Letter writer: Waking Life owners need to learn about women’s true value

Graphic by Lori Deaton

This is my response to the apology issued by the owners of Waking Life Espresso after they were exposed for creating a blog, Twitter [account] and podcast designed to essentially celebrate being sexual predators. Their goal was to sleep with as many women as possible and later review those personal sexual encounters in lewd detail.

I have chosen the following excerpt from Jared [Rutledge’s] blog because, although it is infuriating, it is still low on the scale of misogyny and vulgarity compared to the rest of his posts.

Here is a direct quote from Jared Rutledge’s blog (the [co-] owner of Waking Life) in reference to the struggle of finding a perfect woman:

“The biggest barrier to commitment with most of these women wasn’t their sexuality or their femininity. It was either that I didn’t find them beautiful enough or interesting enough to warrant commitment. Many of these girls could help themselves immensely by reading a few classic novels and working out a little. But they get attention regardless, so the motivation to better themselves isn’t present. It’s unfortunate. That said, I think it’s possible to find value. If you’re willing to hang around in the 6-7 range looks-wise, you can lock down a young, intelligent, girl who will make a good partner and mother. The question is really how much you’re willing to compromise where beauty is concerned.”

The above shows [he] is a standard (and confused) chauvinist who believes a woman’s only value is beauty and sexual desirability while still claiming that her intelligence and interestingness are somewhere on the priority list. Clearly they are not, since those qualities would “be a compromise where beauty is concerned.”

Not only did he have a Twitter [account] and a podcast (run with the other co-owner of Waking Life) talking about how to exploit women, they also went into detail about each encounter, rating women on their attractiveness, how good they were in bed, and made cruel remarks about their bodies and personalities.

That wouldn’t even be the worst of it. Along with old-school sexist ideas of “femininity,” it is clear they openly believe that the ideal woman is submissive in bed, with disgusting violent descriptions of “submissiveness” that go beyond standard, playful “rough” sex. In one archived Twitter quote, one of them describes hitting a woman with a belt and “choking her with my D” along with other references to sexual violence.

Now, here is why I also think that they are confused chauvinists: Among their disgusting, shaming reviews of women, they also kept complaining they weren’t smart enough. Another direct Twitter quote was that they believed “95 percent of women are just f**ksocks,” along with complaints about how stupid they all are.

As a relatively smart woman myself, I’d like to assume that the smart, empowered women they never added to their tally didn’t sleep with them because of some major red flags which become apparent in such men, even when they think they are cleverly hiding their misogyny.

As for the good, smart women they did charm and connive into having sex, well, if those women didn’t already regret it, they certainly will once it comes out that [they] publicly reviewed them in a crass and demeaning way.

Who knows the emotional wreckage they left behind in with their selfish, perverse endeavors.

Women are intelligent, valuable human beings with a greater purpose than existing to visually and sexually please men. We have skills, talents, ideas, dreams, feelings, desires and personalities — all of which [they] are discounting by [their] actions and subsequent commentary.

Good luck with your apology … It is not just that you “said mean things.” You clearly showed that you think women are just flesh-objects with a few useful orifices and that those flesh-objects better keep looking good in order to remain valuable for men like yourselves.

It was also clear in your apology that the shame you feel is in response to being caught. There is nothing in it that suggests that you understand that your comments go far beyond the standard complaints about dating. You fundamentally do not understand what you are being shamed for.

There is difference between shame of exposure and actually learning a lesson. I genuinely hope you stop reading garbage like The Game and Red Pill and learn that women are humans and not something to be hunted and categorized. Their beauty, whether natural or achieved by working out and a lot of makeup, is irrelevant. Period. You can be attracted to women, (duh, all men are), without it being a dehumanizing process.

We are all mad at you as a community of men and women, because we agree this is not an acceptable way to view women, nor is it an acceptable way to treat women, and we do not want someone like you as a prominent business owner within our community.

— Cynthia Brodowska


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

27 thoughts on “Letter writer: Waking Life owners need to learn about women’s true value

  1. Uhhhhh

    As much as people may be upset against these people, it doesn’t warrant posting death threats on Facebook.

  2. That Guy

    A lot of ink for two guys that behaved like idiots, but really now. Enough already.

  3. bsummers

    Their goal was to sleep with as many women as possible and later review those personal sexual encounters in lewd detail.

    This wasn’t their only goal. These guys were in contact with others in the international “seduction community”. They weren’t just isolated users, they wanted to promote the “Game”. That’s what the podcast was for: encouraging others to see women as “plates” and “f***socks”, etc., and achieving notoriety in that “community”.

    One famous “Pick-Up-Artist” in London named Nick Krauser (one of the few who operate under their real name) said: “I enjoyed the podcast. You’ve both got a good thing going on there.”


    The fact that this guy (and his extensive international network of other ‘PUAs’) was applauding them for their misogyny, is a troubling extra layer on this messed-up situation. What was the reaction at @Krauserpua to the news about @HolisticGame getting exposed for who they are?

    “Just saw how the HolisticGame thing went viral. Fuck this gay earth. I might just start punching feminists and manginas, without preamble.”

    Why do we prosecute ‘hate crimes’ with more severity than simple, individual acts of violence or harassment? It’s because when a person is targeted because of the color of their skin etc., that’s an assault on a whole segment of society, not just that individual. And attacks on a religion or ethnicity is antithetical to a free society. We all have an interest in defending each other from the basest bigotry and hatred: My world is made less safe and free when my brother-of-another-color is persecuted unfairly.

    So I don’t know why others are still talking about this Waking Life thing. For me, it’s the fact that these guys saw themselves as part of some “community” of like-minded misogynists, and were trying to spread the word: “Women are lesser beings and it’s OK to look at them as merely f***socks”.

    Screw you guys. You just made my world that much uglier. And I absolutely don’t buy your “apology”, issued minutes after you were discovered. “Oh, we thought we were anonymous. This isn’t fair. We obviously didn’t mean any of it.”

    Get out of the public eye, and get some therapy.

    • Lulz

      But it couldn’t be that these women, who knew that these guys owned a hip coffee shop, somehow were trying to get commitment as a status thing you don’t suppose?

  4. mynameis

    Maybe you don’t understand what mansplaining means?

    It doesn’t mean that just because a woman states a view that might be viewed as congruent to yours that patronizingly telling women to “move on” and “enough already” is then retroactively justified.

  5. Rose Pierce

    I have to disagree. Cynthia doesn’t speak for me. We’re not “all mad at you.” I’m not mad. I don’t care. I was there this morning. Both of these guys were there, offering delicious coffee, hot and cold, as well as beautiful pastries, all free for anyone who would come in and take some. They are apologizing.
    I know I don’t speak for everyone, but as for me, ‘I’m sorry’ is enough. It’s plenty. It’s hard for me to see the benefit of living in a place where it isn’t. They clearly have a view of women that some people don’t like. Personally, I can live with that. Honestly, it’s none of my business. If you feel better not patronizing Waking Life, you’re in luck… There are many other places you can go instead. As for me, I will pay them for coffee. They make good coffee and I can’t stand to see a local business shut down by bullies.

    • rm.tate

      Obviously, there is confusion regarding who the true bullies are!!! These guys are mis-representing themselves. I will no longer do business with Waking Life. They would not be “apologizing” if they had not been exposed. Their vulgar and crude barbaric behavior shows the extent of their basic disrespect of all women. They are manipulators lacking any basic honesty about themselves or the women who were exploited in their immature blog.

    • The Real World

      First, there have been alot of people throughout this situation who’ve commented without knowing much about the issue — that is clear! Seems they read one or two articles but didn’t delve into the content of what the Waking Life guys were involved in over a period of YEARS. (It’s like they’re giving a book review having only read the cover jacket.)

      They wrote, taped and believe sick stuff.

      Rutledge and Owens know it is, otherwise they wouldn’t need to hide behind an anonymous handle while posting that crap.

      Rose Pierce and OneWhoKnows – you are very naive and enabling. Do you understand: enabling? It’s virtually supporting someone to continue with their undesired behavior; a very bad plan. And as far as merely uttering “I’m sorry” being enough — no way. Rose, that alone is called ‘lip service’ and if that’s all you expect, well, you have very low expectations and have likely been manipulated plenty.

      As far as the guys comments at the top — well, they clearly have nothing valuable to add and seem to want this topic to go away before more is understood about the breadth and depth of it. What does that tell you, folks?

      • Rose Pierce

        Dear TheRealWorld,
        That’s probably not the name your mama gave you when you came into this world. I have no idea who you are in real life, and I’m good with that. If you’re a person who, like pretty much everyone online, uses an anonymous handle to have some amount of personal privacy online, I don’t hold it against you or anything, but if you’re going to be all aggressive and voice your assumptions as a reply to my message, I’m definitely going to call you out on it, TheRealWorld.
        Further, these people aren’t merely uttering “I’m sorry.” They served up food and drink at their own expense and stood there, listening to every person with anything to say to them. They opened their doors to it, walked out to the street and took what was thrown at them. If you just think about what that’s like in a town this size, it’s not easily done.
        You are right about one thing though, I haven’t researched the things they have said and done, and I’m not going to. If they broke any laws, that’s what we have a legal system for. If anyone they said anything about wants to take the matter up with them personally or legally, it’s their right to do so, and I’m sure they would find plenty of support.
        As for me, I don’t require that the guys who serve me coffee share my own personal ideals, any more than I require that of the person who cuts my hair, delivers my mail, serves me a beer, or picks up the garbage in front of my house on Tuesdays… I just don’t require that much likemindedness in my world. The people in my innermost circle I hold to different expectations than people who merely coexist in our community and support it with their work.
        You’re dead wrong about one thing though: I don’t have “low expectations.”
        I have no expectations.
        If I ask for coffee and I am given coffee, I hand over some money and walk away.
        I just don’t need more than that. Whatever it is you need, I hope you find it.
        All the best,
        Rose Pierce

        • The Real World

          Have to hand it to you, Rose, for admitting that you are, indeed, uninformed about the topic you are commenting on. That’s swell, read the book jacket and write a book review.

          “Whatever it is you need, I hope you find it.” — yup, me too! And what I’d like to find are situations where people who don’t bother to ‘read the book’ spare us from their uninformed reviews/comments.

          LOL….not 10 seconds after posting my first comment, I thought, ‘oh, I get it, it’s about the *&$%# free coffee and pastry Rose got from those knuckleheads’. And sure enough, you mention it again in your second comment. You’re right again — “I have no expectations.”

  6. OneWhoKnows

    Just stopped by Waking Life to offer SUPPORT to the guys who WERE BACK OPEN YAY !!! (still, NONE of the ‘victims’ would answer as present out front!)….

    I told the guys just how sorry I was that their privacy had been invaded and that NO one should be treated like this but THIS is the vindictive mindset in this oversexed town…so OVER these people who exposed all this crap…in a bigger city this would NOT be a thing…but TYPICAL in this cesspool …

    • mynameis

      I find it fascinating that you think that the size of the city somehow makes their behavior a non-issue. As if what they did is utterly absolvable, that their hate directed at Mexicans, and women who were employees, customers, and business associates and other members of the community merits no comment, much less condemnation, and the only real offense was bringing it to light in the first place.

      Honestly, I think that’s a position that only someone under the cloak of anonymity would be willing to make, because it is so incredibly monstrous.

      • NFB

        Don’t bother to try to engage Unaffiliated Voter…..opps, I mean OneWhoKnows. This person has been a troll on any number of local websites and has little of substance to say.

      • The Real World

        Unaffilifated – your statement is relevant to nothing. You infer that we should do things the way people elsewhere do. What? The last thing needed in this world are more unthinking muppets. Who gives a flip what people do anywhere else? Our community (and citizens individually) can decide for themselves.

        As a former resident of NYC, allow me to inform that you are not correct about how they would react.
        Some excellent examples:
        Eliot Spitzer = kicked out of the governor’s office for his greed, stupidity and hypocrisy. And, when he ran for city controller a few years later, he was NOT elected.
        Anthony Weiner = tarred/feathered and NOT elected for mayor of NYC after repeatedly engaging in pornographic behavior with random women.

        Contrast that to the charming (sarcasm) Mark Sanford of South Carolina. Not only did those nitwit voters allow that guy to keep his governorship (while his wife and kids moved away!) but they then elected him AGAIN to represent them in Congress. Unbelievable…..

        Frankly, the above disparity is one near perfect example of the difference in how Northerners and Southerners view things.

  7. OneWhoKnows

    glad sensible comments get your attention…at LEAST you are reading SOMETHING factual…

  8. Lulz

    LOL, in typical fashion hold men accountable and absolve the women of all responsibility. If I were a woman, I’d be more upset that many treat me like a child who can be manipulated instead of an adult.

  9. I’m writing from a block away and have been a customer before the protests. I might go back if they paid there dues. Our Voice made a big mistake in returning money to cretins, choosing symbolic gestures over cold cash. Returning money to cretins is both impractical and immoral. Planned Parenthood is more accustomed to dealing with kink on a practical basis and I would go back if Waking Life paid their dues by giving Planned Parenthood 2 grand; but not until the money is in their hands.
    The Playboy Foundation is a major Planned Parenthood donor, So why not Waking Life?

  10. c

    Being a person of value doesn’t have anything to do with your gender. A woman is not of value simply for being a woman any more than a man is for just being a man. I’ve known some cruddy and evil people in my life – some men/some women. It seems that the human thing is a factor in all this.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.