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DON’T DO THIS EVER: “ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME THAT WASN’T EVEN THE GODDAMNED BOOK PEOPLE WERE TELLING ME ABOUT?” edition

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UPDATE #2: Stephanie Dray has issued a statement apologizing for her remarks.

There are some who aren’t comfortable with that apology, and that’s fine, I’m not throwing my hat into the ring or making a judgement on anyone either way. I’m just reporting what’s happened and everybody can go there own way from there.

UPDATE: I’ve been contacted by a few authors who know Laura Kaye and Stephanie Dray. They’ve cleared up some points about the situation.

  1. The book America’s First Daughter is not the 50 Shades of Grey/Thomas Jefferson story. That is a separate project that Stephanie was talking about
  2. Laura Kaye has denied any involvement with the 50 Shades of Grey/Thomas Jefferson story.

Thank you to the authors who could shed light on the confusion regarding America’s First Daughter.

A source close to Stephanie Dray has said that a statement from the author is forthcoming.

TRIGGER WARNING: WHITE PEOPLE JOKING ABOUT SLAVE RAPE

ragestroke

 

Here is author Stephanie Dray talking about America’s First Daughter, a book she is co-authoring with Laura Kaye, contracted for a 2016 release from William Morrow.

You know what to do.

 

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58 Comments

  1. What the ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffu

    March 4, 2015
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  2. Kayla
    Kayla

    You know what? I’m done for the day. I’m done.

    That’s all I’m going to say, because I’m white a good 80% of the time, and the other 20% I’m a Jew, not a WoC, so my voice isn’t the important one here. But good fucking Lord.

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
  3. Ashleigh Paige
    Ashleigh Paige

    “Ragestroke” is right. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

    I’m really glad I got rid of Dray’s Cleopatra’s Daughter books a while ago. They didn’t hold my interest then when I gave them a fair shot, but if I still had them, they’d be going right into the used bookstore box and get store credit for it.

    I just… Who finds slave rape funny? What kind of person?

    March 4, 2015
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    • Katie
      Katie

      Ugh, I unfortunately have the electronic copies of them, so I can’t return them. Haven’t read them yet – don’t plan to now.

      March 4, 2015
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  4. Artemis
    Artemis

    Jesus fucking Christ.

    I am so disgusted right now.

    March 4, 2015
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    • CM52
      CM52

      You think you’re disgusted? What is up with using “Jesus f**** Christ”? How low can you go with your slang? I find it ironic at the least to put that word between JC. It’s astonishing that you would comment on something so reprehensible to you and then use that as the verbiage in which to respond!

      December 31, 2015
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      • JennyTrout
        JennyTrout

        This post is like…from March?

        December 31, 2015
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  5. C.M. Stone
    C.M. Stone

    As I pointed out on Twitter, “it was just a joke” is the worst defense for this kind of shit.

    So you thought that doing/saying cruel and dehumanizing things would be funny? Really? That’s how you want to fix this?

    March 4, 2015
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    • ArgentLA
      ArgentLA

      Yes, this. The idea that someone would think this funny is actually more offensive (and more frightening).

      March 6, 2015
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  6. Promise
    Promise

    It’s shit like this that proves a far larger portion of the population are assholes than most people would like to believe.

    March 4, 2015
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  7. Laura
    Laura

    Y’know, if we take Dray’s assertion that this is meant to be a “parody” as fact, we need to believe that the vast majority of readers will take it at face value that Jefferson’s actions were horrible and hypocritical on a level that borders on absurdity. Otherwise it doesn’t work as parody, right? Except the fact that thet don’t take this at face value is clearly demonstrated in the fact that Dray and her friends felt comfortable joking about it. I feel like I’m staring at an ouroboros of contemptible stupidity.

    March 4, 2015
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  8. I have removed the offending post and will be issuing an apology today. I have explained my intentions, but intentions are less important than pain caused. I just wanted to keep everyone up to date here.

    March 4, 2015
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  9. Dominique Willahan
    Dominique Willahan

    Ouch- my ancestors are crying.

    March 4, 2015
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  10. Elle
    Elle

    Ok, let me first say- I am a PoC here- mom is Caucasian(white)- dad is AA(black)- so I would be the “target” so to speak, I guess..
    Anyway- that all said- I didn’t immediately fly off the handle when I saw the initial tweets about the original “mash-up” story being written as I’m torn by the initial position of free speech and backing of the constitution, but as a woman of color, let’s face it, regardless of the percentages, any drop more than 1 in the eyes of those here in the deep South (and other places it seems, I have to accept it does make the SH experience seem like it was it was voluntary where it was not).
    That said- I did allow the situation to play out further to see if this was #1 a misunderstanding and #2 to see if the parties involved would see their own errors and/or if they would only fall back only due to pressure.
    At this point, I actually think it was a mixture of all- some of a misunderstanding, but also some malice involved as well, which is quite worrisome but I hope with further research which the initial writer claims she is pursuing, if fully executed, will see the complete truth, vs the bias presented by certain parties

    Long freaking story short.. I wouldn’t buy it. I’m it sounds like trash regardless and I don’t get the ignorance behind it but we’ll see

    March 4, 2015
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  11. I cry for the country.
    Omg. Nothing funny about that. It’ll be *if possible* worse than 50 shades….

    March 4, 2015
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  12. Gwen Cease
    Gwen Cease

    Should this shock me?? Yes. Does it? No, no it doesn’t. Why? Because, I’ve realized that people are mean and stupid. A father posts a congratulations on his twitter about his daughter’s acceptance to a college sports team. What do people do? Make horrific comments about raping her and her enjoying it. Yes, this is the society we live in. Is is wrong? Fuck yeah it is, but until people get a clue and a life nothing is going to change.

    March 4, 2015
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    • wtf
      wtf

      Shaking my damn head sad sad

      March 4, 2015
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    • Jan
      Jan

      Completely agree. I wish I was surprised by this kind of crap, but I haven’t been for a very long time.

      March 4, 2015
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    • Lieke
      Lieke

      I wonder whether the internet is bringing this out in people or whether it was already there, but people just couldn’t get away with saying shit like that before (because there was way less anonimity and distance and the father of that girl would have rightly punched you in your stupid face if you’d made a ‘joke’ about raping his daughter).
      I’m sadly inclined to think the latter.
      I don’t know why some people find it so hard not to be an asshole on the internet. I (and plenty of other people) manage just fine.

      March 5, 2015
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      • ArgentLA
        ArgentLA

        There are a disturbing number of people (and have been since this country was colonized) who have no problem at all saying things like this “in real life.” Just looking at recent news makes that eminently clear. I’m not sure how the idea that explicit, horrific anti-black racism is somehow a product of the Internet tracks at all.

        March 6, 2015
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        • Lieke
          Lieke

          What I was wondering about was whether the internet making it easier to get away with saying horrible stuff is making people more inclined to say horrible stuff.

          I did not suggest that racism is somehow the fault of the internet.

          March 6, 2015
          |Reply
          • Artemis
            Artemis

            My personal theory is that people used to just say horrible stuff one-on-one or to small groups of their friends, and now it’s easier for everyone to see it because they’re saying it to their friends on the internet.

            March 6, 2015
  13. wtf
    wtf

    What the fucking fuck is this fucking bs

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
  14. Emma Petersen
    Emma Petersen

    I honestly don’t know what to do beside be extremely appalled and take note. Just waiting for the excuses to start.
    “She’s a good person.”
    “She didn’t mean it that way.”
    “You misunderstood.”
    “You’re being too sensitive.”

    March 4, 2015
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  15. Leslie
    Leslie

    Yeah, shackles are HILARIOUS. Forced sex is HILARIOUS. WTF, woman?

    March 4, 2015
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    • ella
      ella

      I dunno, I thought it was okay, they took responsibility and owned up that what they said was screwed up, but my white opinion doesn’t really count. I’m just happy they didn’t say “IT’S FREE SPEECH!!!” “HUMOR!!!” “LIGHTEN UP GEEEEEEEZ!!!!”

      March 5, 2015
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      • Saying Jefferson “initiated sex” struck me as whitewashing, no pun intended.

        March 5, 2015
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      • René
        René

        She described Jefferson’s rape off Sally Jennings as Jefferson “initiating sex” with her. This tiptoing phrasing, as well as a bit of a self-pitying tone that pervades the apology, leads me to be suspicious of her apology. Others are allowed to disagree, of course, but those are my reasons for seeing her words as a non-apology.

        March 8, 2015
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  16. Pennymoonz
    Pennymoonz

    White people smfh!!

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
  17. I want to extend my apologies here, and more extensively in this post, to everyone. Apology

    And also be clear that there never was and never will be any actual project of this nature affiliated with either me or Laura Kaye. And here are her comments on this..

    Thank you for listening.

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
    • Benjamin W
      Benjamin W

      Thank you for apologizing, and specifically coming here to apologize.

      I can’t honestly say that I want to say “WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE, ALL’S GOOD AN’ CHIPPER AND HORSESHIT”, but at least I can say that in my eyes, your head isn’t entirely and irrevocably up your ass.

      Whatever my opinion of heads and asses amounts to.

      March 5, 2015
      |Reply
    • ella
      ella

      Thank you and Laura for accepting responsibility and apologizing after being shown that your words came off really really bad.

      March 5, 2015
      |Reply
    • H.
      H.

      The apology doesn’t work when you describe the sex between Jefferson and any enslaved woman as “initiated” by Jefferson. Under the law enslaved folks were property. They could never consent to a sexual relationship with the person who “legally” owned them. You may have been trying to mock “our culture’s casual acceptance of women’s lack of consent in sexual circumstances” but that is not the same thing as acknowledging the widespread rape of black women under slavery and the stereotypes/attitudes that still exist from the rape culture of slavery. The fact that you used the word “initiated” rather than rape to refer to Jefferson shows you need to do a lot more work.

      March 7, 2015
      |Reply
  18. Jemmy
    Jemmy

    An apology has been issued by Stephanie Dray (can’t link, I’m useless on my phone. Doesn’t quite mesh in my opinion and her word usage is poor re not using the word ‘rape’ to describe Jefferson’s actions.

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
  19. Some Hussy
    Some Hussy

    …I’ve been sitting here for the last ten minutes trying to formulate some response to this. It’s disgusting in and of its self and it’s disgusting how par for the course it is. I just can’t with this epic dumbfuckery.

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
  20. clara
    clara

    “Which book? The one where Thomas Jefferson shows Sally Hemings some shackles?”

    wtf. that is just literally slavery. not a hilarious concept.

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
  21. Stephanie
    Stephanie

    I think the world has become more meaner, deceitful and uglier as the years go by. Before I read some shit like this I will stop reading. Y’all should be ashamed of yourselves for even thinking it much less put it on a social network. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    March 4, 2015
    |Reply
  22. I’m a bit confused. Was the book in Jenny’s previous post (the one by “Fionna Free Man”) written by Stephanie Dray? And is the Fify Shades/Thomas Jefferson book another project of hers? Or was it written by someone else?
    Apart from that, I agree with what you said, Jenny.

    March 5, 2015
    |Reply
    • Jemmy
      Jemmy

      The ‘Fiona Free Man’ is separate to Stephanie Dray. Stephanie and another writer are working on a book called ‘America’s First Daughter’, which is mainstream fiction about one of Jefferson’s daughters with Sally Heming.

      Stephanie Dray make a comment referencing a 50 Shades/Jefferson mashup, as well as commenting that a book where Jefferson shows Sally some shackles would be hilarious. According to later comments by Stephanie, the book does not exist and it was all a joke.

      March 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • ella
        ella

        Thank you for clearing that up, I was a bit confused too that those women has written the book under the psuedonymn

        March 5, 2015
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      • Amber
        Amber

        Thanks a lot for the clarfication. I figured it out myself after a while, but it still helps.

        March 6, 2015
        |Reply
  23. ElBandito
    ElBandito

    I admit, I’m not even a POC but I’m a little bit haunted that this fanfic exists (and I don’t even know how to feel about this apology. Yes, it’s sincere and she’s responsible enough to come forward about it–but if I were her I’d instantly pull the story).

    I just can’t help but wonder about all the people who may have stumbled over this story. Readers who have been abused or treated like sex slaves during their lives, readers who were survivors of kidnappings who had been forced to live and serve with their kidnappers, or even people who were once ‘guest workers’ from abroad and finally managed to get free and survive the horrible exploitation of their ’employers’ (like, hell, I grew up in countries that used guest workers, and in between 1999-2002 when I lived there, there were NO local laws of protection for guest workers. We constantly heard about women getting abused, raped, and afterwards abandoned or dumped to their agencies without pay or getting their passports back (and this wasn’t just done by a few rich Saudis or Kuwaitis, there were scandals of American military families and British tourists raping their ‘help’ and robbing them of any payment afterwards. And the scary part is that those abusers sometimes go back to the US or the UK and act like what they did had never happened). I remember how the local authorities shrugged or made up excuses, and the year after I moved away, a bunch of teenage school boys raped a woman and didn’t even feel sorry for it. They were SO used to seeing guest workers as barely human that they just laughed it off or claimed that she ‘earned it’.

    That’s what freaks me out. That there’s a highly possible off-chance that a survivor from modern slavery can find this fanfiction online, especially when it’s been written by an author who has published books during her career.

    I just…I’m sorry for bringing up so much ugly words–but I just really wish someone came up to Stephanie Dray and go, “Woah, I know this sounds like a great idea to you, but not only are you using real people–what if ACTUAL victims of rape and slavery find this?”. Because I once did a fantasy story involving a mail-order-bride scenario, and thankfully someone I knew had the decency to pull me back, ask me to really think about what the hell I was writing, and I realized how harmful and problematic my story was.

    March 5, 2015
    |Reply
  24. Rosa H
    Rosa H

    Even if a 50 shades/Jefferson mashup by these authors is never going to happen, does it strike true to you when they say they’d never even planned it? Doesn’t it say quite clearly in the original Facebook post that this was an idea they had pitched to their publisher and one that they would be pursuing? Am I missing something here?

    March 5, 2015
    |Reply
  25. Leslie
    Leslie

    Yeah, that didn’t seem like a joke. Agreed.

    March 5, 2015
    |Reply
  26. Special Snowflake
    Special Snowflake

    Yep, raging fuck-waffles, all of you.

    I hope some of you have the strokes you desperately deserve. That, at least, might garner you some of the attention you are desperately seeking.

    March 12, 2015
    |Reply
    • Zoriax
      Zoriax

      Congratulations on coming out as a mysoginist and a freedom-of-opinion hater!

      April 4, 2015
      |Reply
  27. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    While sex with a slave-owner may not have involved *physical* coercion, a) slaves may not have felt they had the power to refuse (although some of them did anyway–Harriet Jacobs being a notable example); and b) slaves may have hoped they could have, and give their children, a better life. Google 19th-century pictures of some slave-mistresses, and you’ll see in many cases their hair is curled, they are wearing crinolines–they are definitely NOT working in the fields.
    On the other hand, some slave-owners didn’t see their mixed-race children as theirs, and sold them off. Their mothers never saw them again.
    Perkins-Valdez’s novel “Wench” has a section where the mixed-race children are temporarily promoted to the house by the childless slave-owner’s wife, and pushed back into the slave quarters when a white cousin shows up. In general, Perkins-Valdez’s depiction of women trying to do their best with very limited choices, choices that may include leaving children behind if they choose freedom, is probably a better exploration of the subject than this particular Hemmings book.

    March 15, 2015
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  28. CM52
    CM52

    HMMMMMM………I just saw it! Still felt like I needed to respond!

    December 31, 2015
    |Reply
    • A. Noyd
      A. Noyd

      Here’s hoping 2016 endows you with a more useful sense of priorities than off-topic necroposting in defense of your imaginary friend. Cheers!

      December 31, 2015
      |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        Mea minima culpa–I responded to some of Jenny’s old posts on the original 50 Shades series when I was referred to them by a friend who’d heard me bitching about it. VERY late to the party, but they made me laugh so hard my neighbors must have thought I was on something illegal, and I was so relieved to find a place where people were articulating WHY this series was so annoying. I’ve worked in publishing and have seen plenty of bad writing before, published as well as over-the-transom submissions, but this was…well, where was one to start?

        December 31, 2015
        |Reply
  29. CM52
    CM52

    And, here’s hoping you enlighten yourself with a more fulfilling vocabulary than pulling from the Urban Dictionary, (necroposting?), which definitely belongs under the heading of “imaginary friend”!

    Your need to respond to said post is also enlightening as to your sad sense of self and time usage! Cheers to you!!!

    December 31, 2015
    |Reply

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