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A Man's Simple Gesture To Help Out A Drunk Female Friend Has Caused Heated Debate Online

One decision from a man for his woman friend on one night has sent people into a firestorm of blame, skepticism, and social politics.

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Twenty-three-year-old Michelle Gallahan (left) is a Texas college student currently spending a semester abroad in Sydney. That's where she met Jessica Lipsey, 21, another fellow American student abroad who's now one of her roommates. While the two have just met, a single moment that's bonded them is now causing a heap of passionate and enraged opinions online.

Here's what happened: Over the weekend, Gallahan went out with a few friends, including a recent friend she met named Kevin Franco, who's also an American student abroad.

Gallahan told BuzzFeed News she ran into her new friend Franco at a party that the two of them happened to leave around the same time. She and Kevin got into a nice conversation about sharing their experiences abroad, and since she lived far away, he offered that they stop at his place so she could sober up and they could continue their conversation.

"I would have felt bad if she walked home and fell or got hurt along the way," Franco said.

The two chatted in his room until about 5 am, they said, when Gallahan began dozing off in Kevin's bed.

That's when, according to Franco, he decided to leave his own room and allow Gallahan to sleep in his bed and do something "productive" instead, he told BuzzFeed News. Gallahan fell asleep for less than two hours.

Michelle Gallahan

"If I was in that situation I wouldn’t want to be asked to leave at 3 am to walk a mile home," Franco told BuzzFeed News. "If something happened I would have felt really bad, and it seemed like an opportunity to do something nice."

So, realizing he still had to file his taxes, he took that work with him into his shared living room to let Gallahan sleep alone.

Gallahan explained that there were no overt thoughts or implications of anything concerning from — "He just said he didn't want me to be uncomfortable...waking up next to a sleeping guy could do that to you," she said, chuckling a bit.

"He's absolutely the nicest guy I've ever met, I would not have been in his house, definitely not his room, otherwise!" she said of Franco. When she realized what he did, she thanked him "profusely" over the next few days.

Now, when she relayed this seemingly simple and nice moment with her new roommate Lipsey, Lipsey told BuzzFeed News she thought the story was "so funny" that she tweeted about it. In her tweet, she said Franco was not "trash" because he worried Gallahan "would think he took advantage of her" if he'd stayed in the bed with her.

my roommate fell asleep in a guys bed and he was so worried she would think he took advantage of her that he stayed up and did his taxes in the living room until she woke up lmao i guess all guys aren’t trash after all

Lipsey's tweet has gone viral, but she's maintained it was an irreverent tweet on a "non-serious" platform like Twitter.

"Honestly no one reads my tweets and obviously I did not think it would ever, ever go viral," she said.

"Learned my lesson about the internet on that one..."

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In the days following this tweet, Lipsey has been met with a litany of responses, both in fervent support and attack. The particularly angry ones are from mostly men who resented her implication of Franco's responsibility in the scenario, and called her "sexist" for it.

Some firmly put the responsibility on Gallahan to not fall asleep on a "stranger's" bed (despite Franco not being a stranger to Gallahan.) To these comments, Lipsey told BuzzFeed News she wants to set the record straight: "I do not actually think all men are trash. It was completely sexist for me to say that of course."

Twitter

However, she maintains that the reason she tweeted it was to highlight something more positive she observed in Franco's choices, even if his choices were not about "worrying" about what could be perceived wrong.

"That’s why I tweeted it originally ... I loved the message it sent out about him being a 'not trash' guy and the standard that people in general should uphold to," Lipsey said.

"I think that people should be aware that there are many ways to handle

a situation you feel uncomfortable in and one way is to remove yourself, probably the best way.

He obviously did not want my roommate to get the wrong idea so he removed

himself from any confusion. It's not the largest gesture ever but it is at least enough that she felt safe and he did the right thing," she added.

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"I don’t think what I did is particularly fantastic or great, let alone noble," Franco said in response. "I’m still shocked to see that it's become so viral — I was just concerned for someone who was drunk."

In the end, and IRL, Franco, Lipsey, and Gallahan have only grown closer and become unexpected good friends over this.

Jessica Lipsey, Michelle Gallahan

"The three of us have been having a pretty fun time in the aftermath of the tweet," Franco said.

"Surely there will always be people who think I was taking advantage of him, but that never was, and never will be, my intention," Gallahan added. "Really I think it is a lovely example of how nice a friendship can be!"

Lipsey recognizes how her tweet could be read, or misread, but she is firm in how she feels about the incident.

"I do agree that it is nothing to crazily applaud a person for doing. But, judging from the comments, it seems a lot of people are completely confused as to why he went through such an 'effort'. That is why I feel those bare minimum comments are unnecessary," she told BuzzFeed News.

"Obviously if so many people feel that it is just going too far, when so many more feel that is isn’t, than it is something that needs to be acknowledged. It sucks that we are in 2018 and people are still thinking that these negative comments are okay to even think of."

Tanya Chen is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Chicago.

Contact Tanya Chen at tanya.chen@buzzfeed.com.

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