Welp, that Aziz Ansari-babe.net story has become a shambolic mess

69th Emmy Awards 2017 Press Room

The Aziz Ansari situation has been hanging over this week’s gossip like a bad hangover. Babe.net published an account about a then-22-year-old woman’s date with Aziz Ansari, a date which happened last fall – you can read my coverage here, and the original babe.net piece here. The pop culture/feminist/legal debate was “what’s the difference between a bad date versus inappropriate/illegal/nonconsensual sexual coercion and assault?” I read the piece twice and it really upset me, because it reminded me so much of my own history in my late teens and early 20s – those hookups that end up being really weird or gross and you just sort of go along with it even though you’re not into it at all, and the guy doesn’t care that you’re not into it.

I understood the arguments of “she could have left at any time” and “why didn’t she do this or that?” What I find remarkable though is how few of those same people would make a similar point about Aziz, or any man. Why not second-guess and nit-pick his actions? Why didn’t Aziz stop acting like a f–king creep? Why didn’t he recognize the many ways she was signaling that she was not into this encounter whatsoever? The second-guessing of Grace’s actions, thoughts and motives is part and parcel of A) how we still disbelieve women B) rape culture and C) possibly bad journalism on the part of babe.net. While there a sh-tty criticism lodged at Grace, there was also a ton of criticism lodged at babe.net and journalist Katie Way for how they wrote and presented the story. Jezebel had an interesting read, as did The Verge.

One of the loudest critics of both babe.net, Katie Way and Grace was HLN’s Ashleigh Banfield. Earlier this week, Banfield was one of the many people arguing that this whole controversy has been character assassination on Aziz Ansari, and that this is the reason there will be a “backlash” against #MeToo. Note to journalists: stop trying to make “backlash to #MeToo” into a thing. It’s a really gross way to frame the larger conversations. Whatever my qualms about how Banfield responded to the story got put on the back burner because as it turns out, babe.net’s Katie Way is the kind of 22-year-old “journalist” who sends these kinds of emails to HLN and Banfield:

I read this somewhere and it truly applies in this situation: the truest sign of maturity is the ability to write a nasty, belligerent email and NOT send it. This is the kind of bitchy email I would write but hopefully would not send. So… I think we have our answer to why the babe.net article’s tone felt so odd. It was written by Katie Way. Does that mean we should discount what Grace had to say and how she felt? No, it does not.

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250 Responses to “Welp, that Aziz Ansari-babe.net story has become a shambolic mess”

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  1. sara says:

    I don’t not believe this Grace woman. I don’t think she’s lying. I believe she feels she was violated. But I also don’t think men can be mind readers. Saying “Oh I was mumbling he should have known I was uncomfortable” isn’t how we should be going about this.

    • Lahdidahbaby says:

      Yep. And Katie being an ageist bitch to Ashleigh B. isn’t exactly adhering to feminist principles, either.

      • QueenB says:

        Of course that was a terrible reply but it has nothing to do with Graces story. The media wants you to focus on that. Its a way to discredit the story and the victim of Aziz Ansari.

      • ELX says:

        Well, no-Grace’s story is filtered through the skewed perspective of a particular journalist —-the medium is the message, at least in part, and that is a large problem in the context of this story.

        I’m not young and have lived through being ‘protected,’ i.e. denied opportunities, because I’m a woman. I do not want to go back to some kind of quasi-Victorian ‘poor thing’ who needs to be treated like an eternal child with no agency.

        There are no victims in what happened between Aziz and Grace. There are two people who made a series of bad decisions and who have to live with the consequences, Aziz publicly, the fairness of which is debatable.

        There are also two people who don’t know much of anything about sex, sexual technique, consent or even self-respect. I wonder about the extent to which our culture’s Puritanism has contrived to make sex not about mutual pleasure, but transactional in an explicit quid pro quo of the “I paid for dinner so you owe me a bj” variety, which seems to be widely internalized by both men and women. I don’t know how to reset that, but no decent person should assume they are owed sex or that they owe sex.

      • jwoolman says:

        If the writer of the story was only 22, and Grace was only 23 – that explains a lot. Neither of them have been adults very long, so their experience is limited. They are seeing legitimate questions as attacks when they really are just questions. They may have been revving each other up, as people sometimes do, and as younger people especially are prone to do.

        Age really does matter in such things. We react differently as we accumulate more life experience. An older interviewer might have asked different questions and received different answers, and had a better sense about whether both parties should have remained anonymous.

        I think the discussion is a good one because it involves a very common experience and how to handle it/not handle it, although I’m not sure it should have actually named the guy (although it’s helpful to get his side of it).

        Why didn’t she leave, since he wasn’t forcing her to stay? That’s complicated. I think she did want to stay because she liked him and wanted to shift the date to match her expectations. She thought she could “fix” it. She just didn’t have the experience and confidence to set real limits and realize he wasn’t going to match her expectations, that he wanted the date to go in a direction that she did not, and that wasn’t going to change much and if she was uncomfortable – she needed to just leave. And because she liked him, she was definitely giving him the proverbial mixed messages. She also was hampered by the fact that she felt she knew him from books and tv, but she really didn’t. She had actively pursued him for a date for that reason and it’s hard to give up a goal you set yourself.

        It still doesn’t seem that Aziz was a predator so far. He seemed to actually like her also, since he texted her the next day. He was way off base about what she wanted, but he did attempt to verify consent at various points and thought he was getting it. But consent is an ongoing process and both men and women need to recognize that – it’s consensual until it isn’t, and both parties have to shut it down at that point. Grace had trouble doing that and he had trouble even picking up on it. So at the end of it, he thought they had a fun time while she was crying in the car. Bad communication all round.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        jwoolman, I think you make good points.

        (Warning, my comment is kind of off topic)
        What this has made me remember from my single days is that internal struggle you face when a guy is pressuring you to have sex early in the dating phase. You REALLY like him (so far), but don’t want to have sex that day. Maybe you’d want to get to know him more and have sex with him at a later time. How do you say “no” without totally ending the “relationship”/getting to know each other period? At the same time, how do you let him know that “no, not today but maybe someday” doesn’t mean, “not right now, but maybe in 5 minutes if you give me your best sales pitch”. If you don’t totally reject them, they have that “maybe there’s a chance!” mindset.

      • Lilian says:

        What if Katie is “Grace”. She changed a few details.

      • cd3 says:

        @ELX, I liked your comment and agree with what you said.

        Also, I think Katie Way did herself a real disservice by attacking Ashleigh’s makeup, hair and age. Saying that someone over 45 is essentially irrelevant is… quite awful. It diminished her credibility as an objective journalist and feminist very much IMO.

        I do believe what Grace said, but Katie’s bad writing also did Grace a disservice as I’m now questioning if the story wholly accurate – not because Grace is lying, but because Katie’s writing was so obviously skewed and presented a certain way. The writer *may* have exaggerated certain aspects to further her own agenda (she’s 22, just broke a big story about a recent Globe winner etc). So the end result is not great for Grace.

      • nb says:

        @Tiffany I’m not one to have sex too early in a relationship (I’ve waited anywhere from over a year (first boyfriend) to 1.5 months), although I enjoy making out and other physical activities in the meantime. This led me to have some “Grace-like” situations throughout my dating years from about 16-24. The best way I figured out to go about it was to almost make a joke of it at the beginning of getting to know each other: ‘You know, I’m not ‘easy’ (ha ha) and I’m not looking to have sex until we BOTH agree we are ready, but I like you and want to get to know you’. Then, if things started going places I wasn’t ready for I would grab his hands/push him away and say no or “I’m not ready for that yet”. If that didn’t work I would either move away from him or exit the room/leave altogether to show I was serious. It did take me some uncomfortable situations where I froze up or didn’t know what to do to be confident enough in this approach though.

        I’ve been labelled a ‘tease’ (unfair since I was honest upfront) and definitely was dumped by guys who didn’t want to wait (not the kind of guy I wanted anyway). I was raped by someone I was dating who I kept telling I wasn’t ready for sex but he decided I was when I was drunk and incapacitated, so no this isn’t a fool-proof method but for the most part it worked for me. If I had a daughter I’d tell her about it and to always be firm, know what you want, don’t give in to pressure, and set boundaries/expectations upfront.

      • imqrious2 says:

        @Tiffany: “How do you say “no” without totally ending the “relationship”/getting to know each other period?”

        How about saying, “I like you, and I’d like to get to know you better before having sex.” Or, “For me, it’s too soon to have sex; I don’t know you well enough.” Or even: “I need to be in a committed relationship before sleeping with someone.” (All of which I used when I was about that age, and even still use now!). If someone one respect that, he may be just looking for a hookup and isn’t really interested in getting to know you, IMO.

      • FLORC says:

        Jwoolman
        Ugh. Yes to it all. Ffs… this shifted so easily into victim blaming.

        And I’m looking at this with a personal perspective. I went to a guys house on a 2nd date. I didn’t want to walk away. I didn’t want regrets. I felt unsure at how quickly he was moving. Kept dodging kisses. Excused myself to the bathroom to collect myself. It was complicated all the emotions. I felt uneasy, but I didn’t leave. He saw this. Still pushed. It’s a state of emotional vulnerability. It’s not as clear as so many think it could be. I believe Grace. I believe Ansari wasn’t seeking to hurt her. I think he was just oblivious to his actions and his pursuits were paramount. It’s wrong. I hope he learns from it.

        This is serious bs though. How the reporter acted. That shouldn’t be the focus.

    • Agapanthus says:

      I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again.

      It seem to me this is an issue purely about consent. You don’t just gain consent at the beginning of an encounter for everything that happens afterwards, you have to gain consent for every single act that happens in an encounter. This woman was giving very clear non verbal and verbal cues that she was not consenting (including freezing) and he was tone deaf to them.

      See the consent and tea video, it is very clear about this.
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pZwvrxVavnQ

      People who are saying she should have done this or that are victim blaming in my opinion.

      • Nan says:

        I agree so much. What if you’re hooking up and someone later pulls out a furry costume or gag & handcuffs and you do not want to go there? Women should be able to keep things going in a direction they are comfortable with and if someone keeps grabbing the wheel to steer them somewhere else, that’s really not cool. It’s like agreeing to go for a park walk with someone and instead they push you deep into the woods. I rather suspect that she had too much alcohol during dinner. At 22, she might not understand her exact limits yet – alcohol is so disabling to mind, judgment and physical body that it’s illegal to drive after a certain amount and with some people, judgment or responses become impaired or delayed with just 1-2 drinks. Supposing she did have too much drink for her particular limits, is it then OK for him to invite her to his place and treat her like a sex worker? Absolutely not.

      • Jeannie says:

        It was tone deaf (the myth of the male bumbler, which domino posted here the other day, shoutout to her http://theweek.com/articles/737056/myth-male-bumbler) or he didn’t WANT to acknowledge what he was doing was wrong and kept pushing her. Maybe aziz really is that socially inept, but the mans forged a successful stand-up career and been around women. He’s not a little boy. He’s like thirty-three. He can surely read signals.

      • hmmh says:

        Agree so much.

        And for all the people saying “men can’t be mind readers.”
        Does your partner seem as enthusiastic about the sexual proceedings as you? No? Then STOP. It really is not that hard.
        The pouring a glass of wine and asking if it counted as the second date was pretty skeevy to me. Aziz doesn’t sound like a terrible predator considering his response the next day, but he was being a disrespectful asshole.

        As to the reporter’s response- immature? Yes. But also highly impassioned, and I can understand her frustration (which she expressed poorly). I am currently embroiled in a metoo story behind the scenes on someone that frequents this website, and what people don’t realize is how incredibly terrifying it is to come forward, how scared women are, and that in most cases, for every one woman that comes forward there are twenty in the background with similar stories, talking to the news outlets, afraid to have their names in the news.

      • LetItGo says:

        @agapanthus

        You’ve misrepresented a lot. Maybe you didn’t read the same account I did. If so, what you say is hella contradictory. You say you have to gain consent for every single act- yet deliberately omit that after she critiques his terrible ‘claw’ technique as being something she didn’t want to continue, she did in fact, consent to the oral sex which he inquired about and gave her, and then twice consented when he asked about a blow job.

        So miss me with the ‘clear non verbal and verbal cues.’ You yourself admit it’s perfectly fine to pass on one thing and consent to another when it comes to sex (of course it is!) – which she did (passed here, consented there), and is the exact message Aziz got. She even quotes him literally asking her, and her consenting.

        I feel sorry for them both that they were with people they ultimately didn’t respect enough to be honest with- and sorry that she regretted her evening, but whether or not Aziz has clumsy technique, or whether she only half heartedly enjoyed the oral because she really didn’t want to be there and didn’t want to make him feel bad – creates “victims” of no one.

      • Leen says:

        Agreed.
        This might sound weird but ever since moving to Berlin, there’s a big big consent campaign going on in the clubbing scene and in sex clubs too. I often go into clubs with either very clear rules or sexy pictures of women and men with the rules stamped on them, ‘anything less than a yes is a no’, ‘being naked is not an invitation to touch,’ ‘have fun! Have sex but always say YES’ . I’ve even see bystanders when they see something that seems non construal. This is a strange story but I was once in a sex club, where a woman was in a threesome and a fourth wanted to join and started to touch the woman, she gave non verbal cues (she pushed him away, moved away, etc) that she wasn’t interested, the guy kept trying again until someone stepped in and pushed the third guy away.

        I guess what I’m saying if people even in the heat of the moment can clearly pick up on social cues. It was clear to me Grace was uncomfortable and maybe the pressure was too much and I’m not gonna nitpick her moves or responses because as a survivor of both child sex abuse and rape as a young woman, I understand too that this kind of nitpicking deters us from even talking about our ordeals. But what I don’t understand how people can’t see that Ansari acted like someone who was going to get laid that night no matter the cost even at the cost of the other, that’s what worries me.

      • MEMANYTIMESOVER says:

        Finally back to back consecutive posts that agree this piece of (unfunny) garbage little munchkin/meerkat asshole IS A PREDATOR. So so angry….just WANT TO PUNCH THE DAY LIGHTS OUT OF THIS CREEP and Ashleigh Idiotfield.

        His show should be cancelled just based on that … besides the fact that it’s not funny. PS I really hope my anger can be displayed here … I’m not proud of it, but for the victim shamers out there to support Aziz A or the likes of that other CREEP from HLN, it really boggles my mind. Apologies for being a bit bat s about this.

        Keep in mind ladies, more REAL MEN who tend to be attractive, confident, and mature would almost NEVER act in this way. Based on my over 40 years on earth, most of this predatory behavior have come from typically lesser attractive men with POWER/MONEY. It’s been my experience and I believe it’s every other woman’s life as well.

      • magnoliarose says:

        @Leen

        I am sorry you experienced abuse in your life. Reading here has made me open my eyes that it is much more prevalent than I ever thought. It certainly ties into this whole movement and discussion.
        I don’t think anyone here thinks Clare could have done some things differently for her own benefit. But it doesn’t make her responsible for his actions. We never discuss what the man needs to do in these situations. We know our mistakes. It is beat into our skulls continuously in the form of slut-shaming and body policing but what messages are men given to make them behave kindly or responsibly?
        THIS is what we should discuss.

      • Randomgirl says:

        Agreed on consent. Which is why when she said it was moving too fast, he slowed down his actions (assuming this story is to be believed in its entirety) and when she said “no” he stopped entirely. So conflating issues of consent with someone just not having a good time is the problem with this entire story and it underscores exactly what Asheligh was saying. It does hurt the movement when suddenly shaming every person who was not entirely the best date becomes the discussion rather than actual issues of consent.

    • Amy says:

      But the point isn’t that he can’t read minds, it’s that he didn’t get consent for the things he was doing. I keep hearing this argument that men can’t read minds and they don’t understand body language. Well then, they need to find a different way to get consent. If I’m deaf, I don’t rely on someone speaking to me as a way to get consent. If I’m illiterate, I don’t rely on a written statement. If I can’t read body language, I don’t rely on body language as a way to get consent or to gauge whether my partner is into what we’re doing. Plus, Grace did use her words throughout the night. She said “I don’t want to feel forced,” “I don’t want to hate you,” and more.

      And I’m not sure why you started your statement with “I don’t believe grace,” but then went on to say you believed she felt violated—bc that’s believing her. (Edit: sorry, I misread what you typed. You said you don’t not believe her) She was claiming that she felt violated and that this was a gross sexual encounter for her where the man coerced her into doing things she didn’t want to do. Just because the coercion succeeded and she did sexual things with him, doesn’t mean it wasn’t coercion. It just means he succeeded in coercing her. She wasn’t claiming that she was raped or that he did anything illegal. She was claiming that what he did was wrong. Just because it’s not illegal, doesn’t mean it’s not wrong.

      • Claudia says:

        I understand what you’re saying, but the idea of enthusiastic consent is only a recent thing. Expecting people to co tinually ask are you ok? You like this? How’s this? The entire way through a sexual encounter is pretty unrealistic. There are some men and women who naturally just do that because that’s how they are. And there are some men and women who just want to get down already and expect people to voice their displeasure if it isn’t working. Expecting sex to follow some rule book is dumb.

      • Rebecca says:

        They could just ask, right? – I want to do this now, is that okay with you? It seems pretty simple to me. Ask before each sex act.

        I have a son who is in college now. I gave him the following (unsolicited) advice because I had some bad experiences with men while attending college: Ask for permission before you proceed. If a woman says no once, you stop what your doing and don’t ask or push again. If you don’t stop, that could be considered rape. If you feel like the situation is uncomfortable for either one of you, leave immediately or, if you’re at your house, call it a night and take her home immediately.

        It’s common sense right? Why is it so difficult for some men to understand this?

      • Kitten says:

        JFC I mean, I could *maybe* be a bit more open-minded about this if this was some random Tinder date between two twenty-somethings but this is a F*CKING 35 YEAR OLD CELEBRITY. A man who uses feminism and “wokeness” as a huge part of his public persona. He is a GROWN. ASS. MAN. who absolutely has the emotional bandwith to understand that pressuring a young woman for sex is NOT COOL.

        I am so TIRED of reading comments from women jumping to defend him and absolutely slamming Grace in the process. NOBODY is asking Aziz to be a “mind-reader”, simply asking him to NOT be socially retarded; to have a modicum of self-awareness and basic sensitivity.

        There is no way in hell that he didn’t see that she didn’t want to have sex. He saw it, he just didn’t care. He hoped that he could wear her down if he badgered her for long enough.

        And what was so confusing about her non-verbal cues? Was it the first time that she removed her hand from his d*ck after he put it there that screamed “I want to f*ck you”????

        As my boyfriend said when we were discussing this last night: “he knew EXACTLY what he was doing”. As a famous celebrity that women feel like they know and trust from the public persona that he’s created, he went after a star-struck 22-year-old.

        My GOD women: DEMAND MORE FROM MEN. ASK THAT THEY BE BETTER. Ask that they hold back a bit, that they be a bit more sensitive to a woman’s boundaries. I promise you that it’s not asking for too much. Men are not hapless, clueless individuals that are simply victims of their biological makeup. They actually ARE capable of doing the right thing; of being better.

      • tracking says:

        See, I call bullshit on this notion of men not being mindreaders. It’s really not all that fucking hard to tell whether your partner is having a good time and enjoying herself!

      • Ceire says:

        @Claudia, the concept of enthusiastic consent – the words may be new, but so what?

        Until relatively recently, women were property, couldn’t choose their own spouses, rape didn’t exist within a marriage… a lot of concepts are new in the grand scheme of civilisation, but I assume you’re aware of them?

        Also, what you describe, the constantly asking questions? That’s verbal consent. Enthusiastic consent is someone being enthusiastic about sex, duh. Kissing you back, undressing, touching, smiling, asking for what she wants, those are examples of enthusiastic consent. Someone with their hands by their sides, not touching in response, eyes closed or looking away, tense and anxious body language, those are examples of someone who is not enthusiastic.

        It boggles my mind that someone can read “enthusiastic consent” and immediately think of 40 questions. Also, why is there always some woman everywhere online, asking us to feel sorry for poor dumb men who maybe never met a human before and don’t understand human emotions? Men aren’t idiots, and neither are you, so stop acting like it.

      • Wilma says:

        I love what Jameela Jamil had to say about this on her website. She perfectly describes how I feel about thisand why I am dissapointed in Ansari, who always seemed to signal to us that he got the concept of enthusiastic consent.

      • SilverUnicornq says:

        @Kitten

        “I am so TIRED of reading comments from women jumping to defend him and absolutely slamming Grace in the process. NOBODY is asking Aziz to be a “mind-reader”, simply asking him to NOT be socially retarded; to have a modicum of self-awareness and basic sensitivity.”

        This, ad infinitum!!

      • Marty says:

        @Kitten +10000000 on your comment. As I said in a previous thread, a woman shouldn’t have to shout “No!” at the top of her lungs and run from the room to illustrate she doesn’t like something. She kept on getting up, she kept on moving her hand away after he kept putting them on his crotch, she said she was uncomfortable. At the very LEAST, he could have just flat out asked her if she wanted to go further or not, but he didn’t. He had one goal on his mind and it allowed him to make anything anything she was feeling inconsequential. Her feelings didn’t mean anything as long as he got to have sex with her.

      • MrsBump says:

        This infantilization of women is doing none of us any favours. I feel sorry for a Grace, i’ve been on a similar date as have many, many women.
        Yes it is true that some women get killed for saying “No” but thankfully this isn’t true for every man out there. There is nothing to indicate that he forced her to take her clothes off, or forced her to blow him. This is Aziz Ansari, not an intimidating and physically powerful man. The argument that he should have understood her non verbal cues are easily rebutted, he could argue that she should have interpreted his non verbal cues when he rushed to pay the bill, and had not much interest in small talk. And she did interpret his cues correctly as she says that she knew early on that he only wanted sex and yet she went along, hoping that her impression was wrong.
        The real tragedy here, is that she wanted him to like her, and was more worried about not upsetting him than her own feelings. Now i understand that in some circumstances upsetting your abuser can result in death but this is not what happened here. This is a young naive girl who hoped that her meet cute would translate into a romance and was bitterly disillusioned when Ansari turned out to be a jerk.
        The question is, will she on her next date, also hope that the man reads her non verbal signs or will she say clearly say No and leave?
        We should teach our sons to get consent but Will you teach your daughters to timidly brush off unwanted gestures and hope for the best?
        My take from her account and my own experience is that women need to stop accomodating the feelings’ of men. If we want things to change we need to take accountability for our poor decisions.
        Unfortunately stories like this simply undermines our credibility, its basically a #metoo version of the boy who cried wolf

      • jwoolman says:

        Kitten – Aziz, like many people, is aware in some areas but maybe not so much in other areas. He’s sensitive to certain things, but I would never assume that would transfer over to sex in our culture. He picks up on the nuances of discrimination against himself and others like him and maybe even on discrimination against women, but that doesn’t mean he understands what’s happening in the middle of a sexual encounter. His age isn’t necessarily so relevant. He knew enough to ask for consent more than once, but he still had the pursuit game firmly in his head and kept pushing when he shouldn’t have.

        Alcohol and sexual arousal also mess up a guy’s ability to hear and process. Like it or not, a woman has to be aware of this and be careful not to get things started that might not be so easy to stop. Men vary in their ability to cool down. A woman in a longer relationship would know their partner better and know how the guy reacts and how to talk to him. The man likewise. Grace and Aziz only knew each other for a few hours. They were practically strangers.

        I know watching tv and movies gives the impression that it makes sense and is perfectly normal to leap into sex before you know how to spell each other’s names, but that approach is pretty risky. She’s lucky he wasn’t a killer rapist. He’s lucky she wasn’t a bunny boiler and poisoner. They both were reckless.

      • Chaine says:

        I have a pretty good feeling that Aziz will have his attorney whip up a 14 page consent contract + NDA that he is going to require all future dates to read and sign before proceeding.

      • Jeannie says:

        OMG THANK U KITTEN. F’ing facepalm, let’s stop expecting society to wipe 35-year-olds men’s asses (sorry for the visual). He knew what he was doing was wrong. Full stop.

      • Amy says:

        I’m starting wonder if the reason why so many women are vehemently defending that this is just how sex is, and that men can’t read minds but they also shouldn’t have to ask you if/what you like, is because these women are worried that this is exactly how their boyfriends, husbands, brothers, fathers, and male friends act? Or is that women don’t think the onus should be on the men to ask for consent because they themselves feel so uncomfortable about sex that they don’t want to TALK ABOUT IT during sex! Gasp! Scary! Are women too afraid to be asked questions about what they like or don’t like bc they don’t want to have to answer those questions? Like what if your partner wants you to blow him and it’s not your favorite thing, you don’t really like it, but you do it to make him happy? But if he asked you explicitly if you wanted to do that, then you’d have to say no, and then it might get awkward? How many women are just too afraid to answer the question “what do you like in bed? What do you want to do?”? How many women would just rather go along, sometimes a bit tensely and wearily, on whatever sexual ride their man is ready to take them on bc they don’t want to have to think about what they like or don’t like or why? They just want to keep assuming that the guy knows what he wants and the guy knows what’s going to work best for him, so they’re just going to let him take them on whatever journey he wants bc sex is mostly for him anyways, right?

        I’m starting to think some women are just a bit afraid to be asked bc they’re afraid to have to say either yes or no decisively and be seen as either a whore or a prude. It’s so much better for their image if their guy feels like he’s gotten away with something weird or kinky by just sort of deciding to go for it on his own during sex. Bc if he asked for the kinky thing and they said yes, he might view them as a bit of a freak. And if he asked and they said no, he might not like them so much anymore. Theyd rather let him “get away” with something they don’t really like, but also aren’t horribly revolted by, like sticking his fingers in their butt, bc it’s just easier than saying “yes” or “no” or “I like this,” “I don’t like that.”

      • LetItGo says:

        @amy

        Did you read the piece. “Grace,” quotes him asking her for consent, so what are you on about? She also describes him asking for a blow job and she consents to that as well.

        So help me undesrtand, was he supposed to see her nodding her head, saying yes or okay, then blowing him or participating, but conclude she really wasn’t into him?

        Because he didn’t, does he deserve the universal humiliation and demonization?

        No he doesn’t. My hope is that ‘Grace,” comes forward and says this wasn’t her intent – perhaps the author in her impulsiveness and immaturity skewed her story.

      • GreenTurtle says:

        @LetItGo, he also goes down on her, which she let him. I’m guessing that seemed like enthusiastic consent…
        There’s no question he was acting like a massive douche, but I think for her to hash this out in a very public forum, naming names, is overkill.

      • Jeannie says:

        I’m so sorry, kitten, sending you peace n love. ❤️

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      Men could also just flat-out ask. Just ASK a woman. Do you like this? Are you comfortable? Do you want to keep going? Or maybe, if you have to ask in the first place, that’s your answer right there.

      • Kitten says:

        But this will result in the death of flirting!!!!!!

        (sarcasm)

      • Snowflake says:

        Hi Kitten. You had posted about a personal situation of yours and you were considering what to do. Did you figure it out? If you don’t mind me asking..

      • Kitten says:

        Hi Snowflake. We terminated the pregnancy. It sucked. I’m still sad.
        I hope it gets better with time.

        I’m making a huge donation to Planned Parenthood this year. They made one of the most awful experiences of my life as bearable as it could possibly be. So thankful to them. ♥

        And THANK YOU so much to every single one of you who took a second to drop me a supportive comment. I couldn’t reply to all of them because I was an emotional wreck but I can’t begin to tell you how much it meant to me. You guys are amazing.

      • Wren says:

        I’m sorry you’re going through that, Kitten. I’ve been there, it was no fun.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I am sad for you kitten.
        It is funny how though none of us have ever met or will ever meet I could feel from your silence and distance that you weren’t ok and that made me sad. I enjoy your feisty comments and passion about these topics.
        Just know you can make a different decision one day if you choose in several different ways. Timing is everything. Sometimes events like this are horrible during and for sometime after until something happens that explains why it had to happen this way. Hugs again today. Not there in body but there next to you in spirit.

        With Pickles. In my oversized purse. On his way to my house. Forever and ever.

      • Marty says:

        Kitten, I’m sorry you are going through that. I’m sending you hugs and thoughts of cute kittens.

      • magnoliarose says:

        This was in response to Book below. It ended up in the wrong place.
        I asked several men about this since I don’t really have any women in my life who aren’t feminists. Not these days anyway.
        Different viewpoints and degrees of understanding but they all agreed that you know when someone isn’t into it, and you ask. You don’t assume.
        My husband thinks Aziz assumed his star power and pretend ally persona is like some sleazy guy using it to score with more women. He also thinks that Aziz’s behavior is typical of an entitled celebrity thinking their fame is a get laid guarantee card like Entourage portrayed. The largest factor here is his fame.
        People somehow tend to think famous people are their image and believe their interviews and think that is who they are when they 100 percent never are. You see it here how passionate fans can be about their favorites because they only show the public one carefully designed mostly positive image and none of the human being underneath.
        He probably had many encounters like this, and they turned into sex, so he assumed she was game. But that is arrogant. He is the celebrity and should be more responsible with his good fortune. It is his name and reputation on the line in these cases so he should know better. He is no longer new to this.
        He is guilty of being an arrogant jerk and only wanting the perks of fame but not the responsibility that comes with it.

      • Shambles says:

        Oh, Kitten. I missed this somehow. I adore you and I’m wishing you peace. *Hug* *hug* *hug from my cat*

      • tracking says:

        magnoliarose, YES on he wanted the perks of fame but not the responsibility.

        Kitten, I too am sorry for your painful situation. That is so, so hard.

      • V4Real says:

        Kitten so sorry to hear that. I know it wasn’t an easy decision. Just know that you did what was best. I pray it gets better with time.

      • Kitten says:

        Thank you all so much for the kind words of support. ♥

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I’ve been thinking of you a lot, Kitten. I’m hoping 2018 is a great year for you!

      • Snowflake says:

        Thanks for answering Kitten. I hope the pain eases for you. Not an easy decision to make. I’m sure you made the right choice for you.

      • Lahdidahbaby says:

        Kitten, you were brave to do what you needed to do. I know that doesn’t mean there’s not great pain and sadness afterwards, and I hope you have someone who will listen when you need to talk about it or just be there with you when you’re feeling quiet and fragile. A lot of us here know you as a wise, fair, kind, and feisty voice of reason and compassion, and you’ve done a lot of good through your posted opinions. I hope you can give yourself the benefits of those wonderful qualities now.

      • I Choose Me says:

        This is for Kitten. I don’t comment much these days but I saw your post and had to chime in to offer you love, hugs and best wishes.

    • Book says:

      Humans evolved to be social animals and can read the body language of others pretty efficiently. That’s how we take care of our kids before they learn to verbally communicate.

      It seems like a lot of women don’t want to face the fact the a lot of men just do not care that they are having sex with someone who is not into it and would rather pretend that it’s because men “aren’t mind readers”.

      • Kitten says:

        This completely. Internalized misogyny. And I’ve been fighting with women on social media about this..basically getting cyberbullied lol. These are the women who scream “I’m a HUGE advocate for women!!!”
        THEN ADVOCATE. DO THE DAMN WORK.

      • Agapanthus says:

        To be kind to all women, I think we need to remember that we have been conditioned and brainwashed about these issues for ever by MEN and the patriarchy!!

      • Another Anne says:

        Book, that is actually a fallacy. And I don’t say that in reference to this case, because Aziz was an idiot.

        But the fact is, not all humans are adept at reading non-verbal communication. On the contrary, some people are hopeless at it, no matter how hard they try. This is especially true of people on the spectrum. Ask any SPED teacher and they will tell you how many kids they work with who struggle with it. And women are better at reading non-verbal communication than men, in general.

        My advice to women would be not to rely on non-verbal communication. The guy may not get it. If he isn’t picking up on your body language, use your words. Then the doubt is removed.

      • jwoolman says:

        Notice that men still often are not the ones in full charge of nonverbal children.

        I don’t know if it’s nurture or nature yet, but women definitely pick up on nonverbal cues far better than men in most cases. It is not uncommon for wives to be their husband’s guide in such matters. My mother certainly was, she helped my father a lot in sorting out what was really happening in social/work-related gatherings. My brother seems rather clueless many times also, although not so much as his father. It’s not necessarily lack of desire to be tuned in. They lack either the training or the receiver equipment, not sure which. Maybe a bit of both.

      • Veronica says:

        Unless he’s severely neurologically atypical, the argument that he can’t read body language is a load of shit. Plenty of studies show men are perfect capable of reading the signs. Aziz Ansari is an actor. It is LITERALLY HIS JOB to empathize and understand how people think and feel. Suggesting he’s incapable is the real fallacy here.

        I have a neurological disorder. I have legitimate difficulty picking up on social signals. I’ve still managed to make it to my thirties without sexually harassing someone, unintentionally or otherwise. And beyond that, it’s not a cop out. It’s not an excuse. I resent the implication that atypical neuroses is justification for shitty behavior. Stimming isn’t something easily controlled. Continuously touching a woman exhibiting discomfort is. Do not look to those of us on the atypical spectrum to excuse Aziz.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Back when #MeToo started, one of my male friends took it upon himself to do an internet search of classic kisses in TV and film. He made a video of around 25 instances where male characters just charge up to a woman and SMASH a kiss on to her face. The female character is always taken aback, but after that smooch, she typically gasps and swoons.

        He posted the video and commented how disappointing it was to see how many beloved sources used this trope. Happy Days, even! It was EVERYWHERE. For too long, the conventional wisdom has been that men pursue, women get chased, and women get worn down and through this exercise they “realize” that they wanted it all along. There was theorizing that it came about because a “real lady” couldn’t show sexual arousal. She had to be somehow forced into it, which gave her cover to then enjoy it.

        We’ve come a long ways, but I think the idea of hunter/hunted still carries on, unfortunately.

      • Book says:

        @jwoolman

        It seems like you’re confusing “doesn’t” with “can’t”. People pretend to be clueless to avoid responsibility all the time.

        I was mostly taken care of by my grandfather when I was young and he was perfectly capable of responding to my needs before I learned to talk. Now, we are talking about a Ukrainian man who himself grew up in a small village that was occupied by the German army during his childhood, and during his formative years, people around him were too occupied with getting food on the table to “train” him.

        Yet he was perfectly capable of taking care of his grandchild. Because it’s an innate trait in humans.

        As I’ve said previously, humans evolved to be social animals. There’s a big amount of scientific literature available out there on non-verbal communication in our species.

    • Piia says:

      He didn’t have to be a mind reader. She moved several times her hand away from his penis, when he several times tried to force her hand on his penis. That is a very clear non-verbal sign, that she didn’t want to touch his penis or take part on sexual actions. She also spend the night getting away from him, trying to get some personal space. But he kept following around and behind her. Moving away from him is another clear non-verbal sign of “not interested in being intimate with you”. She asked to chill and she tried to take the sex out of the table by saying “next time”. Those are to me signs that she was not interested in having sex with him, at least not during that evening. But he kept on talking about fucking her, following her around, touching her. I mean c’mon. He didn’t have to be a mindreader. He just needed to listen to her and read some very clear body language. Not that hard.

    • PPP says:

      The ambiguous focus on “non-verbal communication” is not helpful. Pushing a guy off of you is clear. Taking a guy’s hand off a body part is clear. Getting off of the couch you’re sitting on with a guy and walking away from him is clear. Telling a guy to slow down is clear. Perhaps she could have been even more verbal or left earlier. However, most women don’t go into a sexual encounter wanting to say no. We go in wanting to have sex, and then a guy starts sticking his fingers down our throats or twisting our nipples through our shirts or tearing off our clothes without foreplay or other painful or gross or deeply unsexy things. We have an instinct to salvage and complete the situation because (i) we want to and (ii) we have internalized this idea that it’s a cardinal sin to lead a guy on or give him blue balls. That’s the productive takeaway from this whole thing, leaving the judgements about the individuals involved aside.

    • gentleorange says:

      No, not a mind reader. A very basic grasp of human body language should do it…

    • Coco says:

      It has been normalized in our society that men aggressively pursue sex with unwillingly partners. Our protesting seems to make the “prize” more enticing to them. It’s gross. This behavior is not criminal but it’s definitely damaging and we need to talk about it publicly so we can change it. It’s been normalized that we worry more about men’s feelings than our own, physical safety. She repeatedly said she wanted to slow down or stop. He repeatedly slowed it down for a minute and then continued right on at full speed ahead. Ansari marketed himself as a woke and respectful ally. At no point, according to Grace, did he respect her boundaries or check in to see if she was even in to it. He is no ally. I’m glad this story has been brought to the public realm and it’s making us question boundaries and our own sexual pasts. Most of us have similar experiences. I’m glad it’s making people uncomfortable and that Ansari is getting dragged for damaging behavior. Women have been uncomfortable and quietly assaulted and harassed for centuries. This is an important conversation to be having and is definitely part of the #MeToo movement. I want my toddler son to know what consent is, sex is between two willingly partners, and to read verbal and nonverbal cues so everyone feels safe and respected. Sex is SO much better that way!

      • Amy says:

        The fact that he would slow down or stop shows that he clearly could tell that was uncomfortable, he heard her when she said to slow down or stop, he picked up on her cues. Because he responded to them!

        But then he just kept trying again and again. That is the problem. He saw the cues, he heard her protest, he stopped, but then decided that what he wanted to do was more important than what she did not want to do, and he kept trying to convince her, to wear her down. And she was worn down in some instances. But the fact that she only did some things after repeatedly telling him no and having him back off only to start in on her again, means that she was coerced! If he had just accepted her first answer, there wouldn’t be a problem and it wouldn’t be so “complicated” for some people. HE made it complacated by forcing her to deal with his unwanted sexual advances over and over and over again. She probably thought each time that what she did or said last time didn’t work, so she better try something new this time. That’s why there were “mixed” signals coming from her. If he had just left her alone after the first time she said no, then it wouldn’t have gotten so “confusing.”

      • mouse tolliver says:

        She was naked the whole time. If she wanted to signal that she wanted to stop she should’ve put her clothes back on at the very least. To remain undressed sends the message that she was comfortable with what he was doing and that she was willing to keep going.

    • Wren says:

      You know, I’d be more on board with that in a younger man, a man without much life experience, who has not had many (any?) sexual partners. But Ansari is not at that life stage anymore. He’s mid-30s, famous, and been in the game awhile. He knows how to have the sex. He’s not navigating unfamiliar territory with a partner who is more or less his peer. He’s an older, experienced man pushing himself onto a much younger, likely star struck woman. That matters.

      No, men can’t be mind readers, but they can damn well be situation and people readers. Knowing your partner isn’t into something when they are clearly giving you a big “meh” with their actions isn’t mind reading. It’s paying attention to the other person. Besides, he’s an entertainer, shouldn’t he be expected to “read the room”? Did that skill magically evaporate just because he’s interacting with an audience of one?

      • Patty says:

        Actually based on the article, regardless of age, Ansari doesn’t know what he’s doing. Which is not entirely surprising. In America anyway people are so outwardly prudish when it comes to sex that unfortunately you have a couple of generations of both men and women who get their sex education from porn.

        And that’s how he behaved, he was very obvious about what he wanted. If he had been more experienced, or rather played the game: cuddled, made her think he wanted something more than just sex; she probably would have had sex with him. That’s the irony in all of this. His bumbling ways contributed to her feeling violated because he was almost to obvious in his efforts.

    • Hey Bale says:

      Kinda feel like the kind of sex he wanted requires a bit more trust and respect. Who the fuck treats a casual hookup like a hardcore porn film? That’s definitively rough sex. No respectful “feminist” (he isn’t one) or even decent person would do what he did without at least a conversation about this. What the hell?

    • LetItGo says:

      That babe.net writer is petty, immature and age-ist. Yea we get it, “Ashleigh is old, a has been, young people don’t care about her (which is THE most important thing EVAH!) , and she’s old and she’s over the hill, and no one that matters (us young people) even know who she is, and did I mention she was old, and oh yeah she’s SO OLD and over, by the way, maybe I didn’t mention it but…she’s old.”

      Except, not really.

      Seriously, this woman who wrote the “Grace” piece has tons of credibility issues, and its not like she wasn’t already on shaky ground to start with.

      That said, as some have already said, I don’t disbelieve Grace. I agree, I sure wouldn’t want to be Aziz Ansari’s next date. But in the end, what are we talking about? Let’s ridicule and destroy all the guys who want to have sex with us on dates. She knew he was intetested, she fueled his interest by participating up to a point, stating objections to certain activity but then actively partaking in others, until she had enough and went home. She was starstruck, but not that interested in the guy beyond that. It seems she was afraid to tell him that. She wasn’t afraid to tell us how he finger f’d her how she blew him twice how he went down on her, how he’s got awful technique – all under the cover of anonymity.

      So because she felt bad and regretted her actions, people are now debating if Aziz can be wedged between Harvey Weinstein and Woody Allen.

      Even more frustrating, you had a story of child molestation and assault on a huge successful movie (Eliza Dushku named her alleged molester, Joel Kramer), — and during the week huge stars weighed in on how heartbroken they are, Kramer is lying his ass off.

      But that story, a 12yo girl being used like an old Kleenex, got kinda shoved to the backburner(there’s been way more social media driven discussion regarding Aziz and “Grace”), because people wanted to have a debate on dating etiquette rather than child sexual abuse.

      Oh, ok.

      It’s pretty sivkening.

      • Kitten says:

        “She wasn’t afraid to tell us how he finger f’d her how she blew him twice how he went down on her, how he’s got awful technique – all under the cover of anonymity.”

        Honestly surprised that we went as long as we did without the first slut-shaming comment.

        And exactly how do you know she wasn’t afraid? Do you really think she enjoyed telling a story this intimate about a much-beloved actor? Or do you think that maybe she felt obligated to give very specific details in order for her account to be believed?

        She felt victimized and mistreated. Her very real and valid feelings do not constitute criminal charges. Aziz will be fine. He has his legion of crazy fans who will continue to defend him. He did not do anything criminal, he’s just a gross and sleazy dude who pretends to be a feminist because that shtick is a money-maker for him. Ask Louis CK. These two dudes are besties for a reason.

    • Merritt says:

      But men should be able to pick up on non-verbal cues. If someone is pulling away from you, then that should alert someone that the other person isn’t into what is going on.

      • MrsBump says:

        @Meritt
        But shouldn’t women also pick up non-verbal cues? She knew right from dinner that he was only interested in one thing, yet she went against her better judgement and went home with him. Did that not alert her that this date was going in a direction that she was not comfortable with ?

        @Kitten
        How can we claim to be feminists and then continuously victimize ourselves ? Should women always be damsels in distress ? Waiting for the man to notice our discomfort but be too shy to say loud and clear that we are not interested ? Yes she was young, and yes he’s a lot older, but 22 is not a child.
        This isn’t 12 year old Elisa Duchku (?) that was tricked into going into a man’s room. Grace is grown woman complaining that her date didn’t ask her which wine she wanted, again, why not speak up ?

        She so desperately wanted to be liked, that she silenced herself. Even after her disastrous date, it was her friends’s who convinced her that what had happened was assault, she couldn’t even decide that for herself.

        The real question is, why do we, women, silence ourselves, why are we so desperate to be liked ? Telling young women that the onus is on the men to interpret their non-verbal cues is doing them a terrible disservice. Yes men need to be more attentive the desires of their dates, but more importantly, women need to speak up!
        Not just in bad dates, for in all aspects of life, speak up when you are paid less, speak up when you disrespected and do not be afraid to be labelled a bitch !

      • Kitten says:

        She felt VICTIMIZED. She has every right to feel that way. It is neither your place nor mine to judge that.

        As I posted down-thread, I grew up with a strong feminist mother who ALWAYS taught me to speak up. I was never the shrinking violet type and I never had a problem telling a dude who was cat-calling me on the street to go f*ck himself.

        Yet in my early twenties I still found myself in situations similar to Grace where I felt obligated to offer up a sexual act so the guy wouldn’t be angry or accuse me of being a tease. It’s all well and good to police women’s behavior and tell us that we should be doing more of but it absolutely ignores the complex dynamics that occur when you’re alone in a room with your crush who has suddenly and inexplicably turned sexually aggressive. Women are conditioned to be permissive and accommodating. We are told that men have urges and that we shouldn’t be a tease. It is literally comments like the ones on this thread that are saying “men don’t pick up on non-verbal cues” or “men have trouble exhibiting self-control” that lead women to believe that guys are helpless to fight their biology and it’s our fault for getting a guy worked up; that because men have these biological urges, as women we must be expected to satisfy them.

        Additionally, there is a power that most young women feel when they first discover their sexuality. It’s flattering and exciting to be pursued by the guy we have a crush on. But indulging in and enjoying the attention is not a greenlight for sexual intercourse without consent.

        And finally, so many of us have had an experience where we DID say no repeatedly, only to have our requests ignored.
        “Well then just leave.”
        Yeah, because it’s that simple.

        Except it’s not.

        Sometimes leaving in that situation just means that the guy will shit-talk you and call you a prude, or he will claim to have had sex with you when it never happened, or he simply will never talk to you again. It’s really not that easy for every young woman to say no to a man she likes. And it’s really not that easy for a 22 year old woman to say no to a celebrity crush who is 13 years her senior.

        Why don’t some of you understand this?
        It’s almost like you people forget what it’s like to be a young woman trying to navigate through her newly discovered sexuality. That’s NOT infantilizing, that’s called having some goddamn compassion.

      • MrsBump says:

        @kitten – just because she felt victimised doesn’t mean that she was. I agree with you that women are conditioned to be nice, my first sexual experiences were very much like Grace’s and of course i have compassion, that was me not too long ago. However i took a long hard look at myself and my pathological need to be a people pleaser and decided never again would i bow to that sort of pressure just to make a guy like me.

        And So what if he calls you a tease after you say no or pretends that you slept with him when you did not? What you explained as being “not so simple” is precisely what is wrong! Don’t you see that? You’ve just enumerated a 101 reasons about why women are “powerless” to refuse a man’s unwanted sexual attention.
        Unless we rise above that bullshit, this is a power that men will forever hold over our heads.

        It’s fine to tell men to grow the f* up, and take accountability for the pressure they put women under to have sex so early into a relationship, i’m completely on board with that, it would have saved me so much heartache.
        But to tell young women, that yes, you are completely in the right to feel victimised, that your safety is dependent upon your partner’s ability to correctly interpret your cues is flat out dangerous.
        Grace needs someone to sit her down and explain to her that life isn’t so simple. Pandering to her need to feel sorry for herself is not compassion.

      • blogdis says:

        @ MrsBump

        Well said. I think @ kitten ( whom I usually agree with on most things ) like many other women ( myself included ) have been in Grace’s shoes and this is all they can see
        As you rightfully said SO WHAT if a guy won’t call you again, bad talks you , guilts you about hurting his feelings ??? Are we really saying that if a woman has a choice between feeling pressured into doing something she doesn’t want and a guys feelings, she is to put her feelings last and then sit around feeling victimized later? How is that feminism ?

        And also why does it have to be either or for some people why can’t it be both. We can hold men accountable for their shitty behavior AND also let women know they don’t have to put up with said behavior for fear of being liked or worrying about grown a$$ men fee fees

      • Merritt says:

        @MrsBump

        As someone explained above, consent is something that happens all throughout a sexual encounter, not just the beginning. Agreeing to hookup with someone does not mean that you agree to everything that happens especially of it is not enjoyable, uncomfortable, or something else that a person is not ok with. When someone is pulling away from you, you don’t continue try and have sex with them. Just because you go to someone’s room or invite them up, doesn’t mean that you consent to anything.

    • KTate says:

      Add to it that she was open to him stroking her hair, etc… i read with an open mind but it just seems that she wanted something to happen. Just not what actually happened. The song “try a little tenderness” comes to mind.

    • RedWeatherTiger says:

      Aziz didn’t have to be a mind reader. He could have said, “Do you want to do this?” “Do you want to go further?” “Can I touch you here?” While he was busy shoving his fingers down her throat or trying to ram his hand down her pants, he could have opened his own mouth to ask for consent at every stage of the game, and if she was not wholly enthusiastic, he could have said, “okay, let’s just talk” or “okay, I thought this was going somewhere, but I guess it isn’t. Would you be more comfortable if we just said goodnight?”

      • Vanessa says:

        Is this really the normal way to have consensual sex in the US? Seriously asking. I would be so annoyed if a guy asked me questions like this every few seconds or minutes. Would totally annoy me and turn me off and actually has once or twice in the past. I was like “I am a grown woman in bed with you, having sex with you. Stop asking me if everything is ok. I am not a child you need to take care of. I will tell you if I don’t like somerhing”. My girlfriends and I are always less than amused if we have guys that keep asking “do you like this? Can I kiss you there? Is this ok?” totally kills the spontaneity and heat of the moment. But I agree with you that if I keep moving his hands away and am not responsive at all an average guy especially of his age should be able to pick up on that.

      • MultiplesofEmmas says:

        @Vanessa

        No that’s not normal in the US. At least I hope not it sounds so ridiculous. If I’m not into something I’ll move my hand/his hand/say something. If I want something more, I’ll initiate that physically and he can refuse.

    • Mina says:

      Grace’s story should have been an op-ed. She could have told her version unfiltered. The fact that a reporter felt the need to take protagonism and turn it into an article that has to meet certain standards was the worst that could have happened to a valid personal experience. The “media” hasn’t done anything, Katie Way screwed her credibility and her source’s out of pure ego and arrogance.

  2. grabbyhands says:

    Ignoring everything else, Way’s response sounds like it was written by an angry 15 year old. I’m surprised she didn’t include “Ashleigh is a fugly slut”.

  3. Ayra. says:

    A shambolic mess is a good description.
    Not only does it seem like the site only cares about the attention they’re getting from the story, the article wasn’t well done at all (there were parts that didn’t match, unnecessary input from Katie Way). Plus I read that they hadn’t informed Aziz’s team before publishing, which is apparently necessary.

    Katie Way fancies herself a feminist, but had no issue attacking a WELL KNOWN journalist, for her physical appearance and age. I wonder who that reminds me off..
    As a journalist, publishing something of this magnitude that affects the lives of multiple people, she should have expected critic. The way she’s handling the situation is downright shameful. Shifted the focus from the situation, which could have been a good way to bring light to the complexity that is consent/being in uncomfortable situations, to her.

    I also wouldn’t suggest strolling through her twitter or any of her other articles, she writes like a teenager from tumblr.

    • blogdis says:

      The thing is Is most people believe ” Grace” I certainly believe that what she said was exactly what happened and that Azis is a creep with issues withboundaries and being annoyingly persistent , I Can bellieve all those things and also believe Grace as a 23 yo woman needs to find her voice and be an advocate for her personal safety and comfort .

      Not every negative sexual encounter is the same and meets the burden of sexual assault which is what Grace was claiming by the end of the babe net article , and thinking in such absolute terms helps no one
      We complain tha society is putting all,the burden of sexual negotiations on women but have no problemputting all the burden here on Aziz who again IMO is a creep , but they are both adults, he is not her boss, landlord or someone who she is dependent on in any way, , disgustingly persistent at times he Did not force , coerce threaten or intimidate her into anything in fact all he did was point at his private parts And she performed oral sex on him …twice and when she finally decided to leave he did not prevent her from leaving he called her an uber

      In the story as told, Azis is an ass yes and Grace is not an some helpless infant devoid of agency either both things can be true

    • magnoliarose says:

      This article was shoddy and bordering on slander because she didn’t go through the proper channels.
      She is not Ronan Farrow. The story deserved a seasoned journalist, not this person who speaks the jargon of feminism but has not one bit of understanding what it means.
      Her letter to Ashleigh is a disgrace.

  4. Nicole says:

    Yea this email is cringe. There’s a way to respond to criticism and this is not it. There’s an NYT piece that was good (opinion) about how we need to teach men to listen to Women’s responses and that their job is not to coerce a sexual encounter from women. Way better than the other NYT piece about how MeToo is turning women into snowflakes 🙄

  5. Deets says:

    This one touched a nerve for a lot of people. I wonder if it’s because the sexual script is so familiar? Or because Aziz is generally thought of as a ‘good guy’? A non-threatening guy?

    The reactions have been interesting.

    And Katie has some major work to do on being a feminist if she feels ok attacking another woman like that.

    • Eiré says:

      My impression is that it’s both–people thought (although, not me) he was a decent dude, and to many, the experience is painfully familiar.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      I agree that it is the combination of “good guy” and how familiar the experience feels for many, I also think that even though his actions seem “less worse” than what the Harvey Weinstein’s of the world have done to women it is probably more important that these kind of stories are heard precisely because it is so common and covers a very vague area of discomfort that walks right up to the line of using force/coercion but never crosses it. It is in these stories that the importance of enthusiastic consent can be discussed.

      TLDR version: An absence of “No” does not mean “yes” needs to be discussed more.

    • Neelyo says:

      ‘And Katie has some major work to do on being a feminist if she feels ok attacking another woman like that.’

      I’d say she has some major work to do on being a decent human being.

    • lucy2 says:

      I too agree it’s both.

      That email is appalling. There is not a hint of professionalism in there, and her personal attacks on AB’s appearance and age are disgraceful, and really telling about her character. That sort of immature and unprofessional response really sets her and what she’s trying to do back, as well as damages the validity of publishing this article.

      I believe “Grace”, and I feel terrible for her the way this has all gone.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Yes! I’ve been reading all the comments and seeing this debate unfold with interest. Zapp Brannigan is right on the money.

  6. QueenB says:

    There were multiple people alluding that there are more women. For example:

    “Consider please that you haven’t yet heard the worst about the comedian with the divisive article written about him.”
    https://twitter.com/heatherfink/status/953352517714296832

    So GOOD JOB to everyone, also including posters here, that went out of their way to defend a mediocre man. Because that whats its all about at the end of the day isnt it?
    Those women will very likely never come forward now because The Atlantic and all the other misogynistic outlets shamed Grace. And those women will have also seen self acclaimed feminists defending Aziz and telling Grace “to grow a pair”.

    Men dont even need to use their power to defend themselves and their fellow predators. Women do that gladly.

    • Agapanthus says:

      Totally agree, Queenb, excellent points.

    • KBB says:

      This is why I wish the story had been in more capable hands at a more reputable publication. They would have gathered multiple stories and established a pattern of abusive behavior and triple checked their sources.

      Instead we got a poorly written, oddly constructed story peppered with random editorializing that left people completely unclear on what exactly happened. A decent journalist could have done so much more with this story.

      • HelloSunshine says:

        This. I have no issue believing that he is not this great guy that portrays himself as but that story, along with the Franco one, really don’t do the victims justice and it comes down to sloppy journalism. It almost feels like this writer was more concerned about her “big break” instead of helping a victim and any potential future victims.

      • tracking says:

        Yes, I completely agree. Katie Way was a poor choice for telling Grace’s story. Better framing, and less presentation as a hit piece(!) would have made a far more positive contribution to the important and necessary conversation about consent. Even though I understand she felt like she was retaliating on G’s behalf, her response to Ashleigh was unbelievably crass and immature, not to mention ageist.

      • Kitten says:

        Yes it should have been handled with more sensitivity for sure. But it still blows my mind that women want to shut down the very important conversation that Grace’s story precipitated. This is about male entitlement and misogyny in the bedroom. This is about enthusiastic consent. This is about the importance of sex–even if it is no-strings-attached casual sex–being a two-way street where both partners are on the same page. It’s about men caring as much about female satisfaction as they do their own satisfaction.

      • lucy2 says:

        I absolutely agree – had this been handled by a better journalist/publication/site, I think it would have been framed the necessary discussion that should have come out of it.

        Also, QueenB, thank you for that link, it was well worth the read. She wrote that at great risk.

      • Another Anne says:

        Exactly this. It is actually a great case study for discussion – for parents and teens, for sex ed class, whatever. But by not doing the due diligence of fully fleshing out the story, a real mess is left behind.

      • BorderMollie says:

        Exactly, utterly important discussion and the first article to bring it up is about as poor as can be and unfortunately runs the risk of completely discrediting all further discussions since detractors can keep referring back to the terrible original article.

    • Purplehazeforever says:

      @Queenb..I didn’t respond to the first post because a) I always thought Aziz was creepy, not a mediocre guy & b) these posts tend to be a free for all by commenters on here. I wish I could say this more delicately but I’m tired of people dissecting other women’s encounters with men. If Grace left that night feeling violated, she was violated. Aziz didn’t have to have a position of power or be violent to commit sexual assault. When men don’t look for consent this is what often happens. It’s about consent. Everyone can dissect whether she gave enough verbal or nonverbal cues all she wants but to me the fault belongs with Aziz. I said no 6 times…guess what? I was still raped. So those on this site talking about Grace’s actions need to take a seat and listen. Aziz ignored all of the signs she gave him. She clearly did not want to engage in sex regardless of what else she did with him. He didn’t ask her…would you like to have sex? He chose how he was going to approach the situation…he’s not a bumbling oaf nor was he ever one of the good ones. How are people so easily fooled?

      • Chaine says:

        I have been turning it over and over in my mind. When it comes down to it, what SHOULD have happened when she initially indicated that she was not interested in whatever physical contact was going on or suggested? Men should just realize, not every girl is going to be good to go on the first date and be prepared for that with a Plan B that puts sexual activity on the back burner. “I understand, I hope I didn’t make you feel uncomfortable. Let’s put our coats back on and go out and have an after-dinner-drink and look at the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center” or something like that would be perfect.

        Then the woman if she is still interested in the guy does not feel like she was an idiot or ruined her chances with the guy by declining sexual activity, and if she is no longer interested, she can decline with the usual politeness of “It’s late, I’ve got work tomorrow, thank you for the nice evening” or whatever and go.

    • Ocho says:

      Here is a link to film director Heather Fink’s article alleging she “know[s] from several members of the Master of None season 2 film crew, that [Ansari] sexually harassed someone”. The article is additionally about Fink’s claims that Ansari does not treat men and women equally in professional and social situations. Since writing the article, a friend informed her of more allegation/s but they are afraid of the legal ramifications of making the claims. I would interject that it is important to note that the article does not describe first hand accounts, details about the alleged sexual harassment nor corroboration.

      Link: https://medium.com/@heatherfink/what-i-know-about-aziz-ansari-201549582e34

    • SilverUnicornq says:

      @QueenB

      “Men don’t even need to use their power to defend themselves and their fellow predators. Women do that gladly.”

      Absolutely spot-on.

  7. Ally says:

    I’m much more concerned about Grace and the millions of women who have had similar gross exploitative experiences, than about Ashleigh Banfield’s feefees about her appearance. If she’s okay with victim judging, she should be fine with talking head judging.

    You’re absolutely right: the discussion should be about all the points in the evening where he should have behaved better and smarter (and been more honest about his dehumanizing intent), not about how he was entitled to keep pushing for sex and she failed to be a good gatekeeper. Especially given the act and persona he has built his career on. That would be helpful for everyone going forward.

    • lara says:

      While he behaved like an entitled asshole and I believe she felt abused, I think we can not expect a men to read all the nonverbal signals correctly and at the same time do not expect a woman to read the nonverbal signals of a man.
      At least from the description on babe.net his intend seemed to be clear from the beginning. I think I never met a man who invited a woman home after dinner without intending to have sex with her.
      Either both persons should be able to read the nonverbal signals or we really have to resort to clear communication. Meaning, No means No. But according to her account, she did not say No, and was not threatened or harmed physically, she could have left without further consequences.

      He behaved like a creep, but thats “only” bad and disgusting behaviour, not assault.

      Even my financie after three years is usually unable to read my nonverbal signals when I am not interested in sex ans I have to state a clear No, not today. How should a stranger read those signals?

      • kk2 says:

        I agree. I think when you are arguing assault based on nonverbal cues, it is fair to look at all the person’s behavior (ie cues). It is disingenuous to compare that to people saying a victim was raped because of she was wearing a short skirt. Of course you look at his behavior also, which the piece already did. I also feel icky about the lack of agency attributed to Grace with that interpretation, that it was all Aziz’s responsibility. That doesn’t sit well with me as a woman.

        I think the reaction is both of the things you identified. Also the article is so …flippant about calling this assault. And I hear people saying conversation should be about consent not legal definition of assault, but the article pointed the conversation toward assault, without any real examination of the question. Also, because it does not seem (to many) to be assault, nor does it involve the workplace, it feels like the level of detail in article is calculated to embarrass him more than anything else. So that’s where people’s positive feelings about him come in. If it were about someone perceived as an ahole (can’t think of good example), people might not care enough to feel defensive.

        Ms. Way’s email was unprofessional, just like her article. She is young. I did a lot of unprofessional crap at that age also, but lucky for me, not on such a large stage. The whole thing is embarrassing to me as a feminist and ardent supporter of the movement in general. Poor judgment from everyone involved (including of course Aziz).

        Im curious to hear if additional stories come out re his treatment of women at work, as Heather Fink alludes to. And if so, God I hope they don’t go to babe.net.

      • Ally says:

        These interpretations bizarrely ascribe pure good faith misunderstanding to Ansari and his ilk. Much likelier is that he perceived all the signals and kept pushing. There’s a whole pick-up artist canon, plus basic rape culture (‘men are entitled to sex and to doing all they can to get it’; ‘it’s on women to put on the brakes’) devoted to this.

        Men are perfectly capable of picking up their boss’s or clients’ non-verbal cues; it’s that too many pretend they can’t or make less effort to do so with women in sexual situations.

      • Wren says:

        I don’t really know what to think. I’ve had similar experiences where the guy definitely knew I wasn’t interested and didn’t care, and others where I’m certain he had no clue and was doing what he thought he was supposed to be doing. People have varying degrees of skill in being able to read people, and various levels of caring if another person is uncomfortable. People also have varying degrees of being willing to end an encounter they don’t enjoy. It’s hard to draw the line. I wish someone, um, competent had written the original article.

      • Millennial says:

        Lots of people invite people over after dinner without it meaning they want sex. Ever hear of “Netflix and chill”?

        That’s one argument I hate seeing over and over! As if going to his house was consent for having sex because that’s what the expectation is. Nopity nope.

      • Onerous says:

        @Millennial – “Netflix and chill” is literally code for sex…

    • Another Anne says:

      Millenial – you just proved the point of how misunderstandings occur when we don’t communicate clearly and verbally. “Netflix and chill” is a euphemism for sex.

      So right off the bat, two people could have been on an entirely different page because one used a slang phrase that the other misunderstood.

  8. KBB says:

    Katie Way has done such a disservice to her source. From the initial poorly written story to her overshadowing the story by acting like a child…I just wish Grace’s story had been in the hands of a capable journalist. She trusted this person to do her right and has been completely let down.

  9. adastraperaspera says:

    I am suspicious of any so-called journalist who spits out divisive vitriol–especially when their rhetoric clearly intends to divide women. Katie Way is surely aware that her stance weakens the #MeToo movement. I wonder if that is her actual goal.

  10. Eiré says:

    I read somewhere–commentary from a journalist, whose name escapes me, on Twitter–that this story and how Grace’s experience has been, in my opinion, mishandled, should serve as a lesson as to why it’s so crucial to be considered about who you trust to tell your story. Why you should be careful with it, and be sure that the person you’re trusting to tell your story is not only equipped to tell it, but to handle it well.

  11. msd says:

    Some media outlets are rushing stories in the attempt to be first or get ahead of something else or to make a name for themselves. The LAT piece on Franco, though damning, was similar. This doesn’t make the claims invalid, it’s just frustrating to witness. Shit needs to be well written, well researched, and airtight because society at large is still resistant to change.

  12. Izzy says:

    I don’t get it.

    When “Grace” said maybe she’d have sex with him next time, he tried to get her tipsy by giving her another glass of wine so she’d be more inclined to have sex with him then.

    How does that NOT make Ansari at the VERY least guilty of predatory behavior? How is that “misinterpreting” a cue?

  13. Sway says:

    There was a very eloquent and actually great article in the “Opinion” section of NY Times two days ago that sums up all I could say about this matter from now on. The author is Bari Weiss (she’s a woman). Here’s a little excerpt, but really, the whole thing is worth a read.

    “Aziz Ansari sounds as if he were aggressive and selfish and obnoxious that night. Isn’t it heartbreaking and depressing that men — especially ones who present themselves publicly as feminists — so often act this way in private? Shouldn’t we try to change our broken sexual culture? And isn’t it enraging that women are socialized to be docile and accommodating and to put men’s desires before their own? Yes. Yes. Yes.

    But the solution to these problems does not begin with women torching men for failing to understand their “nonverbal cues.” It is for women to be more verbal. It’s to say, “This is what turns me on.” It’s to say, “I don’t want to do that.” And, yes, sometimes it means saying goodbye.

    All of this put me in mind of another article published this weekend, this one by the novelist and feminist icon Margaret Atwood.“My fundamental position is that women are human beings,” she writes. “Nor do I believe that women are children, incapable of agency or of making moral decisions. If they were, we’re back to the 19th century, and women should not own property, have credit cards, have access to higher education, control their own reproduction or vote. There are powerful groups in North America pushing this agenda, but they are not usually considered feminists.”

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      Another Margaret Atwood quote Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them it may go some way to explaining why some women are docile and not vocal when uncomfortable around some men. Sometimes you have to extract yourself in the least harmful way possible.

    • QueenB says:

      This is exactly what I was talking about. Going out of the way to paint this at “not as bad as other stuff” and putting the blame on women and hwo they behave.

      Atwood really hasnt considered all those people who called her out the fisrt time for being a rape apologist. That was a terrible article and its sad that she uses her power and feminist credentials to attack victims credibility.

      • Kitten says:

        Yeah….

        It’s like people completely ignore the context. Male celebrity who is 13 years older than the “regular” woman that he is dating. “She should have been more verbal, more assertive”.
        JFC she was hanging out with a famous dude who is also a self-proclaimed feminist. She was probably shocked and disgusted by his behavior but also star-struck and nervous about saying no.

        Again, this isn’t like two regular, non-famous twenty-somethings going out on a date. There was a clear discrepancy in terms of both emotional maturity and social status–a discrepancy that greatly favored Aziz.

      • SilverUnicorn says:

        It was a terrible article and many criticized her for it.

        It was also about a lot of mind-boggling sentences about witch hunts, women’s agency and political idiocies about Cosa Nostra….

      • Sway says:

        SilverUnicorn, you are thinking of a different article. No such things in that one.

    • Iknowwhatboyslike says:

      I agree with her to some extent, but she misses the point. Women aren’t not saying no because they don’t want to. Some women aren’t saying no because they are afraid of what will happen if they do. They’re afraid. The fact is, if saying “NO” was just enough, many, many women would not be raped, Many women have said no and they haven’t been listened to. So we do what we need to do to survive. End of story.

      This time has been such a wake-up call for me and a few of my friends from high school and college. We’ve discussed our sexual past and have acknowledged those moments where we knew in our heart of hearts were not right, but have not accepted it for what is was. I had an experience where I didn’t want to have sex with an older guy I went out on a few dates with. We were at his apartment and I thought the most we would do was kiss and heavy petting. When he tried to have sex, I said no, not tonight. He stopped what he was doing, but instantly became distant and cold. He was my ride home and I was afraid he would kick me out (I was a good distance from home and didn’t have enough money for a cab). So I gave in and had sex with him to lessen the tension. I never spoke to him again after that. I just concluded that he was a Jerk and called it a bad experience. I never thought to label that experience in any other terms but that. Now, when I think about myself back then, just 19 years old and very inexperienced, it’s hard to think about it as just a bad date. I still don’t know how to label it. The only thing I can do to help this world is raise a son who will respect women and be thoughtful and know how to read cues!!

    • chai35 says:

      Stop, seriously. It is not all on women to change a culture that they have been socialized into and which puts them, fundamentally, at a disadvantage. This is victim blaming–she should have just left, she should have just told him no. That is not simple, especially in situations where you can be physically overpowered or where you freeze or are unable to process the situation. How about instead of saying women need to be more vocal, we start teaching men that it consent does not mean the absence of no? That they are not entitled to sex? That their pleasure is not prioritized at the expense of the women they are with?

      • Another Anne says:

        Why is it either/or? Yes, we should teach men that consent does not mean the absence of no. And yes, we should teach women that they need to be vocal. BOTH parties need to communicate clearly and verbally about what they want and don’t want.

      • Kitten says:

        I’ve always been taught to be vocal, to speak up for myself, to not be pressured into sex before I was ready. None of that knowledge prevented me from having similar experiences as Grace.
        Multiple times.

        Maybe if men were taught to LISTEN to women, to show more sensitivity and care in the bedroom, and to not pressure women to have sex before they are ready, then women wouldn’t have to worry about saying NO more than once.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I grew up with men who know better so it can be done. It isn’t impossible. As much as my parents on making the girls in the family strong, they also spent a lot of time teaching my brothers how to treat people in general. They aren’t perfect people, but in this, there is no question.
        When we have sons, we have to do better and not allow societal expectations determine the type of men they eventually grow up to be.

        I think it is misread when we discuss this as foisting it all off on men but what we are asking is for them to start carrying their fair share of responsibility in intimate situations. All of it has been on our backs, and we are told that whatever happens is our fault as if we set up this grossly lopsided social dynamic.
        If a man wants sex, it is seen as up to the woman to decide what happens so that she is also to blame for their bad behavior as a result. Sure sometimes we make mistakes or poor judgment calls and suffer for it. But at some point, perhaps now, we should focus on what THEY should improve. If they improve and start getting it, I guarantee most of these situations will no longer happen.

      • Lexluthorblack says:

        As I black women, I don’t wait for people to change or give me my rights. If I do, I would wait forever. I just stand up for what I believe in come hell or high water. Why would you expect your oppressor to change, when the current system benefits him? You have to make things uncomfortable for the oppressor and make certain sacrifices in order for the movement to grow. Just like the #Metoo movement and BLM. Women will have to be more vocal and stand up for their rights regardless of the consequences. We will have to continue the fight to get what we want. No movement in history works by waiting on the oppressor to change.

    • Wren says:

      Thing is, there’s often a price for saying no. If you’re lucky, he’ll just be disappointed and everyone will go along their slightly unhappy way. Maybe he’ll get mad and hurt you somehow. Maybe he’ll simply ignore you and carry on. Maybe he’ll pester you into compliance. Also, were you taught to say no? I mean really trained, so that in a high stakes situation (like, say, being pressured for sex by an older celebrity) you could decline and extract yourself without thinking twice. My guess is probably not. We teach girls self defense, but not how to say no when the pressure is on. And we don’t teach boys to accept a no and back off.

    • Kate says:

      I was with you for the first paragraph there but then the writer’s takeaway that it’s all on women to assert themselves just kind of swerved into huh? If we demand that men respect their dates’ boundaries and obtain verbal or enthusiastic nonverbal consent and refrain from emotionally manipulating them, that’s not taking away women’s agency and treating them like children, that’s just reminding men that women are people not sex holes who obviously want the sex because they came back to my place.

      Yes, we should also 100% encourage and teach women to be clear about their boundaries and get the hell out if someone is not respecting them. But that can’t be the complete solution to our “broken sexual culture.” If we demand that women “be more verbal” and say “this is what turns me on” or “I don’t want to do that” or “goodbye” then a prerequisite for that being an effective solution is knowing that the man is going to LISTEN to those instructions. If saying “I don’t want to do that” falls on deaf ears and the man continues to do the same things over and over again and the woman eventually says “goodbye” (both of which happened in the Grace/Aziz scenario) that doesn’t stop the woman from feeling completely violated and disrespected does it? That’s not enough. Men have to be responsible for their actions too.

  14. vauvert says:

    I did not comment on this story originally because I had such mixed feelings about it. I had to re-read the original babe article multiple times, plus the related articles in other media, and I had a lot of talks about it, including with my woke husband and teen son (teachable moment all the way). I do believe her account – and from what I have read Grace’s story was not in question – she told the facts as she saw them. However the article was poorly written, and Way’s reply shows she is a poor writer, not to mention immature as hell.

    Here’s the thing – he acted in a gross manner. He was insensitive and and an entitled bro. I did not see see it as assault. I see it as a date gone horribly wrong, in which the two participants apparently had very different goals and expectations, with a lot of terrible communication thrown in.

    I think both parties acted poorly. There is no doubt that he should have stopped, IMO, when she said : “I don’t want to hate you”. In any sexually charged situation when a party says that, it is incumbent on the other party (Aziz) to stop and clarify why that is, and end the evening. I also think that if the party who has been in similar situations before should have either thought it through better before accepting a first date to start and end at the man’s apartment, particularly in light of previous bad experiences before (with other men), and when the rest of the date felt rushed or uncomfortable. If you don’t like the wine he served, refuse it. If you feel the dinner ends too soon, either refuse to continue it, ask to stay longer, or discuss what the expectations are before heading back to his apartment. If, at his apartment, you feel uncomfortable with unwanted sexual overtures, get up and leave. Sitting down to be comforted by the person who made you uncomfortable with the unspoken expectation that he would suddenly become thoughtful, and stroke your shoulders or hair, is unrealistic and beyond naive.

    No, this is not victim blaming. There is a vast difference between being assaulted – particularly by a man who has power over your career, who uses threats or inducements to extract sexual “favours”, and a date with a jerk – one that you wanted to be romantic, and he saw as an easy “score”. Should he have been paying attention to her signals? Absolutely. Should he have stopped at her obvious discomfort? Of course. That is on him. Should she have asked herself why she went twice to his apartment on a first date – before going? A big, resounding yes. That is on her.

    • Severin88 says:

      @vauvert. Amen. Is he an entitled douche bro? Bad date? For sure. Will this hopefully become a teachable moment for everyone involved? I hope so, I still don’t view this as assault.

    • Wren says:

      I would 100% agree with you, except that power dynamics DID exist here. The man was 13 years her senior and very famous and wealthy. She was not on his level of fame or income. They are not peers. I think that muddies the waters considerably, and I think it absolutely does make a difference. It’s harder to stand up to people you perceive as above you, even if they don’t have direct power over you.

    • Luca76 says:

      I agree with you and would add that this is the reason why a reputable site wouldn’t have touched this story as a way to out AA. He behaved in a disgusting and creepy way but this isn’t a case of sexual assault in legal terms. It would have been a better article of AA wasn’t named. If it wasn’t about take down culture and more about being a teachable moment for the parties involved. Of course everyone wants the takedown right?

    • blogdis says:

      @ vauvert
      Thank you , there is also a lot of talk here and elsewhere about non verbal or social cues the fact is , both women AND MEN understand cues they just sometimes ignore the ones that don’t meet thier agenda and amplify the one that do as happened here

      For instance when a man hustles you through dinner on your first date to take you home that is a ” cue” that his mainly wants sex . Many women ignore this due to ego , they think they are too special , pretty smart whatever to just be a jump off
      Going back to someone’s apt especially a practical stranger (right or wrong ) is often seen as cue that you are open to some form of sexual activity ( to be clear this doesn’t entitle anyone to sex and the activity whatever it is must be mutually consented )
      Getting naked, receiving oral sex and giving oral sex (twice with the only prompting of a pointed finger ) are also non verbal cues

      YEs, Grace did resist him placing her hands on his private parts which is def cue that was not Ok , she also went on to verbalize this by saying slow down , which he then stopped briefly she neither got dressed or left at this point but continued to lounge around with him butt naked. So Azis because it suited his agenda say this a a cue that she was still open to further sexual activity . note that when she finally decided to leave he did not prevent her from doing so and even called her a cab

      This is why non verbal cues need to be consistent AND we also need to use our voice,Why ? Cuz we are the ones left with the scars, she walked away from that date feeling violated whilst he clearly hadn’t a care in the world even texting her the next day to say it was nice meeting her etc.
      Never was a fan of Aziz, and quite frankly think his actions were deplorable and creepy but Saying women need to use thier agency in instances like this when they can, to advocate for themselves is not victim blaming

  15. manda says:

    I am so conflicted about this whole thing because I see both sides. For me, though, I do err on the side of “so what she could have left? he could have also seen that she was uncomfortable!” On SNL this week, Aidy Bryant did a thing on the news about how, as a woman, her mind is constantly filled with concern for the people around her, and it’s just unfathomable that someone would not be able to tell when their partner was uncomfortable and not really reciprocating. And I agree with that. Pay attention to your partner, are they in to it? If no, then back off.

  16. K says:

    As an attorney, I am always worried about accusations and lack of evidence. It’s appalling that you and many others blindly believe all accusations. If you were on the accused side, I wonder how you would feel? I’m all for women’s rights, but come on, not every harassment story is real.

    To ask for evidence doesn’t make one against the movement or women.

    Grace’s article was gross. If true, he’s horny and disrespectful. However, he doesn’t deserve the babe article. Aziz is no Harry Weinstein, not even close.

    • Clare says:

      I agree with you regarding innocent until proven guilty, but the statistical facts are that a very very small number of sexual abuse accusations are false.

    • Tan says:

      Why are women always asked to provide evidence before anything they say need to be believed.
      Grace is not even suing Aziz or lodging complaint against him. She just is telling her story, like many many more women , famous women did in the recent months

      We had no problem listening to them and believing them. Why is it when an everyday girl suddenly tells her story against a celeb that she is vilified and asked to provide evidence?

      And the story details about txt messages she sent to her friends in the evening expressing her thoughts quite clearly. How much more evidence you need to just simply believe it?

      And people wonder why women do not come forward with assaults

      Like why can you not ask aziz to provide evidence that he did not creep her out?

    • SilverUnicorn says:

      “It’s appalling that you and many others blindly believe all accusations.”

      It’s appalling you don’t. And before opening your mouth you should consult the ‘really appalling’ conviction rates for rapists and sexual assaulters.
      Then come back.

      Majority of people who talk like you have not a) been assaulted or raped b) gone through the justice system (Clue: I have, both of them).

    • Kitten says:

      I have a feeling you’re going to feel pretty embarrassed about this comment when the other shit about him comes out.

    • MellyMel says:

      I would hate for someone to be falsely accused as well, but isn’t the “lack of evidence” part of the problem in these cases in general? How often is there physical evidence to prove harassment or assault? With rape, a rape kit may be done or there may are visible marks on a victims body. There may be texts/emails to prove something, but it really almost always comes down to a he said/she said argument. Many of us choose to side with the victim assuming they’re telling the truth rather than side with the accused. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    • magnoliarose says:

      It isn’t belief on a witness stand. This isn’t a court of law.
      Believing her story means it is worth considering it and being open to the fact that is most likely telling the truth. Women rarely lie about this. It happens, but I prefer to be wrong on that end than on the other because over 90 percent of the time the victim is telling the truth.
      It is about time we err on the side of women for a change.

  17. Iknowwhatboyslike says:

    Katie graduated from Northwestern University in January 2017. When I read the article, I kept saying to myself that it read like a college graduated first feature, full of non-essential details or details that were leading to the reader. She isn’t seasoned and this story was bigger than the skills she currently has. The Weinstein story and Ronan Farrow’s story were written by well-experienced journalists. It’s unfortunate that Grace’s story couldn’t have been told with a little more care. But it’s out there. Katie’s reaction was that of a immature writer who was making room for that Pulitzer and was stunned by the critiques.

    Before I had my kids, I read an article in the NYT that touched on bullying and why some kids are more prone to be bullied than others. The article mentioned that it all came down to social cues in some cases. Since then, I’ve always taught my children from a young age how to read people, how to tell when somebody doesn’t want you around. I wonder if it just boils down to that? Teaching kids, especially boys, from a young age, to pay attention to body language and tone of voice? Will it cure the world of rapists and sexual assaulters? No. But maybe it will reduce all the gray areas, like this one.

  18. Adrien says:

    The babe reporter took advantage of Grace. A babe staff bragged about legitimate sites picking up their story. Regarding Aziz, I always thought he is creepy, pushy dude ever since I read about his Blake Lively story. It maybe hilarious, endearing even to some but I found the whole thing stalkerish. It appeared that Blake was never interested from the get go, not replying to his texts yet he continued to text her. Dude couldn’t get a clue. It doesn’t surprise me that he is getting mixed signals from the clearly uncomfortable Grace.

  19. TST says:

    Word. Rape, abuse of power, harrassment, these are crimes and thank goodness we are shouting about them at the top of our collective lungs. This seems so different, however, and as an card carrying feminist of the old school I am dismayed at how some women still think it is up to a man to protect us from making bad decisions about sex. It hurst when you get drunk and/or want a guy to like you so much that you have sex when you didn’t really want it, but in this case, she DID. It would be better for feminism and the future of powerful women, if she admits this to herself now, has a good cry, learn from it, and find out that she now has the power to say no, and be in control.

  20. Mia4s says:

    I think the consent discussion is great…but pause on the Ansari discussion. It sounds like there are more women with stories to come. The picture here is not yet complete.

  21. sus says:

    I see rape culture is alive and well.

  22. Clare says:

    Katie Way has successfully aided in changing the narrative from one about Aziz being a creep, to two women being at each others throats. With her immaturity and unprofessionalism she has hijacked what was supposed to be Grace’s story. Shame on her.

  23. Margo S. says:

    I agree. The sad thing is the writer of the babe.net piece is very VERY unprofessional. I’ve written emails to reporters here in Canada when I am disappointed in something I’ve read. I’ll bring up points from the article that didn’t sit well with me, but dissing their looks?! And throwing insults?! Girl, what?! No one is going to take you seriously. She needs a lesson in respect. Hopefully the writer learns from this experience.

    Also, sad that “Grace’s” story was written by babe.net. they truly didn’t do it justice. And weird that they sought “grace” out. Poor girl.

    And I do think Aziz is clueless. I see him as the type of person that latches on to whatever movement is happening at the moment without actually knowing the full depths of it. I hope he also learns from this experience too. He’s a talented guy and I’ve always liked his work. And I truly believe people can change and grow. Here’s to hoping!

  24. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Someone needs to start a #menknow campaign. Or distribute Men Have Always Known posters. The problem here is men. Not all (no crucifictions necessary), but I’m just laying it out… it’s centuries of men brainwashing, gaslighting, abusing, violating, minimalizing, ignoring, excusing, degrading, bullying and torturing women. There’s so much more but I need to drink my coffee.

  25. z says:

    I listened to Russell Peters on the Tigerbelly podcast and he and Bobby Lee openly say what a dbag Aziz is and that they have never met anyone who likes him. If even his male peers think he’s a d-bag I can’t imagine how awful Aziz must be to women.

  26. Snowflake says:

    I feel like that situation has happened so many times to me. You like a guy, you go back to his place. Thinking maybe you’ll make out a little bit but you’re not sure you want to have sex. But he keeps pressuring you and making moves, even if you tell him you’re not ready for sex. So you compromise and give him a BJ, even though you don’t really want to. But you like him so you want to see him again. I think men and women shouldn’t assume going back to someone’s place means sex. I think men should respect when a woman indicates she doesn’t want to have sex and stop pushing. And we shouldn’t do a sexual act we’re not comfortable with. But we’ve been raised to be accommodating to men and it’s a hard habit to break. Men need to take no for no and stop trying.

    • MellyMel says:

      I’ve been in the same situation as well (I feel a lot of woman have honestly) and agree with your comment. Your last sentence is everything.

    • Kitten says:

      I’ve been there SO many times in my early twenties. You feel obligated to give him SOMETHING because, “blue balls” and you don’t want to be seen as a “tease”. But you also feel SO resentful that you’re being pressured to do something you don’t want to do. Also, you feel like sh*t because you realize this guy doesn’t GAF about your sexual experience with him as long as he gets to cum.

      So sad that women are conditioned to think this is just normal male behavior that doesn’t need to change.

      • vauvert says:

        Kitten, I almost always agree with your POV. This time, I don’t – or rather I partially do: we should definitely place responsibility on men for their own acts. We should also place responsibility on women for their own. I think both men and women need to undergo a pretty big change. WHY are you feeling obligated to give him something? Why do you care about his “blue balls” when he obviously doesn’t GAF about respecting YOUR body? If he calls you a tease, so what? I would much rather be called anything than feeling resentful the next day that my body was used in a way that I did not want.

        Do men need to understand that pushing your hand away means stop? A million times yes. We were discussing this whole mess with our son, who is a teen, and who absolutely gets it – if a woman pushes your hand away, particularly in the early days of a relationship, or during a casual hookup, you stop and clarify whether she wants to go further or not. 99 out of a 100 it means she wants to stop because she is uncomfortable with where things are going but doesn’t feel comfortable enough to get up and leave. If she says “I don’t want to hate you”, you stop, end of story.

        But – if I had a daughter, I would tell her that she does not owe a man anything – not her body, not an alternative sex act, not being submissive or quiet or anything. It is her life, her body and her choice. I am not talking about rape, obviously, or being too drunk / unconscious to consent; I am talking about dates gone to hell, like this. Particularly if a woman has had previous bad experiences, at what point does she decide what she is willing to do in the future – before she gets into the actual situation??? If sex on the first date is something you are open to, but you are not sure you will get there on this date – why not have a discussion with the guy before the first drink? Why not say “look, I just want to make it clear before we go out – just because we are having a drink at your apartment, it does not mean it’s a blank check for sex later on.” Sure that may make things uncomfortable but it also helps establish the dynamic for later. If all he wants is sex and he cancels, what have you lost? If he shuffles and looks uncomfortable and you decide that he obviously was expecting sex, you are in a position of control – not drunk, not in his apartment, not half naked – are you willing to go on with the date and risk having it turn into a disaster? Or risking rape? Or is it better to walk away then and there? At the end of the day, it is our body. We should decide how and when we have sex. If you (and I use “you” generally) don’t want to do something, but do it and later resent it, it’s not all on the other party. Half of it is on you, and you should wonder why you acquiesced. Because much as it was wrong for the man to push, it was equally wrong to give in – since all that ever does is confirm, for the man, that “she wanted it all along”. And he will carry on with that behaviour, because hell, we have just reinforced it.

        Does the male concept of “pursuing” a woman need to change? Yes. Culturally we have to undo thousands of years of male conditioning that sets them up to be aggressive, to not take no for an answer, to go for what they want (and see how in any other context, for example in business, these attributes would be seen as admirable?) Men who don’t conform to this type of behaviour are ridiculed as sissies and weak and snowflakes.

        We also need to change the mentality that our daughters and sisters need to be pleasant and agreeable and that they “owe” an aroused male something. They absolutely do not, regardless of how they’re dressed, whether they have been on zero or five dates, whether they had a drink or seven.

        So – I strongly agree with your statement that it’s sad for women to be so conditioned…. just as it is sad for men. Both need to undergo a change.

    • Millennial says:

      Absolutely. Many men see no as a starting point for a negotiation. If a woman says no six times but yes on the seventh, a lot of guys consider that a win.

    • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

      The problem is that many men think that when a woman says no they think she’s playing hard to get and that women like them to be persistant – its something that is perpetuated by the media (movies etc..). I have had this conversation many times with BF’s who have struggled with the concept of no means no. As someone who grew up in a male dominated household (1 father, 4 brothers) it taught me many lessons, one being not afraid to be direct with men when they behave toward me in a way i don’t like. Its not the first time I have told a guy i have been seeing to ‘back off and stop touching me as I don’t like it’ or ‘I don’t want you talking to me like that’, they usually instantly backoff although they don’t always know how to deal with my directness – i think it scares them.

  27. MellyMel says:

    Plain and simple Grace’s story should have been written by someone else, and through another (more reputable) publication. Her story should have been given to someone she could really trust (and the readers could trust) and would handle this with care and some class. This unnecessary & immature drama with Katie Way is taking away from the real issue. I’ve read more articles in the last couple of days about Katie and Ashleigh, than I have about Aziz himself. I have never heard of babe.net prior to this, but maybe they should not be used in future for these #metoo stories calling out Hollywood and other powerful men.

    • Luca76 says:

      Her story wouldn’t have been published in a more reputable publication. At least in the form it was taken. It doesn’t meet the criteria on so many levels. It was basically a personal hit piece and that isn’t a defense of Aziz Ansari in any way.

      • MellyMel says:

        What is the criteria needed?

      • perplexed says:

        I’m guessing the article would have needed more than one source.

        On another note, when I read the article over again, I think some important information got buried because of the order in which the information was presented. At one point in the article, it is mentioned that the woman texted her friend that she had told him “no”, but that he didn’t listen. I felt that information could have gone up further in the article. The article was long by online standards, and I wonder how many people might have kept on reading. Once I got to the part about the texts, I found myself re-evaluating what I originally thought about the story — that it’s quite possible he may have forced himself on her. But I had to keep on reading to come to my re-evaluation.

        A journalist is more or less interpreting what the subject tells them. It’s possible a different journalist may have interpreted her story in a clearer manner, and the response to her story could have been different (i.e more supportive?). How the story itself was told journalistically has affected people’s responses to it. I wonder if the woman regrets having this particular online publication tell her story.

      • Mina says:

        About the criteria. When you have an anonymous source giving a testimony that can impact so much someone’s life, you can’t just go by your sources’ testimony and the fact you might believe her. That’s journalism ethics 101. If the person was speaking with name, then that’s a different thing, but when they don’t, the responsibility falls on you as a journalist. So you must corroborate. And that doesn’t mean asking the friend she texted from the taxi last night. You need to talk to other people with NAMES. If Aziz himself is not available for comment (and I don’t think they even give him enough time to do so, another big no no in this case), then you talk to his colleagues, friends, coworkers, other women he’s dated. No respectable media outlet would have published this testimony like this. First, because the accusation itself is debatable, so if you have nothing else to pile on top of it, then it’s not serious enough. Just think of what happened to Sabrina Ederly from Rolling Stone. Despite being an experienced reporter, she pubished that rape story with an anonymous source without proper corroboration and it ended up being false.

        The article is also mediocre in its writing (honestly, it looks like a college blog) and I don’t know who’s the editor there but it’s filled with irrelevant tidbits that not only don’t add anything worthy to the conversation, but also discredit the source’s claims. Who cares what wine he had for her or what they ate for dinner? Why not use that space interviewing other sources that can let the world know how often things like this can happen in dates or even try to make your case as to why this is more than a bad date?

        It really was just the reporter’s eagerness to add her name to the list of journalists that have been doing and amazing, conscientious and ethical job of denouncing the atrocities that are going on in Hollywood. She seemed more focused on that that in making her piece a worthwhile expose. And her response to her critics only make it more evident that this girl still needs a lot more experience on the field before she can pretend to be Ronan Farrow.

  28. paranormalgirl says:

    Grace’s story needed to be told. But it needed to be told by a more competent journalist.

  29. Dana_Porter says:

    Aziz Ansari always refused to talk about Louis CK. Wonder why?

  30. Hikaru says:

    It’s not that men are socially inept and don’t know what no means, it’s that men are genuinely comfortable with forcing themselves on women. That’s literally how prostitution and child marriage came about. That’s literally the reason men commit majority of rapes. They simply don’t care.

  31. Mina says:

    Leaving the merits of the actual accusation aside, from a journalistic and editorial point of view, that article is irresponsible, badly written and shows an inexperienced “reporter” eager to make a name for herself, not caring about any standards. That’s why it wouldn’t have been published the way it was in any serious media outlet.

  32. Sza says:

    I’ll support Aziz on this one. He is guilty of being a hypocrite and an obnoxious douchebag. He’s not guilty of sexual assault.

    Clearly everyone in the story has a lot of growing up to do.

    When & if more stories about him come out they will be judged on their own merit.

    • Kitten says:

      “growing up to do”? He’s 35 years old.

      For the all the commenters here moaning about the “infantilization of women”, the comments read more like the infantilization of men.

      • Sza says:

        @kitten

        Pardon me but didn’t “Grace” not her real name say Aziz had the moves of a 18 year old in the article. He’s clearly not very experienced with women.

        I don’t know about you but regardless of your age in numbers, you can always grow in maturity, perspective and how you approach others. This has nothing to do with infantilising someone.

      • Kitten says:

        If he doesn’t know how to properly seduce a woman by his mid-thirties, then chances are he will never learn.

        And sure, people can grow and change at any age, but grown men who don’t respect women as equals aren’t likely to suddenly get it. According to sources in the links posted above, Aziz doesn’t have any female friends and doesn’t even acknowledge women in his professional circles so it’s not probable that he’ll ever understand that women are more than just sex objects.

        Grace, on the other hand, is 22 years old and still has plenty of time to learn from her experiences. Hopefully she’ll learn that famous men who present themselves as woke feminists might only be doing so because it’s currently a lucrative niche market.

      • HoustonGrl says:

        I agree. In my analysis of these unfortunate events, his age plays a big part. He is not acting like a normal 35-year old man. I am not passing judgement, everyone matures at their own pace, but it’s ironic given his “woke” stand-up about the perils of modern love.

  33. Ally says:

    All the moaning about the way the Babe writer covered this are seriously *just concern trolling* by women who can’t yet deal with their own violating “bad dates” and the self-described liberal men who don’t like to think about all the times they’ve been those “bad dates” and pressured women into things they didn’t want to do (and the fact that they would like to keep using these tactics going forward).

    Here’s another great Medium article to this effect: https://medium.com/@shayalexi/when-i-say-that-every-man-is-aziz-ansari-8e4852c4fc7d

  34. fes says:

    The Cut has two interesting articles on the dynamics of sex, and how it being just not rape isn’t enough; we need to look at power dynamics and of sex, and societal expectations of men and women. Samantha Bee had a good segment last night on this too. She basically said that no one is saying Aziz and Weinstein are at the same level, this is a different conversation altogether, and still one that we should be having.

  35. HoustonGrl says:

    I read the story and I agree she was violated, in no uncertain terms. She didn’t accuse him of rape. She simply pointed out the violations that took place. No one should push your head “down” or force your hand anywhere near anything!! Her encounter made me cringe because it reminded me of so many during my college days. So many times I felt pressured to do things, and now in retrospect can recognize the imbalance of those situations. I’m in my thirties, so I feel that this hit my generation particularly hard, because no one talked about these things when I was in college. I applaud the conversations taking place as a result of these unfortunate events. I hope to teach my daughter these things someday.

    • blogdis says:

      I could have missed it but I read the story and I don’t recall Grace saying he pushed her head down , only that he pointed to his privates which she took as a signal that he wanted oral sex which she provided twice I agree that he is a creep but one should not imply he did things that were never outlined in the article
      PS. If he did do that and I missed it then I apologize in advance but no still not seeing that ?

  36. Frosty says:

    I think we’re truly having a much-needed cultural “conversation” about what does or does not qualify as sex harassment, abuse, assault, etc. and Grace’s story is part of that conversation. Her story reminded me similar experiences and hopefully men will become more aware that sexual rejection can take a few different forms, beyond the word NO or STOP. OTOH yes women in situations like this need to realize they can leave. Leave the room. I’m not into this, good bye. They need to realize this, and be willing to act on this realization, because Grace is the one who experienced the violation as a result of staying in the room with a bad date. Ansari’s behavior was at best a turnoff, but criminal? Not in my opinion. He was gross but not rise to the level of a Weinstein or a Cosby.

    There’s an interplay here, between her behavior and his.

    • Heather says:

      It’s high time we demythologized how pleasurable a one-night stand, hook up with a stranger is from the woman’s perspective. Even a guy who might be perfectly sexy in some contexts is not a great lover when he hardly knows you. It’s a near impossibility.

    • Cranberry says:

      +1
      Yes. This is a conversation that should be happening. Should this be used to publicly humiliate and end someone’s career? No. Ansari is not a Weinstein. Unfortunately I do think this will be used as ammunition against #metoo. The argument being that women who #metoo are snowflakes that are going to claim victim at every turn and paint men as purps rather than taking any responsibility for their own inaction.

      I can’t stand it when that crap is used against women’s equality issues, but Katie’s article calling out Ansari goes straight to it.

  37. Salanta3 says:

    The anger in Katie’s email felt so personal, it had me wonder if she wasn’t… Grace.
    Are we sure they’re two different people? It could explain her very emotional reaction…

  38. Heather says:

    A conversation about the things guys do that are not sexy is a worthwhile one, but I don’t think it belongs in the same group as “Harvey Weinstein burst into my room and raped me, then had me followed, then raped me again” or even, “Matt Lauer is verbally sexually aggressive at work to everyone, has a door that locks automatically and will have sudden, blitzkrieg sex with whoever gets caught in the headlights and isn’t expecting a sneak attack at work”

  39. AJ says:

    I think what Kaiser said about how she’s had similar experiences in her 20s is significant. Haven’t we all? There is a big difference between a horny/clueless/inconsiderate man trying to persuade a woman to engage in physical activity, as opposed to a man WHO HAS POWER OVER THE WOMAN forcing or coercing a woman into engaging. It is not victim blaming to say that women have to say no and stop the activity when they do not want to engage. (This is a different situation than when women cannot say no.) Here, “Grace” was moving away, but she continued to allow Aziz to persuade her to re-engage, over and over, until she finally said she was going home. But the fact that she COULD say that — it’s over, i’m done — shows that she could have extracted herself from the situation even earlier. It is not incumbent upon men to read verbal and non-verbal “cues” when the actual conduct — continuing to engage — sends a different sign. She even gave him head after she was uncomfortable.

    I’ve been in that situation. Where I went further than i wanted and was filled with regret, feeling dirty, etc. But I’ve always known that I was accountable for not stopping it. Many men will go as far as you let them go. I’ve also been in situations where I feel pushed into something and I leave (or kick him out).

    For all those people saying consent is required for each sexual activity, I don’t think that is the solution. I wouldn’t want a guy to ask me if it is okay to kiss me, if it is okay to fondle a body part, if it is okay to … For me, that would take the romance out of it. We have to say when it’s not okay.

    I agree that there will be a Times Up backlash. If we take conduct which isn’t inherently “wrong” — no assault, no battery and a participating partner — and group that into a meaningful movement, the movement itself is diluted. Not everything is sexual assault. But if we vilify every bad experience, where we felt forced but didn’t stop/leave the situation though that was an option available to us, the response will be a collective shrug. Times Up is for true sexual predators, not the horny/clueless/inconsiderate man.

  40. Megan says:

    I understand and agree with a lot of points being made. Something I wanted to bring up, though, is that I think a lot of men are getting their “training” in these situations from media that portrays situations like this as a “challenge” or that a woman can still be “persuaded” and that it’s hot. i mean, the difference between porn storylines and assault police reports is shockingly unclear. This isn’t an excuse for men, but I think this is a real thing. Men see it portrayed in media and think it’s OK. it’s not like we’re teaching consent on a large scale anywhere else….

    I can think of mainstream scenes in shows like the Path or Silicon Valley that are a great example of blurring the lines between assault/consensual sex.

  41. Persistent Cat says:

    I can’t with the Babe writer. Why must attacks go physical? Don’t call yourself a feminist and then attack another woman’s hair, makeup and age. Why age? No one can help aging. It’s bad enough there are so many trump supporting a-holes on twitter who attack every #resist woman’s appearance, do we need journalists doing that too?

    But then you read her “not too shabby!” line and it tells you all you need to know. Someone got a trophy for every single thing she did. The real world is going to destroy her if she actually thinks she’s on equal professional footing as journalists who have covered war zones.

  42. SoozyCat says:

    Wow, that response by Katie Way is unbelievably immature. Not a great way to launch a career. As for Grace and her story… well, this story is shared by just about all women ever (and I’m sure a lot of young men on the same-sex side of the equation). Not saying its appropriate or shouldn’t change (it is NOT appropriate, and it SHOULD change). But who hasn’t been pressured, very pressured, at one point or another? I know I had a few of those situations at that age, and I got the hell out of there. The “bravest person I’ve ever met” (says Ms. Way)? Really? Because she got pressured to give it up on the first date, and didn’t, and then felt bad afterward that he just wanted sex? Really? How about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani female education activist who was shot in the face by a man for trying to go to school… that’s my vote for feminist warrior.

  43. HeyThere! says:

    Kitten speaks for me today! LOL That first comment you left about “expect more from men! Hold them to higher standards!” YES YES AND YES TO EVERYTHING YOU SAID!!!!!!

  44. Jana says:

    I’ve read two dozen comments, were disgusted by half of them, and just to add my two cents.

    I went to college. I had “intimate moments” with college guys. They were all clueless. However, if I said “Hey, stop!” they stopped.

    Did this lady do that? It doesn’t sound like she did.

    I’m literally frightened for my 16-year-old son. What do I tell him? I know he’s not having any sexual relations now, but could be in the very near future. What do I tell my boy?

    If my son and a girl were involved in a sexual encounter, and she did not speak up and say “No!”, would my son be a sexual predator! Or just a clueless 16 year old? If she would say “No!” I have no doubt in my mind that my son would back off. That’s the way he’s been raised.

    But now???

    I’m afraid to let him go on a date!!!

    • Shambles says:

      It’s amazing that you’ve raised your son to respect boundaries and consent, and I would hope you could rest easy in that knowledge. But what you’re doing here is so unhelpful. You are centering maleness in a patriarchal society that already values men above all else, and that’s harmful to women. You’re saying “But won’t someone think of the MEN???” in a world that already thinks of nothing. But. The. Men. That’s the issue. Of course, I’m not saying you shouldn’t worry for your son and want to protect him. But when taken in a larger cultural context, what you’re doing doesn’t help the situation. I don’t mean to be rude~ I’m sure your son is a great young man.

    • Knitter says:

      Jana, you don’t need to worry about your son if he understands this very simple concept: is his partner demonstrating that she is enjoying their activity just as much as he is? If not, then he should stop.

    • K (now K2!) says:

      She did say to stop. She even said that she didn’t want to hate him. So he stopped for a few minutes and then went right back to it. She was clear and he kept pressuring for quite a while.

      But more than that: can I suggest that you don’t tell your son he only has to stop if he gets a clear and unequivocal ‘no’? That’s kind of the wrong way round: he needs a clear and unequivocal ‘yes’, and that means signals, as much as words. Sex is an experience people should share, not something one should try to take from the other, as long as the safe word of NO doesn’t materialise. Some of the idiot kids in Steubenville argued that she wasn’t saying no, at a point when she was incoherent. The Stanford rapist’s defenders said likewise. It’s not about someone saying no – that’s not even far enough for the law anymore in alcohol cases. But more than that, if the aim isn’t just to keep him on the right side of the law, but to raise a fine young man… teach him about enthusiastic consent.

      Treating sex like a pursuit sport is what ‘Grace’ described, and many of us have experienced. It’s not rape, but it is harmful. And I can’t believe it’s good for men, either, to see women in such a dehumanised way – human beings deserve better.

    • magnoliarose says:

      Teach your son to ask and communicate with the girl he is with. Tell him not to put himself in situations that aren’t clear, and if they aren’t crystal clear, then he should back off. Tell him never to pressure a girl and that a good time doesn’t mean it ends in sex. Teach him about respect and intimacy. Explain rape culture to him and show him what is wrong with male behavior and not focus on what women do wrong.
      He will have healthier relationships with healthier women because of this.
      Talk to him without focusing on what he should expect but how he should behave.

    • Veronica says:

      If you and your spouse raised a son who respects women as human beings, it shouldn’t be a problem, now should it? JFC, you people make it sound like this is goddamn rocket science. And yet magically, most of us manage to go around every day not sexually assaulting the shit out of every attractive person in our vicinity.

  45. K (now K2!) says:

    This is a guy who thinks sex is a commodity to go after, and not an experience to be shared. That’s the basic reality for me, and the only one that really matters. The rest is noise. She has every right to be disturbed by that, and I think all of us should be.

    Katie Way is a kid. She’s a well-meaning one, who was trying to protect a source she clearly likes and sees as a friend. But that was grossly unprofessional, and in this context that reflects incredibly badly on the woman she wanted to shield.

    She should have gone on the show and presented herself with dignity, if it’s live, and she would have been safe from edits. If it isn’t, then she should have made a polite excuse about the scale of interest instead.

    I suppose on the plus side, a lot of people are having the conversation now about consent, and what it all means. Samantha Bee did a good piece on how it doesn’t have to be rape to be not okay. It’s not like you need behaviour to be criminal to be worthy of challenge.

    Again, enthusiastic consent. Anything less isn’t good enough.

  46. Bean says:

    i have so many issues with this…
    First guys need to learn the no saying no doesn’t mean yes BUT us women need to be stronger and actually say what we want. I’m not blaming her, it’s our whole culture where women have to be polite. That needs to stop. If you’re not into it say no. Say thanks but no thanks and leave.
    Second, this website that published it is ridiculous. In another article they talk about using sexuality to get things you want. It’s so hypocritical. This is clearly just a cheap click bait site.

  47. Aerohead21 says:

    Maturity and a DAMN GOOD relationship really opens your eyes to why people call them bad dates instead of understanding how it plays into not only rape culture but society’s expectations on women. I went on 3 dates with someone who raped me and then continued to date him at the ripe old age of 22 because I lacked the maturity to feel like I deserved better as well as the knowledge that it’s ok to just tell someone to F*CK OFF!

  48. d says:

    Wasn’t Aziz linked with JLaw for a while way back when and then that just faded away because of …. something? I feel like I read that here. And she, or someone close to her said he was texting her like crazy? But they didn’t talk much about it.
    Anyway, Grace seems very young and very naive and Aziz comes across at the very least like a big creep, and just awful, jerk, blearrgh, awful. Like, a more experienced woman would have kicked his a$$ and it would have ended very differently. Guys like Aziz should just be upfront and say they want to F*&%$ you because they have no skills or patience or desire to have a real connection with a woman. They. Just.Want.To.F— you, something, anything, and go their merry way and never think about you again unless they can get another free session out of you. And I use the f-word deliberately here, because that’s all it is. And it’s not the of f-wording that can occur between two consenting adults. That takes maturity and the same mutual desire and can be a lot of fun. But imo, what Aziz was going after was a shortcut on his terms, let’s say, because that’s all he was really interested in, like, that was a 100% obvious, given his horrible behaviour, and gambling that she’d go along with it because oh my God, she’s interested in him so she must want to (that’s sarcasm in case anyone couldn’t tell) and probably a kind of sex that few woman probably would be interested in. I mean, his moves? Barf.
    I dated a guy similar to this. Took years to get over the realization that he didn’t really like me, he just wanted to f— me, in part because I just gave it up and gave it up and gave it up, and that can kill your soul. How I wish I could go back in time and listen to my gut and make different choices, including one that didn’t involve him in any way shape or form. I’ve been where she’s been, and where you do stuff even when you don’t want to and cannot think, talk, and move your way out of it, but good for her to realize that after that one date. And have no more dates. I was not that smart. She got off lucky imo.
    That Babe writer, is also terrible and has no business calling herself a journalist or reporter. Not for this kind of story. Back in the day, her actions and handling of the story would have been a case study of what not to do in journalism school and I have no doubt it’s being discussed now. My professor would have torn a strip off her, at the very least. That said, I’m disappointed in Ashleigh Banfield, in her initial coverage and in her response. I would have expected much better from her, given her experience.

  49. sunshine gold says:

    I’m so embarrassed for Katie Way. There is a classy way to respond and defend and even attack – it’s an art form really. Attacking Banfield’s age and lipstick and hair, oh lord….there wasn’t ANYONE in her life that could have stopped her from sending that?

  50. Anare says:

    She was young and felt very vulnerable. He was famous, seemingly more experienced and being pushy and entitled. He as much as admitted that and apologized. Please explain how you don’t think she was a victim here. Some of the comments posted here are cringe worthy. Unless you were on the date with them you should step back.

  51. babu says:

    A guy who does not take a hint, a no, a recoiling body language, who wears you down incessantly by trying over and over again a sexual move you are not willing to do until you give up or need to get defensive does not always fall within the parameters of sexual offender but is always a FRIGGING PAIN to manage on the spot, a terrible date experience and a massive downer of an evening.

    And this type of guy should never, ever feel entitled to wear a badge ‘time’s up’.

    Good he was called on his terrible bedside manners, verging on sexual coercion. He seems to be an ok guy (at least not a sociopath predator or a manic sex offender) but he has no manners, no respect and no empathy when his d*ck is involved. He will say ‘carried away by his feelings’, I will say ‘oblivious of anything else but himself’.

    And the fact he s sweet and an ally to women in public does not offset ANYTHING (message to the all self-proclaimed ‘good guys’ out there) of that behavior.