you were attacked.
    I agree that when a woman is overtly sexual, men may think that she wants sex. Just like when a man is overtly sexual, women may think he’s up for sex. But would anyone argue that a man who was flirting, bragging explicitly, drinking heavily, etc., was setting himself up to be held down and raped by a gay man, or a woman with a pool cue? If that happened to a guy, I seriously doubt people would be looking for what he did wrong. They would not be arguing for men everywhere to curtail their behavior in order to not be so enticing to rapists. That guy would not be blamed, because he didn’t get himself raped. No one does.
    I agree with you also, that Ariane’s behavior was shocking, indicative of someone who seems deeply unhappy and mistrustful of men. But Ariane might be raped in the future only if she is in the presence of a rapist, as might conservative Jody when she’s walking from her apt. to her car, as do tough, unfeminine women in the military, women in chadors, women everywhere. You say that she’s exponentially upping her chances, but, really, why do you feel this way? It’s what women have been told for centuries to keep us in line; is there any data behind it?

  15. I don’t care if they are walking down the street naked.


    Also, just because a woman may use her sexuality doesn’t mean she’s avoiding attachments.

    I agree the two aren’t tied together; but if you watch Arian in action and her explain herself, it’s pretty clear that it’s true in this case.

    Those women who agreed with Steve should be ashamed of themselves.

    I find it a sad sign that we have not come a long way, baby; that Ward’s words are so widely held as beliefs is sad as well as dangerous.

    Thanks for adding to the conversation, Celeste. Because I believe that’s the only way we’re going to enlighten people.

  16. Arian has major sexual dysfunction addiction problems that are too large for this show. She is a wrong selection for the group of women and that using her is only for the show’s opportunistic advantage so that everyone can comment on her. It is really sad how she makes such a fool of herself. She obviously needs to be on Sober House or a different reality show. Maybe she was abducted when she was younger and Steve hit a nerve. I think it’s more than her being a drama queen and trying to steal the show — say like Taylor.
    In any case I will still be watching. Michy

  17. Michy, I’m not certain that Arian as the worst problems on the show; hers are just so much easier to scapegoat. And I wish the so-called “experts” would deal with her problems, not exploit them & respond to them with dangerous, inaccurate, out-dated thinking.

    You said you’ll still be watching the show; aren’t you offended by their treatment of Arian and the attitude towards women in general?

  18. About the way the show treats Arian and other women, I didn’t watch the latest show, but I read another illuminating post show interview. Steve admits that he loathes Arian and Jessa. He also calls Arian a cancer in the house(!) Arian(or someone posing plausibly as her) left this comment:

    Arian Mayer Says:

    April 14th, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    He loathes me huh? Hahahah wow. Pretty strong word! He was nasty to ME from day one and he loathes me? I can’t wait until Steve exposes himself for the fake pos he really is. At least I kept it real…. He loathed me so much but pretended he was there with my best interest at heart? Please!

    This just makes me sad. I hope the women are being paid something to put up with this abusive shit.

  19. OMG, Marge! I Googled some of the quotes you posted here, and I found the interview you were speaking of:

    Taylor and Arian seem very similar in that their bad habits are dying hard. You even called your mom in to help with Arian. I was surprised at how emotionally affected your mom was.

    My mom is one of the most sensitive people I’ve ever met. My mom is an old soul and she sees the good in people. When she sees a tortured soul, it really effects her. She can see that Arian is capable of being a good person and having a happy life and when she sees someone damaging herself and bringing trouble into her own life, it breaks her heart.

    Did you feel that Arian had made any sort of breakthrough with your mom?

    No. When we were sitting there, trying to get through to her, I realized that everything was going in one ear and out the other. She really didn’t care. All she wanted was for us to say, “We’re sorry, you’re right, we’re wrong,” and then sweep it under the rug. And that wasn’t going to happen.

    At this point, are you starting to get frustrated with her?

    Yeah, I’m starting to loathe her. I’ll go so far as to use that word. You’re only as strong as your weakest link, and all the other girls are progressing. There’s a lot of positive change and I think she basically was becoming a cancer in the house.

    Jessa says that Arian has trouble emotionally connecting with someone if she doesn’t physically connect with him. Did you agree with that assessment?

    I think Jessa has trouble connecting emotionally with people. She is no different. Wait till you see the mutiny that takes place! I loathe her, too. I get so sick of her bulls*** as the show goes on.

    OK, so first Arian is “capable of being a good person and having a happy life” — and then she’s a “loath-able cancer”?

    And then Steve says, “All [Arian] wanted was for us to say, “We’re sorry, you’re right, we’re wrong,” and then sweep it under the rug. And that wasn’t going to happen.” Oh, so rife with irony. Ward wants all of us who want him learn that his beliefs & statements about rape are wrong, rude and dangerous — and then admit it via an apology — to just go away saying, “We’re sorry, you’re right, Steve,” and then sweep his misogynistic thinking under his money-rug.

    PS I’m working on a follow-up post regarding my contact with producers, etc. Stay tunned — and please, keep the conversation going.

  20. When people talk about “getting through” to someone, it’s one of those things that clues me in that they’re not listening and they don’t think they have any reason to. They want the listening to be one way only. Of course Arian realizes that Steve and his mother are talking at her, not to her. I’d understand it if he just said that she was self-sabotaging, or that she wasn’t trying enough to change. That these things make him see her as a bad person, is pretty extreme. I think it says more about him.


  22. Gio, your shame is misplaced; you ought to be ashamed that after reading all the comments that you are no more educated to the facts than when you began. Real men do not rape.

    You can no longer claim ignorance; rather you are (at least) a borderline idiot on the subject of rape.

  23. WOW you guys are way out of line. Steve had every right to say what he said. He neither wished it on or or hoped it on her, he merely stated if YOU keep putting yourself in positions like this you might get raped or some sort of STD. What is wrong about that statement? It is 100% factual. We in America have become incredibly over sensitive to the truth because its not something you wanna hear. Look at some of you people “demanding an apology”, who are you to demand anything? Probably the same type of people who are just like Ariana. Worse off are the apologists for her type of behavior.
    No one deserves rape that’s pretty obvious but no one should put themselves in a situation (like she does on a continuous basis) where its a very real possibility. YOU people don’t want it said because you know how much of a very real possibility it is, especially when you act like that. The majority of comments made here definitely make me nervous in regards to the state of our society.

  24. Hi Don,

    Let me reply to your comments…

    WOW you guys are way out of line. Steve had every right to say what he said.

    Free speech may give him the right; but what about his responsibilities as an “expert” and a human being to know and discuss the facts?

    He neither wished it on or or hoped it on her, he merely stated if YOU keep putting yourself in positions like this you might get raped or some sort of STD. What is wrong about that statement? It is 100% factual.

    I think if you continued to read more of my blog posts (and those of others) on this subject you’d be a bit more aware aware of the facts. Rape is the act of the rapist; it has nothing to do with what the woman does (or doesn’t do). Other than, at times, limiting the opportunity for a rapist to make his move, victims are not in control of the situation — that’s the whole point of rape as it is a crime, an attack, an abuse of power or a perception of power. What position Arian puts herself in here is one of a lack of respect — but that does not equal the criminal act of rape.

    For example, you and & I, Don, may not like each other, may not respect one another for our views &/or behaviors on this topic, but that gives neither one of us the right to attack or rape the other. You & I both know that. Such a thing is inconceivable! And if either of us were to do such a thing, the other would not be held responsible for the criminal actions of the other. Because we are sane, we’d know that holding one responsible for the actions of another is a crazy thing to do. So why the insanity if I talked about my breasts or touched your crotch (when you wanted me to)? You would be free to disrespect me — consider me one-night-stand-only material, not date me again, etc. — but you would not be free to rape or assault me. That’s 100% factual.

    We in America have become incredibly over sensitive to the truth because its not something you wanna hear. Look at some of you people “demanding an apology”, who are you to demand anything? Probably the same type of people who are just like Ariana. Worse off are the apologists for her type of behavior.

    I can’t speak for all the others demanding an apology &/or correction, but I make such demands for the obvious reasons that Ward’s statements are blatantly inaccurate and that the impossible ridiculousness of the underlaying expectation — that women are responsible for the behaviors of men — blames victims of rape. Such mythinformation is dangerous and actually victimizes women.

    No one deserves rape that’s pretty obvious but no one should put themselves in a situation (like she does on a continuous basis) where its a very real possibility.

    “No one deserves rape… But…” Sheesh, do you even hear yourself?

    The only “very real possibility” is that a rapist will attack Arian or another woman and use your beliefs — your very words — against his victim in court. And should that jury be full of people like you who hold the victim responsible for what the criminal did, he’ll get off in the ultimate legal orgasm.

    YOU people don’t want it said because you know how much of a very real possibility it is, especially when you act like that.

    I know that each of us is ultimately responsible for our own actions and that there’s nothing you or another can do to make me assault or violate them. Why can’t “YOU people” fathom that? That you are responsible for your own actions — and if you want others to be responsible for their actions, then it starts by being loud & clear on your intolerance for rape i.e. “You will not tolerate rape under any circumstances period.” And follow it up by judging the actions and behaviors of the rapist. Leave the victim out of your Monday morning quarterbacking phase.

    The majority of comments made here definitely make me nervous in regards to the state of our society.

    Right back at ya, Don; right back at ya.

    If you can’t see how you are part of the problem, how you perpetuate false thinking & how that leads to victimization, then it truly is a sad state of affairs.

  25. I think Steve was right on the mark with that comment. Its not about victim-blaming, its about common sense. If u act like a slut, you will be treated like one. Thats just realtalk. He did her a favor by making that comment. Hopefully she’ll learn something. Women need to have some accountability for their own actions and behavior. Gender is not the end-all, be-all in everything.

  26. I think Steve could have sent the same message in different words, but the concept of the show is centered around sending direct messages. He in no way implied that rape is ok or something that he condones. He was trying to get Arian to see that she might be putting herself in harm’s way. If you cross the street without looking both ways, you might get hit by a car. It doesn’t meant that you wanted it, or that you deserve it. Rape is never a woman’s fault, but as a woman, I know that there are precautions I can take to hopefully prevent it from ever happening. A woman should be able to act any way she wants without being raped. Steve was trying to make her see that if she doesn’t respect herself, she may attract disrespectful people.

  27. I agree with the thread that rape is not ok and it’s not a matter of a woman “asking” for it. Nor are women “responsible” for what happens to them.

    However, not having common sense does cause potential risk. Ariana does not appear to always act before thinking. She seems to revel in crossing lines of acceptable behavior with the false sense of empowerment that others, not just rapists, will still have a basic respect of her boundaries.

    The truth is, some one is more likely to misinterpret her actions than some of the other women on the show. It may not be rape or violence, but risky behavior can result in problems. She may not fully accept this or at all times, but there are brief moments when even she acknowledges that her behavior give her everything that she expects.

  28. Why is it that the majority speaks of rape with the female being the victim? I understand that the percentage of incidents are male on female rape, but please lets not forget that a male can become the victim as well.

  29. Cristi, the way you have things stated, it’s misleading.

    Your comparisons between rape and crossing the street without looking both ways can only be comparable in terms of opportunity — i.e. being in the middle of the street in order for a car to hit you is comparable to a rape victim being alone with a (potential) rapist, which Arian was not, not motivation. Ward accused Arian of her behaviors causing a motivation for rape which, in your analogy, would be like saying that a person standing on the curb, talking trash about drivers, accidents, speeding etc. attracts hit & run drivers.

    Sadly, opportunity for rapists cannot be controlled, merely minimized. And I certainly would not suggest that a rape victim be held accountable for going on a date, being alone with her husband, her uncle, her brother & his friends, etc.

    Until we change this attitude of victim blaming we will never put an end the permissive nature we give rapists when we do not hold rapists themselves 100% accountable for what they do.

  30. Let me do you a favor with some “real talk,” bub; maybe you’ll learn something.

    See, what you say is complete BS. The fundamental problems with your supposed logic are:

    A) women do have accountability — but never are we to be accountable for the actions of another, male or female

    B) there is no agreed upon term for “acting like a slut” — it’s not even illegal to do so. But it is illegal to rape. End of story.

  31. Kar, while I am tempted to debate the matter of common sense in this issue (just because it is common, doesn’t make it correct!), but I’ll try to stick to just the issue of Arian’s behavior.

    Again, I’m not sure how many of my other posts on this issue you have read (or the continuing comments on them), but I have expressed concerns regarding Arian’s behavior in terms of her stated relationship goals — and had Ward kept to that issue, he might have actually made sense (or at least not alienated with his stupidity). But he didn’t; and this is why I bitch. ;)

  32. I’m not forgetting male victims or female victims of female perpetrators, however…

    In this case, the discussion is centered around Ward’s statement(s) about Arian; Arian is female and Ward spoke of rape by males.

    And in general, one does not solve a problem by addressing the smallest fraction(s) of the problem.

    Male rapists are the majority of rapists; female victims are the majority of victims. It is very irritating and distracting to the conversation regarding “rape in general” to be redirected to address smaller percentages of rape, rape victims and perpetrators. These victims are no less victimized; they are not ignored, but typically, the cries of “but what about male victims!” and “what about victims of rape by female rapists!” serve not to actually address these issues, but to deflect from the real issues of rape — and male responsibility for rape.

  33. This is such a tricky issue because rape itself is such a vile and disgusting act…no one regardless of whatever the situation deserves to ever be in that situation. When I saw the episode I understood what Steve meant and what he was saying…I believe what he was saying was misconstrued; HOWEVER he should have found a better way to word his thoughts. His poor choice of wording has put him in this spot, but at no time did he say she deserved to be raped or that she would be raped…he said “could.” I don’t condone being such an ass and being insensitive to a topic like rape. I do however believe that some people are so deluded that they forget that actions have consequences…again not saying if you dress provocativley you’re asking to be raped…no one ever asks to be raped. The point is simply that there is a minority of people in this world who take dressing provocativley, or acting overly sexual as an open invitation…the reality is that they are here and they aren’t good people. Had he worded this idea differently he may have had a more positive impact…saying you could be raped came off terribly offensive and didn’t help his cause. Speaking as a woman, I did feel his poor choice of words overshadowed the overall message.

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