Wake up and smell the misogyny: As reported by Asheville Blog, Waking Life Espresso owners Jared Rutledge and Jacob Owens were, up until yesterday, producing an anonymous blog, podcast and Twitter account detailing the duo’s sexual encounters.
Thanks to some sleuthing, that blog is not anonymous anymore.
Under the name “Holistic Game,” Rutledge and Owens allegedly posted content such as, “There are no ‘special’ girls. There are cool ones, and lame ones. There are ones who’ve earned investment, and ones who haven’t. That’s it.” (Which is one of the tamer posts).
Holistic Game’s Twitter account and blog were deleted after the identities of the authors were leaked on Facebook, reported AB. “Fortunately,” AB wrote, “the internet is forever and we can provide archived content of the Holistic Game Guys. Click here for Twitter, and here for archived content of the blog.”
After a public outrage, both men admitted to taking part in the blog/podcast and issued apology statements:
From Jared Rutledge:
I know I’ve said and posted a lot of things that are offensive. Most of my life I’ve struggled with insecurities around dating. I felt like, in the past couple years, that I’d finally gotten a handle on this and experienced more success. So I made a twitter, blog, and got Jacob to podcast with me. We didn’t always say nice things, and sometimes we were downright mean. Sometimes I just vented about frustrating experiences in an immature, hateful, and foolish way. It was in particular a breach of trust to post intimate details about lovers. I was naive enough to think it’d stay anonymous, and I was wrong. Full apology on Asheville Blog.
From Jacob Owens:
I would like to fully admit to what I have done. I would also like to receive the shame and necessary consequences for my actions. I am not hiding nor do I want to deflect. Most importantly, I would like to apologize and express my sorrow for how these actions have affected other people, and how their presence online will continue to do so. People that I care for and value, even though my actions, now out in the open, will not make them feel that way. I feel ill and disgusted with myself when I think of what I have done.
First to explain my part. Jared and I did an anonymous podcast on picking up women where I crassly discussed my intimate experiences with women. I would like to be very clear that I did not author any of the posts of the blog or twitter. But just as worse, I knew they existed. I did not keep up with them, or fully know what was on them. But by knowing that it was going on, and knowing that I was associated however, I am complicit. I fully accept that shame as well. Full apology here.
“The plan is to hand out free coffee and free consumer protection literature on Haywood Road in very strategic place on Monday morning,” reads the event page. “We need boots on the ground. Join us.”
In response to the petition, the owner of Orbit DVD posted on Facebook: “I am going to one further. We have a few bottles of Waking Life coffee left, and they are already paid for. So, for every bottle we sell, Orbit will donate $50 to Our Voice,” a nonprofit dedicated to helping victims of sexual violence.
After Orbit sold out of the beverage, owners posted they will still be taking donations for the nonprofit in-store.
Waking Life announced on Monday that the shop will be closing for the next few days for the owners to reflect on their actions.
From Waking Life:
To Our Asheville Community:
We know many of you are very angry right now. That anger is justified. There is nothing to balm the wound for now, and we recognize that. We validate and affirm your frustration and disappointment. We’ve issued separate individual apologies, and those stand more than ever.
We’ve said terrible and demeaning things – things that belie unhealthy thought patterns that do not contribute to a stable and equal society. Things our mothers and sisters had to hear. We cannot and will not excuse these things. We grieve for the systematic and ongoing actions we’ve taken. We apologize to the women in our lives and the greater community for the harm we’ve caused, and the potential danger we’ve put them in with our attitudes and beliefs.
We opened Sunday in order to have conversations with some of our regular customers, and to give an opportunity for folks to chat if they wished. A few did just that, and we’re grateful for your thoughts and feelings. We’re humbled by and undeserving of the grace displayed by so many in the face of our actions.
We’re going to close for the next couple days so we can have some room for introspection. We want to allow ourselves to be accountable to our friends, family, employees, clergy, and counselors for our actions, and give ourselves room to be silent and reflect. These attitudes were not grown in a day, and they will not be destroyed in a day. We want to humbly commit to that process. We’re not good people, but we want to be.
We’re going to donate all our business profits through the end of the year to Our Voice. Many of you in the community have great regard for this organization, and their work is of immense importance. We know this is but a step, but it’s something to which we can commit. Our employees who have lost their jobs due to our behavior will be given severance to help as they transition.
With deep regret,
Jared & Jacob
In response to Rutledge and Owens’ letter, Our Voice issued a statement, refusing to take the donation:
We were disturbed and outraged by what was posted by Jared and Jacob regarding women. We will not be taking their money because it is not our place to forgive. Our VOICE is not in a position of absolving them for their misogyny as it perpetuates a culture of danger to all women and girls. Jared’s and Jacob’s actions not only objectified women but also perpetuated rape culture and violence against women.