There was an immediate backlash to the article, and critics pointed out that all the interviewees Stepp used as examples described situations that were clearly rape. For example, the article begins with the story of a woman named Alicia who, as a college student, took a male friend to a sorority party with her. They both got drunk and consensually made out, and Alicia told the friend she didn’t want to have sex. He agreed, but then a few minutes later, “pushed her down on the couch and positioned himself on top of her.” Alicia told him, “No, stop,” but he penetrated her anyway; when he did, she “tensed up and tried to go numb
until it was over.” Alicia defines it as “grey rape” because she worries she said “stop” too softly: “Maybe I wasn't forceful enough in saying I didn't want it."