If You Were My Boo: 28 Things We’d Do On a Date With Samira Wiley

Answers sourced from our eclectic team of writers and editors who love Samira Wiley.

1. I’d invite her to my home for a romantic string cheese & wine tasting.

2. We would go to the pub for trivia night. Then there would be a pizza.

3. I would succumb to muteness and just look at her for 25 minutes until she got uncomfortable and left.

4. I’d invite her to give scissoring another try.

5. I would invite her to brunch at a cafe where we would both be hopelessly undecided between french toast and pancakes and so decide to each get one of them and then share. This would devolve into feeding each other around the third mimosa.

ADVERTISEMENT

6. I would sit with her while we drink a whiskey and rehash why our past relationships failed because I think that’s what we all secretly want to do on a first date.

7. Our cats would play together and we’d write poetry together by moonlight.

8. We’d have our own fashion shoot and then document it for all of Instagram to see and for lesbiddies to get mad about.

9. I’d want to cook her dinner and then after we ate together I’d just want her to smile and do that thing where she rubs her hair because she has the best smile in the world and I’d just want to appreciate it for a little while.

10. I’m pretty sure I’d just want to journal and stare deep into each others’ eyes. Or maybe we’d start one of those group journals like we all did at Girl Scout camp. Like, the composition book with the decorated cover where you wrote notes/hopes/fears for each other and you pass it back and forth like a pair of lovesick third graders. Probably that’s what we’d do, now that I think about it.

11. We’d watch Sailor Moon together because she once confessed to me that it was her favorite show growing up.

12. We’d go to a monster truck rally and I would win her the biggest stuffed animal. Are there carnival games at monster truck rallies? I have no reason to think so but it feels right.

13. I’d tell her that I always wished I had an Easy Bake Oven and she’d tell me she conveniently still had her Easy Bake Oven and we’d see all the different adult cuisines we could make from the relic.

14. We’d go to Ikea and romantically feed each other meatballs with lingonberry sauce, then we’d walk through the model rooms together and name our future imaginary children.

15. We’d get tacos and then go to a craft brewery.

16. Omg. No. Wait. We would taste whiskey together.

17. We’d have a picnic in a quiet spot by a river, and after we ate we’d read in the sun for a while and then we would go skinny-dipping.

18. I’d want to spend a couple hours staring at her face. And then I would ask her if I could make out with her face.

19. We’d play a game of one-on-one basketball which she would win graciously, and then make each other breakfast for dinner with Mickey Mouse ear pancakes.

20. Ok I want to spend some time driving around this crazy weird town that used to be my home, and take pictures of every single weirdo thing we saw. And like no being a chickenshit — if you see it and it’s weird, you have to stop and take a picture of/with it, even if it’s embarrassing or possibly dangerous. The person with the picture of the weirdest thing wins and by wins I mean the other person takes off her shirt and then we cuddle. Or “cuddle.” I’m flexible there.

21. I’d invite her over for naked s’mores making in front of the fireplace.

22. I would propose to gay marry her.

23. I’d take her out for ice cream and then eat it by the weird fountain at the park and talk about theater bullshit.

24. I think I’d be too shy to actually say anything to her, so I’d want to take her to something like a play or movie so I could look over and catch her eye and lopsided-smile at her every once in awhile without being forced to sound interesting right off the bat.

25. I’d take her to the Cheesecake Factory.

26. I’d ask her if I could paint my hands and recreate this:

poussey shirt

27. I’d ask her about her siblings Aiyana Kai Wiley and Joshua Dhameer Wiley so she knows a.) I care about her family life and b.) I’ve done a frightening amount of Google research pre-date.

28. FREAK OUT but try to act real cool and stuff.

auto has written 563 articles for us.

64 Comments

  1. I don’t understand. Why is this an okay thing?

    I would be freaked out and in tears if I found out that a bunch of people I don’t know and have never met wrote a long list detailing all the sexual and romantic things they wanted to do with and to me.

    This isn’t a list fantasizing about things to do with a fictional character. This is a list about a human being.

    • I have mixed feelings. Part of me was thinking the while time I read the list “how would she react if she were reading this list?”

      Part of me would be absolutely charmed, because there are some charming things on here. But then maybe part of me would be creeped out? I don’t know.

      And then I thought This is harmless fun! But the I also thought Isn’t that what guys say when they shamelessly objectify women?

      So yeah. Mixed feelings.

      • No, I’m not famous. But I don’t think that any person welcomes articles detailing their shameless objectification, famous or not.

        And if I was famous, the fact that this article was posted of AS would be disappointing. Yeah, you expect this stuff. But you just expect it to be published elsewhere.

        • There are no objectifying comments about her appearance and the 2 or 3 points that are sexual aren’t graphic at all. This is just women saying ‘I wish I could date this hot celebrity’, something that straight women get to do all the time, both irl and all over the internet, without anyone accusing them of objectification.

          To say that queer women expressing the smallest hint of romantic or sexual interest in a celebrity is ‘shameless objectification’ reeks of ‘predatory lesbian’ stereotypes.

        • Lol @ “reeks of predatory lesbian” stereotypes.

          Just because other folks [straight cis women, straight cis men] get to “do this all the time irl and on the internet” doesn’t make it OK or good or a best practice of our culture! Why would a queer website want to mimic and mirror the culture that regularly and systemically marginalizes the queer community, anyway?

          It would have been cool if any number of these started with “ask for consent to…”

      • Just because an individual is famous does not give us a free pass to objectify them. If you were famous, would you welcome such an article? I understand that this piece was meant to be fun and light-hearted, but I found it to be incredibly distasteful, disrespectful, and overall disappointing.

        I guess I’m just overall disappointed with AS over this one. This is not progressive or queer. This is predatory and creepy. I guess I just expected better from a queer website.

    • That’s a good point. Honestly, before reading this comment it hadn’t occurred to me that someone might be upset to see a list like this about them – personally I think I’d be amused/flattered. I’m sure that’s probably how the writers felt as well. However, after realizing that many would find this hurtful or objectifying I can see why it’s problematic. I know it was meant to be harmless fun, and that’s initially how I viewed it, but after listening to different perspectives it’s clear that this piece crossed a line that it shouldn’t have.

  2. @Maggie

    “It would have been cool if any number of these started with “ask for consent to…””

    I don’t think anyone was suggesting kidnapping Samira Wiley and forcefeeding her pancakes… Queer women’s attraction to women isn’t inherently predatory, we are allowed to talk about having silly crushes on 100% unattainable celebrities without having first to assure everyone that just because we fantasize about going out for coffee with her doesn’t mean we actually want to kidnap / abuse / rape etc her.

    • Any space that questions the necessity of consent because this “is just a joke” perpetuates rape culture. The seemingly small jokes/fluff matter too!! We queers don’t like it when other folks say “I don’t need to spell out that I wouldn’t do XYZ without a person’s consent because I was just kidding and it wouldn’t really happen anyway!!!”

      Again, why should we do this kind of thing just because mainstream cis het people and media outlets do it? “Other people get to go on and on about what they would do with various hot celebrities so why can’t we??”

      Mirroring the cultural behavior that regularly oppresses us is never a good idea.

      Why not model amazing consent when broadcasting from a platform where lots and lots of queers listen up?

      • I’m still struggling to understand why the default reading of these people’s daydreams would be that they are not coming from a place of consent.

        I’m just confused about the end, exactly, to which your point would ultimately extrapolate… are you suggesting that daydreaming or fantasizing about ANYONE is inherently unethical? Are you suggesting that there is something oppressive about having a crush on someone in our daily lives, as well? I’m having a hard time conceptualizing the ways in which this article is oppressive because I’m having a hard time understanding the logical underpinnings of your stance. Is there something oppressive about unreciprocated desire? What, I mean, what. I’m genuinely not trying to be condescending or rhetorical; I’m sure you have some really good points here, whether or not I would ultimately agree with them, but I find myself completely unable to access them or understand what they are.

        • I feel like this is a derailing for dummies moment. From Derailing for Dummies (you can find the whole thing here: http://birdofparadox.wordpress.com/derailing-for-dummies-google-cache-reconstruction/

          IF YOU WON’T EDUCATE ME HOW CAN I LEARN?

          “By insisting you can only learn if they right then and there sacrifice further hours of time going over the same ground they have so often in the past, you may also make them give up and go away altogether, enabling you to win by default.

          But further, you give the impression that you really want to learn, but they’re holding you back! That’s right, using this tactic you can suggest that full understanding is what you crave – you want to be a better, more connected and compassionate person – but it’s not your fault! Nobody ever gave you the education! And now that someone is here who is so obviously qualified, they’re denying you your Privilege® given right to have everything you want handed to you on a platter!”

        • This is a reply @Maggie ‘s comment below.

          I would like to preface this by saying I agree with most of the points you’ve made and think your conclusion is probably correct. However, I really don’t understand what Keely could have done better here. She disagrees with the basis of your argument and was expressing her disagreement in a humble, cautious way by allowing that she could be incorrect, validating your perspective, and encouraging you to respond to her objections to the validity of your argument. Would it have been better for her to simply state her disagreement as fact without qualifying that your argument could be correct? I find it hard to believe that presenting her objection as absolute truth would have been a better option. If neither of those options is acceptable, all that remains is to be silent or agree with you.

          I’m cautious of any ideology that removes the potential for respectful disagreement and criticism, and only allows for adherence. The way to be certain of ideas is through constant critical evaluation. Which holds even if the idea is objectively true. Let’s say for a moment it’s impossible your opinion is wrong. There are still ridiculous, illogical, and altogether poor reasons to support correct choices/conclusions. If I say women should have full reproductive rights because my imaginary friend told me so, then my reasoning is poor and should rightfully be criticized, though I the the conclusion is correct.

          I know that’s hyperbolic and I don’t mean to say your arguments are ridiculous. I’m only saying that there’s a disturbing trend within social justice movements to construct ideological failsafes that enable any dissenting opinion or concern, no matter how respectfully conveyed, to be ignored without consideration. The way you’ve used this derailment quote seems very similar. She wasn’t derailing at all; she was questioning the validity of your claims, irrespective of the truthfulness of the conclusion you come to. Challenging an illogical claim and wanting everything “handed to you on a platter” are two very different things. The fact that what we’re discussing sensitive, emotionally charged topics like privilege and rape culture doesn’t mean that your arguments are logically soundproof and free of flaws or give you a free pass to make illogical, flawed arguments without criticism. And to give ourselves free passes to make these sort of arguments only places us at a disadvantage, because criticism only enhances a claim.

        • Hey au–

          I don’t think Keely was being humble and inviting dialogue when asking things like “does this mean you think ALL crushes are inherently wrong? That liking someone is oppressive?!” By inciting language like that it absolutely derails a conversation.

          Derailing for Dummies is satirical and hyperbolic because it HAS to be to illuminate the nuances at play when folks derail conversations that are about privilege and oppression.

          And I do thoroughly believe that using outrageous language and demanding my explanation of points I have made time and time again on this thread is an example of “if you don’t educate me, how can I learn?” We all use this vehicle to derail conversations, usually unconsciously. I know I have. For example–I have definitely used language like “if you don’t explain to me exactly why this is wrong I might keep doing it!” And I have been called out and (gotten defensive) and then done better next time.

          I shouldn’t have to be the only one to be called on to “explain myself!!” If you agreed with most of my points, than why didn’t you help lend a voice and perspective to this discussion?

          It was hurtful to compare my feeling to your “imaginary friend” metaphor. Mostly because for many of these discussions it DID feel like folks were telling me that my imaginary friend “told me so.” This phenomenon ensures that oppression will continue because “we are all making it up!” I know it was a metaphor, but damn, it was salient in ways you didn’t intend.

          Listen. I invite dialogue and feedback and dissent daily. It makes me a better person and makes my world more livable. And I most always respond and engage with folks who reply to me here on AS (even when others are being generally awful). AS has not been the most open to dissent or criticism (see: that long response to the author who called AS Cosmo for Queers). They didn’t invite that criticism in or start a dialogue in order to “be critical and evaluate to be sure of ideas.”

          And I don’t “give myself a free pass” from anything. Especially not discussions about rape and rape culture. I don’t have a card I play at the table that demands folks agree with me. I do demand that folks don’t use hyperbolic language (“By your logic, aren’t ALL CRUSHES wrong??”) to derail a conversation. Of course I don’t think all crushes are wrong. Calling attention to a ludicrous, inflated claim I did not make is inherently derailing and folks use that tactic regularly to dismantle conversations about things like rape culture, whether consciously or not. That tactic supports systems of oppression and makes dismantling them impossible.

        • I sincerely apologize that the metaphor and the “free pass” comment were hurtful to you. I haven’t read all your comments on this thread but I absolutely don’t feel that the reasoning of yours I did read was equivalent to that metaphor (making it a poor choice); I think you have been articulate and thoughtful and, as I said, I agree with you. As far as the free pass statement, it was very poorly worded, which I tried to diffuse by also referring to myself, but I simply should have phrased it less offensively. I absolutely respect your opinion and now I understand your perspective on the comment; some of those phrases were inflammatory now that I look at them a second time. The reason I replied really wasn’t to be harsh towards you, because I’ve done the same thing I felt you were doing many times and even if you were in the wrong absolutely everyone makes mistakes when trying to have productive dialogue about sensitive issues. I’ve just noticed that tendency (to become incredibly resistant to criticism, and to frame criticism in a way that makes it irrelevant) within many social justice movements and hardly ever hear it talked about. It’s something I worry about quite a bit with respect to myself. It just makes me cautious and I wanted to call attention to it. But, I digress, I am very sorry to have been hurtful and try to do better in the future!

        • Wow. @Maggie, it would be a pretty radical understatement to say that I am offended by your response to me. I was not being hyperbolic. I was actually trying to extend the conversation to its logical progression–into a discussion about the politics of desire. I think it’s pretty fundamentally unethical to say that the way we metabolize our desire for/interest is wrong when the magnet for that desire is famous but suddenly totally okay when we are talking about “regular” people. If you want to talk about objectification culture and reconstructing the paradigm of desire (which I never even said was something I disagreed with or even had any sort of established stance on, by the way), then goddamn talk about objectification culture and reconstructing the paradigm of desire instead of insulting me because I happen to think the “real” conversation should be framed differently than/is on a slightly different level than the one that’s been happening so far in the comments.

        • Reading back the comment I just wrote, I probably should have waited to reply until I could have been a little politer, but I stand by the sentiment of what I said: that conversations about entitlement, desire, and how we treat public people are merely magnifications of the conversations we should be having about how we treat people in general on a basic daily level. And I think–especially in the queer community, where we try to perpetuate a culture of consent but then sometimes (or even often?) use the idea of that “consent culture” as a pass for things that maybe don’t deserve it–that that conversation is one worth having, so while I understand that maybe it isn’t really your emotional/intellectual focus in this post I was still insulted by the idea that I couldn’t possibly have been doing anything other than derailing, let alone trying to segue into a conversation I might actually have been taking seriously.

        • Hey Keely-

          This is in response to your most recent comment to me.

          I never once said anything about my opinion only applying to famous people. My original thought placed Samira Wiley as a “regular” human being. My convictions about consent are absolutely about everyday $hit (regular people) AND
          media (how people consume information).

          I don’t feel ready to reply to the other parts of your comment yet because I’m pretty tender after all this and not tough enough to keep this up from all angles.

    • “…we are allowed to talk about having silly crushes on 100% unattainable celebrities without having first to assure everyone that just because we fantasize about going out for coffee with her doesn’t mean we actually want to kidnap / abuse / rape etc her.”

      Yes, I see what you are saying here, but this was not that. This article wasn’t about going out for coffee or having a silly crush. This article WAS predatory and objectified Samira Wiley (the person, not Poussey, the character) in ways I find to be embarrassing.

      Samira Wiley might have sex appeal, but couldn’t AS think of a better way to express admiration, perhaps without treating her as a sex-thing? I feel AS abused its power and needs to think twice (or even thrice due to the seriousness of rape culture and consent) before posting things like this. Just because they don’t “actually want to kidnap/abuse/rape etc. her” does not make it okay to post. In fact, that actually makes it more of a reason not to post it.

    • thank you for bringing up that interview. i was of two minds about this list because it was definitely fun and coming from a good place–tbh the comments made me feel very defensive. but lea’s interview and the discussion following it make be better understand where the commenters here are coming from. we can do so much better than assuming consent. i’d want samira (and everyone else) to be able to read this without feeling uncomfortable and/or objectified

  3. If some of us were to meet the subject of our crush, most of us probably wouldn’t do something with/to them, without their consent.
    Yes this article is about Samira Wiley and that she is hot in a variety of the fantasies described. It is ok to fantasise.
    Having fantasies is a few steps away from assuming that the same fantasies are ok to do with the subject of desire. To assume that any fantasy is ok to do to the subject of desire is a fault with the person who has the desire. Maybe they don’t have a conscience, or sense of Treat others as they would like to be treated themselves. Most people will ask for consent. Most of us before we indulge our fantasies are going to determine, for absolute certain, if our feelings of wanting intimacy with another, are reciprocated. Most of us want to be certain of reciprocated attraction before we go making unfounded assumptions. Anything else is stupid, arrogant, ignorant, and reeks of assault and rape. Most of us want consent and will not proceed with anything without it.

    Desire exists among all orientations and to assume that this appreciation and fantasies article on Samira Wiley is in fact explicit agenda for condoning assault or violence of any nature on Samira or other Women who are desired, is ignorance, also.

    Desire is a two way street, and in some of our imaginations, at least in mine, I always ask for consent. I always check out if someone is mutually attracted to me, before I make any moves on them. I have a conscience. I try to treat others as I would like to be treated myself. In my imagination a lot of great things can happen, with consent. It is more than ok to fantasise about subjects of our desire. It is not ok to expect our fantasies with the subjects of our desire to materialise without consent. The implied assumption in this vapid fluff article which I love and want more of featuring equally cute women I desire, is that the consent issue has been gained.
    To quote and pay Homage to Laneia,

    “It is more fun when we are Co-Conspirators”

    Keep the articles that appreciate and fantasise about women that we desire coming. I also am loving the Vapid Fluff hidden depths.

    • “It’s more fun when we are co-conspiritors” is unfathomably problematic and gross.

      Yes! We queers experience desire! I do not believe that experiencing desire is inherently wrong. Desire of all kinds can be so right and powerful and important.

      This article? Not right, important or a good kind of powerful. We do not get a free pass just because we will likely “imagine consent” in our queer fantasies. If it is going to be detailed out loud for lots of readers consent should be made clear. Consent is normal, should be routine and can be sexy and funny! I see no valid argument for leaving it out. Not one. More consent positive media!

      • Well, Maggie, I ask for consent in my imagination too ;)
        AS is asking for consent too prior to the inevitable groping that may or may not ensue.

        I don’t disagree with what you say. You are always advocating for inclusivity and rights. Great, absolutely.,
        Amen, if you are not doing it, then I normally do as do others.

        The point where I diverge from you is I am assuming that this article did ask for consent to do those wholesome activities.
        I take this article as advocating for sexiness and imagination, and involving consenting adults. The issue that it doesn’t specify informed consent between subject and subject does not concern me. The humour I appreciate. That is what I see and validate. And I am all for consent. I am all for humour and riffing on themes too.

        • “The issue that it doesn’t specify informed consent between subject and subject does not concern me”

          That is the same privileged frame of mind that perpetuates rape culture, is it not? You have the privilege to turn a blind eye to something that doesn’t concern you, and that is the problem. Consent does (and should) be everyone’s concern, always.

          This wasn’t a list of things that would be done on a date with Samira Wiley. Intended to be humorous or not, this was a list of things that would be done to Samira Wiley.

          AS needs to recognize its power and scope and not abuse its platform. Posting articles like this does not empower or progress the queer community, but rather perpetuates the problem of objectification and rape culture. Saying they did not intend to do so does not give them a free pass. AS crossed the fine line between humor and problematic, and frankly, I’m embarrassed by their ignorance and hypocrisy.

        • I have never had the privilege to turn a blind eye to consent. This isn’t about being privileged enough to turn a blind eye to consent. This is about having some fun.

          We are more fun when are co-conspirators could be interpreted as (I interpret it as)communicating consent and co-operation. If you don’t find it funny, no problem. If you do find it funny, enjoy.
          I am amused by this article, and not offended. I love it.

          You do You, and
          I’ll do me, besides doing others whose consent I have. Willingly.

        • “I have never had the privilege to turn a blind eye to consent. This isn’t about being privileged enough to turn a blind eye to consent. This is about having some fun.”

          I’m not sure we all hold the same, or alike, meaning(s) for the words we are using on this thread. Any person is capable of overlooking consent, regardless of the intersecting privileges and oppressions they experience.

          And the whole “C’mon, it is supposed to fun! At least, it is funny to me,” is such a crappy road to take when trying to build community. It is OK to admit that you might find something funny that another person doesn’t. But, when the other person isn’t finding it funny because of it’s connection to a larger culturally oppressive issue (here, we’re talking about rape culture and the problem with”implied consent”) it is time to look inward and think about why you are finding it funny and maybe why it shouldn’t be applauded as ‘funny.’

          This is not just a matter of sense of humor. This is about consent and objectification and sexualizing a person’s body and perceived behavior based on a character they play on TV.

        • I am not offended by this article because the intent of this article as *I interpret the article* is one of humour.

          I am not finding any exceptional manipulation of anyone’s consent within the article. I see also no specific informed consent from Samira Wiley either. And that is because AS didn’t ask for her consent, and *maybe*, because AS wrote the article as a Vapid Fluff Entertainment piece. With the condition that sexualising and objectifying a real human being was being done with Samira’s real consent, which, wasn’t specifically given.

          However, the article can be read as a Vapid Fluff piece in which in the Utopia of some of our Lesbian Imaginations, Samira Wiley did provide consent, and was also amused by said wholesome activities. If in the same Lesbian Utopia she did not provide consent to these same wholesome activities she declined consent, well, AS and its readers who found this amusing would have to suck that up, accept it, walk away, build a bridge and move on. Next.

          But that wouldn’t have been half as amusing. In the fertile and fecund imagination of my mind, she did provide consent. If I were to give her this same list in real life, I would have to be prepared for rejection on a number of counts. Also, I would be asking Samira for her consent, and I would accept it and move on and get over it if she declined. Vapid Fluff is Vapid Fluff, and that is ok with me.

      • tw: rape

        I don’t know who you think you’re speaking for, but if you think you’re speaking for sexual abuse survivors, you’re not speaking for me. Consent isn’t “sexy” and “funny”, please don’t sexualize and trivialize my trauma. I think a lot of people are confused about what you mean and what your ultimate point is, partly because when someone asked you to clarify, you told them they’re derailing and you don’t have to explain yourself to them. Of course you don’t *have* to explain yourself. But maybe instead of writing really long comments about how you’re not going to explain yourself, you could just briefly say what you meant?

        I don’t see how assuming that queer women’s intent is malicious when they express romantic / sexual interest in someone helps me or other survivors? Is being told that when I talk about wanting to date a celebrity that’s just what my abuser felt or said or did meant to make me feel safe and supported or ? I don’t understand.

        • Andreaa,

          I was not talking to you or about you or about your situation. I am talking about the comedy of the situation.

          I am taking the situation in the context that I suspect that it was intended to be communicated in, which is that of humour.

          I don’t think this article was put forth to “build community”, or anything as serious as that. It was here for a laugh. It wasn’t created to laugh at those who have been abused or sexually violated. People can and will take different interpretations of things, there are different experiences existing simultaneously. I don’t think the ideas behind this article are malicious or intentionally hurtful, though for many the article has been found to be offensive.

          I could agree with your interpretation, but I don’t read it that way. Many viewpoints exist simultaneously and to assume malicious intent on behalf of the AS team who communicated and broadcast this story is as valid as is my belief surrounding their intent, which is, it was done for the pleasure of Vapid Fluff.

          There are multitudes of audiences in AS. Witness the diversity of the responses to this article. Witness the diversity of responses to articles specifically referring to specific audiences such as Mixed Race Queer Women, FAAB/MAAB, and intersex, or Religion.

          Every viewpoint is valid and some conversations are intended for specific senses of humour, which may or may not be inclusive or representative of one’s experience. Communities are always going to be diverse, and live and let live. I am not preaching about assumed intentions of Team AS, like some are. I am not expecting a community to be built from Vapid Fluff. I am not taking this seriously besides humour value, so no apologies for being as shallow as I am. I will not support something that I am uncomfortable with, but to attempt to shame those of us in the audience who find this humour funny is unsuccessful, because we have our own experience where the article resonates as true and funny. Not sorry.

        • So, first of all, I just want to say that I am very sorry that you have experienced trauma/abuse in your life. It’s something that no one should have to go through. That being said, I really hope that you would keep in mind that given the fact that 1 in 3 people with vaginas will at some point in their lives experience abuse or assault, that it is incredibly likely that someone you are engaging in this thread is also a survivor. When you bring up survivor status in the scope of an argument and precede that revelation with an inflammatory statement such as “I don’t know who you think you’re speaking for”, you are leaving detractors of your argument with very few options to respond. One can either stay silent, or agree with you, or feel obligated to reveal their own status of survivor hood, which is entirely unfair, and makes for very unproductive discussion. Knowing Maggie in the close and intimate way that I do, I can absolutely assure you that they would never, ever, sexualize or trivialize trauma, nor make a joke of consent. In fact, they were specifically arguing against the extreme sexualization of a human being without any mention of seeking consent by any of the 28 people who contributed to this article. They were not arguing against the idea of people wanting to date this person. They were disclaiming against the “implied consent” that so many people were defending in this thread, because that is a defense used by so many [cis-het-male] people who would abuse someone’s consent. Refusing to ignore the latent ideas that perpetuate rape culture is exactly what can help folks from being victimized in the future. When we try to call it to people’s attention as much as possible, we become active agents for changing the systems of oppression that allow rape culture to oppress us all.

  4. I really can’t see how anyone can be advocating for the “humor and riffing” on and the absolute objectification of a real live human being! And not even just like, “golly I wanna eat pancakes and drink whiskey and adopt kittens with this person”, but” here are my very specific, very explicit explicit sexual fantasies about this person that I do not know at all”. It would have been so easy to make this Vapid Fluff piece about the character of Poussey. Everything written in the article could have been translated to project on this fictional character, which would have made it devoid of offensiveness, when really, isn’t it about that character anyway? I feel like the actual, real live actress was substituted for the charming, boyish, masculine of center queer being portrayed on the show, and it makes this article a whole, new, completely abhorrently exploitative ballgame that I am really surprised to see from a website that “want[s] women to feel good about themselves…want[s] equality and visibility for all marginalized groups and ultimately, we’d like to change the world”. There is nothing world changing about this article, if anything it is one of the most problematic things I think I’ve ever read on this site, or in any of the mainstream feminist media channels that I frequent.

    • Yes! We were just talking about this earlier today. It would be so easy, doable and in-keeping with AS’s “conversational” tone and what this article was trying to accomplish.

      “We would go the local library and she would explain the Dewey Decimal system to me. Then, we would race to find each other’s favorite book titles.”

      “We would complain about the military industrial complex over coffee.”

      “I would ask her to teach me how to ask someone out in German. Then I would ask her out. In German.”

      And on it goes. This would make it about a fictional character instead of a living person who is oppressed by the same misogyny and violent sexism that supports rape culture.

  5. I am of two minds about this consent debate, in part because I just reread the DeLaria interview and found certain moments profoundly disgusting, so this piece seems really innocent by comparison.
    Given that some of the cast undoubtedly follows this site (possibly even Wiley herself), I do wonder if Wiley might find it disconcerting and overwhelming to find a collection of strangers’ comments like this, especially if she’s had run-ins with creepy fans. There are creepy queer fans out there because creeps come in all stripes.

    On the other hand, many, though certainly not all, items on this list involved specifically *asking* and *inviting* Wiley to do sexual/romantic things (#1,4,18,21,22,26…). Asking for consent is an essential part of those fantasies, in contrast with say, DeLaria riffing about wanting to put her dick in a woman’s mouth. Those explicit references to consent actually perpetuate a culture that does value it.

  6. Wow. How incredible it was to wake up and see this entire article edited to have each item include seeking consent from Samira Wiley. I can’t help but think that this action was taken out of consideration for the conversation and comments from Maggie, Kris, myself and others. However, there is no editor’s note to reflect the fact that this article was edited from its original form, and now we look like a bunch of people complaining about something that doesn’t exist, and the really important conversations had in this thread now have zero context. This choice by the authors/editors really feels like being jabbed in the gut and told to smile. This is the last straw in a string of occurrences that indicates that mine and other voices of dissent are not welcomed or valued here, because even if we are enough to incite a change, it will not be acknowledged outright, and our reasons for speaking up will just be erased from the record. It’s a low blow from an online community that I have been following from it’s inception. It’s been a great 5 years, but I think today will be the last day of Autostraddle for me.

  7. I am deeply disappointed that Autostraddle editors made the choice to go back and edit this list to add consent language without any public acknowledgment of their choice. Further, it looks like an entire submission was deleted (The one that read something like “We’d fuck so hard we’d need a saline drip”). I see no comments from editors, moderators or contributors and no note of these sweeping edits anywhere.

    As of now, this comment thread has no context. Folks who were calling for this change [myself included] now look like we were causing $hit for no *visible* reason. Sure, there were some derailing and unproductive comments from all sides (I am sure I contributed to this). But there were also some incredible moments of consideration and change and mindfulness. As editors, you made the wrong choice here. It was unethical and unwise to come in the night, make the changes, and leave before sunrise. Why do that? Why use our voices and then effectively silence us? What makes that a good editorial choice for a publication that wants to do all the things Autostaddle insists it is here for?

    I know now, more than ever, how unwelcome I am here and how my voice will be disrespected by the people who run this world.

  8. I’d drafted a comment to reply to y’all but then I never finished it and I’m sorry, I’m having trouble with complicated arguments at the moment and now I can’t find the draft… it seemed like making a few small edits was better than doing nothing at all. I feel right now like any opinion I think I have on a thing is something I should keep to myself so that’s what i’m doing right now with this

    I’m presently going through a breakup with my girlfriend of 3+ years, Rachel has been out with a family commitment pretty much since she hit “publish” on this post and Laneia has been at Bonnaroo since Tuesday, which means both of them have been off the grid and I’ve not had a chance to talk to either of them about it, which made me hesitant to reply to any of these comments.

    The resources we’ve had to dedicate to things like this comment thread this week have been non-existent. G-d bless Yvonne for working doubly hard just to ensure we had content going up.

    I’m not gonna pretend like we’re operating at full capacity or making solid decisions this week because we aren’t. I’m sorry.

    • The first thing that came to my mind was to apologize for having such a big big reaction to this oversight in light of the personal struggles & logistical gymnastics happening on AS’s end. I hate the idea that y’all are strugglin’ so hard to make it work this week that even big stuff like this is being overlooked. Knowing how much that would hurt me if I was a person in charge my gut reaction is apology.

      I stand by my big, bruised, convicted reaction. I think it shows how deeply important this media is to many of us in the queer community. It also shows how much power this platform has. I don’t think apology is right, but I do think community is. I’m grateful you took the time to reach out, even when you are totally strung out and fried personally and professionally.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!