Whatever benefit of the doubt I gave to Master Matchmaker and VH1 Tough Love “commander” Steve Ward has been taken away — by Ward himself.
In an interview with some nameless VH1 bot, Ward defends the indefensible:
You said that Arian is going to end getting raped if she continues her behavior.
You know it’s going to go down hill from there; he’s admitted that what he said wasn’t a mis-step, an ill-formed phrase, or something said quickly that “came out wrong.”
There was some talk around the Internet that your mindset was not unlike that of those who blame victims for being raped.
Well, that just goes to show how naive people are.
Wait, wait, wait; did Ward just call me naive?! I’m the one with the facts! He’s not merely “naive” or even “ignorant” — because we’ve told him, he’s got access to (at least) the same facts, experts and research as we do, yet he’s sticking with fiction. Dangerous fiction too yet.
I wasn’t blaming anybody for anything.
But, as you’ll soon see, Ward is doing just that.
I was explaining to her that there are risks to her behavior. She seems to feel that there are no consequences to her behavior. Like nothing bad can happen from her being as raunchy and as inappropriate as she was. And I was trying to explain to her that when you do things like that you put yourself in harm’s way. And there are men out there that because they are f***ed up in the head, for whatever reasons, they may take it as some sort of an invite, or that you really want it or this or that. I mean why would you sit there and rub a guy’s d*** under a table? You don’t know who he is or where he is from or what he is about. And you know what, a couple of beers later he may go try to rub you and you might not like it and he is not gonna stop. That’s all I was trying to point out them.
There are risks to her behavior — but not rape. The risks are that Arian is limiting herself, reducing her value to her looks, her body & sex. This is a pattern of behavior based on low self-esteem which will not bring her respectful relationships but continue with a parade of one-night-stands (who may be around for multiple nights, but are invested in her only as far as they are inserted in her). These are all fine issues to be discussed — and they certainly fit the context of the show and Ward’s (quickly diminishing In my eyes) expertise. However, everything else he discusses is the exact definition of blaming the victim.
This “if she, then he” line of thinking places the burden of responsibility for his (crappy) behavior upon her shoulders. He’s literally,”Hey, she asked for it.”
And I’ve got news for you; even when you are appropriate, “classy,” and “a good girl” — and even when he’s had no beers or alcohol whatsoever — he may try to rub you and you do not like it and he is not gonna stop. I know. Personally.
And that’s why there wasn’t backlash from the rest of the girls in the room, because they agreed with me.
Oh, so if everyone in the room agreed that you could fly, that would make it true?
The reason the women in the room agreed with you is because such bullshit thinking is so prevalent in our society — which is precisely why I continue to harp on this topic. I hope you all educate yourselves to the facts.
It’s time you, the women in the room, the VH1 producers, the Stepford Wives’ leaving comments in defense of your misogynist mythology, the asshats who like things the way they are, and, yes, the frightened & desperate who want to believe that such things won’t happen if they are “good” — you all need to be educated. You present a clear and present danger.
The reality, though, is that Arian wasn’t going to get raped in this situation. You’re there, cameras are there, producers are there. I wonder if there’s any suspicion that she might be playing up the salaciousness for the sake of the show.
No, I believe that she does this in her daily life. She is truly like that.
I too believe this is, more or less, Arians MO. But scaring her with lies & threatening her with violence is not the answer.
And she enjoys taking the risk and putting herself in that position. It is a very precarious situation. She doesn’t realize that there may be consequences. I’m not blaming the victim, but if the girl would act a little bit more appropriate, then I’m sure she wouldn’t be treated the way she is by men.
You are blaming the (in your eyes, potential) victim. If (desperately knocking wood!) Arian were to be raped, you’d be all, “I told you so!” and therefore not holding the rapist 100% accountable.
If she walked around like a classy woman and treated herself with respect, she would command respect and men would respect her.
I agree with you, she would command more respect — at least from non-violent, non-controlling, rapists.
With a personality like she has, why would anyone respect her? That was the point I was trying to make. She was trying to say that there were trust issues, and she doesn’t trust men. And of course, why should she trust men? Men don’t respect her.
True. But there’s a HUGE leap between men not respecting a woman, not wanting to “bring her home to mom,” and rape. I myself have not respected people who have not warranted respect — like you right now, Ward — but I’m not raping or assaulting any of them.
Honestly, Ward — and the rest of you at VH1 who refuse to correct the gross errors of your words and ways and continue to perpetuate myth-information, placing more women in danger — you make me feel violated.
And for every woman and man who feels that they must teach their daughters to “be good” so that the bad men won’t hurt them rather than addressing the issue of bad men, it’s another forced entry.
“Show mommy where the bad man touched you on this doll, honey.” I’m pointing all over, because that’s where it hurts.
And there’s no place on the doll for my soul.
You know what else? There are no, “And what did you do to the man to make him touch you,” or, “And what were you wearing,” or, “And what do you do for a living” questions when you show a child victim of rape or abuse the doll. Why not? Because it’s not ever the victim’s fault.
Ward, your statements perpetuate misogynistic mythology and generate the same sense of shame which victimizers, abusers, and rapists use to keep victims silent, docile, and in control.
You may not be raping women, Steve Ward, but you are adding to the exploitation of their shame and you are reducing the responsibility of rapists & perpetrators of abuse; things which punish victims and prevent them from receiving justice. And that just adds to the power of the rapists & abusers, creating more victims.
You, sir, are more of a threat to Arian than any “dangerous behaviors” she exhibited. You are a threat to me, to women every where.
UPDATE See how to take action: Enough Is Enough!
There are so many flaws in this guy’s thinking.
“There was no backlash from the other girls in the room” does not mean they agree with you — do you create a supporting, nurturing environment where women can openly express themselves? Somehow I don’t think so, Steve. I strongly disagree with everything you’ve said, but I don’t know if I’d bother speaking up because A) you are obviously not interested in logic and reason. B) I don’t want to be the target of your irrational hatred of women.
And, Steve, honey, many men don’t respect women, no matter what they are wearing or how they are acting. Because they think the same way you do. The men who are screwed up enough to want to rape a woman don’t really have functioning neurological processes. Men* have no respect for women because of their (the men’s) upbringing, not because of what the woman does.
*Please note this does not apply to all men. Men in general are very nice people. It’s the j@ck@$$es like this guy that make the rest of them look bad, and make us write things like this.
You bring up another valid point, Criss; that clearly Ward is married to his ideology & has no desire to make changes, despite advice to the contrary. …And isn’t that what he’s asking participants of his “boot camp” to do? Perhaps that’s why the single matchmaker is still single.
You mention having facts that prove Steve’s thoughts wrong. Can you explain these facts? I am not necessarily disagreeing with you, or agreeing with Steve, but am trying to better understand this situation and inform my opinion. If you do have facts, I think it would be helpful if you made them available. Thanks.
I just re-read my post and realized “explain” implied I didn’t believe the facts. Rather, I’d just like to see what they are. Thanks.
First of all, I’ve not been ignoring your request for more information (or, perhaps more accurately, where I got my information regarding the facts). I know you have not complained or anything, but typically I am not a delayed responder. But I needed to take some time away from this issue because it’s so maddening. I have to work very hard to keep my personal violated response out of the conversation (as much as I can) and lean on the facts as much as possible — & doses of general moral outrage to get me through it. It’s not easy to discuss rape & violence against my gender without feeling it deeply — it never was. And since my experiences, I’ve had to work hard on refraining from personal pain so as not to cloud the issue — it’s complicated enough as it is.
But to get to your question, I’m not sure how many of my posts you’ve read on this — or the number of links within my posts you’ve read. I have documented such sites as this credible one on the definition of rape.
I will be, going forward, present some of my interviews & research on the matter of rape & other violence, from professionals, research etc. These posts will cover the facts of the acts themselves, including but not limited to motivation, and on the problems with societal reactions (police, courts, family, etc.) I hope you (and others) will continue to watch for these posts.
Wow, I wish I could explain this to people as well as you just did. Amazing – thank you.
Thank you, Elaina. You have a very cool blog yourself — and I’m not just saying that because you complimented me (and linked to me) lol I’m enjoying your blog very much!
Thanks! I just started it last week actually out of frustration with “Tough Love”. I’m so glad someone else is just as offended and understands how completely inappropriate the whole situation is.
The difference between men and women is clear in this blog. That behavior will get u raped. Take responsibilty. Arian never has and this is why she is where she is. Steve Ward did not make her a slut. But women have a hard time taking resposibilty and usually pass this down to her kids. Man goes to the bar pulls out hundreds of dollars and someone says u will get robbed no difference at all. Dont let it ALL hang out. This thinking is why there will always be more CEO’s that are male and leaders.
Okaii fiirst of all he saiid yur qonna end up raped he diidnt say if yu get rapped its your fault to major differences bascially what was said is tht if you leave your self out there to be taken advantage of it will happen and that’s not the victims fault but a situation maybe prevented ..why wud you go on a date wit your t*** hanging out and rubbing on a strange man and expect respect. When women put them self out like a sex object that leaves them to get taken as one and it so unfortunate that the world is this way but as women we have to take cautiion..He told the truth and that is hard to handle but we must accept and prevent these mishappenings because it is not out fault
Are you freaking serious?! Talking with you would offer less possibility of enlightenment than talking to a wall; so I’m off to do that instead.
Roxanne, there is, as I have repeatedly posted and commented, huge space between a lack of respect and the criminal violation of rape, (i.e. you may not, because of the opinions & facts I express, respect me; but is that even a clear line to rape?) To keep making this magnificent leap is to diminish the gulf of reality.
Speaking of reality, the whole leap is powered by faulty thinking. The fact of the matter is that Rape Is Not About Being A Sex Object; It Is About Violence & Control. It matters not if the victim does or does not, figuratively or literally, puts themselves out there. The victim’s actions are irrelevant; they do not control the actions of a potential rapist — only the potential rapist does that.
Please read this post all the way to the end without an emotional reaction, as much as possible, and judge it on it’s entirety, not just to the point where you quit reading in disgust, on either side of this “argument”, and let me attempt to bring some understanding from and to both sides. Mommy, make the bad man stop IS cut and dried, but the discussion has expanded to include rape in general. To that end. the issue here is not black and white, it NEVER is. That kind of thinking is shallow, or just plain oblivious of the facts. The word blame is, I think, in these posts being applied wrongfully and completely inappropriately applied to the victim, it’s more a matter of semantics than opposing views. The “blame” ALWAYS LIES WITH THE PURP (RAPIST), whether it is, god forbid in each and every admittedly extreme and absurd given case, an totally innocent child being raped, or the women who makes every attempt not to put herself in harms way, or the person who studies martial arts to 15 black belts, carries an automatic weapon, and equally unjustifiably “flaunts” his or her self by walking down the street yelling “you all suck, gang members are sh**, blacks generate nothing but problems in the world, women have all the power, attack me and I’ll prove it”, at the top of her lungs, to rid the streets of criminals, although the thought has crossed my and most everyone else’s mind (at least in the case of the REAL criminals, not the unjustifiable cases above) at one time or another.
My ideas for what should happen to rapists is to try and convict them, irrefutable evidence such as genetic evidence a definite plus, and remove them permanently (at least in the cases where there is virtually no doubt, such as with the genetic evidence that is usually left behind) so they will never do it again, and to educate the populous that ALL violence always begets violence, sometimes in utterly unrelated ways, applied to anyone at any time, but especially children. They often grow up mean. The populous should also be educated that putting oneself in harms way, although in no way “blaming” the victim, does OBVIOUSLY increase one’s chances of experiencing violence firsthand, rape and otherwise, violence is violence. Again these are facts, not opinions. Don’t take my word for it, study the data available for yourselves.
Again, exposing oneself to the criminal element, whether through actions, geographical placement, etc., while it in no way excuses the actions or blame of the criminal in any way, and does not imply blame to the victim in any way, does increase the chances of violence to ones person. It is just not smart behaviour to put oneself in dangerous situations, unless one is suicidal, or a little bent, or for some extreme reason, it can’t be helped, as in trying to help someone involved in a crime if you are so inclined.
It is also unquestionably, as Alessia and some others have said an act of revenge, often against women in general, and oftentimes for the unfathomable and equally inexcusable actions of one person, experienced previously by the rapist as sexual or any other kind of brutal assault, including rape, that either push the potential rapist, murderer, etc. over the edge into the kind of insanity that leads to rape or some other kinds of crime, or make them just plain mean and vengeful. At that point, it often their only aim in life, through whatever mode of crime to exercise the power he lacked to protect himself during that (or those) assault(s). Almost anyone whose been raped, I would imagine, knows what I’m talking about here. The woman ALWAYS has the right to say no at any point, and the rapist is ALWAYS 100% to blame if he continues. Rape IS, as many have said here (again from data from studies) about revenge against and power over women (or possibly anyone, with the women in the case of rape being the victim) in general, for whatever reason, known only to the rapist himself, and is always wrong.
As extreme and admittedly 6 sigma examples, I give the following. To say that going “downtown” alone to the predominantly black section in a place where racial tensions are at the boiling point, as a white male OR female person, and yelling racial epithets at the top of your lungs, does not increase your chances of being murdered is ludicrous. Another less extreme example of this is become a drug dealer, or a dictatorial leader, or a gang member, or a thousand other examples you or I can think of, and your chances of experiencing violence rise. These scenarios are fact, not opinion, you have but to go look at the statistics. One can argue that a fact, or a truth, is not a fact, or true all day long, but it means nothing. An opinion does not in any way shape the truth.
On another note, telling someone that he is a rapist for sharing his opinion, even if it doesn’t agree with yours, is also ridiculous, although I can understand why anyone who’s been so completely violated would feel this way. The only rapists out there are rapists. If you generalize a particular person’s actions to a whole segment of society, you have committed the same heinous error as has the rapist, albeit to a lesser degree. However, if you act on it violently and illegally, as has the rapist, you have now elevated to the point where you are a rapists. People are entitled to there own opinions, if we were all the same, the world would suck. Discussions like these, hopefully, increase thinking on both sides (although as I said earlier, there doesn’t appear to me to be a both sides here, as NO ONE here advocates or tries to justify rape, and in my way of thinking, is not trying to lay any blame on the victim) that can help lead to at least partial solutions. Never assume someone in a discussion is not gaining insight from that discussion, you’re not in his or her head. Make a point, discuss, debate, but don’t belittle. If you want to push someone to the point of being stubborn in their opinions, that’s the best way to do it.
If slutty behavoir and style of dress is what invites rapists (who get off on the violence and control, rape just happens to be their vehicle) then why do rapists attack 80 year old women, why to they attack children of both sexes. If someone’s style of clothing or action turns you into an uncontrolled monster its your fault not hers.
Oh and I forgot, if it’s clothing and attitude that makes men rape women, then I guess a woman was never raped in Taliban Afganistan as the women were wearing burkas which covered them from head to toe, or in any of the fairly fundamentalist Islamic countries where if not burkas the women still wore neck to toe loose fitting clothing. Guess again Bozo’s!
Your reply is aces, Rick, just aces!