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So, here we have an apology, for the piece Jezebel published last Wednesday advocating groping, purposefully intoxicating a woman in order to fuck her, and various other things along the lines of “sexual assault,” from editor Jessica Coen. That’s great. I have to say, just in response to comments on our last piece on the subject, that this was never some “Tiger Beatdown versus Jezebel” thing; you don’t have to choose, and I don’t want to go around killing other lady blogs so you’ll read mine. Ladies need as many lady-supportive spaces as they can get, I’ve learned through some hard experience, which is why the Pasteck article was such a big deal. A few questions remain:

  • Where’s the apology from Edward Pasteck, the author of the piece?
  • Who is Edward Pasteck? As per Coen’s comment, he is a real person, and a “he,” which clears up some lingering concerns as to whether he even exists. But he has no history of published writing elsewhere. “Edward Pasteck” is a pseudonym. Which means that either the first article this man ever wrote was published on the most prominent feminist-leaning website currently in existence — which would be pretty sexist in and of itself — and that he was somehow able to get through the door without any resume or experience to speak of, and that he was able to do all of this despite advocating against some of the core beliefs of its readers and apparently its writers, or that he has written, under other names, and that this information was protected in order to give him anonymity while advocating sexual assault.
  • Either way, I fully understand why some people need anonymity on the Internet. I only disclose my birth name to my actual friends (although it doesn’t matter, because everyone calls me “Sady” anyway. And “Doyle” is real). But this is very different: This man was given both a platform, and anonymity, to promote his pro-sexual assault stance, and to be shielded from accountability. In my opinion, this won’t be right until we know who Edward Pasteck is and how he got the job, because, honestly, if a guy says something like this? Firstly, he needs to be held accountable. And secondly, women need to know who he is, so that they can protect themselves by avoiding him.
  • I’m really glad this apology went up, though. It’s great. I appreciate it. But, as a final point, I could not disagree more that “we’re not always doing our job if we don’t ourselves publish and discuss that with which we may disagree.” None of us are obligated to publish anything. We have nothing against publishing dudes here at the Tiger Beatdown — it’s mostly me and Garland posting here, these days, which means we are a 50% dude-created space — but it is entirely reasonable that a space for women not be obligated to publish views which actively harm women. Furthermore, the idea that we’re somehow avoiding these beliefs by not giving their advocates a platform is inaccurate. Feminists spend more time with these beliefs than anyone, especially feminist writers — Cara Kulwicki, at The Curvature, spends more time researching and reporting on actual rape cases than any publication I’m aware of. The rest of us spend hours dredging though this stuff, so as to understand it, so as to write about it, so as to stop it. There’s a difference between informing your readers and assigning pieces to sexual assault advocates. I think it’s a pretty clear difference.
  • Besides, if we really wanted to get ideas like Edward Pasteck’s straight from the source, we have, say, the entire rest of the Internet on which to find them. Or real life. Where we’re getting harassed on the street. Much like the ladies in Paris, in fact!


  1. Shelly wrote:

    That didn’t read like an apology to me. Or, rather, it was an apology for bad timing in publishing it right before a major US holiday.

    Also, that “we need to give the other side a chance to speak” BS is just that. No, they don’t. They do not have to give a soapbox to a misogynist. The other 99.99% of the internet is already filled with lady-hating spewage, so it’s not like it’s endangered speech or anything.

    (I don’t think I’ve commented before, but I absolutely adore TBD.)

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Permalink
  2. Lucy wrote:

    When I first read the piece on Jezebel, I was like “oh, here is a thing for us to make fun of!” But then I read your reaction, and then they posted that weak-ass “this does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors” like they’re somehow not intimately involved with the site, and I started thinking that maybe they did mean it to be part of the discourse. Which pisses me off, because seriously? None of those things is up for debate, and they have, even so, been debated over and over, and publishing something like this suggests that there is “another side” to the debate, which is wrong. Just like people who don’t like Privilege Denying Dude because they don’t believe privilege exists are wrong. It’s not an opinion that is just as valid as the “opinion” that women deserve not to be harassed and/or assaulted.

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Permalink
  3. fannie wrote:

    So, does Jezebel have an affirmative action program for male writers, then?

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Permalink
  4. dotdotdot wrote:

    I feel like this whole Edward Pasteck thing really mirrors publications in the non-internet world. Last year, my school newspaper published a “mock penthouse story” about a girl who gets wildly intoxicated and has non-consensual sex at a party. The article was essentially, a rape fantasy, and at the end the anonymous storyteller says that it was in fact, a GREAT experience because she learned that men just LOVE anal sex. It was published anonymously, with out any sort of preface. Although my teeny school knows who wrote it, the author will still not publicly admit it was him.

    I think it’s so fucked that people who feel upset by these pieces are supposed to “man up” while the authors never publicly admit that they were behind these pieces of shit.

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
  5. clr wrote:

    Here is all the explanation I needed:

    “Edward Pasteck is a writer now living in New York. He’s looking for someone to publish the book about love he wrote while living in Paris”

    I too would like my book published. However, I do not know any editors at a web site who will let me anonymously make a controversial post that will get me lots of eyeballs and outrage and VIRAL OUTRAGE before a holiday weekend.

    I would respect them more if they would just cop to helping out a friend.

    Otherwise, I too would like to know the CV of Mr. Edward Pasteck.

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink
  6. Anne wrote:

    To be honest, that apology hacked me off, since – like Lucy – I found the assertion that the … thing… was a valuable and necessary addition to some sort of discourse to be more offensive than the … thing’s… verbal diarrhoea in the first place.

    (Note: “…thing…” is up there because words like essay and piece and writing seem like kindnesses that I don’t feel obliged to offer the …person… of the … thing..)

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink
  7. Amelia the Lurker wrote:

    Edward Pasteck is a stupid pseudonym anyway. Given this idiot’s experience with the French language, I’m assuming he knows that “pastèque” is French for “watermelon.”

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Permalink
  8. Amelia the Lurker wrote:

    Oh! Also! I forgot to add that I spent a year in Lyon as one of those “indecisive American women,” and that the harassment was extremely unpleasant! And that Edward Watermelon failed to acknowledge that the street harassment does not stop at “charming” kissing, grabbing, etc., but that there is in fact even more disturbing behavior at the end of the continuum, such as: blocking your path! cursing at you! and getting truly violent! And that such harassment does not exist in a vacuum but is part of a larger French attitude towards women, an attitude that might be described as “sacralized objectification.” If you don’t present in a particular feminine way (what they call “taking care of yourself”), you get an intense amount of flak, and are treated as a sort of Unwoman. You are not ungendered, but you are harassed, and given lots of unwelcome “advice.” Men are also not afraid to make you look more pleasing to them by physical force; I once had a (drunken) man remove my glasses from my face multiple times because he thought I looked better without them.

    (Disclaimer: a francophile am I, nothwithstanding)

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink
  9. godotmo wrote:

    Just as an addendum to my rather rabble-rousey “Abandon Jez! TB4LIFE” comment on the previous post:

    I wholeheartedly agree that we need not all be one-blog women and men, and that when it comes to, as you say, lady-supportive spaces, more is totally more.

    However, angst over Jez’s editorial direction and lack of accountability is a perennial topic of conversation over there. I know many of us feel that it is *not* such a legitimately lady-supportive space, but stick around anyway because the mass and the quality of commenters cannot be found elsewhere. I would love to build up a critical mass of commenters of that caliber in a space with a sturdier commitment to the principles I find non-negotiable. I don’t care about killing Jezebel in the name of a vendetta, I just feel I should be doing more to build up the spaces I like better, rather than settling and remembering to grumble quietly every once in a while. Especially since Jezebel has, over and over, taken a very callous attitude toward accountability to its most stalwart community members. There has to be a point at which we consider a cause to be lost.

    Anyway. Thank you for an excellent follow-up and for continuing to put peer-blog pressure on Jezebel’s editorial team.

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink
  10. AnthroK8 wrote:

    The apology says… they should have provided some context explaining why it’s important to provide direct access to appalling and unacceptable content, in order that we could have a productive discussion about what to do about it?

    1) That sounds a lot like a trigger warning to me. HEY READERS… WE DON’T ENDORSE THE FOLLOWING DISCUSSION, WHICH IS ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT, ENTITLEMENT, AND FULL OF MISOGYNY!!!!!! Yeah. TW for sexual assault.

    2) Why invite MR ANONYMOUS to post his scary original drivel, when you can just go link us to some already-generated-because-the internet-is-full-of-it drivel?

    3) Or, he could post his anonymous drivel at or something, and then you can repost. But… perhaps the article isn’t worth posting anywhere else because it sucks?

    3b) In which case… see (2)

    Better Jez, but still, fail.

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink
  11. Kathy wrote:

    I’m glad, and, to be honest, a little surprised Jessica publicly apologized, however forced and insincere it sounded. However, I wish she wouldn’t have closed the comments. I understand Jezebel’s policy of not wanting criticism of the editors derailing the topics, but I think this is one where the community should be able to voice its displeasure (it’s all over groupthing anyway).

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
  12. Caite wrote:

    Don’t apologies usually include the words “I’m sorry”?

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  13. WTF wrote:

    I was pretty startled to see said piece of shit article on Jez last week, and I was really appalled by this non-apology. So the offensive article is no problem, but the timing of the article was bad? WTF? Who is this guy who gets to publish anonymous offensive articles on Jezebel and get this kind of support? Are they trolling for hits or is this nepotism of some kind? So I emailed Jessica with that basic comment, and she says back: “Yes, that is mostly correct: I am not apologizing for the article itself. I am, however, acknowledging that it was a big mistake to post it in the manner that I did. (And no, it’s not nepotism or trolling. It’s exactly what I said it was in my post — something I wanted you to discuss.)” So make of that what you will.

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Permalink
  14. MTS wrote:

    Oh, sorry — didn’t mean to incite “TB vs. JZ”! I do like it better here, but you have a much smaller staff. : )

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink
  15. ginmar wrote:

    That wasn’t an apology. An apology recognizes that harm was done. There’s no two sides to this argument, unless they believe that rapists are under served somehow by supposedly feminist websites. The idea that we need to give space to what is still the majority opinion on sexual assult is stupid.

    Pasteck’s view is not new, fresh, or even interesting. So who is he? Or is he even a he? The mystery around his real name and past makes me wonder if he’s not one of the editors. The worst case scenario is that he’s one of the editors, blatantly trolling for hits. And hits mean money.

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Permalink
  16. Lucy wrote:

    @WTF: That makes me really sad. Because I could maybe get over a mistake, or a lack of context, but to think that the editor of an allegedly feminist site thinks that this is a meaningful addition to a debate that SHOULD NOT EXIST just hurts me in the naivete.

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Permalink
  17. Alyssa wrote:

    God, I am so over that bullshit. The article was poorly written and the philosophy of the piece was flimsy and offensive. Jez seemed to set off the holiday with a bang… a big, self-destructive bang. Jessica’s apology wasn’t an apology it was a dismissal and the site seems pretty dead since (or maybe it’s just me). It’s sad but it’s a void I’ll have to learn how to fill…

    Class Dismissed? I think so.

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Permalink
  18. ginmar wrote:

    I saw a comment somewhere on Jez that pointed out that Pasteck is the phonetic spelling of “Pasteque”—watermelon, or fool in French. My French is rusty, but if this is true, then that probably means this guy doesn’t even exist.

    Also, they just banned somebody for outing him, but they sure take a great deal of glee in outing women who do stuff. Hm, double standard?

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Permalink
  19. smirkette wrote:

    That’s a pretty sorry excuse for an explanation (because it’s not really an apology) and doubly-lame for disabling comments.

    My Jez exodus isn’t *just* spurred by the incredibly poor judgment in publishing the piece in the first place and the sad, sad attempts at an explanation, but it was the straw the broke the camel’s back. So while I’m all for growing the lady-friendly blogosphere, I’m not going to support a site whose editors clearly lack good judgment and the good grace to deliver a real apology and decent explanation.

    Here’s to hoping that this incident will spur new sites that keep their goal & readership in mind!

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Permalink
  20. Julie McCloud wrote:

    Ginmar, did you see who they said “he” was? I thought perhaps he was the author that wrote this,,0,1047341.story and noted it on Jez and my comment wasn’t published.

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Permalink
  21. Amellifera wrote:

    The apology seems more like back-pedaling to me, considering Jessica’s comment in the original article. I really appreciate the public back-pedaling, though.

    I still don’t understand why they gave a career kick-off to a guy saying something that “isn’t up for debate.” Because he’s “earnest”? A lot of people earnestly and honestly believe the world is run by lizard people. They even have proof on youtube. Will I see them writing articles for Jezebel?

    My problem is that she presents this (even in the apology) as though there is a debate going on – and Jezebel is typically one-sided in it. That we should be confronted with people with whom “we may disagree – or outright oppose.” (Nevermind that we’re confronted with them everywhere else, and I go to Jezebel to get away from that.) But this issue isn’t actually up for debate among serious people. I don’t just disagree with this guy, like you do about taxes or the role of the federal government in school curricula. He is OBJECTIVELY WRONG about consent. Just like the idea that Obama is a lizard is objectively wrong. She even admits this in the second paragraph. So, why do we need to hear this particular (wrong, not opposing) argument? Why do a case study on this guy’s douchebag opinions? Even if she had written a disclaimer, I assume he got paid for this (a book deal is more likely, at the very least). And that’s not cool.

    Yeah, I found it disingenuous of Jessica to say they aren’t compensated by page views. Sure, maybe there isn’t a one-to-one relationship in which they receive a cent for every hit, but that doesn’t negate the argument that blogs thrive off of page views. She said, “If you’re actually curious about the Gawker Media business model, that information is easily accessible via a basic online search.” So I did a (very) basic google search on Gawker’s business model. Once again, I only looked at the first few hits. Every article discussed how they get such huge numbers of page hits on each site. The revolutionary part was how they hired established bloggers for part-time, contract work in order to… generate immediate page hits.

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Permalink
  22. Amelia the Lurker wrote:

    Oh damn, I didn’t even know about the double meaning of “pastèque”…to me, the fact that the guy’s alias was “watermelon” was stupid/funny enough. Can you cite that?

    According to wordreference, “pastèque sur pattes” (“a watermelon on legs,” lit. watermelon on paws) has the meaning of “fat woman.” Not very nice. (Then again, the French aren’t really known for fat acceptance, are they?)

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Permalink
  23. Amelia the Lurker wrote:

    I completely forgot until just now that I dreamed about watermelon last night. Not only that, but in my dream, “Babybel” was a variety of watermelon, not a French brand of processed cheese. I’m pretty sure I was dreaming about watermelon because I was dehydrated—I woke up thirsty. Then again, maybe it was about the Jezebel article, which I’d all by forgotten about until reading TBD?

    Monday, November 29, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Permalink
  24. Sir wrote:

    GINMAR, did you see the pseudonymous Pasteck’s real name before the commenter was banned? I would LOVE for the loser to be outed on another site. Calling all jezebel commenters who saw the outing…

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 12:02 am | Permalink
  25. tapette wrote:

    Way to open up dialogue by closing the comments on her attempt at an apology. What bothers me most about Jezebel is that when it comes to comment moderation, people can say all kinds of Islamophobic, misogynist, ableist bullshit and the moderators leave it up ‘to enrich the dialogue’ but those who challenge the editors are often immediately banned or lose their stars.
    Jezebel is popular and not worth totally ignoring, but its not even in your league.

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 12:04 am | Permalink
  26. k not k wrote:

    My goodness, they closed comments on the apology post?

    I also still wonder who the jerk behind the pseudonym “Edward Pasteck” is.

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 4:06 am | Permalink
  27. ginmar wrote:

    The comments were never open on that post to begin with.

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 7:17 am | Permalink
  28. cheetofingers wrote:

    @ginmar Whoa, someone got banned for outing him?? You got me searching the internets now.. Need to know!!

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 9:15 am | Permalink
  29. godotmo wrote:

    @k not k @tapette: Disabled commenting is standard at Jez for notes from the editor(s). Not that that makes the policy above critique, but it is at least being applied consistently.

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink
  30. speedbudget wrote:

    Wait. This guy wrote a book about love?

    That word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Also, if he is that Pederson fellow from the article linked to, WHAT A TOTAL DOUCHECANOE.

    That is all.

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Permalink
  31. bluebears wrote:

    @GODOTMO: Disabling comments on notes from the editors is standard now but that was far from the case in the early years of Jezebel.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink
  32. eilish wrote:

    I’m glad people have noticed something is rotten in the state of Jezebel. Everyone must have been away from their computers during the July 4th weekend. They gave Paul Dalerio the driver’s seat for the second time,and he posted a stream of misogynistic porn. He was described by Hortense as “entertaining you all”. The answer I received to my WTFF? email was “it’s just a one-off,nothing to worry about.”

    You can read articles you disagree with on Feministe, but you’ll disagree about things like fat acceptance, children’s rights to attend bars, and whether all white middle class feminists are racists. You won’t ever find a guest poster suggesting women don’t have the right to live free and safe.

    Lift your game, Jezebel.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Permalink
  33. eli wrote:

    I think they knew exactly what they were doing when they published it at that time. And I think they knew exactly what reaction they were going to get. A flood of comments and clicks at a notoriously quiet time on ye olde internet.

    So their apology rings false to me, and is clearly too little, too late.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Permalink
  34. Napalmnacey wrote:

    @Eli – what’s the point of publishing a piece that may decimate their readership?

    It was really a foolish choice and I wish they’d cop to what’s really going on.

    Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 9:39 am | Permalink
  35. Lily wrote:

    “But, as a final point, I could not disagree more that “we’re not always doing our job if we don’t ourselves publish and discuss that with which we may disagree.””

    Exactly. By that logic, Jezebel and other media outlets are also obligated to publish pieces advocating why murdering innocent people is okay, or why robbery or carjacking is okay. In reality, nobody thinks that’s a prerequisite for being a fair and unbiased news source. Yet somehow, when it comes to sexual assault, we need to offer voices supporting it?

    Friday, December 3, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink
  36. snobographer wrote:

    #20 Julie McCloud – That Tribune piece was practically unreadable.

    Several commenters here and elsewhere have lamented that Jez gave this guy a platform to boost his career, but I don’t understand how that can be the case when he was published anonymously.

    Friday, December 3, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Permalink
  37. Red Jenny wrote:

    what’s the point of publishing a piece that may decimate their readership?

    Their readership was already awfully restless. Maybe they’re trying to appeal to new readers, Edward Pasteck style readers.

    Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Permalink
  38. Theo wrote:

    First, I think Jezebel should have posted some form of warning at the beginning of the article that stated it did not reflect the views of the site and that it was meant to show the logic being perpetuated by the sexist population for the purposes of being dismantled.

    However, I think claiming Jezebel should not have posted the article at all is not a useful way to approach continuing to rebut sexist assertions in society. Feminist blogs and their readership are such an insular community that we often get enveloped in the cycle of educated discourse. To the larger population, Pasteck’s article appears logical in some ways. Please, take a step back from your position of educated-privilege and consider how many men and women in your life who are uneducated in feminist discourse either 1)could agree with at least half of that article or 2)don’t know how to argue against it each minute detail. Jezebel posting the article gave the general readership the tools to combat invasive sexism. The author talks about assault, but in the general population many men and women still don’t know that any level of intoxication automatically means lack of consent.

    This echoes the argument about the cycle of poverty. Rather than showing how institutions perpetuate poverty within certain populations, and that privilege plays a large part in one’s class position, social justice advocates are too busy hollering back at people, “How could you say that poor people are lazy and that their life is their fault? That’s so stupid!” It’s useful when energizing your base, it’s not when that doesn’t engage the other side. To change anything you need to get more people on board, and therefore you need to start by changing their minds. To do that, you need to give your supporters the tools to refute the opposition, which requires reading what they have to say.

    No, it isn’t Jezebel’s “job” in that they are compelled by a contractual arrangement to post articles like this. Yet, it is always important to post arguments from the opposition as a way to not only refute their position but to strengthen your base. To claim that all Jezebel readers have the ability to rebut all the illogical and misogynistic positions argued in Pasteck’s article is idealistic at best, and naive and detrimental to the larger feminist cause at worst. The purpose wasn’t to “give a platform to sexual assault advocates”; it was to show that some people still believe this line of logic, (to them it’s only somewhat unreasonable or evokes a feeling of discomfort)as well as to give a platform to the feminists in a specific context of oppression.

    Instead of dismantling it, like you were supposed to, everyone is yelling at Jezebel for posting the article. Stop assuming everyone is a well-educated feminist and get back to your roots.

    Jezebel, post a fucking trigger warning, a paragraph about context, and maybe dismantle the article as well, rather than assuming your readership will understand your purpose. Everyone is assuming too much.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink
  39. dan wrote:

    If only Jezebel would explain that they’re posting articles for reasons that aren’t actually the reasons they’re posting articles, feminists would be able to respond to and rebut shitty, obvious rape apologia, in the way that no feminists do anywhere else on the internet.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink