I am sure by now most people have read the account of ‘Grace’s’ date and subsequent sexual encounter with Aziz Ansari. There have been a plethora of articles and blog posts written over the last several days trying to parse whether Ansari’s behaviour crossed over into sexual assault. In case you don’t want to read this whole blog post, I believe it was sexual assault.
Goal Orientated Dating
From the very beginning of their evening together, it seemed that Ansari had one goal – to have sex with Grace. This is evidenced by the quick dinner and return to the apartment where he promptly began to inflict sexual activity on her. Even though she said several times she wasn’t into it, he would back off only to begin again. At one point, they even get dressed and Ansari still continues to impose his sexual behaviour on Grace. How many times did she have to say no or say she was not comfortable with what was happening for him to get the message. Many commenters pass judgement on Grace’s behaviour, asking why didn’t she leave. Who knows, and more importantly that was Grace’s decision to make. Perhaps she hoped that he would become a human being and hear what she was saying.
Another trope that’s being trotted out is that younger women get themselves into these situations because they do not have the experience of women my age who were taught to become wives and mothers. These women reason that young women are putting themselves into situations where men can take advantage of them. The bottom line is that men have been raping and assaulting women regardless of what women are taught. This is just another kind of victim blaming. The responsibility for sexual assault rests solely with the perpetrator.
One of the Good Guys
Aziz Ansari has always been seen as one of the good guys. He supports the #metoo movement, he identifies with feminism and his TV show has confronted many of these issues. What’s clear is that like other men, Ansari has a belief that he is entitled to sex. He continually breaches Grace’s boundaries even though she states them very clearly. You would think that putting clothes back on means nothing more is going to happen. But for some reason Ansari didn’t get the message.
It makes no sense to me why men would want to have sex with women who are not enthusiastically engaged in sexual activity. What’s the point of having sex with someone who’s not into it? To me, that would be boring. But what do I know, I’m a woman.