Aziz Ansari – what do you think?

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 61
949 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

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butterfly67 :  I really agree with your point about the text messages. I think that exchange the next day is extremely revealing and vouches for the fact that did realize that there was anything wrong in the moment. 

Post # 62
1349 posts
Bumble bee

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butterfly67 :  There’s no point in using such basic language ‘so asking a question more than once is now a crime’. That’s clearly not the heart of the issue and clearly not ever going to describe context. 

We can disagree. That’s fine.  

Post # 63
1386 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I think like many others that he was being a pushy creep by what it sounds like. But there was no assault here. He isn’t a mind reader and I’m not sure why she just didn’t speak up. Reading the whole encounter made me feel uncomfortable and sad for Grace but several times I caught myself thinking, “why didn’t you just leave??”

A situation like this begs the question-what constitutes “consent?” If a guy tells you to go down on him and you do, even if you really didn’t want to and you just felt pressured, is doing the act willingly not enough consent? Do we actually need for people to say, “yes, I want to do this and this sexually with you.” There is a slippery slope here. If you are on a date with someone and they try to initiate sexual activities,should that be considered sexual assault or harassment now?

Post # 65
5518 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2019 - Paris, France

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littlebuzz :  what’s wrong with it? Nothing to me! But for her, what was wrong is she is claiming to be uncomfortable the whole time and taking no responsibility for her actions or safety or comfortability (if that’s a word). Are his excused for being a man? No. But he’s not claiming to being forced into anything. 

Post # 66
7633 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I really don’t think it’s fair to bring up things like how she watched an episode of Seinfeld with him to discredit her. In cases of cut & dry sexual assault, this happens all the time. The victim can’t really believe what happened and hasn’t processed it yet. It’s not until later that they realize, “hey that was actually super fucked up.” What if he had actually raped her and she remained there and watched Seinfeld before leaving? Would you say it wasn’t rape then because she stayed and watched the sitcom? I doubt most people would use that argument, so to me it doesn’t make sense to bring it up here either.

To be clear, I’m not saying he did rape her – but I do think he behaved like a disgusting, entitled pig at best. 

It’s interesting, two of the ickiest sexual things that I ever experienced were with long-term partners. In one case i was really young and sexually inexperienced and my boyfriend wanted to go down on me. For weeks I’d been telling him I wasn’t ready to take that step. Then one time he just went and did it anyway, and I didn’t stop him. But why, why did he do it? We had talked about this multiple times, including the day that it happened. I had never wavered in saying I wasn’t ready. But he did it anyway. The fact that I didn’t make him stop, and that I remained with him the rest of the evening and continued to date him for another year or so after that doesn’t change the fact that he willfully broke through my boundaries, prioritizing his own pleasure over my discomfort.

Why do men feel like it’s okay to push and push and push until they finally wear us down? Why is this the norm? I think this is an important discussion to have and I hope the Aziz story makes us talk about it more.

Post # 72
979 posts
Busy bee

I have a jillion thoughts going through my head about this. A lot of them relating to personal experiences. From where I sit, Ansari sounds like a guy with no game and no chill. The description of his “come-ons” and kissing made me think of the worst sex I ever had and the worst make-outs I ever had. All of those had this in common: the guy was really excited that a living, breathing female had agreed/offered to come back to his place and he didn’t seem to have a lot of experience with that (which, in couple of cases, was surprising, bc the guy seemed socially experienced up until then). 

I also have to confess, the persistence didn’t strike me as odd, not only having been on the pursued side, but also on the pursuer side. In my own experience, neither I nor the guys crossed a line, but there was still a desire and push for more, and until there were clear signals that more was not wanted (either by myself or the guy – yeah, I’ve gotten shut down before), it did seem as though it was still open for negotiation. I remember one guy pursuing me who turned out to be incredibly awkward and off-putting when we got back to his place. I’m the one who suggested going back to his place, but he was so, well, bad, at kissing and making out, I wanted it over. I didn’t immediately leave. I pulled back. He tried “warming” me back up. I considered, but ultimately, I told him I wasn’t into, got dressed, and suggested we just be friends. This guy genuinely was a nice guy – I truly believe it. It just wasn’t happening. Obviously, I can’t say what happened that night in the apartment between Grace and Ansari, but that memory from my life came to me as I read the Babe story.

On another note, nonverbal signals can be hard. I remember the last time my ex (who I’d been with for 16 years) and I had sex. I was initially into it, then completely not. If anyone should have been able to read my nonverbals, should have known I was no longer interested without me verbally saying it, it should have been him. But he didn’t. And I don’t blame him – I don’t think he was being callous or uncaring in that moment. I just think his own desires/hormones made him blind to see that I was not enjoying it. I find myself thinking, if my mate (at that point) of 16 years, whom I’d had sex with countless number of times, couldn’t tell my subtle nonverbals in that moment, how could Ansari tell with a woman he’d basically just met? 

Post # 73
1226 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

So at first I had only read the NY Times op ed piece and agreed that clearly she expected him to read her mind. Upon reading the babe article I think it’s clear that he was acting like a pig – to me it seemed like he took her being into him as such a given that he really didn’t pay much attention to her reactions at all. I understand why she felt that it came out of left field and why the experience left her feeling gross and uncomfortable. HOWEVER, I do not think that it was sexual assault.

I typically say that I disagree with “enthusiastic yes” and when I say that what I mean is that I do not think that the only behavior that counts as consent is “enthusiastic yes.” I don’t think a sexual encounter that does not have “enthusiastic yes” automatically counts as assault. Was his behavior pushy and gross? Yes. Do I think that she was probably kind of shocked and just went with it at first? Yes. But I also feel like he did not realize that she was not at all interested in having sex. I think he thought that it was perfectly ok for him to ask her to give him a blowjob because she’d gone down on him earlier after he’d gone down on her and she hadn’t said no to that, and she didn’t say no the second time either. It’s perfectly possible that he thought, “She must be ok with this because she hasn’t said no.” 

I think this particular instance is a miscommunication issue and the reason it happened is a two-fold societal issue: 1) men are taught that women will refuse sexual advances at first but will eventually give in 2) women are taught to be nice and polite even when they’re uncomfortable and they will do something they don’t want to do because they don’t want to cause a scene. Those are huge problems. And “enthusiastic yes” could help with those problems, but I feel that “enthusiastic yes” also undermines a woman’s agency. I do not think that a male partner should have to stop and ask a female partner at every stage of a sexual encounter if they’re allowed to do this act or that act or if they’re feeling ok. I feel that this is treating women with kid gloves. If a man is uncomfortable with something a woman is doing, the majority of the time he is going to verbally and directly tell her to stop because this is how men are taught to communicate. But if a woman doesn’t like something she might squirm or move away because she’s been taught to be nice and to avoid conflict and those actions can be misinterpreted. Men need to understand that no means no the first time you say it and women need to practice saying no. Women need to stop being nice. It’s ok to state clearly and loudly what you want or don’t want. And if you don’t like something, it shouldn’t be solely up to the man to read your cues. I think it’s important to own your involvement as a woman in sexual experiences. Sex shouldn’t be something that happens to you.

Post # 74
1377 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I think this shows two problems in our dating culture…one, men thinking it’s ok to push a little harder to get women to do what they want as long as she doesn’t say know no forcefully and two, men not realizing that many women don’t like stuff they think women do, like anal, giving bjs, being pounded without foreplay, dick pictures.

l even have had this happen within my marriage. When Darling Husband and I had been married a year, we visited his family and sleeping space and privacy were limited so we hadn’t had sex in awhile. One night we were sleeping in the same room as his nieces (it was kinda big open plan and they were across the room) and he suggested getting it on as we were getting ready for bed. I said no way but kinda laughing about it because it seemed like an absurd idea. Well he made a move anyway. I pushed him away. He tried again. I rolled away leaving a bunch of space between us. He finally got the hint. The next day, I sat him down for a Very Serious Talk. I said that I was extremely upset that I had to set boundaries twice before he listened to me and that I felt like he put me in a position of powerlessness because I couldn’t really talk to him about it in the moment without risking waking his nieces up. He got it and apologized profusely which is good because divorce would’ve been on the table otherwise. On my second point, I have to remind him to slow down and take longer on foreplay even after seven years together.

Ive never been an anti-porn person, but I’m wondering more and more if porn isn’t a major culprit. The article sounds like Aziz was trying to act out a porn fantasy. I then think women pretend to like this stuff, worrying that they’ll be seen prudish or unsexual if they don’t. Then men take that as reinforcement that what they’re doing is right and the cycle continues. I think the reason Grace gave off mixed signals is because she wanted to be sexual with him, maybe even have full out intercourse, but he ignored her wants and she got turned off.

Post # 76
1 posts
  • Wedding: January 2018

Going anonymous for this. Last night was the first men’s meeting of the #timesup movement. I do not feel comfortable disclosing how I know the details of this meeting. This meeting was mostly comprised of the most well known and powerful men in Hollywood.

Several of these men expressed the fact that they want to be advocates of the movement but they have no desire to put a target on their backs. Had Aziz never come out as an advocate, this may not have happened. Many of us have engaged in sexually selfish behavior. Does this warrant the public destruction of our careers? If I say that in this moment I want to support #timesup, does that mean that I should be called out for relentlessly pursuing sex with a woman in my past?

I think a problem here is that sure, we can say Aziz was wrong. But was he wrong enough to warrant this? Do any of you understand the severity of what he is now going through? This is a man who did nothing criminally wrong and expressed his regret that he was oblivious. This now warrants what has happened to him? 

“Grace” clearly had Aziz’s phone number. She could have called him or texted to let him know that she was still angry. This could have been discussed. It could have caused change in a man who clearly seemed receptive to hearing what he did wrong and doing better.

But that wasn’t Grace’s choice. She decided to take him down. She decided to put him through something that no one but those who have been publicly ostracized on this level can understand. She decided to STILL avoid direct confrontation when it comes to what was bothering her. She was well within her right to contact Aziz and let him know that the way he acted was not at all in line with the movement he now supports. She could demand that he listen and take it in. She could insist that he listen to her so that he can truly understand why his actions counter that movement. But no. She inflicted a punishment that doesn’t at all fit the crime.

The men who gathered last night want to support the movement. They want to be advocates. In the article, Grace said Aziz acted like a horny, entitled eighteen year old. The friends she spoke with about the incident agreed. How can men stand up and take part when many of us have acted in the same way? How can we move forward accepting that it is not okay while not placing a target on our backs? If anyone from the past can take down everything I worked for simply because I kept asking for sex when they wanted to take it slow, how is that okay?

The thing no one will say is that women get the benefit of safety on this one particular issue. I do not at all mean to minimize the ways in which women are given the short end of the stick. But people from your past aren’t waiting to ruin your life because you flashed your boobs in the past. If you misread a date and slid a man’s hands into your panties and he wasn’t into it, you don’t have to worry about losing everything you ever worked for. You won’t be labeled for life if you continued to ask a man to go down on you during sex and he was reluctant but did it anyway. None of this will happen to any of you. If someone tried to ruin a woman this way, they would be laughed off.

Aziz didn’t deserve this. He deserved to be told he was gross and to never be able to touch that woman again. He didn’t deserve this. No one who has ever misread a sexual encounter should feel as though he did. 

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