Coffee Shop Owners' Online Misogyny Brews Rage
Asheville shop is closed for at least a 'couple days'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2015 1:01 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Outrage in Asheville, where the owners of a local coffee shop were recently outed as being behind some pretty awful anonymous statements about women. Jared Rutledge, 31, and Jacob Owens, 27, who own Waking Life Espresso, produced a podcast that discussed their exploits with women; Rutledge also anonymously blogged and tweeted on the same subject. The Asheville Blog has some examples of their work (which has now been pulled from the Internet but is still widely available in cached form), like this tweet: "Nothing like waking up with a cutie, cuddling, then wailing on her with a belt and gagging her with my dick." As the Asheville Citizen-Times reports, posts often discussed women in detail, including their body types and specifics of the sexual encounters. An anonymous blogger outed the duo about a month ago, but in recent days Facebook posts got the issue more widespread attention, and backlash has been fierce.

A local business support group wants to recall money it loaned to Waking Life that was meant to help its owners open a second location; some local businesses have pulled Waking Life products from their stores; protests outside the coffee shop led the owners to decide not to open yesterday; and a rape prevention nonprofit has announced it will reject the money Rutledge and Owens planned to donate. Both have released separate apologies as well as a third apology on the business' website in which they say they will be closed for at least a "couple days." "Jared and I did an anonymous podcast on picking up women where I crassly discussed my intimate experiences with women. I would like to be very clear that I did not author any of the posts of the blog or twitter," Owens wrote. "But just as worse, I knew they existed. ... [B]y knowing that it was going on, and knowing that I was associated however, I am complicit." Many responses on Facebook have not been sympathetic. Sample comment: "You're sorry you got caught. What a ridiculous played apology."