Aziz Ansari accused of assault, trying to coerce a 22-year-old into sex

69th Emmy Awards 2017 Press Room

I’ve always liked Aziz Ansari. I’ve rooted for him. There are too few prominent Asian-American men in Hollywood, and Aziz Ansari made a name for himself as a self-aware ally, someone who spoke with authenticity and nuance about women, relationships, sex, love and everything in between. But we can’t have nice things anymore. Like, James Franco’s outing as a pervert didn’t surprise me. But this surprised me. A young woman has detailed her violating and disturbing encounter with Aziz Ansari in a lengthy interview/account with babe.net – you can read the entire NSFW piece here. Prepare yourself. It’s upsetting.

The young woman’s real name isn’t published, the article just calls her Grace. Grace was 22 when she met Ansari last year at an post-Emmys party. The flirted, she gave him her number, they met up quickly for a first date in New York. He ended dinner out quickly and brought her back to his apartment. It was there where he tried to repeatedly coerce her into sex, failed to acknowledge verbal and non-verbal cues that she was not interested in having sex with him, and more. She ended up leaving his apartment in tears. From the end of the piece:

Speaking to babe, Grace mentioned the glaring gap between Ansari’s comedy persona and the behavior she experienced in his apartment as a reason why she didn’t get out earlier. “I didn’t leave because I think I was stunned and shocked,” she said. “This was not what I expected. I’d seen some of his shows and read excerpts from his book and I was not expecting a bad night at all, much less a violating night and a painful one.”

…Grace says she spent the next day groggy and miserable. When they asked, she told her coworkers that the date had gone poorly. She also reached out to her friends, who helped her craft a message to tell Ansari how she felt about the date. But he reached out first.

“It was fun meeting you last night,” Ansari sent on Tuesday evening. “Last night might’ve been fun for you, but it wasn’t for me,” Grace responded. “You ignored clear non-verbal clues; you kept going with advances.” She explains why she is telling him how she felt: “I want to make sure you’re aware so maybe the next girl doesn’t have to cry on the ride home.”

“I’m so sad to hear this,” he responded. “Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.”

[From babe.net]

From reading the tweets about this, I get that there are a lot of men and a handful of women who don’t think Grace’s story is really all that bad or a clear-cut case of assault or sexual misconduct. Which is the larger problem – not every woman has been raped, but I guarantee that the overwhelming majority of women have had these kinds of disgusting encounters on a date, where it feels like he’s trying to coerce you into something, like he doesn’t even care if you’re uncomfortable, or that you’re saying you don’t want to do anything and he’s still trying and that an erection has no conscience. The fact that so many women shrug this off as “a bad date” or “just an awful night” is part of how we normalize rape culture instead of consent culture. I believe Grace. And it upsets me because Aziz really seemed like a good guy.

Aziz has issued a public statement, saying that he was “surprised and concerned” with Grace’s account and that after their date…

“The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed okay,’ upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.”

The statement concluded with: “I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”

[From CBS News]

I think what bothers me is “upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable.” Do men actually have to sit there and think about this, hours later, days later and only then do they realize that they’ve acted like total creeps?

75th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Press Room

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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303 Responses to “Aziz Ansari accused of assault, trying to coerce a 22-year-old into sex”

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  1. Lucy says:

    UUUUGHHHHHHHH. That’s all I can say right now.

  2. Severin88 says:

    This is quickly going to start having the opposite effect.

    • belle says:

      I agree. While this is sexual assault, I feel that most people can’t even comprehend how this could be assault considering she “went along” (not my words). I feel sorry for this woman. I already see the majority of reactions in favor of Aziz and blaming the victim. I wish everyone had to take Rape Culture 101.

      • Ytbtet says:

        I still think he treated her like a sex object and the lines are blurred. It seems like she froze and guys mean that to me consent….. I’m not sure if it is sexual assault but his behavior is still unacceptable

      • Megan says:

        I did not read her full story because it was too disturbing, but the way he rushed through dinner, it seemed like his attitude was, “I bought you dinner, now put out.” He definitely treated her like a sex object.

      • Beth says:

        This is sexual assault? Really? Because if he were a plumber, she definitely would have hung around as long. Seriously, this was a powerful man, but he held no power over her—no power to hire or fire her, her job didn’t depend on it. He was famous and she wanted him to be her knight. He wasn’t, and it was clear early on. This makes a mockery of sexual assault for women who have actually experienced it.

      • Jessica says:

        Does this make my husband of almost a decade a sexual predator because he was quick with dinner on our first date? Puhlese.

      • FLORC says:

        He left dinner early. Rushed out. He persisted even after she collected herself in the bathroom. It’s littered in moments he saw her uncomfortable and resistant to his advances.

      • jwoolman says:

        I saw more details than reported above. She was excited to meet him as a celebrity, and pursued him at the gathering (not the other way around) after he had initially indicated no interest. She had said their initial sexual interactions were consensual. It does not sound as though he forced anything on her but rather attempted to persuade her to do more with him. I can see why she felt uncomfortable if she no longer wanted to do it, but she really mainly sounded disappointed that the evening didn’t go as she had fantasized. I can also see why he thought she was up for more since she was the one who initiated contact and obviously really wanted to spend more time with him. They did not have a work relationship and he had no other type of hold on her, she was free to go home at any point with no consequences. The texts bear out the idea that this was miscommunication and a not uncommon one at that. She felt free to tell him exactly how she had reacted and he seemed surprised but apologized.

        We have to realize that we have reached the point where just saying “I believe the woman” is not enough. There can be other dynamics at work but the climate is now friendly for women to accuse men of simply being predators. The bar is much lower than a few months ago. There will be increasing numbers of false or murky claims.

        I don’t think he’s actually a predator but just didn’t read her very well when her attitude changed.

      • Louise177 says:

        I can’t help but feel for Aziz. He was definitely aggressive and didn’t care about “Grace” but this seems more like a bad date than rape/assault. The way she tells the story it seems she was expecting something different and stayed in the hopes it would chanhe. Every time she said no he did. He was disgusting that he would try again a few minutes later but I don’t see assault and it didn’t seem she tried to leave.

    • Jane says:

      It shouldn’t. All this confusion is occurring because we never taught girls how to say no, and boys how to recognize consent. It doesn’t have to be outright rape for it to be assault. And no matter how you cut it, Aziz does NOT come off good in this story. Like, was he not focusing on her responses, her enthusiasm? Is it fun to have sex with someone who’s not completely into it? This of course makes it sound like he treated her as a sex object.

  3. Aaliyah says:

    This is how the #Metoo movement will be stopped in its tracks. I have re-read this article a few times and I don’t see abuse of power here. Creepy =/= assualt. I think the Atlantic nailed it with their analysis on this article.

    • QueenB says:

      Thank you for doing your part in standing up for men and stopping metoo.

      • FLORC says:

        It’s a very difficult thing to explain. How she both felt uncomfortable and remained.
        That she still engaged in those acts, but also refused participating. It’s a mix of complicated thoughts and feelings many don’t understand.

        And that’s not what should be focused on anyway. It’s how Aziz responded. How he persisted. How this woman was pulling away. Not enthusiastic. And he kept pushing. He clearly wanted 1 outcome. And he was working more towards that goal than he was concerned with this person’s feelings.

      • Nanny to the Rescue says:

        @ FLORC, agreed.
        While this is not rape or assault (nor does the woman claim it is), it’s creepy and says a lot about him.
        And if my friends knew of a dude that was like this, I’d like to be warned. This isn’t normal behavior by a man and shouldn’t be treated as such.

        @ Queen B – Standing up for men? For this? Are you telling me all men are like that? Because I’m willing to bet most men would find this dude’s behavior problematic. They might try to downplay it, but most wouldn’t insist as long as he did and in this way. We’ve all met creeps in our lives, sadly, but I’m hoping I’m not the only one who didn’t get this vibe from majority of men. Just some. (Still too many, but not majority, that’s my point.)

      • Domino says:

        QueenB is being sarcastic…

    • Emma says:

      I’ve just the Atlantic article, and I totally agree with you (and Caitlin Flanagan) here.

    • Jamie42 says:

      I also just checked out The Atlantic analysis; it’s right on.

      • six says:

        I also think the analysis in the Atlantic was spot on

      • Natalie S says:

        I just read that. It’s so disrespectful to the women in her generation who didn’t get away. Were they not strong? Did she just call a generation of young women weak? This same generation continuing fighting the battle to have what a woman wants, her comfort and her safety matter?

        Ansari’s callous, entitled behavior harmed his own career. If what he did was so benign, why is it so damaging for women to talk about it? And let’s not kid ourselves. He’ll be fine. Cool girls who love to talk about how strong they are in comparison to other women will keep him afloat.

        That article was garbage.

        Also, Grace did not owe cultural diversity the favor of not talking about her experience with Ansari. As a PoC, I am appalled that she made that argument.

      • Bros says:

        Everyone on here who is smart and able to engage in critical thinking, rather than groupthink hysteria, should read Laura Kipnis’s Unwanted Advances. It’s a quick read, less than 4 hours, and a fantastically written book about her experiences with a title IX investigation on her campus. She’s a feminist professor who teaches film studies. It’s such a good good book to edify yourself so you can approach these issues with clarity and nuance. Highly recommended!

      • Natalie S says:

        Hey, I’m someone who engages in critical thinking and not groupthink hysteria! I should totally do what you say!

        Why don’t you talk about your views?

        Wow:
        “In the book, she puts forward an eye-catching explanation about binge drinking and sexual assault: that students get drunk precisely to act out retrograde gender stereotypes, in which men are aggressors and women passive to the point of catatonia.”

      • magnoliarose says:

        Bros.
        I am not baiting you into an argument when I ask this, but I am interested in what your view is since I haven’t read the piece you referred to in your post.

      • Millennial says:

        Which part of the Atlantic article was “right on”? The part where she compared her own near rapes to Grace’s experience and found it lacking? Or the part where she blames “not getting it” on her age? In the 70s, people just put up with this, you know! I stopped reading after that, surely it only got worse.

      • FLORC says:

        Millennial
        It was bad. I do not compare the assault I experienced as the minimum requirement to be believed. I do not try and place myself in events being told with the benefit of hindsight.
        It’s foolish and arrogant of others to do so. Really highlights rape culture. How many will justify it as reasonable thinking and lable the other side hysterical or suffering hysteria. And we all know about the origins of that lable…

      • Otaku fairy says:

        Pressure women to do something they normally wouldn’t want to do (“read this!”) by suggesting that they’re some misogynist stereotype if they don’t. Nice. We likely aren’t on the same side, and I probably don’t want to know what you’re trying to normalize politically or personally, but that was well-played, Brobot.

    • Artemis says:

      I don’t know, it’s tricky. I can see the point of the article but I belief Grace’s account too. Many times our expectations of a date don’t add to the reality of it unfortunately. Many women, as have I, had many experiences like Grace’s.

      However, my personal stories, I wouldn’t class them as rape. Harassment maybe. Creepy, hell yes. If I expect affection and love and get a horny douchebag who insists on sex after a casual night of drinking and flirting, I would just not class it as rape because I didn’t feel threatened, scared or trapped. Annoyed, sad and frustrated, yup. Feeling disappointed is not the same as feeling violated and scared by the attacker. I’m not traumatised or haunted by my experiences. I don’t have the emotional or physical scars of dates gone wrong because men are often douchebags. This is just my opinion on my crappy dates with similar behaviour and I know people deal differently with these things and have other feelings.

      I never cared for Aziz in particular but I read rumblings about this supposed behaviour during the Louis CK exposé so this is not surprising.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        Your take seems completely reasonable. I think many women, and likely men, relate to this just as you do. My dating years, long ago, had an instance or two like this and I feel about them as you do. No trauma, just annoyance and some anger about being put in situations that I would rather not be in. In no way, for me, was my experiences even cause for a thought little less a mention when subjects of rape or assault came up.
        I’m aware others may feel differently and I don’t begrudge them their take on their expetiences. This woman In particular seems to be calling this guy out for being an aggressive asshole which is fine. I think that there are a lot of them out there. My read is that she isn’t saying their was a rape.
        In a perfect world, this wouldn’t even need to be discussed and parsed because an enthusiastic yes is a long way from “letting” someone do something. I wish that world was the one we live in.

      • Domino says:

        I would classify my creepy and harassment stories as rape. At first, I hesitated, because it makes me immensely sad to do so, because i didn’t want to be a victim, because it seems to trivialize the word ‘rape’ but actually I think my doing so – classifying my awful encounters as rape -shows how commonplace rape actually is, and how much work I needed to do to find partners who were respectful, empathetic, and invested in my comfort and safety.

        I sometimes find that other people are loathe to own up to their sadness and the awfulness of their experiences because it sucks to admit it, feel those awful feelings, go through the cycle of denial. self-blame, anger, fury, depression.

        And yes, you get to define what the encounter was. But when you stop denying how much it hurt you to be coerced, to be forced, you have a power that is so beyond what you ever imagined to define what you want and who gets to be there.

      • OG OhDear says:

        I think that it goes into the broader culture regarding boundaries and how exactly consent is defined. We’re taught that sometimes people need to be pushed to get out of their comfort zones (not just in terms of sex) to enjoy something. And I think a lot of people define consent as a lack of a “no” instead of an enthusiastic yes, if that makes sense.

      • Artemis says:

        @TG

        Yeah, same. My relationship with these events is not in any way connected to other people’s who would class theirs as harassment or assault. It’s how people feel and experience so the ‘intent’ of the person that hurt you doesn’t matter.

        @Domino

        I’m sorry you went through that.

        I had friends who were assaulted from a young age and when we shared our experiences it made me realise how ‘meh’ I was on mine and how badly it sometimes affected their view on men and relationships. Theirs was vivid and you could clearly see the pain on their face as they told the story, or the shame, guilt etc. I crack jokes about mine and details are vaguer as the years go by. I don’t really care to be honest and I’m happy because the alternative can be devastating. Why would I want that trauma? I can’t relate to that kind of intense pain that assault brings and I shouldn’t. Frankly it would be insulting to pretend it affects me when I know it doesn’t. The less women who feel that pain, the better no?

        @OG OhDear

        I think women get conflicting messages these days and it confuses me too. I get your point and agree with it but there’s so much going on in terms of feminism (like choice feminism) which can do more damage than good at times and this new-age crap that’s popular on social media (be present but push yourself, achieve but enjoy life) etc…which all ties in to how; again women, are supposed to behave. It’s just too much. There is no clear stance on anything these days and the only people who profit from it is men. Men always seem fine. I don’t know, I’m rambling sorry…

    • ElleC says:

      I believe this happened exactly as she said, I believe she felt violated by the interaction, and I can also believe it’s possible there was misunderstanding/miscommunication, given we don’t know what she means by non-verbal cues.

      I can only imagine how that gets compounded in the heat of the moment, when you don’t know each other well, and especially if one partner isn’t comfortable asserting themselves for whatever reason. It sounds like he stopped sex in response to her verbal cues. It was insensitive and pressuring that he continued to talk about it.

      It’s a good lesson in why anything less than an enthusiastic yes shouldn’t be taken as consent, and I’m sad for her because people respond in black and white to this stuff, and this case doesn’t check neat boxes.

      But she has every right to share her story. It happened, she felt violated, and no one should be silenced for a “greater cause.” Aziz isn’t denying it happened, and hopefully he and other men will be more responsible in making sure the women they hook up with are fully consenting.

      • savu says:

        @ellec yours is the best comment I’ve seen here. And you’re right, this is why we need to change how most of us think about consent. Anything but a clear “yes” is no. This is a nuanced case and you can believe both people.

        Also, I think we should be commending her for confronting him about it. That had to be so hard. But with a nuanced situation like this, where one person doesn’t see what’s wrong, she helped him realize what he did wrong. I’m sure that was in the back of his mind in the future, and I hope he made an effort to get that resounding “yes” before anything happens.

      • Coconut says:

        She said she kept getting up and moving away from him. I would think that is a pretty clear nonverbal cue although he may have read it as playful engagement.

        I have been in similar situations and my read of is that the men don’t get that you really don’t want to be kissing or having sex or whatever until you get up and leave or tell them to.

        I agree with others who say these situations are full of different emotions. In my case, I liked the guy. I’d had a good evening. Lots of great conversation. I was attracted to him on the surface, but when we started kissing I wasn’t so into him. He on the other hand…Another reason to take it slow, though in my experience, many men don’t want to.

      • lucy2 says:

        This is an excellent comment.
        Seeing how common this type of situation is, I’m also glad it came out and is being discussed – as you said, hopefully it leads to more people being clear on consent.

      • magnoliarose says:

        Your comment makes me think. I am still undecided what to say about this. I do know I think Aziz acted like a creep.

      • Dixiebells says:

        This is a great response. I work on a college campus in a Title 9 office and a lot of our policies have changed towards defining consent as enthusiastic and affirmative. And the lack of a negative response does not imply consent. I say over and over until I’m blue in the face. But I’ve also learned society just isn’t there yet. “They didn’t say no” is the default response.

        I also get a lot of people through my office who get very defensive, like “well should I have our affirmative agreement in writing at every stage?” No. That’s not realistic, and it’s being purposely obtuse. IF the moment is building hey make it dirty talk, I don’t even care, (should we f*** baby???) but the point is that you’re communicating. So many instances on college campuses are just like this Aziz example. People don’t know each other well. There’s nothing wrong with casual sex but it does imply a greater level of responsibility of making sure people are on the same page. And COMMUNICATING. I’d argue it still even applies in established relationships as in the pressure to have sex shouldn’t be present there either, but typically an established relationship some of this initial communication has developed.

    • Sway says:

      I absolutely agree with you, Aaliyah.

    • SandyC says:

      I commented at the Atlantic, and immediately got replies “no it’s not assault.” Yeah, it is if you’ve ever been the girl in a situation like this! Also, I’m not accepting “Gee, I’m just a guy who can’t read signals” defense. Sorry Aziz, not sorry!

    • Bridget says:

      The #metoo movement does not live or die by Aziz Ansari.

    • Bridget says:

      What is wrong with you guys that you agree with the ridiculous conjecture in that Atlantic article?

  4. Talie says:

    He acted the way I would assume famous men would act…entitled. I didn’t realize she was 22 until just now, and that adds another layer. She probably was excited about dating a star and thought it would go a very different way.

    One could’ve raised an eyebrow about Aziz some time ago when he refused to acknowledge any issues with Louis CK.

  5. Sh says:

    Disgusting. Reading her account made my arms crawl. I would’ve be so terrified, I’m not even sure I would have had the courage to confront him (and be so polite about it too; of course women are taught to be overly polite even when it’s not our fault). It was clearly assault, he clearly knew she didn’t want it, coerced consent is not consent. All those men caping for him- you know it’s because they don’t think it’s wrong; that they would do the exact same thing. Those women though? Probably have been through the same position but rape culture is so normalised they never thought it was rape.
    Also – how many men are hiding behind this ‘woke’ persona ? He fooled me.

    • Domino says:

      I both enjoyed and hated Aziz. I loved his attempt to do episodes on immigrants and Islam. But, His episodes on feminism just felt too men’s rights jokey friendly to me, like the Home Depot -type commercial episode where he focuses on a microaggression (a man came up to his table and declined intros with all the women) and his wanting to be an ally, but then caping for feminism cost him his job altogether. that also seemed to be the message with chef Jeff episodes – I am screwed If I say nothing, I am screwed If I say something. Just, no!

      grace’s story also made me sick. I believe her.

      I am sick from the Caitlin Flanagan weigh ins, and I am sure in some time we will hear about #metoo costing men their jobs. Men ending up in the hospital with blue balls now they can’t assault and coerce women. Won’t anyone think of the men?

      Just wait – #MENtoo will happen.

      There is a real crisis of masculinity in this country and we need MEN to step up and fix it – not women. The onus is on men to realize rape culture is failing them as much as it is hurting women. And also, f*ck you, Aziz.

  6. Clare says:

    This is a hard one because OF COURSE this woman, and every woman has the right to refuse advances. Every woman ALSO has the right to feel whatever she feels after going through with something she is not entirely comfortable with. We are not required to be perfect victims. We are not required to to the exact right thing at the exact right time. However, I’m not quite sure what his ideal response would have been?

    He clearly failed to acknowledge and/or understand verbal and non-verbal cues – however, he DID acknowledge her hurt and expressed that he was sorry for his part in causing her pain and distress. Of course he should have done better before/during their interaction. …but I’m not sure what he could have done differently afterwards?

    Also, how fucking sad that even the ‘good’ ones have these hideous skeletons in their closets.

    • QueenB says:

      How was Aziz ever one of the good ones? Because he used feminist talking points to sell tickets?

    • Sixer says:

      The idea that sex is all about a negotiation that starts from the point the man wants it and the woman doesn’t, and the man’s role is to persuade the woman and the woman’s is to be persuaded, just seems to be SO ingrained that men don’t even know they’re doing it.

      Is it a new thing? Is it the ongoing creep of online porn culture? Or what? Because I’m in my 40s and I don’t remember it being like this when I was in my late teens and early 20s.

      • Clare says:

        @Sixer, in my early 30′s and before I started dating my husband I have certainly had one or two awkward conversations where I wasn’t really up for physical intimacy and that was viewed as me playing ‘hard to get’ and/or being a ‘tease’. I don’t know if it is a ‘new’ thing – in fact I think the ‘chase’ has been a part of our cultural narrative for longer than we’d care to admit.

        And yes, the narrative that a man must ‘chase’ a woman and if a woman is saying no she’s just playing coy/hard to get/whatever is far too ingrained in our cultural narrative. To be honest, I don’t even really know how to process it or what to say about it without sounding like an asshole – because part of me wants to say it isn’t entirely the man’s fault because this shit is so normalized.

        I remember being distinctly horrified when watching one of those ‘gypsy wedding’ shows on TV – when the ‘grabbing’ happens…but how many of us have had our ass grabbed in a crowded bar, or on a dance floor in a club…as if it’s no big deal.

      • Eiré says:

        It’s a bit of both, in my experience. (new, amongst young guys, and not–as in, not throughly widespread. Or maybe I’m just lucky.) I’m in my twenties, and I’ve been in this, Grace’s, situation more than once.

        The fear becomes what might happen if I say no? How do I say no without getting him angry? How do I leave? Do I slow it down and hope he looses interest, or do I just do one thing or another, and hope that’s enough?

        This is, as is said, the culture. It’s such a problem, the seed of the larger problem, and it’s infuriating that people can’t see or understand why.

      • Sixer says:

        I wish I could find it again but I once read an article laying out how kisses in TV shows are very often shown with the man going to kiss the woman, the woman pushing him off, him going in again, her pushing him off again, then him going in again and, hey presto!, passion ahoy!

        Everywhere you look, everything is arse about face to how it should be, isn’t it?

      • Eiré says:

        I’ve actually found myself noticing that (about representations in television/film) more and more, of late.

      • RedOnTheHead says:

        Sixer, it’s been like that as long as I can remember. I’m in my early 60s and when I was young and dating I didnt think there was another option. It was all about the negotiation. It was a given that he was going to try and the onus was on the woman as to what happened. Granted, I grew up in a different time but some things never seem to change. It seems almost cyclic to me. And by that I mean the sexual expectations associated with dating during my days put the burden on the woman to draw the lines. There were “ good girls” and “bad girls”. Then time moved on and sexual freedom became more and more acceptable and women were able to own their sexuality without being categorized. But somehow in all of the sexual revolution (such a trite term) men didn’t get the memo that even though a woman owns her sexuality, the words no and stop and don’t still mean the same thing.

        So now women are free to express themselves sexually without being branded a whore…..and yet we’re still negotiating our boundaries.

      • Adele Dazeem says:

        Does anyone remember watching “General Hospital” in the 1980s? Luke and Laura, the It couple? I did, as a child, no less, and the first time Luke saw Laura it was in a nightclub, and he was so ‘overwhelmed’ by her beauty….he raped her. Not to mention she was there with another guy. And it wasn’t a controversial story line for its time. And yes, they had a big wedding, were relationship goals of the era, etc. Gross.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        Adele,
        I remember it so well! Laura was at the disco with Scottie Baldwin, her great love at the time.
        I have said, in retrospect, how horrifying Luke and Laura’s relationship was but, at the time, their “romance” and wedding were everything. I was around ten and got checked out of school to watch the nuptials!!!
        Things are improving somewhat because this deal wouldn’t ever fly today, thank God!

      • Sixer says:

        @RedOnTheHead – yes, perhaps it is cyclical. You’re the generation before me and Ansari the generation after. Perhaps my generation got away lightly? That said, I just spoke to Mr Sixer to ask him about this and he said, “Yes, but you were a) not girly, b) an extreme gobshite and c) a bit, well a lot, scary. I doubt any bloke who thought sex was a negotiation they were in charge of would have asked you out in the first place. Why do you think I waited for you to ask me out?” So er… yes. Perhaps I’m just a harridan with no idea at all!

      • Bridget says:

        I’ve brought this up before. In literally EVERY avenue of entertainment, romantic pursuit is portrayed as not taking “no” for an answer.

        And realistically, men and women do read non-verbal cues differently because of this. The choice to come up to an apartment, or to stay when your date has made it clear that they’re interested in sexual contact -because of that deeply ingrained lesson, and in the absence of the actual word “no”, these are non-verbal signals that say “keep trying”.

        In other words, we’re doomed.

      • Christine says:

        I think it’s always been like this. I’m in my 40′s too and I can say every sexual encounter I had from age 7 (molested) to the age of 18 were a negotiated play.

      • Person3514 says:

        I’m not old enough to know about that General Hospital story line, but reading about it has reminded me of Chuck and Blair from gossip girl(don’t hate lol). I fell in love with the crazy relationship that was Chuck and Blair and I was constantly rooting for Chuck, even with all of the horrible things he had put Blair through. In the beginning of the show I hated him. He almost raped someone and he was an a-hole. He never really changed, but the show was able to make me like him and root for him. I didn’t question this until I rewatched the series a few months ago. I was so disgusted that I could like this character and root for him, but I found myself doing it again the second time around. I was constantly questioning myself and asking myself what was wrong with me. I still can’t tell you why I end up liking Chuck so much. I don’t know if it’s something ingrained in us because of society, culture or what, but I never even thought to question these things until I started rewatching the series.

        This whole movement has had me rethinking everything. I’ve never had an experience or a relationship where I only had to say no once. The guy has always said things like but come on and tried to pressure me. Even my husband will do it if I tell him I’m not in the mood and he’ll keep playing around with me until I snap and get really pissed at him. Then he gets mad because I’m mad. I never even thought to say anything to him about it until this movement, but I did talk to him and explain how it makes me feel and that I shouldn’t have to keep saying no until I snap and we’re both angry. He understood and I don’t even think he realised what he was doing could make me uncomfortable. He just assumed I was playing around because sometimes I would cave. I think we need to teach women to be more assertive. I’ve definitely changed my views on how I’m raising my daughter who is only 4. I don’t want her to ever feel that she needs to be submissive or quiet, not that I wanted her to feel that way ever, but now I realize just how important it is for me to teach her and ingrain in her to use her voice and to have the confidence to use it.

        Sorry if my comment seems all over the place. I just started thinking about a lot of stuff LOL

      • A.Key says:

        That’s all just lame excuse and BS, no offense.
        I’m 31 and I guess I was lucky enough to have had experiences with normal freaking men who always understood and took no for an answer and never pressed me for anything further. Men are not stupid. I repeat that. Men are not stupid. They understand immediately when a woman shows lack of willingness to go on. It’s just that they CHOOSE to ignore it and keep on pressing it further until they MAKE her acquiesce. They’re not confused, or mistaken because they’ve seen one too many tv dramas where the guy kisses a girl forcefully, wth. They know what they’re doing and just like any typical school bully they push a girl until she’s forced to accept their terms.
        I’ll never forget when the guy who bought me drinks, spent the whole night with me partying, asked me out and then in the end got told no to sex, said to me: I don’t really understand it, but ok, I can respect it.
        End of, case closed. That’s how any normal man should react.

      • Bridget says:

        @A.Key – I think about the men in my life like my husband, who wouldn’t dare make a move if he even thought the woman might not be into it. And then I think about the men I knew that would just try to wear women down, and consistently treated women with no respect. At the time, I would have said that they were “good” guys who just behaved kind of jerky inside. It’s only now, 15 years later, that I realize what terrible people they are (and fortunately, many have had completely miserable adult lives as is fitting). And yet, this is something that is only NOW being verbalized. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that Steve Sanders was exonerated on the charge of rape because “I didn’t say yes, but I didn’t say no either”.

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        This has deep roots in the history of the 20th century (during the 19th women, esp respectable white women, were assumed to be asexual — the whole lie on your back and think of England thing), but that changed in the early 20th to acknowledge that women had sexual urges, too, (Freud, etc), but then they were saddled with the responsibility to say no before marriage or lose their respectability, but still be sexy and available. It was a very delicate balancing act. If you’ve seen any of the Beach Party movies with Annette Funicello and Frank Avalon, that’s the whole plot. He’s trying to get her to sleep with him, she’s trying to find subtle ways to put him off. I’m sure there are many other movies that have similar plots (hell, a lot of more recent romantic comedies can look pretty creepy through a similar lens). And don’t forget how creepy that Christmas Song (Baby, It’s Cold Outside) is. Women (and men) have been getting this message for years! There’s a great book about this on the 50s — Elaine Tyler May’s Homeward Bound. Beth Bailey’s From Front Porch to Back Seat is also a great history of how dating changed btw the 1920s and 1950s.

    • Ronja says:

      His ideal response would have been to stop putting his fingers in her mouth or keep alluding to sexual activities after she agreed to just sit and chill, after her saying she wasn’t ready for sex and generally showing lack of enthusiasm (which he chose not to notice). I believed he was one of the good ones too but clearly, and his non-apology is another example.

  7. Zapp Brannigan says:

    The sad thing is that what happened to Grace is familiar to most women who have ever been out on a date, that persistent pushing of her boundaries, that ongoing push for more, right now, with no thought that maybe he could just sit back and let her come to him when she was comfortable with him rather than that idea of “helping her to just loosen up”. Honestly to the reader here how many times have you had some date say to you to just relax with what they are doing sexually, it’s entitlement to another persons body.

    • Imqrious2 says:

      More times than I care to remember 😖.

    • magnoliarose says:

      It is a societal issue and how we set up the “courting” process and what is expected of men and what is expected of women. During sexual encounters, some men resent that women have the power to rebuff their advances and become more persistent. It is accepted behavior. It is wrong, and we have to stop this signaling and stop raising sons to think this is how real men behave. It is as if their masculinity depends on scoring and getting as far as they can with a woman and not on their ability to respect those around them and in intimate situations.
      This is a moment to say something different and to tell men that this is not fine.
      You should not expect sex.
      Nonverbal cues are open to misinterpretation when it is easy to open your mouth and ask “Are you ok” merely to gauge the moment. Is this ok? or How are you about this?
      Does desire render their voiceboxes useless?
      When someone moves away from someone else, it is clear they are not fine, and a sensitive man knows this. Aziz didn’t want to recognize this. He overlooked it on purpose.
      At the heart of this is that Aziz looked at her as a fan to get some sexual pleasure from but never intended anything more. He stayed silent about this fact because he knew his leverage was her desire to get to know him and her fan feelings about him. If he had said upfront what he thought about their connection he knew there was a chance she wouldn’t have been interested.

      • H26 says:

        My son is 11. We have had the “what is sex” talk and we also discussed consent. I felt if he was ready to know what it was then he needed to start understanding consent, too.
        As he gets older, I will be having talks with him about coercion and reading signals. It’s my job to teach him this stuff. Mother’s are quite often their childrens 1st teachers. We have a lot of power to raise the men we want in the world.
        I read this story and felt conflicted. I remember this terrible date I had were the guy kept grabbing my face and shoving hos tounge in my mouth. I remember how cold and soft his hands were on my face, how uncomfortable I was but didn’t stop it. We were at a movie and I needed him to get back to my car when it was over. I never framed it as assult in my head just a “bad” date. But then why, 25 years later do I still remember the details and can’t stand to watch that movie if it comes on…

      • magnoliarose says:

        I feel same as a mother. We always talk about raising “good girls” and powerful daughters, but we never talk about what is expected to make a well-rounded man.
        I think it is accepted boys are more aggressive because they often get passes for their behavior and just keep being “boys”. No one tells them differently, so the stereotype of boys being unruly and wild becomes a fact. Only because it is not corrected. But we sharply tell girls not to behave the same way.
        It is hard to fight against the messages, but we have to.

        You are right. Those memories are so vivid because we knew they were wrong.

      • jwoolman says:

        Magnoliarose- a common plot line in sitcoms is a boy persistently pursuing a girl to be his girlfriend even though she keeps rebuffing him. The genders can be reversed and they make the girl pursue the boy. This plotline is used with young children as well as preteens and adolescents. It shows up repeatedly in live action shows and cartoons.

        The pursuit game is deeply embedded in our culture. This makes it especially important to teach girls and women how to effectively communicate that they really don’t want this. It has to become normal to just leave when a guy persists in trying to get her to do something that makes her uncomfortable. I think it is a stretch to assume that the guy always knows she is uncomfortable and doesn’t care. The whole culture has been telling him all his life that this is normal male behavior and the woman wants to be pursued. To break that conditioning, the woman has to be very clear verbally and ready to leave if he continues. Anything less will be most likely interpreted as wanting to be pursued.

        Guys can be dumb as a box of rocks about the nuances of such interactions. The ones who really are deliberately making the woman uncomfortable are dangerous and need to be dealt with very differently. But many and probably most can be educated.

    • Ronja says:

      Her account was too familiar unfortunately…

  8. Frosty Flakes says:

    So so so disappointed. Master of None season 2 was my favorite TV of last year. He MADE me like him – I wasn’t so bothered circa. Parks and Rec. Are there truly no good men out there? I should re-phrase: are there no good powerful and successful men out there? Does power/success always corrupt in this way?

  9. phaedra says:

    Wow. This sounds like literally every date I had in college that didn’t end in a relationship. And every date my friends had with an asshole. It’s kind of blowing my mind, in a good way, that this is all being called out for what it actually was. While it’s all depressing and awful, etc., maybe it’s good that as a culture we are finally, finally defining it for what it is: rape culture.

  10. sus says:

    The absence of “no” isn’t the same thing as “yes”. I would have hoped more people thought that way.

  11. QueenB says:

    Male feminist is a warning label.

    The way people are defending him is really bad. Of course he isnt as bad as Weinstein but there is always someone worse. Cosby is accused of rape by more women than Weinstein.

    Sadly he will likely get away with this if he drops out of the spot light for a bit. What can damage him though is his image, he tried to manipulate women into believing he was a guy that gets it so this is showing us he isnt. He just exploited all those talking points for money.
    Or like Noël Wells‏, who worked with him, tweeted:
    “the problem isn’t only that men can’t read social cues, or that they overstep boundaries, the problem is when women or their struggle are used as a commodity, for sex, status, convenience, or personal acclaim.”

    He used feminism to be relevant and lauded.

  12. Millennial says:

    I think many of us have been in Grace’s shoes, I know I have several times.

    Anyways, I certainly think it deserves to be discussed, too. It’s definitely time for consent culture.

    • savu says:

      Agreed. One instance in particular comes to mind, with a lot of alcohol for both of us, with someone I had been with before. I liked him. I liked the sex we had. I just didn’t feel like it in that exact moment. But I never gave him any indication of that. I should’ve. I didn’t feel violated or honestly, too bothered by it.

      You know what would quash so many of these experiences most of us have had? A question.

      “Are you up for this?”

      Giving the opportunity to say yes can be sexy, and the opportunity to say no without it being “a big deal” is huge.

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        I totally agree and men need to be taught to look for affirmative enthusiasm (as many people have said above). But, women also need to feel empowered to vocalize no loudly and clearly. To say knock it off, I’m not up for this. Hard, but really important because until men get that message, we’re going to have to stand up for ourselves

  13. six says:

    There is, of course, no excuse, men have to learn to take ‘no’ for an answer. Still, thinking about these stories of ‘dates gone bad’ does make me wonder about the role alcohol plays in these situations. Alcohol is known to make people less inhibited, it blurs the lines. Add to that the fact that young women often have more difficulty pointing out what their boundaries are, because they have less experience, as well as the macho-ness of many men (which is also, up to a point, traditionally expected of them) and you have a potentially very, very unpleasant mix.

  14. VecchiaSignora says:

    “clear non-verbal clues” pardon me, but what is that? You don’t want to do something, say NO, get up and leave. A bad date and poor sex doesn’t mean assault.

    • gabbie says:

      non verbal cues being she moved her hand off his crotch half a dozen times and he kept moving it back, for one.

      • LetItGo says:

        @gabbie

        What about the “non verbal cue” where she blew him twice?? Once after he pointed to his d* and made one of those silly questioning Aziz faces.

        I’m thinking when that happened Aziz is thinking she’ll be staying the night or for a few more hours anyway.

        They both need therapy. She needs to find her voice.

      • blogdis says:

        The most effective non verbal ” cue ” here would have been to Leave
        He gets no pass he is a creep and also a stranger it’s literally thier first date, he is not her boss or is she trying to get a job from him they have no emotional ties or entrenched power imbalance . At no time did he prevent her from leaving ,to be clear the onus to. Stop rape , sexual assault and sexual agression lies with MEN as they are the main perpetrators . sadly until that day comes adult women also need to be advocates for their personal safety ,

        As a survivor or childhood sexual abuse my self I find that it is hard to even suggest that where possible ( often times it is not ) women need to use thier agency and free will to ensure thier personal safety and comfort without being shouted down and called. A victim blamer

        On another forum a woman assumed I had no experience with being abused and angrily asked why should women have to change thier behaviors at all. My simp reply that she was right men are the ones that need to change but until that day comes we the ones left with the scars

        in addition to men needing to be resocialised , women need to be resocialised as well, Too many girls and women are being raised that regardless of the circumstances to always be polite, to want to be liked , never hurt someone’s feelings and to put others feelings ahead of our even when it’s clear that these creeps like Aziz don’t give a Fvck about you . This does not make us women responsible for our victimization but it can contribute to this type of scenario

        The sad thing is most woman have had at least one experience like this and IMO the Men are definitely in the wrong and this should never be normalized But in so many other instances of sexual assault , women rarely have the agency or free will to prevent thier assault so the few instances that we do it is important that we do so and not give a shit about whose feelings are going to be hurt. Ruffling feathers. Being liked a or any of the bullshit
        I just wish that could be apart of the convo without being labeled a rape apologist or a victim blamer

      • Arpeggi says:

        @LetItGo, going for oral sex is sometime, sadly, a mean to not have to do any other sexual act. If a person is scared, is afraid to make the other person angry if they say no or that they want to leave (and not knowing how said person will react if they get angry), some will think “if I go for oral, then maybe he/she will be satisfied and I won’t have to do any form of penetrating sex, they might fall asleep and then I’ll be able to leave”. It’s not great, but when you’re trying to negotiate your physical safety, you go for the least of the worst options you can think of. If you need to repeatedly push someone towards your genitals, there’s probably no sign of an enthusiastic yes there. Feeling coerced to perform any form of sexual act is assault.

        Most women and many men have been in this type of situation at least once. The fact that AA did not read the non-verbal and verbal cues she was trying to give him does not mean she didn’t try to give him those cues

    • Aang says:

      Not all women, especially one so young, have the confidence or strength to say no in that situation. We are conditioned to please, to want everyone to like us, to not make others upset or uncomfortable. It takes many women years beyond 22 to gain the ability to stand up and say “no” to so many things.

    • Millennial says:

      For me, just for kissing, it means: not kissing back, arms straight by my sides, making no eye contact, shrugging out of a hold, pulling away as soon as possible, and basically giving no cues that I’m into the experience.

      I think a lot of women do this because we hope our date will get the hint. But lots of men persist on.

      Many women say no, but many may not. Some may be too inebriated to think clearly. Some may be fearful of a confrontation. Others may have no other way to get home. Lots of reasons.

    • Aang says:

      I should add that I don’t think Ansari should be taken down for this. He was insensitive to her feelings but she is ultimately responsible for saying no. Doesn’t sound like she clearly did and doesn’t sound like he used physical force in any way. My point above is that we don’t teach girls how to say no.

      • Léna says:

        I said no during my entire rape. I didn’t stop him. So why don’t we teach men to hear NO instead ? And teach them to be decent human beings too while we’re at it.

      • Millennial says:

        I take issue with needing to teach girls to say no, as if this is solely something girls are responsible for. There’s no reason Aziz couldn’t have asked, “can I kiss you?” “Can I…?”

        I have a son (toddler) and when he’s older I plan to teach him to ask for permission at every “base” along the way. Its not hard to teach boys to ask for consent.

      • six says:

        Agreed, learning to say ‘no’ is indispensable in life, and no it does NOT mean that women bear the sole resonsibility for bring treated well. Men need indeed to hear ‘no’ as well, and hear it quickly

      • Aang says:

        She not claiming rape, she is claiming that she did something she didn’t feel comfortable doing because he didn’t pay attention to her cues. If at any time she clearly said stop I don’t want this and he physically forced her he ought to be in jail. If she worked in his industry and he offered her a job or threatened to take one away he should be blacklisted. I’ll teach my daughter to protect herself, to feel empowered to say no at any point, to not care if it hurts his feelings or makes him tink she is a tease, instead of waiting for anyone’s son to ask step by step by step. I live in reality, not a psa commercial. Just because we shouldn’t have to do something doesn’t mean we don’t have to do it.

      • Domino says:

        Since when is sex only about one party’s feelings? It is about enjoyment and in some places teenagers are actually taught in school health /sex Ed to look at their partners, ask them how they are enjoying the act.

        Sex isn’t something ‘done to one party by the other.’ And when you frame it as something women need to be on their guard about, that isn’t healthy either, it breeds fear around sex.

        I know we probably won’t agree, but that is ok.

      • six says:

        I agree with you completely AANG

      • blogdis says:

        @ Lena
        My heart goes out to you as a fellow survivor myself , you are correct saying no wont automatically prevent assault and it is the men that need to change ! The harsh reality is that there will be many instances like yours and others when a woman will not have the agency or free will to stop her assault which is why in instances like this with Aziz, where a woman is free to say no and to leave ( which she eventfully did ) we need to socialize more of our girls to do so and stop putting other people’s feelings ahead of our own.ii

        Also as sad as this is in the unlikely even that your rapist actually goes to trial the fact that you said no can work in your favor, not because it’s absence means consent but unfortunately most juries still don’t grasp consent and are less likely to convict in the absence of a verbal No ( infuriating but true )

    • Beth says:

      22 is very young. I had a very similar experience in my early 20′s, I’m sure many of us did. You still want the guy to like you so you mumble and turn away or act coy instead of just saying straight up no or leaving. I think it’s interesting that after she left to use the bathroom and told him she wanted to slow things down she chose to remain naked while watching tv with him – or at least that’s how it reads in the article. I think he sounds like a total creep in this account but it also does sound like there could have been clearer communication.

    • Anon33 says:

      STOP NORMALIZING RAPE CULTURE. ITS NOT THAT HARD.

    • eelizabeth says:

      VECCHIASIGNORA, THANK YOU. This, exactly.

      “If at any time she clearly said stop I don’t want this and he physically forced her he ought to be in jail. “
      AANG, I agree with you.

    • six says:

      @LadyT You are so right! This a million times. I think women in general can benefit from learning to say ‘no’ in every area of their lives, when necessary. Especially so because often saying ‘no’ is difficult. Why should it be different where sex is concerned?

  15. gabbie says:

    franco’s response was better than his. awful reply.

  16. PPP says:

    “I think what bothers me is “upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable.” Do men actually have to sit there and think about this, hours later, days later and only then do they realize that they’ve acted like total creeps?”

    If only they thought about it afterward. I listened to Dan Harmons bog apology podcast, and I don’t necessarily want to applaud the guy for basic honesty, but it’s just so far beyond any trickle of honesty we’ve gotten from any other men about this. The take away I got from listening to him is this behavior is perpetuated by the fact that men just don’t spend two seconds thinking about what it’s like for us. They can’t be bothered.

    What strikes me about this situation is that in talking to the girl over text later, and in his statement, I actually buy that he didn’t realize how badly he was behaving. I’ve had dates like this. I’ve had the iterated “No,” “Oh, I guess that means wait a few minutes and try it again” experiences, and I am the girl who will angrily end the encounter and tell the guy what he’s done wrong, and routinely, the response is shock and sadness and defensiveness and sometimes shame. So either these guys are really great actors, or they are profoundly ignorant, and it’s because they can’t be bothered to think of us as human beings.

    Another thing Harmon said is that he couldn’t have behaved towards Megan Ganz the way he did if he’d had basic respect for women. He respected a few women in his life as being exceptional, but generally couldn’t be bothered to think of the rest as human, and I think that might be true of Aziz here, who seems to have good, respectful relationships with women.

    The really frustrating thing to see about how incredibly defensive guys are about this issue is, it’s such a roadblock to the kind of thinking men need to do to change this dynamic between men and women. Women think about men ALL THE TIME. When a guy propositions us, we’re thinking about how hard it is to get rejected and what his feelings are going to be and we’re all about managing the situation in order to procure the best outcome for a guy. We are so far up the ass of the male mentality that we will have sex with a guy even when we don’t want to, even when it’s painful, because we think it’s such a sin to give him blue balls.

    It’s just profound, the difference in how much time men and women spend thinking about each other.

    • BaronSamedi says:

      You are so spot on about this. It’s so easy and pat to just go “Have some empathy, goddammit!” when the culture has been enabling exactly this kind of behaviour forever. Men just have zero incentive to really question themselves because they don’t get called on it and it ultimately has no benefit for them.

      Just the fact that sooo many of us have been on this exact kind of date before says it all. And how many of us actually do get back to the asshole dates with explicit reasons why we don’t ever want to see them again.

      What also struck me reading this account was how much of it was straight out of porn. It read like he was going down some checklist of moves, like he was playing out some sexy fantasy in his head and she was just the living, breathing sex doll he was enacting his moves on?

      Isn’t it actually scary how little about women and sex this supposedly intelligent, successful adult man seems to know that he just busts out some porn moves and thinks that’s hot?

      We really still have to have so many conversations and this kind of account really is the perfect set-up for it.

    • Bridget says:

      It’s not clear here, but in the original statement it’s her text that says that.

      • LetItGo says:

        @bridget

        Thank you for pointing this out.

        “Grace,” is the one who implied it stated “upon further reflection,” and that “it may have seemed okay,” in her texts afterward to him.

        If the woman is admitting that he may not have known what she was thinking or feeling, you can’t expect a stranger you’ve just met to figure it out through telepathy. Yes he wanted sex, and what she was giving in the way of foreplay led him to believe she would have sex. It’s true most men won’t differentiate between capitulation, resignation and whole hearted passion- but frankly can we as women really expect a first date/stranger to care?

        This should never have been aired publicly. It’s a hard lesson for them both. For her- seek therapy, improve self preservation skills and learn to use your words. Examine why she cared about pleasing him, and her own motivations. For him, gain explicit permission and lay out expectations immediately in a diplomatic way when dealing equity women/strangers you’re attempting to have sex with. This encounter traumatized her that night and may have ruined his career.

      • Bridget says:

        I am not particularly worried about Ansari’s career. He’ll be fine.

        But what frustrates me is young women being too passive to actually use the word “no” and simply relying on non-verbal cues and hoping that a man gets the hint. In a broader picture, it’s an important life skill, and instead of expecting men to become less assertive, we need to teach women to become MORE. At work, in our romantic lives. Reading about the encounter, it was a terrible date, and yet at literally no point did this woman speak up for herself. It truly worries me if this is how a generation of women has been raised.

      • PPP says:

        @Bridget- two things can be true. Women should learn to say “no” clearly, for sure. But I think it’s totally fair to say if the woman you’re with keeps pushing you off her, she’s not enjoying what you’re doing.

        Men and women are really socialized at cross-purposes. Men are taught that obtaining sex is central to their identity. Women are taught that being sexually pure is central to their identity. Men are taught to aggressively pursue what they want and not listen to “no” (in, for instance, business contexts, but it’s also for sure the rom-com trope); women are taught to be accommodating and permissive.

        Acknowledging this can help us understand both sides.

        But it’s really only one side that suffers for it.

      • Bridget says:

        I think that he’s a gross creep, there is no doubt there. But that’s also independent of the fact that I find it frustrating that in that scenario she couldn’t bring herself to loudly and clearly say “no”. Her text the next day said it all.

    • magnoliarose says:

      Thoughtful comment PPP.
      I do believe this is part of accepted rape culture and the way men are conditioned to think of intimate encounters.
      But I don’t want women to give up their power in these situations and expect the man to behave with honor before setting boundaries.

    • jwoolman says:

      She was the one who said that “upon further reflection”, I think. At least it reads that way to me, but it also could be read as you say, that after he got her text he began to realize she wasn’t comfortable.

      She probably wasn’t entirely sure what she felt about it at the time, not uncommon either. I don’t know what exactly she was expecting from him, though, and what she thought would happen if she went with him back to his place. They really didn’t know each other very well, and she was actually the one who pursued him initially. Scads of room for major communication breakdown.

      I just realized he was the one who texted her first the next day, saying it was fun to meet her. So he wasn’t the stereotypical guy who never calls you afterward… But that does suggest he really was not aware that she was uncomfortable until she said so.

  17. Ramona Q. says:

    Is he saying “upon MY further reflection,” or “upon HER further reflection”? I read it as “upon her further reflection she felt uncomfortable.”

  18. Lucy2 says:

    This one is surprising and very disappointing to me.
    I’m very sorry for what this young woman has gone through, it’s an all too familiar situation to far too many.

  19. Deets says:

    Men have whined for years that they aren’t mind readers, how could they ever understand body language, they need clear no’s. (Ed note: said no sex repeatedly, still raped, so this never worked for me)
    Now I see the opposite, men whining that how should everything be verbally requested, talking it out that’s so ridiculous.

    I’m left with the impression that some men just like raping. They really don’t give a shit if the woman enjoys it. Sex is only for their enjoyment, their bedpost notch list, their orgasm, something to crow about later. So what does it matter if the woman is doing it to make you go away, to avoid something worse, or just because she’s given up and is worn down.

    The root cause is treating sex like it’s something owed you, a status symbol. Not like something you do with a partner for mutual enjoyment. It’s seen as something taken, or won.

    • Anon33 says:

      This times a million. Yup, exactly. Some of them like to rape, want to rape, and don’t want anything to change the culture that supports them being rapists.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Men are, by and large, duplicitous. There’s too much going on in my head right now to unload, but they cry, “I can’t read your mind. What is body language and non-verbal cues.” We should all know that’s bullshit. Men write novels, direct movies, become psychiatrists, doctors of all kinds, they spy, conduct reconnaissance and profile in untold daily activities and professions. Nobody can convince me of their far-too-much-relied-on obliviousness. At the same time, we need to speak up loud and with urgency whenever we are uncomfortable or in a compromising position. I understand being young and embarrassed. I remember passing out drunk only to awake finding my friends forcefully prying a predator off my unconscious body before, thank GOD, penetration. These situations are sickening, but what’s equally sickening is painting black and white scenarios. Each and every story has a unique beginning and end… our fingerprints are our own. Men need to learn a new day is dawning and the locker room is being redesigned and redecorated.

      • Domino says:

        Yes, Mabs. Also, this article says what you are saying, it is definitely worth a read, about the myth of the male Bumbler:

        http://theweek.com/articles/737056/myth-male-bumbler

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        Omg, Domino, that article had me loling. Albeit in a sad but triumphant way. I hope it touches many.

      • Deets says:

        I’m sorry Mabs, that must have been incredibly disorienting and frightening, and should never have happened. I’m glad you had friends looking out for you.

        I agree that times ar changing. It’s time for men to realize that aggressively pushy may be a fun story to tell your bros, how you overcame all objections, what a sexy stud beast you were, but it really means that you left a woman feeling violated and confused. That shit, the shit Aziz did, it needs to stop. And young men and women need to be trained in this well before they become sexually active.

        When we are sexually aroused our ability to think critically and logically is severely hampered. Studies sometimes call this a ‘hot’ state. Men are more likely to rape when in a ‘hot’ state because of this, and all people are more likely to partake in risky behaviours . We need counter programming to help with that.
        We need consent to be so automatic, so habitual, that even hot, it doesn’t get overriden.

        Domino, the male bumbler is a ‘favourite’ myth of mine, thank you for sharing that article. Such a good read. Perfect for those who’d rather believe a pleasant faced abuser is kind and ignorant, not manipulative and hurtful. “The bumbler takes one of our culture’s most muscular myths — that men are clueless — and weaponizes it into an alibi”

      • msd says:

        The point men about body language and non verbal cues being tricky is broadly fine but it drives me nuts how selectively it is applied. The same men will confidently talk about a woman coming on to them … she looked at me, she talked to me, she played with her hair, she bat her eyelashes, she accepted a drink. They’re cool with verbal cues and body language when it suits them and conveniently ignore or claim not to understand, cues if it interferes with having sex.

  20. Léna says:

    Men are stupid. Last night in a french talk show, a man came to talk about “how difficult it had became to be a man since the #metoo movement started”. At first I thought “Idiot, if you’re not an ass**** then you don’t have to change how you behave towards women”. After a night of thinking, every men should reflect more on how they behave towards women, maybe it should become harder for them, for once to think about how they think about women (all of them, not only their wifes, daughters, mothers etc..)

    • jwoolman says:

      I’ve worked mainly with men, and my conclusion at an early age was that you have to hit men over the head with a hammer. Really, they are trained to be clueless and to keep the blinders on, especially about male-female interactions.

      One male friend said that he had been a proverbial sexist pig (well, it was the 1970s) until his now-wife talked seriously with him about her own experiences and reactions. That opened his eyes and changed his attitudes.

      So we can put down the hammer with the guys who actually do open their ears and engage brains when we talk. But we have to talk. Girls need to be taught that thinking men will pick up on nonverbal cues is naive. Few men are naturally that sensitive to such things (hence the many men who rely on their wives to explain what’s happening in social interactions) and I imagine the physiological changes during sexual arousal make them even less observant. (Mother Nature wants us all to be pregnant early and often, after all.)

      You have to tell them directly to cut it out or else you’ll have to leave, and then carry through with that threat if necessary. If you feel unsafe doing that, then you have an entirely different problem and I strongly suggest kicking or hitting him hard in a certain sensitive place and while he is doubled over with pain – running like hell while calling 911 on your cell phone.

      I do think that Aziz would have responded to being told she would have to leave if he didn’t stop pushing, though. But he needed to be told. Everything else she was doing all evening was interpreted as her wanting him to persist, that she came to his place for sex. Heck, guys think we want to have sex with them if we just smile kindly at them. We need to teach our boys differently, but until those lessons permeate the culture – we have to take the lead.

  21. msd says:

    To people saying this kind of thing will bring down a movement … no, just no. It’s not that fragile. The “witch hunt” crowd will seize on it but hey, they would anyway.

    This kind of coercion, where the person you’re with doesn’t care if you want to or not, is something women commonly experience. It’s important that we talk about it too so that women don’t feel like it doesn’t matter or isn’t wrong or should be accepted.

    Some people may take issue with her publicly calling him out after she brought it up privately but that’s because he wore that #timesup pin with absolutely no self awareness. He’s like many men I suspect; they think that because they aren’t Harvey Weinstein they’re good guys. I seriously doubt this will end his career (unless it’s a serial offence) but the public shaming is deserved.

    • Domino says:

      Yes, I agree. Also, Caitlin Flanagan sucks. I remember reading her in high school where she argued about women wanting to stay at home and be lazy and how feminism was denying them that right or something.

      She is peak rich white woman feminism and I am embarrassed for the Atlantic that they publish her and a bunch of other crap journalists like Meghan McArdle, David Frum, that woman who published a what about the men falsely accused of rape article.

    • Ronja says:

      Well said. His statemnt just highlights how he still doesn’t get it and why we still need to talk about this persistence, pushiness, that also plays into the social conditioning of men chasing women and women wanting to please, be seen as nice.

  22. Godwina says:

    Have been waiting for this one since his AWESOME show took a misogynistic asshole “nice guy” turn towards the end of the second season, but was couched as anything but. It squicked me and some other female friends (and fans) out, and now I sit here very unsurprised. I used to love this guy.

  23. serena says:

    I was so upset when this news came out. I believe her, of course, but this makes me feel even more hopeless, seems like there really is no saving this world.

  24. Bridget says:

    As women, we can agree that many of us have had an encounter like this at some point. But I am extremely uncomfortable condemning someone on the basis of “you didn’t read my non-verbal cues”. If we want someone to glean consent solely from non-verbal cues, then we need to acknowledge which non-verbal cues are saying “yes” – and that clearly doesn’t work.

  25. tracking says:

    First of all, I believe her. And I agree with Kaiser and other posters that this is precisely the sort of behavior that fuels rape culture over consent culture, and it’s especially disappointing coming from a man who was supposedly ‘woke.’ He exploited his power, tied to his celebrity, wealth, and age, to pressure a young woman into sex acts she did not want. It also illustrates, very sadly, the ways in which young women are conditioned to please in order to get people to “like” them. Because it’s hard for many to understand why she did not say a clear and emphatic NO and get her @ss out of there. All of this is a function of patriarchal culture that is very much alive and well. STILL, despite his gross, dishonorable behavior, I do not think it’s fair to Ansari to classify this as sexual assault. It is very tough to draw the line between sexual pressure and assault. I don’t think they should be equated, especially in a case where he was not her boss and she was apparently free to leave at any time. But he should damn well acknowledge his entitled, pressuring, objectifying behavior, which does exist on the rape culture continuum. No, he’s not at the top of the continuum like Matt Lauer or Harvey Weinstein, but his behavior was similarly exploitative, objectifying, and lacking in empathy. The fact that he doesn’t understand why it’s a problem is a damn shame. This would be a fine teaching moment if he in fact genuinely cared about this issue, which he apparently does not. I would not automatically cancel him for this if he showed a willingness to learn from it, but I will cancel him based on his response. And we need to teach our girls that sexual empowerment begins with NO, regardless of the fact that our porn-saturated hookup culture tries to indoctrinate them to the contrary. And our boys that consent means an eager YES, none of this ‘mixed signals’ bullshit. We also really need to discuss the problem of celebrity worship.

  26. Derpy says:

    Ok imma be the asshole

    I’m female and I myself wouldn’t qualify this as assault.
    Creepy and harassing yes a shitty date yes. He also sounds like he has no idea what he is doing sexually and was bumbling around.

    I think the metoo movement is great but I also think the movement needs some male allys for it to be realized by men (I’m not talking about Aziz) and they may not always be perfect ally’s.

    • OG OhDear says:

      Yeah, I’m struggling with this also. It seems like they both had different expectations for what the date was going to be like and that there were a lot of wires crossed. Plus he (1) did stop when she verbally said no (and if I remember correctly, had actually asked for her consent to perform certain acts) and (2) seemed to acknowledge that he behaved terribly and apologize when she called him out on it. I can see why she felt violated, but I also get the arguments that he was more clueless (albeit with problematic assumptions which he may or may not have learned from after she called him out) than deliberate.

      That being said, someone did post that there are whispers of other less ambiguous accusations about there, so we’ll see.

  27. Joy says:

    You mean a dude used feminism just to further his comedy schtick and he doesn’t REALLY respect women? Color me shocked.

  28. Snowed In says:

    At the risk of having everyone jump down my throat, what I am struggling with when t comes to stories like this or like Mark Wahlberg’s is that we are putting all the ownership on men. WE need to be stronger, more vocal. Is Wahlberg a jerk? Yes, but he did exactly what he needed to do to look out for himself. Was Williams a saint for just going along and filming for low cost? Yes, but in the end, that was HER choice. All th side commentary about “how she would be viewed” is bs. If she wanted it, she should have asked for it.

    Grace’s story shows me something. We DO have the power to emphatically say no and to leave. (I”m talking about this case specifically, with a nonviolent offender.) Is he a creep for continuously trying to put her hand on him? Yes, he’s gross and sounds like a terrible sexual partner. But I really struggle with the exchange of oral sex, continuing to stay naked on the couch across the room, and bending over for him, as a clear sign that you don’t want this. He got her home when she wanted to leave and apologized when she said she was uncomfortable the next day. Does that mean we all can publically destroy others when we find ourselves in situations that we put ourselves in and ultimately regret?

    • Aoife says:

      Totally agree. There isn’t always perfect “non-verbal” communication between partners, especially when they have just met and have been drinking. There were definitely mixed messages, according to her account, and what he did should not make him “cancelled”, in my opinion.

    • KatieBo says:

      I completely agree. It’s a tricky subject to speak around, this was so well articulated. Thank you! +1

    • Domino says:

      1) On Michelle Williams, as lightpurple, a lawyer who works on harassment and employment issues said, the studio left itself open for a lawsuit by paying wahlberg more but not Williams.

      It is the EMPLOYER’s fault when there is a huge pay disparity between men and women. Don’t blame Williams.

      2) I think this woman is perfectly free to speak up as she feels. Aziz is a broken stair (thank you detritus). He is a creep with power who acts on it, which is what makes a man an assaulter. after reading this story, I would absolutely avoid him.
      (http://theweek.com/articles/737056/myth-male-bumbler)

      As someone above said – if men can write novels, screen plays, love songs, poetry, newspaper articles, serve in congress, act, be fathers, friends, barring the inability to read non verbal cues like the autistic boy in the incident of the dog in the night time, they can understand a woman is not into them when she says I am not having a good time.

      Grace made it clear, don’t make excuses for ansari.

      • Snowed In says:

        Still no. I’m sorry, but why is our employers job to look out for us? We NEED to take charge of us. We have to, if anything, thisbmovement should show that we as women need to be more vocal and go after what we want.

      • Domino says:

        Lightpurple explained that in a legal sense, it is up to the employers to pay people equally, and she looks at the employers’ records with gender pay disparity to make her case. She doesn’t blame the people getting paid less for not asking for more in a court of law.

        Iceland just passed a law making it illegal to pay women less than men, I don’t understand why you think your individual negotiation, and that of every other woman, is a better option than that.

    • Deets says:

      If you use verbal rejection, predators will just say your body language was mixed.

      I said no, numerous times, to my rapist, over the course of an evening. He was handsome and charming, but it’s a no for me dawg, because PinV sex hurts me. Later that night he forcibly penetrated me against my wishes.

      I was loud, clear, strong. I said no.
      I still got raped, and the boundaries he broke messed me up more than the more direct sexual assaults ever did.

      Stop putting the onus on women, because even when we do it right, we still get the raw deal. The onus should me on men to stop treating sex like it’s a thing for their enjoyment only.

      • Snowed In says:

        I’m sorry this happened to you.

        My point was with nonviolent offenders. Clearly your case is not what I was referring to.

        There needs to be onus on both parts, men and women, and I don’t think we as women should just point fingers and not look st our own roles in situations. He was not holding her against her will. She performed repeated sex acts on him. I’m sorry, it I really struggle with why (beyond him being sexually gross) is solely in the wrong here.

  29. anon says:

    when did it become ok to put your fingers down someone’s throat, during sex? isn’t sex supposed to be romantic , even if it’s on a first date? exceptions being if someone agrees for bdsm. how does someone think it’s consensual when you are sticking your fingers down someone’s throat???

    • LetItGo says:

      I read this as a bit of hyperbole on here part, afterall, actually ‘down her throat,’ would have meant she probably would have vomited all over him, bringing the whole lousy date to a quick end.

      It sounds more like he was a doing some. patented p0rn move- wetting his fingers with her saliva so that they’d be lubricated enough to stick elsewhere. Gross. But apparently and sadly someone has led Aziz to think this is a hot move. I suspect those women didn’t say anything to him about his terrible ‘technique.’

      • BlueNailsBetty says:

        Clearly his sexual moves were learned from watching stupid movie sex scenes and porn. I seriously doubt he has much real life experience.

      • jwoolman says:

        I was thinking myself that maybe he doesn’t get out much… You might be right that he was imitating porn he’s seen.

        Is he really as powerful as some people here are saying? I’ve never thought of him that way. He has had some success and most likely has accumulated a nice amount of money, but he hardly seems like a Hollywood power player. He has a niche, basically. He was rather stupid to bring a fan home the first day they met (fortunately she seems like an okay person), and his text the next day seemed like he was showing some interest in continuing the relationship. Maybe he’s never had a groupie type experience before?

  30. Franny Days says:

    ‪A lot of girls I know took a class called “Women’s Self Defense” in college. Maybe there needs to be a “What is Consent?” course offered as well? For both men and women. ‬

  31. Naptime says:

    I have never, and would never, gone home with a guy I wasn’t interested in getting to know physically. For what? Scrabble? Gimme a break on this.

    • Domino says:

      I have done it to make out. That is my netflix and chill. I don’t see why it is a big deal. What you are saying seems like some new age version of, he bought me dinner so I have to have sex with him.

      You can set your own standards and it is entirely ok.

      • Bridget says:

        I don’t think it’s at all saying that she went up so she neeed to put out. Rather, that she was sending a non-verbal signal that she was at least interested in the prospect of sexual contact (and non-verbal signals are a part of what we’re discussing here).

      • Naptime says:

        That’s exactly what I’m saying. Obviously he wanted to at the least make out with her, and by going with him, especially after “ending dinner quickly,” I don’t think it was a stretch or a violation for him to assume she was into it, too. I’ve had plenty of yuck first dates and I assure you that they never ever ended up back at his place.

      • nb says:

        It’s well known that the ‘let’s go back to my place’ line means at the very least a kiss or something physical could take place, whether making out or full on sex. It sounds like he got really excited about this and thought that by going home with him she was consenting, in some regard, to sexual acts that may or may not culminate in full on sex. He was probably really attracted to her and thought that what they were doing was really hot – IE, immediately making out, taking clothes off in the kitchen, etc. It’s like something you see in a movie or on a soap opera.

    • Deets says:

      No?
      Well if you didn’t, I guess we should all follow your incredibly commen sense approach of ignoring real words in favour of tired cliches.

      For myself, I try to assume when a man or anyone else says, just to hangout, that’s what they mean. Weird.

  32. Marty says:

    I know it can be difficult for some reading her account and think well “why did she do that or she should’ve just left” but that’s part of the problem. Male entitlement has become so engrained in our culture, that the responsibility of consent has fallen solely on our shoulders. She made the fact that she was uncomfortable clear, but all Ansari could think of was trying to f**k her, he didn’t care about her feelings, he saw as a goal, and objective to be won over. He never stopped to realize, or cared enough, to think about what she wanted. Everything was about him, and because the women didn’t shout NO at the top of her lungs and storm out, its her fault he’s an insensitive creep?!

    We have a looooong way to go, ladies.

  33. Melior says:

    True, PPP. It’s all about selfishness and lack of empathy on the men’s part. But at the same time, traditionally they have been encouraged to act not think about feelings. we need a paradigm shift in mentalities and teach the youth not to disconnect sex from respect for the other person

  34. jjrox says:

    I know some will say this is victim blaming and go for it if you feel that way. I’m going to get out how I feel because this situation seems like a very bad date where two people crossed signals in a big way.
    The part I struggle with is that she expected him to understand her non verbal ques after knowing each other for…what… like a day? My husband has known me for over ten years and misses my non verbal ques all the time.
    Also, she didn’t pick up on any of his non verbal ques? Oyster bar. His apartment. Oral sex. Fingers in the mouth. I mean he all but shouted at her that he wanted to have sex. I don’t see how she didn’t know what he wanted and if it truly wasn’t what she wanted she should have left, full stop. She takes no responsibility for her action or lack of action and now has set about trying to ruin his career.

  35. Ladyhands says:

    I’m struggling here like a few of you. It’s really the non-verbal cues that I’m having a hard time with. She was excited to meet him and pursued him, she went to his apartment and did not leave when he continually put her hand on his penis. It sounds like there were definitely mixed messages being sent. I just don’t get it honestly. I’ve never put myself in a position like this. I’ve read every comment and I still just do not understand. Why stay? He wasn’t forcing her to. Why stay somewhere that makes you feel so terrible?

  36. Katherine says:

    Oh thank god. I’ve read so many tweets about how Grace is overreacting etc that I wasn’t even sure you guys would be supportive. I’ve been in a few situations where the guy I was on a date with tried to coerce me into having sex with him and I had to fight him off. Like, saying I wasn’t into it and nothing is gonna happen wasn’t enough of a no for them, I had to fight them off!! Like, wtf??? They were good guys, too. Like, so the other guys that I was into having sex with – would I have to fight them off too?? The tweets saying Grace’s experience was nothing to cry about made me shudder – if men, people, society think this is ok, then I really don’t like the world we are living in.

  37. noway says:

    I am saying all of this as the mother of a teenage girl who I would advise this way. First I applaud her for actually writing him and telling him how his actions made her feel. That was brave and really may have saved some other girl from feeling the same way, because yes I honestly believe he had no clue.

    My first piece of advice is just because you think you know your date, because they are a celebrity or even if you know them in another setting you don’t really know them. People put on images all the time. They could be totally different. She got a clue from the controlling wine thing, and it bothered her enough to remember it. Listen to your gut, don’t expect what you saw on tv or at the office or wherever you know them from this is a different relationship. Remember Maya Angelou’s quote when someone shows you who they are listen. Second all people are different. There are women and men out there who would have loved the controlling way he was and even the constant pursuit. I know it is hard to fathom to some, but there are people for everything out there. Blame 50 shades of Grey or it’s ilk if you like, but millions of women see and like that kind of stuff, so I can see how some men may be confused, and a celebrity or powerful man who has women dropping at his feet probably more than other men would be more likely to be confused. Finally, this is my fervent plea to all young women out there and this line broke my heart, please it’s 2018 never unless forced by physical violence feel pressured to give oral sex, or in this case it sounded like she thought she could maybe get out quicker if she did it. No don’t do that just get out. His response to her messages leads me to believe he really didn’t understand her cues and probably wasn’t trying to assault her, but the next person may not do that and this was bad but it could be worse.

    Now I know some will say I’m blaming the victim, but I’m not. All people, even men, have a risk of being sexually assaulted, and will even if the MeToo movement results in equal pay and less sexual harassment for all. There will still be victims and perpetrators. We all need to protect ourselves.

    These kind of stories do muddy the MeToo movement a bit, but I think they are important. As much as some on here can’t believe he didn’t realize how she felt, I think there is a very big possibility this is the case, and we need to teach both men and women how to communicate better. The problem is when you try to conflate these with Weinstein and some of the others, it just isn’t the same, but it does serve a purpose to know.

    • BlueNailsBetty says:

      This is how I feel. I think they both gave signals and they both ignored signals. He wanted to get laid. She wanted to be romanced and wanted him to sweep her off her feet. He tried to change her. She tried to change him.

      He’s an immature manchild with the sexual prowess of a twelve year old boy who watched Porky’s one too many times. She is an immature girl who still believes Hollywood romcoms are real.

      They bothed fucked up.

      • tracking says:

        Although I agree with your read on the clash of POVs, due to the power and experience differential, I do not think the screw-ups can be considered equal. And only one was actually harmful to another human’s wellbeing.

      • BlueNailsBetty says:

        @Tracking

        Where was the power differential? She didn’t work for him. She didn’t say she was hoping he would help her in a career. I may have missed something so I’m genuinely asking. I read it as her being starstruck and having a crush on him so she pursued him.

        As for being harmed, she had bad sex. Her body wasn’t properly prepared because neither of them know what the heck they are doing when it comes to sex.

        Again, I think they both should accept responsibility for this mess. She went off to have sex with a man she didn’t know and is mad it didn’t end up a fairytale experience. I’m not judging her for being willing to have sex with him. People have stranger sex/one night stands/whatever all the time. Those encounters are about sexual pleasure and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, as she now knows, when she has sex with a stranger, she needs to know what to do to make it pleasurable for herself.

      • Deets says:

        Lol, no power differential, she didn’t work with him, crisis averted!

        There is more than one way to create a power differential, and if you don’t believe that he had the power to help or hinder her career, as a wealthy and famous man, you are kidding yourself.

        Stop writing off these types of actions, you are contributing to a culture that views women and their sexuality as commodities for the taking, or their virtue as something to defend. These sexual scripts are dangerous and contribute to assault.

        Women don’t need to break the Rosetta Stone to understand what he ‘really’ means. Cosmo’s been trying that bunk for decades with little result, because the problem isn’t that we said no too quietly, or shied away instead of screaming, or didn’t flee immediately. What women really need is for men to grow up and take responsibility for their actions.

        That includes recognizing when they have taken advantage of a power differential. That includes recognizing when they pressure someone into something they do not want.

        Amd a grown ass man who writes for a living and plays with words for a living, he should be especially aware of these nuances.

      • perplexed says:

        I think the date sounded awful and he is most likely not as sensitive as he’d want people to think, but I didn’t see anything in this account about him using career advancement as a way to persuade her to do something. There didn’t seem to be an implied transaction involved (i.e. you do this for me, I’ll do this for you). In that sense, I don’t think he used his position as a wealthy, famous man in the way other wealthy, famous men have tried to get women to do something they didn’t want to do.

        What I gleaned from this account is that he’s gross in his interactions with women and it’s disappointing to learn he’s not what he’s sold himself to be image-wise; beyond that, however, I have no idea how to classify what he did in terms of misconduct, harassment, or anything on that level or moving beyond that. This is one of those grey-area accounts that confuse me (and I could see being made into a Law and Order episode). I think he may have pressured her, and she didn’t know how to execute her own will. But the pressure he applied seems to be the kind a non-wealthy, non-famous person might have tried to apply as well. Even if he worked at a grocery store, I could see him (and other men) behaving the same way. That doesn’t make it right — I just don’t know if it fits into the same category as what Matt Lauer was trying to do with women.

      • tracking says:

        His age, experience, and celebrity (constructing his reputation as a nice “woke” guy) resulted in the power differential. It doesn’t need to be strictly transactional, and I didn’t say it was. All of these things enabled him to pressure her for sex when she said no verbally and non-verbally in a variety of ways. He’s not an idiot; he chose to disregard her anxiety and lack of enthusiasm because he wanted to get laid, regardless of her feelings.

  38. Bella says:

    This is why I hate men. My hubby was the only good guy I met and the rest of men can go eat dust.

  39. Tan says:

    Not surprised.

    Never liked him.
    His show is not that funny .

    And his face reminds me of my abusive ex.

    He also pretented to be woke and ally and all the while being an egotistic patriarchal jerk.

    Better late than never.

  40. Mia4s says:

    So I don’t discount anyone who is struggling with how to view this. I would point out though that there are some whispers that hers is not the only story about this guy. For that reason, I am waiting to hear more for now. This could be an opportunity for discussion and growth…or this could be a lot worse than this one situation. We will see.

  41. Ally says:

    To everyone worrying about him here, look at it this way. Like the sh—y media men list, this serves as a warning to other women that Ansari has this approach to foreplay and can’t read non-verbal cues like someone repeatedly shoving his hands away. PSA!

    If it’s fine, then it shouldn’t be a problem to talk about it. But all his future potential dates appreciate the info.

    The ‘liberal’ men upset by this (your Glenn Thrushes, editors of Harper’s, Catherine Deneuve’s buddies, etc.) are upset precisely because the element of surprise and blind insistence (and embarrassed tolerance on the part of the woman) is key to these maneuvers. So again, PSA!

  42. teacakes says:

    Anyone who wants to use ‘cultural diversity’ as a defence for Aziz can just f–k off and keep f–king off.

    I was in a similar situation in my early twenties – went to a guy’s house, he made an advance (not nearly as crude as Aziz), I pushed him off me and moved away from him and….. he respected the non-verbal no, didn’t try to make me feel bad about it, didn’t come on to me again, didn’t make me feel scared or unsafe, and treated me like a human being and not a piece of meat (we actually watched tv together). Side note – he was Indian.

    So Aziz the self-identified ‘sensitive male feminist’ gets ZERO slack from me for being brown in this situation, he knew damn well what he was doing and how not to do it.

  43. Tallia says:

    I read the text she wrote and I thought she expressed herself very well and was to the point.

  44. marianne says:

    “I think what bothers me is “upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable.” Do men actually have to sit there and think about this, hours later, days later and only then do they realize that they’ve acted like total creeps?”

    I dont think he meant that he had to sit and think about it, that was part of what she had texted him. At least thats how I read it.

    Also, I dont think this case is necessarily open and shut. Because I think she has a right to feel uncomfortable or violated but at the same time, she could have said “No” or “Stop”. But at the same time, he probably could tell that she wasnt comfortable or enthusiastic about what was happening and should have taken a moment to ask if it was ok to go further. Hopefully he did learn from their conversation they had. Im not out here to vilify the man. if turns out he continued this behavior…well then perhaps its time to re-evaluate if this guy is worth a second chance.

  45. Jussayin says:

    I think I’m going to get a lot of hate for saying this but it’s stories like this where things get blurry. Women have been told for so long to ‘play hard to get’ and ‘don’t give it up too quickly or he won’t respect you’. If a woman has sex too soon, she risks being called a slut or a whore. Plenty of guys are well aware if this and so they push and push, thinking it’s all part of some game. Well maybe it is but what about those times when it isn’t and the woman really isn’t interested? It would be so great if we could move past all of this and women could have sex without fear of being shamed, while men knew that if she says no, it really means no and not that she’s playing hard to get.

    I don’t think we should hate Aziz for this. He behaved like an idiot but I think this is a time of education and transitioning for both men and women.

    • Harryg says:

      Well I hate him for this. This is really creepy disturbing behavior.

    • tracking says:

      And if he showed a sincere interest in becoming educated about this, I might not hate on him. But he didn’t. Not really.

    • YouGotToGo says:

      And many women genuinely don’t want to have sex for a myriad of reasons that have nothing to do with “playing hard to get”

      Sexless marriages tropes exist which clearly have nothing to do with women’s desire to appear chaste. The notion of men shunning sex with other men solely on account of homophobia also exists but you don’t see gay men going around aggressively pursuing men they think might be gay (unless there’s a significant power differential). Women refuse sex for a million different reasons - they’re unsure about the person, or (as the guy who was about to rape me found out) on their period, have a lower libido, aren’t inclined at that particular moment, haven’t shaved etc…

      Anyone familiar with those terms you mentioned will also have heard of RAPE and it cannot have escaped their attention that physically escalating on someone telling you no verbally or non verbally constitutes rape. If you’re comfortable playing Russian roulette with someone else’s life and health and decide you wanna go with “playing hard to get” (not that you’re biased and there’s a conflict of interest of anything) you’re already deep within rapist territory.

      It is not a man’s place to decide whether or not a woman wants him inside her body anymore than it would be his right to force her into pregnancy or experimental medical procedures or giving up an organ for his benefit because “she’s just nervous but will be probably be fine”.

    • Deets says:

      Nope.
      Those attitudes are backward and contribute to rape culture, no forgiveness and no quarter.

      A dude as old as Aziz has had decades to unpack that shit, as well as the intellectual wherewithal to handle it.

      I’ll save my empathy for the young women who need to be unprogrammed so they can enjoy themselves, not the men who use it to victimize others.

  46. Wendy says:

    I read her very graphic account and several “think pieces” dissecting the relationship, as it were.

    They were both dum dums. He’s in his thirties, and this is a glaring example why we should all date within a few years of our own age. She was obviously still naive enough to believe he would want to court her, and she noted their dinner was “rushed”; she wanted to be seen in public with a celebrity and he thought he might get laid.

    Most of us have had encounters that left us feeling like our intentions were misinterpreted or uncomfortable. Some of us have even been the recipient of oral sex on the first date, which usually was a good indication we were DTF. Based on this anonymous storyteller’s very detailed recounting of her date with the alleged perpetrator, I am left feeling very uncomfortable with a lot of things, but mainly with labeling her encounter sexual assault.

    I believe her feelings, but I believe him too. In this case she gets to remain anonymous and he doesn’t.

    • Mgsota says:

      I agree. She was hoping for the start of a relationship and he wanted to get laid. Not assault. And this is my pov after reading her story.

    • KBB says:

      People are cutting him a lot of slack, but I feel like a man in his mid 30s should know that taking a 22 year old girl out for a lobster dinner is going to give her a certain impression. If he wanted a one night stand, why is he going through the motions of a romantic first date?

      And why is he even going out with such a young girl? She doesn’t like white wine, but she drank it because he ordered it. She sat down and expected him to play with her hair…this girl is very, very young. I have to believe this was at least somewhat obvious to him. It’s possible he chose her because of that. He should be better at picking out potential one night stands.

      People are upset that she’s airing dirty laundry or whatever, but you reap what you sow. She is under no obligation to keep his secrets. And apparently, there is a lot of smoke about Aziz, so…

      • KBB says:

        Lol she was all over the place because she kept moving away from him.

        If I were a guy, I’d be thinking “if she wants me, why do I have to chase her all over the apartment to get near her? Why isn’t she taking her own clothes off? Why isn’t she taking my clothes off? Why is she only touching me when I put her hands on me? Why is she only going down on me when I put my penis in her face? Why did she say that we should slow down?”

      • Bridget says:

        @KBB – if there’s anything that the whole #metoo movement has shown us, chances are men would not be asking those questions of themselves. They truly don’t get it.

      • KBB says:

        As women, we question every effing thing we do and say and all of the things we didn’t do and didn’t say. We are expected to do this by men and women alike, and men aren’t even expected to wonder “is she into this?” Or “does she want this?” It’s absurd. Maybe these “grey area” stories will inspire men to think, even for a split second, about someone other than themselves.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Nope. Age gaps within relationships have nothing to do with it.

      • KBB says:

        This girl sounds so young though. “I thought he was going to play with my hair to calm me down.” She doesn’t like white wine but she drank it because he ordered it. This is a girl that was clearly in way over her head and he just pounced on her. I have a hard time believing her naivety wasn’t glaringly obvious to him.

      • Wendy says:

        In this particular case, I think the 11 year age gap made a big difference.

      • Deets says:

        I usually agree with you, Otaku, but age does have an impact.

        It’s significantly harder to have an equal relationship when one partner has been working in their careeer for years, and you are just starting out.

        Not that it can’t happen, just that it is harder.

        And let’s not discount the number of people who date younger just to maintain control.

  47. JosieH says:

    Ugh, another mediocre white man. :P

    Seriously though, this guy sounds like yet another “male feminist” who treats women like dirt. He, Joss Whedon, and Devin Faraci should all hang out.

  48. Harryg says:

    AWFUL. That finger-thing is really disturbing! Just awful.

  49. Hey Bale says:

    Personally can’t stand him. His entire schtick is being a rapey, coercive douche. It’s NOT funny. And for those reading this: If someone feels violated and ignored, it wasn’t consensual. Consent isn’t established by performing on demand. If someone pulls away, and you coerce them back, that’s NOT okay. It doesn’t matter if you find yourself siding with Aziz, because you are simply wrong about what constitutes acceptable human interaction. His actions are wrong. His belief that things were okay is wrong. He did not respect this person or even attempt to *earn* her trust.

    People STILL don’t get it. I’m so glad we’re finally talking about this.

  50. City Girl says:

    I believe her and I feel for her. While some clearly do not believe this is assault, it is still an important part of the MeToo conversation. I for one have experienced a time where I felt my verbal and non verbal cues were ignored and I wasn’t in a position to just get up and leave. I succumbed to the belief that this date was Nothing like who I thought he was and unfortunately in order to get out and get home, it became just easier to acquiesce and have sex with someone I had zero sexual nor intellectual desire.

  51. Deniz says:

    I’ve been in similar situations a few times in my life….It really makes you feel awful. So many mixed feelings. Some of which include feeling excited, because someone you like is really into you, mixed in with guilt, because you don’t want to seem “lame” and disappoint him. From my experience, the reason I didn’t walk away was because I just wanted the guy to respect me for me. I wanted him to stop groping me, and pay full attention to me. Value me. If he listened to me, and stopped fondling me, then that means he really cared about me! I am not sure if this is what she felt…but it took me a year of therapy to understand this insecurity I have. And the worst part of it all, is that these men see this and continue to take advantage. I am SO GLAD she spoke up. It’s time to end this bullshit of men thinking they can coerce us, make us feel guilty and get what they want sexually.

  52. Emily says:

    My first thought was stupidly “sounds like an awkward sexual encounter.”
    But no, he ignored her and kept going. A few years ago I was fooling around with a man. I told him that’s all I wanted to do, I didn’t want to have sex at that time. He was in his army uniform. He started pushing me back to lay down and told me “you either give it to me or I will take it.” I didn’t protest. I haven’t dated since.

    • Sway says:

      I’m sorry for your awful experience, but it’s totally not the same as this.

    • Domino says:

      Emily I am sorry sway was a jerk to you. I am sorry for what happened to you.

      What I hear you trying to say, is we never know when the experience we have with someone can turn out where they turn threatening.

      What all of these people don’t understand is that Grace clearly liked Aziz enough to want to continue the night and see his place, but for all we know she didn’t feel safe enough to emphatically say no and run out of there

      I have done it -you placate the guy by trying to ask to take thing slowly, or say I am not into it.

      But You, as a woman, gauge the situation and sometimes attempt to keep things cool so you can try and leave, safely. That was what grace did. She was lucky she was able to, unlike the victims of Russell Simmons. Aziz could have locked her in for refusing his advances for all she knew. He could have turned violent for her saying no. I had a partner of many years do that. Knowing someone better or longer doesn’t mean you are safer.

      And Yes, you take a chance going home with someone, but it doesn’t mean you have to do more than your boundaries/limits, and it doesn’t mean you should end the night by crying. There is an in between area, where you can stay up talking or being silly or having great intimate contact.

    • Sway says:

      I apologize, didn’t mean to make you feel bad…

    • DiligentDiva says:

      Don’t listen to Sway, she’s one of those women who likes to slut shame and agree with the notion that “women need to take responsibility for there actions”. We need to learn to ignore her types, they only harm the movement.

      • Sway says:

        Wow, really? Just because I said the experience she described was different than the one described in the article AND I had the audacity to apologize for making her feel bad, your conclusion is I’m slut shaming? Amazing.
        Just to be clear, I firmly stand behind he belief that women just like men have the right and choice to be intimate with whomever they want and also to refuse every single time they feel they’re being pushed.
        I have always and will always believe that. I feel ashamed and disgusted by women like Mayim Bialik for example who at the very beginning of the #metoo movement basically said she was too smart to be assaulted because she learned early on she should dress modestly and not flaunt her sexuality.
        Just for future reference, THAT is slut shaming.

    • Deets says:

      Emily, I’m sorry to hear that happened to you.
      That’s not something you deserved, not at all.

      thank you for sharing though, it was very brave to do so.

  53. HeyThere! says:

    Oh no, I must not have hit submit but I wrote something earlier.

    I believe her. Why on earth would she make this up? She wouldn’t and she didn’t. This is the truth.

    I wrote something earlier along the lines of this is why I don’t automatically cancel anyone with drug and alcohol problems. They are often self medicating from traumatic events in their life. Trying to forget the pain. It’s a scream for help. I am so proud she is living her best sober life for the past 9 years. She deserves that. I believe you. Everyone believes you.

    As a parent, this shit is extra terrifying. I just know of to many people in my real life that this horrible stuff happens to while they were even in the same house as their parents. No child should go through this. Who do you trust?! What version of someone do you actually know???

  54. Sway says:

    I have and will always stand behing the #metoo movement. But this one is a bit much for me. To say you went down on someone by your own choice and then accuse that person of coercion because he did not pick up non-verbal cues on your part and because you felt uncomfortable the next day… is simply not okay. She had a disappointing date. She didn’t explicitly say no. She may have felt uncomfortable, but she did NOT feel threatened. She may have felt pressured. But it was not the pressure of power – he was not a person in a power position over her, he’s not her employer, he is an actor – they met, liked each other and went on to have a date which later moved to his apartment. The thing she expected was probably something romantic and chill. The thing he expected was sex. But as far as the information from herself goes, he never threatened her – not with words, not with actions. She herself says that he was just aggressively pursuing a hookup. He made moves on her and she obviously wasn’t ready for sex, but she did it anyway. And I could go on for hours as to why in my opinion she did it – because as a woman, I understand what it’s like to feel like you want to please someone, to be liked, to have low self-esteem, to be naive in your 20s, to be a woman in a man’s world not really sure of her own worth and to have issues with saying “no”. But no, it’s not date rape, she made a choice. It was HER choice to stay and bl*w the guy. And on the next day she was mad she did it. But who should she blame? The guy who ignored her thoughts that she never explicitly expressed? Herself? The circumstances? She obviously wrote him and told him it was not good for her and he apologized. And now, only days after he won a Golden Globe, she chose to make this national news.

    I would never, ever stand behind someone who does not respect the right of another to say NO and leave when they do not want to have sexual relations.
    I do not believe that this was the case here.

    • wow says:

      All of this! At some point women need to be responsible for their action or inactions

    • Patty says:

      Exactly! And she wasn’t coerced into anything. Coerce=persuade by force or threats; that didn’t happen in this situation.

    • Tan says:

      Its never the case when it’s your favorite, isn’t it.

      Why can you not believe the girl?

      • Sway says:

        I believe every word she is saying. I’m just saying this is not assault.

        Let me ask you a question. Would a rapist do this:

        “According to the woman’s account, at one point during the encounter Ansari stated, “It’s only fun if we’re both having fun,” and expressed that he did not want her to feel “forced,” before continuing with physical advances.”

        So he stopped. Told her he wanted her to enjoy this and expressed worry she was feeling forced. He was ready to stop if she expressed that need.

        P.S. I watched one episode of “Master of None” and didn’t continue. The guy is a mediocre actor and the show is weird. Defintely not a fan.
        I used to be a Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman fan though. Would spit in their face if I ever saw either of them.

      • Domino says:

        @sway yes a rapist would say that. Coercion into unwanted sexual activity is something most men admit to doing. When you ask me, would you define coercion into sexual activity as sexual assault, they say no. But that is the very definition of what sexual assault is. And they admit to doing it. They – men- know they are coercing, pressuring, forcing.

  55. kay says:

    I think you misinterpreted his statement.
    Aziz was referring to HER text:
    “It may have seemed ok” – but after SHE thought about it (“upon further reflection), SHE felt uncomfortable.”

  56. CK3 says:

    I find it curious how every time someone’s fave gets accused, it’s suddenly the end of the “#metoo” movement. It’s almost like folks are trying to will it to be so that they can go back to enjoying their predatory fave and resign women to suffer in silence again because someone dared to accuse someone that they liked.

  57. Luna says:

    In my 40’s now, married for 23 years, happily. I had experiences in my teens that, in retrospect, were incredibly traumatic, and I wish that I had had the self esteem and strength to not look for affection and approval from frat bros who took advantage of my binge-drunk state. Trigger warning:

    I remember waking up in the front seat of a car with a basketball player on top of me with his penis in my mouth. I remember him offering me a ride home, and accepting. That’s it. I remember a fraternity party where one of the members cornered me in his room and kept pushing me to have sex with him. He pushed me into the bed and started pulling on my tights. I blatantly said “no.” I kicked at him. I bolted out of the room and told my sorority pledge sisters who shrugged it off, because I went into his room with him. I never considered myself part of the #metoo movement until just now. For me, the low self-esteem piece was huge. And I wasn’t capable of giving consent when I was blacked out drunk. Both of these boys’ girlfriends (yeah, they had girlfriends), trashed my reputation for simply being there. I ended up leaving school because of the hatred coming my way, mostly from young women. I’m not sure why I suddenly needed to share this, except that I understand. And because #metoo

    • Fleur says:

      I’m so sorry, Luna. Those were traumatic experiences and you have every justification in feeling upset, angry, horrified.

      I’m Team Grace on this. She gave multiple indications that she wasn’t interested in what he was asking or offering and he ignored her cues and pressured her through physical dominance and verbal coercion. It angers me that there are women, even here, on a blatantly feminist site, that are willing to defend his poor behavior, but I guess that’s what comes from being raised in world where male domination paradigms exist, ones that offer the assumption of power and privileged to all men. I don’t blame a very young woman for going to a famous man’s apartment seeking romance (he bills himself as a romantic in that tv show) and finding herself coerced into sexual acts by a rich and famous man, where she was too intimidated and/or drunk to say no. Yes, there was a huge power imbalance.

  58. Jay says:

    I’m honestly just so, so sad at all the people here agreeing with Caitlin Flanagan’s piece in the Atlantic. So sad and so disgusted. Might have to visit this place less since there are apparently so many people here who think her trash article was “on point.”

  59. Chelly says:

    Ugh, I had a friend for years, years ago & he was at the time one of my closest friends. We’d do almost everything together, he even came back early from a trip to celebrate my birthday. One day I was in his neighborhood & called him up. He said he was home & he wanted to hang out. Thinking nothing of it I went to his place & as I soon I stepped inside the vibe felt odd. I sat on the sofa already feeling uneasy & he sat next to me immediately jumping on me & trying to kiss me, over & over. I was pushing him off & just saying wtf are you doing stop your shit. I got up and headed towards the door where he cut me off through the other side literally trying to baracade me in the apartment. I played it off more as him being “playful” than me actually being afraid forcing a laugh & “playfully” running to the other side where he followed. I then went around towards the door unlocked it & almost jumped out the apartment. He kind of smirked & I just left. Never saw him after that. I cried for a few days bc this was someone I considered such a great friend. It’s heartbreaking to know even those you’re closest can think nothing of violating you. I was young & dumb & wish now I had contacted him to let him know how his aggression towards me was not ok. I was only 18 but trust me when I say I grew up that day. Unfortunately these stories don’t surprise me, & they haven’t for a long time. Apparently even the seemingly sweet ones can be just as skeevy

    • me says:

      I’m sorry you went through that. God what is wrong with men? Why do they think they have a right to do as they please? I know there are some good men out there, but they are hard to find. How are young boys being raised? Why do they have this attitude? When will it change? The lesson to women here is always trust your gut feeling. It just sucks that as women, no matter where we are or what we are doing, we have to always be on guard…something men probably never have to worry about.

  60. j says:

    it really bothers me that he said “upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable” as though the only possible explanation was that she was having some kind of shame/guilt reaction after the fact.

    spoiler alert – i bet she wasn’t. because sex isn’t the problem and women aren’t at puritanical war with themselves like men want to believe. stop projecting this dysfunctional and ignorant male view of female sexuality on us. sex and “giving in” aren’t the same. sex doesn’t make us feel dirty – declining and declining and declining and then getting worn down and giving in does. maybe it’s time you learn to spot the difference.

  61. HeyThere! says:

    I am terrified and horrified that people thing this behavior isn’t deplorable?! He just lost a big fan, because I was a big fan of him. This behavior is in no way, shape, form or excuse OKAY to do to someone. This shows you how common aggressive sexual behavior from males is in our society…the fact that this behavior isn’t ‘horrible’ to people. We are desensitized. We need to wake up and realize nobody should be treated how this young lady was treated. She is brave to come forward with this story. I don’t know if I could be that strong. I hope she’s has a great circle of support around her.

    Is this behavior taught in the home? Movies? Video games? How do some men turn out like this? My husband isn’t like this. I don’t force affection on my toddler son. I say ‘can mommy have a hug/kiss?’ If he says no, I say ‘okay that’s fine.’ My husband thinks I’m crazy but I’m trying to raise a child that knows not to force himself on someone else and also that affection doesn’t have to be forced on him.

  62. Theodora says:

    I mostly agree with the author from The Atlantic. My take on this story is that she hoped for a potential relationship with Ansari, while for him she was just another groupie. She expected courtship and romance, he was only interested in sex. No coercion or assault took place.

    • DiligentDiva says:

      I’m glad to know you support victim blaming. Women like you only help men get away with crimes.

      • Vanessa says:

        There was inconsiderate and pushy behaviour on his side. But there was no coercion and no assault. Several posters above have explained why so I am not providing the definitions again. We argue that we as women want to be treated equally and not as delicate flowers. Then we have to be able to say no and leave if we find a situation unpleasant. If he then still persists or hinders us by force or threat from leaving then we can talk about a crime.

    • KBB says:

      And why would she think romance was in the cards? Maybe the romantic lobster dinner date he took her out on? He didn’t treat her like a groupie. He didn’t tell her to meet him at a hotel room or ask her for naked pictures. He took her out for a lobster dinner. He ordered a bottle of wine. He wanted to pretend to be the nice guy. He loves pretending to be the good guy. He’s a 35 year old man who likes skeeving on naive young girls.

  63. DiligentDiva says:

    This isn’t about whether or not it’s rape, it’s about coercion, about how coercion is wrong as well. If you notice the woman herself didn’t claim this attack was rape and pointed out she struggled between even deciding if he did anything wrong.
    The truth is the more we have conversations about sexual assault and rape the more uncomfortable people will become, we have normalized this idea that coercing people into sex is okay. It’s not. He should have respected her boundaries, he didn’t. End of story.

    • Theodora says:

      I can’t see any assault or coercion in this story. And I can’t see any “boundaries” from her part either, after she willingly bl#w the guy, twice.

      • DiligentDiva says:

        What part of she repeatedly told him no don’t you get? She implied over and over again that she didn’t want to have sex with him. Just because you give in after a guy has repeatedly hassled you for sex doesn’t put the blame on you. He should have not have tried to get with her after her first intentional no.
        She was obviously uncomfortable and didn’t want to have sex with him, but he kept trying anyway. If don’t understand the body language of a partner who clearly doesn’t want you, you shouldn’t have sex.
        Stop acting like men don’t realize when they make women uncomfortable.

  64. perplexed says:

    I think what he did sounds creepy (and I’m a little surprised at his creepiness), but I also think this case is much more confusing than other cases I’ve read about. Because of the non-verbal clues, only the two people involved would really be able to assess what happened. I think it’s too difficult in this instance for outsiders to define what happened. He acknowledged what he did was wrong, so think he’s guilty of something — I’m not sure what you would call this case in legal terms though. That’s what I’m curious to know from others — how would this case be categorized in a legal context? I’ve seen his name used in reference to “sexual misconduct” but I was under the impression that term related to work-place harassment or the harassment of an underage girl (or am I misinformed?). What happens on a date here seems to be in more of a grey area because of the miscommunication going on.

    • kk2 says:

      Legally, its not really anything. It’s not a sexual assault because there isn’t enough evidence that the sexual contact was nonconsensual (and I’m not attacking her credibility here- even believing everything she said is 100% accurate, it’s not sufficient to establish nonconsent for criminal purposes). Its not sexual harassment (as the term is used in the US, to refer to illegal but not criminal behavior- ie can get you sued but not put in jail) because they didn’t work together, there was no quid pro quo, nothing like that.

      Doesn’t mean it’s good behavior or socially acceptable. But not every incident of bad behavior is a legally cognizable offense, nor should it be– at least in my opinion, as a lawyer. Aziz probably wishes she had just sued him or tried to file charges– he probably would fare much better in the legal system than in the internet justice system.

  65. Ozogirl says:

    That article was hard to read…because I’ve been there before, like many women have. I don’t believe “non verbal” cues are enough. People read non verbal differently. She did tell him she didn’t want to feel “forced” though and that should have been enough for him to calm the F down and keep it in his pants. He sounds like an entitled creep.

  66. Mrs. Smith says:

    To be honest, I’m glad this opens up the discussion as to how men should behave on dates. We’ve read about assaults, harassment and other criminal/creepy behavior by men, which I think most people can differentiate as being clearly wrong. With Grace’s story, we’ve gone to a new area in the #MeToo discussion–and that’s to enlighten men on how women feel when guys won’t stop with the coercive shit. I really think they just don’t know. I’m sorry that Grace experienced this (unfortunately typical dating scenario) with Ansari, but I’m glad she was brave enough to tell her story. This is the power of #MeToo–creeps get exposed and nice guys get some real insight on how to be a respectful gentleman.

  67. Burdzeyeview says:

    It’s apparent that these men think everyone wants to have sex with them – I’m sure Aziz thought he was ‘seducing’ her. Unfortunately it appears that a whole generation of men use these crude porn moves as foreplay – and that women aquiese because they feel pressured into accepting them. Surely to God in th 21st century this has to end? Boys and girls need to be taught that this isn’t acceptable – that porn movies aren’t where u learn about sex- as mechanics with no emotion or respect for women – that sex should be enjoyed by both parties who are consenting adults. End of.

  68. Milavanilla says:

    He’s gross, I feel for her.
    I think he meant she reflected later on and “felt uncomfortable”.
    From the babe.net article: “Grace says her friends helped her grapple with the aftermath of her night with Ansari. “It took a really long time for me to validate this as sexual assault,” she told us. “I was debating if this was an awkward sexual experience or sexual assault. And that’s why I confronted so many of my friends and listened to what they had to say, because I wanted validation that it was actually bad.””

  69. Samantha says:

    I’m surprised this story has caused such divergent opinions, even here. What Ansari did was clearly wrong, and it could be classified as assault imo, maybe not legally, but it’s clear that her lack of consent was ignored.
    I don’t know why people are so focused on that fact the she didn’t leave. Whatever reason she had for that, she still made it clear she wasn’t interested in sexual activity. The fact that she didn’t extricate herself from the situation, EVEN IF it was a mistake, does not take the burden off of Ansari. He ignored clear VERBAL & non-verbal attempts at stopping his advances yet he continued. That’s horrible.
    As for the Atlantic article that was brought up by other people, it was disgusting. The author blamed Grace, completely prematurely, for “ruining” Ansari’s career. That is absurd and unacceptable.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      This wouldn’t be the first time the Atlantic was trash, so it’s not shocking.

    • KBB says:

      It seems every time someone speaks out against some perceived overreaction they completely over exaggerate and overblow the actual circumstances. “What happened to innocent until proven guilty?” And “let’s not DESTROY HIS LIVELIHOOD over some mixed signals!”

      No one is going to jail and Aziz’s career has not been impacted in any way at all. He has suffered no repercussions except some public embarrassment. These people that are so fearful of overreaction are always the ones overreacting.

  70. Caty Page says:

    If I hear one more “women need to learn…” statement, I’m going to punch a wall.

    It makes it clear that whoever is making the comment knows it’s a gendered issue and doesn’t care about addressing both sides. It’s never followed by a “men also need to learn…” or any attempt to put oneness on both sides. It’s defense of men, full stop.

    I don’t care if it’s followed by “as a victim.” That just means you’re a victim shaming other victims.

    Here’s a non-radical idea: PEOPLE need to learn to see potential sexual partners as humans. PEOPLE need to consider the feelings and responses of potential sexual partners. And PEOPLE need to learn to seek enthusiastic verbal consent.

    If you worry that asking, “this is fun, baby, are you having a good time?” will kill the the mood, your sex life is terrible. There’s nothing sexier than knowing someone is truly paying attention to your needs in the moment and verbally discussing what hot things come next.

    Saying we’re going to need to sign a contract is intentionally obtuse. It wouldn’t address ongoing consent, so it’s not even a solution. But if it were headed there, that still doesn’t sound like a dealbreaker. If you’re too immature to talk with your partner about what you want and don’t want, you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing.

    • Mina says:

      You’re right. The problem is many women don’t dare to say “no, I don’t like that” or “no, I’m not having fun” even when asked. Whether it’s fear, too polite, they worry they will make the guy feel bad or ruin a potential relationship, because our culture has taught us that men expect sex, and not giving it makes you less desirable.

      So yes, women need to learn, in a way. Culture needs to change, women need to learn their value and that they can say no and not have to feel bad about it. Men also have to learn the same of course, but in older generations there was this idea that women should play hard to get, and that it was romantic to be insistent or stealing a kiss (just watch old movies). We are learning from this, but there has to be some room to let people do that learning.

  71. Mina says:

    The fact that a story like this, written the way it was, has made it into the MeToo movement is a shame. Ok so she had a bad date with a too insistent guy, who tried to push his luck one too many times because he was under the impression she was into him. When she wanted to leave, she could leave. His behavior might be reprochable but how is this sexual assault or even misconduct? The fact she even complains about what wine he had for her, as if he should have known what kind of booze she likes on the first date, shows how desperate this publication was to have their own expose without any proper ground.

  72. Skydrag says:

    We have lost our basic respect of ourselves and each other.

  73. Notafan says:

    This isn’t specifically about this situation but I am in a mood the share.
    I’m in my early 40s and a WOC and I remember thinking I had to have an excuse to be sexually willing. I definitely grew up with that whole purity=virtue idea so the idea of owning my sexuality was very alien to me. So if I’d made sure I had one drink too many so I could pretend later that I was too disinhibited and that’s why I hit on someone, that that was an excusable deviation from my life of virginity. It certainly wasn’t right. I really applaud the women I knew then and now who were never shamed by their desires and went out and got what they wanted in a proud and (hopefully) safe way.

    But growing up I have to say I never learned about affirmative, enthusiastic consent. Everything in the movies was about guys trying to sleep with women unless they were almost physically pushed away. That’s how many men learned to interact with women. There were no good role models that I remember seeing. And if your community doesn’t talk about sex then TV is all you know.

    I think these pushy, creeper dudes need to be called out and schooled hard. And they should take a career hit. But one thing I hope people learn from #metoo is how to have a discussion about consent that seems natural. I want to see those conversations in TV and in movies as the natural way of things. I think there are many people who are learning about consent in a new way and I’m somewhat optimistic about it. I hope Ansari can drop the ridiculous fallback into brothink and have a reasoned and nuanced discussion about holding themselves to higher standards than the guy in Revenge of the Nerds, and truly demonstrate both penitence and understanding.

  74. K (now K2!) says:

    I was thinking today, on why the reactions to this depress me so much. And then I realised: it’s all the women, self-declared feminists, who seem genuinely oblivious to the very concept of enthusiastic consent. The idea that if either side isn’t really and genuinely into it, then you stop. That sex should be two people enjoying one another, and anything less is not okay. And if we ourselves don’t get that, and value it, and defend it… then what hope does Time’s Up have?

    So many of these comments and ideas frame sex as a commodity that men want, and women as stingy gatekeepers to some random vagina. And research done a decade ago, on why Haiti and Papua New Guinea have such high rates of sexual violence, found that it comes down to a culture in which sex is seen wholly as a commodity, and therefore when rape happens, you are taking a thing. An object. It turns a woman’s body into a transaction, and therefore you aren’t violently assaulting someone both physically and psychologically. You’re taking something they are hoarding. Because a woman isn’t a person, but a gatekeeper. A custodian, rather than the inhabitant, of her own body.

    That sick, toxic-masculinity-laden concept of sex underpins rape culture in toto, everywhere in the world. And that mindset – that he had the right to badger her into sex, because she isn’t a joint party, but a gatekeeper blocking his sexual gratification – is what she described in his behaviour, and what the journalist in the Atlantic article argues as totally normal and okay, as long as the man doesn’t actually rape someone. As long as a verbal no is respected in the final stages, then a guy can keep on going back again and again and again in an attempt to wear her down.

    She said no. She said it in many ways, verbal and physical. And he kept pushing, and pushing, and pushing. This is a man who has written books performing woke feminism. He knows what enthusiastic consent is. This isn’t some idiotic, ignorant jock in a Mid-West high school who thinks if she’s not saying no, then it’s okay, even if she’s unconscious. He knows what enthusiastic consent is. On the evidence here, he doesn’t care. And while that doesn’t make him Weinstein, it does make his actions dodgy. There’s a spectrum, and he’s not on the respectable side of it.

    You know the really twisted part? The number of people trying to frame this as her resenting his not being interested, afterwards. (Atlantic journalist being a prime example, but there are plenty more.) He was interested. He texted her afterwards to say how great an evening he thought it had been. She shut that down. The need to grossly misrepresent that fact in order to create a woman scorned narrative… well, it speaks volumes about those doing it.

    Thank the Lord for Daniel Radcliffe. All is not lost, when we have guys such as that around.

  75. perplexed says:

    I read the account again more slowly and I saw this in the article: “In the Uber home from Ansari’s apartment, Grace texted a friend: “I hate men.” She continued: “I had to say no a lot. He wanted sex. He wanted to get me drunk and then f–k me.” She texted another friend after she got back to her apartment, “I’m taking a bath I’m really upset I feel weird.”

    In the text message to her friend, she said she said “no” to him. If she did say no, then it seems she did not consent verbally and did not rely only on non-verbal cues. I think the part where she also said she didn’t want to feel “forced” should have made him reconsider what he was doing.

    Maybe she froze in the moment and didn’t know what to do. On a slower reading, the account seems less ambiguous if she did indeed say no. Because she was not under oath, she probably didn’t give a “perfect” re-telling. I thought maybe he misunderstood what she was communicating, but if she did in fact say a full-on “no”, I am baffled as to why he kept pressing the issue.

    The early part of the article seemed to point to some kind of miscommunication and mis-understanding. But the later part of the article seemed to make it seem like an explicit no was said. Maybe the article itself was written confusingly or maybe the writer’s interpretation of her words was organized in a way as to confuse us. You have to go a long way down in the article before you see it actually mentioned to her friend that she said no. By that point, I wonder if most people would have bothered finished reading the article or accidentally missed the brief mention of a “no” being said.

    • KBB says:

      Most people had probably made up their minds by that point. I’m not familiar with the writer of the piece, but I do think in the hands of an experienced writer at a more established publication, this story would have been presented and received differently. So much just wasn’t clear and that allowed people to draw their own conclusions on his behavior and condemn hers. I think there was a lot less “grey” in the room that night between them than the article allowed for.