A tweet written by @SydneyShyanneS went viral several weeks ago, launching an Internet-wide conversation about theft, consent, and the way in which society tends to believe men over women in just about any situation.
In the tweet, Sydney—who either works at or owns a bar—describes how a patron repeatedly asked her to check the bar’s camera’s because “he asked a girl to put her number into his phone & she Venmo’d herself $2,000.”
this dude has been calling my bar to check the cameras because he asked a girl to put her number into his phone & she Venmo’d herself $2,000 😭 drunk bitches are GENIUS
— Shitney (@SydneyShyanneS) November 12, 2018
Others were upset that the woman’s drunken thievery was being lauded. One user wrote, “Why is this being applauded…This is literally a federal offense, like with real prison time.” Another wrote, “Most states it’s a felony. Wont be cute when she’s doing time.” A third added, “Hope they find her and put her in jail. If a guy stole $2k from a girl imagine the outrage there would be in the comments.”
The majority of the comments applauding the woman’s behavior were from other women, whereas most of the ones who wanted to see her punished were from men. This imbued a new conversational thread into the matter: Why are people (men) so quick to jump to this man’s defense after he lost money, yet remain silent when it comes to defending women who have been sexually assaulted?
All these guys coming out of the woodwork – Didn’t see most of you during #MeToo or Kavanaugh hearings. Dude loses cash – wailing and gnashing of teeth by many men. Woman gets raped – male response generally zero or what did she do to cause the crime?
— AGirlHasNoPresident (@luhlar) December 1, 2018
(An interesting side note: All ended well for the man, who thanked OP for “making him famous” and who was also refunded his $2000.)
The guy came back to the bar tonight & asked if I was the one that posted this tweet. I told him I was and then he thanked me for making him famous. And I was like no thank YOU for making ME famous. He also got his money refunded (‘:
— Shitney (@SydneyShyanneS) December 2, 2018
Several days after the initial tweet went viral, Facebook page Bitch Code shared it to their wall.
And the comments, overwhelmingly, were from women making a statement about how society perceives crimes against women versus men—namely, it tends to discount the former and uphold the latter.
Facebook user Kate Wilson wrote:
“How do we even know she did it? Maybe it’s just another jealous man who has it out for her. We have to be careful with accusing women because an allegation like this could ruin her career and her future. This could follow her around for life. She has a family to take care of!”
Does the parallel sound familiar? It is the argument often used to defend boys and men who have been accused of or charged with sexual assault and rape. Wilson’s top comment resonated with over 19,000 others who agreed that—hypothetically—a man has far more to gain from claiming a theft ($2000, in this case,) than a woman does from claiming she was assaulted (just look at Christine Blasey Ford‘s life post-Kavanaugh hearing; Her ‘”greatest fears realized” as her family became the target of “constant harassment and death threats.”)
Nicole McCarthy-Moore invoked the beloved “he was asking for it” argument:
Well, if he opened up his wallet once to spend money in the past, why is he upset that he spent money here too? It’s not like his bank account is pristine.
Amanda Ridge backed her up:
I’m sure he’s Venmo’d plenty of times. I mean why else would he have it on his phone? Obviously he Venmo’s often.
As did Jamie-Lee Saitzeff:
He was probably wearing a suit. That screams “I want you to take my money”
Christopher Hall raised another common “argument” used to invalidate female sexual assault.
If he didn’t complain in that moment, he wanted it to happen and cannot complain now.
Megan Gennette allowed it.
Agreed. Clearly a case of regret, not theft, here. Just because he changed his mind the next day he’s trying to ruin this woman’s future. Disgusting.
Tony Cortez, referencing former Missouri Congressman Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” stance wrote:
If it’s legitimate robbery, the phone has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.
Perepetua Brown-Simeon wrote:
Surely he was asking for it. It’s not up to the woman to restrain herself it’s about the man making proper choices to protect himself and alcohol involved to boot. He was definitely asking for it. Completely his own fault.
Sybil Angone offered another favored viewpoint:
Did another woman witness this so called “robbery”? Bc unless her friends are willing to back up his story I don’t see how he could prove he didn’t want her to have the money.
Jessica Leigh wrote:
It’s not safe for men to go drinking in public by themselves, he really only has himself to blame for this. Maybe next time he will think ahead before making such irresponsible choices.
Heather ‘Gigi’ Giordano said:
I mean he did give her his phone… & he didn’t exactly say that she CANT have $2,000 sOoOo… 🤷🏼♀️
Caryn Twamley Kayser added:
Women have needs. Girls will be girls. What did he expect would happen?
Sandy Hildebrandt wrote:
Look, I don’t think I believe his story. Like 50% of theft reports are false. And tbh, being falsely accused of theft is WAY worse than being stolen from. Just my 2 cents.
Hannah Almedia contested:
sounds like a flimsy excuse to me. He sent her the money, regretted it, and now is just lying to try to get his money back.
Amber Daye commented:
So much victim mentality going on with men whining about “mean” comments. Calm down guys. You’re getting hysterical.
As Jaira-Traci Fielder wrote, “it seems like men don’t like being blamed for getting robbed any more than a woman likes being blamed for being raped.” Indeed, the concept that the victim of a crime should be blamed for that crime seems positively medieval. Here’s to a 2019 in which we all continue to proactively disassemble the systems and thought processes keeping toxic masculinity and rape culture strong.