Earlier this week, a story broke about a man people suing his date for texting during Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Seemingly as one, the Internet rose up to praise this modern-day Batman, this vigilante, this hero of the people. This was a man who would stand up and fight against the petty injustices that plague our everyday lives! Even Guardians director James Gunn chimed in, noting facetiously on Twitter that “she deserves jail time!”
Just one question for everyone: Are you fucking insane?
This is a massive dick move.
What’s wrong with y’all?
I think it says something that, when this story broke, just about every woman I spoke to about it had the same reaction: A slllllllow draw back from the keyboard, followed by a furrow of the brow and a “wait, that’s creepy as fuck.” Personally, I think there’s no excuse for texting in a theatre. And I tell people to turn their phones off when I see them do it. I have been vocal about this. But reacting to a breach in etiquette—and that’s what it is, a breach in etiquette, a pet peeve—with suing the person who did it is some borderline stalker shit.
You had a bad date. My God, suck it up!
Brandon Vezmar of Austin, Texas sued this woman who he met on online for $17.31, the cost of the movie ticket. Also a bone of contention for Vezmar is that, after being asked by him to leave the theatre, the unnamed woman drove off entirely, leaving him stranded after the movie was over. Which, I don’t know, kind of sounds like the thing a woman on a first date does when she’s getting red flags about how this guy she met online is creepy as hell. Oh, look: a statement from the woman, via Texas Monthly:
I did have a very brief date with Brandon, that I chose to end prematurely. His behavior made me extremely uncomfortable, and I felt I needed to remove myself from the situation for my own safety. He has escalated the situation far past what any mentally healthy person would. I feel sorry that I hurt his feelings badly enough that he felt he needed to commit so much time and effort into seeking revenge. I hope one day he can move past this and find peace in his life.
After the screening, Brandon reached out to the woman, asking for the price of the movie ticket back. When she didn’t respond, he reached out to her family and friends, asking for her address so he could sue her.
That’s not weird at all.
In that same Texas Monthly piece, Vezmar is quoted as saying he sued the woman because “I think the implicit contracts in dating need to stop, because I think that men are being exploited by people like the defendant… I think the implicit understanding on her part—in fact, I know—was that this was a date, the ticket was a gift, and she didn’t owe anything. That was an assumption she made, because she believes that those are the rules of the game. She has taken advantage of that. She’s taken advantage of someone else’s courtesy and generosity.”
This man is one fedora away from suing a woman for not putting out on a date. He bought her movie ticket! And a $4 slice of pizza. Why’s she have to be such a floozy?
Incidentally, Vezmar thinks the Texas Monthly article makes him look good. He also accused the woman of lying when she said he made her uncomfortable and said that “I think that this was probably a really great date for her. I was really nice. She seemed to be having a great time up until the point when I asked her to stop texting. I bought her pizza, drove her car—I thought that this was a fun, nice date.” Yeah, maybe because women are socialized to smile and nod on dates with weirdos so they don’t get murdered, you heaping pile of moldy cheetah dicks.
Let’s not mistake this situation. People may be calling this man a “hero”. The Alamo Drafthouse may have offered him the cost of his ticket back. He is a creep. He is a jackass. Using the legal system to maintain contact with someone who wants nothing to do with you is a common technique owned by stalkers. This is not about theatre etiquette. This is about some weenie who suffers from a limp dick of the soul feeling done wrong by a woman, and subsequently insisting that he be able to force himself into her space. And this is about other men enabling that behavior and acting like it’s OK. It’s not OK. This is the sort of shit that every person who acts like what this guy did is remotely acceptable is supporting:
“Online dating etiquette is at such a low ebb it needs to be actively corrected. People know what I mean.” Your dogwhistle MRA bullshit is showing, sir.
As far as I’m concerned, this unnamed woman now has a free pass to text in movie theatres for life. I don’t care. This man is an entitled, scary creep who responded to a bad date with harassment. Now he’s being a self-aggrandizing twerp on Twitter, basking in the attention and crowing that people—a lot of whom, if you asked them, would probably self-identify as feminists—are holding him up as some sort of hero for the common man. For harassing a woman. He thinks what he did is completely fine.
This is rape culture. I don’t know how much plainer I can say it. Suing someone for texting in a movie theatre is shitty, and everyone who supports this man should feel bad about their lives.