While it’s no surprise to hear that a reality star said something stupid and out-of-touch, Stassi Schroeder mocking the #MeToo movement and seeming to defend the alleged rapists was beyond the pale.
Even for the already controversial Vanderpump Rules star.
Well, now Stassi has come out with an apology. And all that it took was universal condemnation and multiple companies severing all ties with her!
Ever since Harvey Weinstein was publicly accused of multiple rapes on top of even more accusations of sexual harassment, countless women and men have been bravely coming forward with their own horror stories of harassment and assault.
The #MeToo movement has included everyday folks tweeting their stories, but it’s also included a number of celebrities who have spoken out.
And, of course, a number of powerful men have been accused of sexual misconduct, and not all of the accusers have been celebrities themselves.
Some have been women and men who’ve lived for years or even decades with a secret experience that they were afraid to share until now.
Social pressure, society’s judgments, public opinion, non-disclosure agreements, career concerns, shame, and the threat of life-ruining lawsuits can do a lot to keep survivors quiet about the horrors that they’ve experienced.
For the most part, public figures have been pretty good about being supportive or at least silent when people are accused of being harassers or rapists.
(With notable exceptions like Kim Zolciak, who expressed sympathy for Ryan Seacrest after he was accused of sexual harassment. Sometimes people feel the need to stand up for their friends no matter what)
But Stassi Schroeder’s clueless and wildly offensive lines about rape and the #MeToo movement showed that she didn’t know anything about sexual assault … or about being a decent human being.
On her podcast episode, titled "Are we on a male witch hunt?" Stassi made some wildly inflammatory comments:
"I’m sorry," she said. "No one could make me suck a dick."
She could be referring to multiple stories of rape that we’ve heard, including about Brett Ratner. And, for the record, people who fear for their safety and lives will absolutely perform oral sex if they’re afraid of violence or worse if they refuse or continue to fight back.
When someone performs a sex act because they’re afraid of what the person will do, that’s rape.
Stassi kept digging that hole deeper and deeper.
"I’m sorry it sounds like he thought you liked it because you were making out with him."
Anybody else ever made out with someone they wouldn’t have sex with?
Also, "I thought they liked it" is not an excuse for sexual assault. Both parties have to consent, folks.
Stassi continues, unfortunately:
"And now that it’s a trend and it’s #MeToo you’re going to come out and accuse him because you regret it."
Yeah, people coming forward with horrifying stories that they’ve kept buried for too long isn’t a "trend." Ugh.
As absolutely sickening as what she said was, this wasn’t the first time that Stassi had said something almost unimaginably stupid on this subject.
In a previous episode, Stassi had said:
"It might be too soon, but I’m more of the Harvey Weinstein in relationships."
She’s the what now?
"I’m more of the aggressor."
One, Harvey Weinstein has been accused of many things, but being the aggressor in relationships is not one of them.
"It’s not like I’m forcing anyone to do something they don’t want to do, but I initiate things because I just like it."
Well, maybe don’t compare yourself to an alleged serial rapist.
She might as well have said "I’m the Jeffrey Dahmer in my relationships because I always choose what we eat on our dates!"
That is not the thing for which infamous serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer is famous and we’re concerned about anyone who doesn’t understand that.
Well, after losing some business ties — it’s not great for business if you’re getting endorsed by a rape-apologist — and seeing the overwhelming backlash, Stassi has issued an apology:
"My podcast is an outlet for me to share my unfiltered opinion with my listeners."
And that would be fine if her unfiltered opinion weren’t so awful that it’s actively detrimental to society.
"But on my latest episode I crossed a line."
"It was irresponsible for me to make generalized statements about a very serious topic, such as sexual harassment, as it is not my place to speak about anyone else’s experiences."
It really is.
Not everyone has been sexually assaulted. The key is for us to listen to those who have in order to understand what happened and to try to understand how to make the world a better place.
Not understanding how it works sometimes is naive but understandable. Saying that the survivors must be lying or following a "trend" is not.
"I apologize. I will continue to speak my mind on my podcast, but will put more thought behind my dialogue moving forward."
Again, speaking your mind is fine unless your mind is terrible.
Stassi posted a follow-up in which she describes plans for her podcast to continue.
"These 24 hours have been sobering: I want to share your stories on my podcast: on either side, being accused of something you didn’t do or being victimized & left helpless."
She adds "let’s discuss it all," along with an email address.
It’s not clear if Stassi is really eager to understand these horror stories or if this is just a ploy to turn this into a story of her personal growth so that her podcast can continue.
We hope that it’s both. We’d love for her to become a better person after all of this.