Sacramento feminists conflicted about Aziz Ansari accusations

Lawrence Kim
January 18, 2018

She was disappointed and confused when he turned out to be crass and sexually aggressive. From Columbia to Harvard, Ivy League and non-Ivy League colleges were aflame with protest, and college presidents were scrambling to salvage their reputations. Some women questioned whether the "Me Too" movement has gone too far. Older women tend to think Grace should have been more vocal and assertive, or simply left Ansari's apartment. "That one is definitely a bad example", comedian Jordan Carlos told Observer at an event promoting open conversations about sex violence in NY this week. In the story, she said he allegedly pressured her to have sex, despite her expressing discomfort with the situation through "verbal and non-verbal" cues. He says it was consensual.

Ansari: "I'm so sad to hear this".

"Clearly I misread things in the moment and I'm truly sorry", he says.

Among the winners of the night was Aziz Ansari - the first Asian American actor to win in the Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy category. A bio that says "proud feminist" could mean they sincerely believe in equality of the sexes, or just that they know they're "supposed" to identify as a feminist by now. How come so many remain clueless?

The SOPP is still upheld at Antioch College today, and many colleges across the country have come to adopt versions of the policy as the paradigms around consent and sexual assault have slowly begun to shift. Many #MeToo complaints are valid and serious transgressions, but events like this are why so numerous women are not taken seriously and diminishes the entire #MeToo movement - giving those arguing a "witch hunt" validation.

She cried all the way home, feeling "violated", and likens her experience to sexual assault.

Ansari would have been 7 or 8 years old in 1991 when a feminist group at Antioch College fought to establish the school's Sexual Offense Prevention Policy (informally the "Antioch rules" or, more commonly, the "infamous Antioch rules") requiring affirmative and sustained consent throughout all sexual encounters, and he was 10 when "Saturday Night Live" mocked the Antioch rules in a sketch that cast Shannen Doherty as a "Victimization Studies major". Her flat-out asking him to stop aside, it's highly disturbing that, if she was even half as unenthusiastic about the goings-on in his apartment as she says, to him everything "seemed okay". The piece also made clear that if we expand our reexamination of sexual ethics without preserving the distinction between criminal acts and merely unattractive or immoral behavior, the #MeToo moment could easily founder on miscommunication and acrimony. Nothing has been promised.

"A lot of men will read that post about Aziz Ansari and see an everyday, reasonable sexual interaction", she tweeted.

A recent analysis suggested that of men who commit rape, most will admit it, but not if the word rape is actually used. The date did not end with intercourse, and nothing seemed forced or intimidating along the way, but "Grace" complained that Ansari was aggressive and didn't take her nonverbal cues to chill out. "We do have to create awareness of how important it is to assert our rights and expectations as women in our society". What feels fun or expected when you are 17 is likely to change by the time you're 35.

As a supporter of the movement, Allred worries that this kind of story might generate a backlash and prompt skepticism when other women report abuses. It is world where men don't wait for "yes" and don't seem to hear "no". "We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date", Ansari acknowledged in a statement to Variety.

The problem transcends borders. Both may exist on a continuum of disrespect for women, but one is not the same as the other. We still bring up our daughters to be "nice"; in India a key word to their upbringing still remains "adjust". And if it's only your first time, they tell us, consider yourself lucky. She wouldn't keep trying to deflect, change the subject, or find something else to do. After all, at no point in her own account did she feel threatened.

The woman's claims did not involve force or violence. But a woman still feels compelled to do it because she's either trapped in the situation or she's somehow required to reciprocate her partner's desires.

But this woman never feels threatened.

The underlying issues are clear. There's a male-female separate in each hetero relationship, regardless of how "woke" you are, regardless of what number of sisters you have, regardless of whom you voted in favor of, regardless of who starts things out in the room. Oh, right, because they're often afraid of their safety if/when they even so much as deliver a "hard no" instead of a "soft no".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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