So by now everyone’s heard the news about “woke bae” Aziz Ansari. If you haven’t, here it is in a nutshell: homie had a very bad night with a woman that has the nation currently divided. Some are calling it sexual assault, some are calling it just a bad date that a woman decided to publicize for “revenge porn” reasons. One particularly vicious article decided solely blaming the victim was the way to go, even throwing in an “another white woman calling out sexual assault against brown men” jibe that, as a black woman, I found shockingly insulting.
Hey white writers: never use the terrible things minorities go through as props for your slut-shaming agenda. No punchline there. Just don’t do it.
Yes, Aziz’s date made some bad decisions that night, things I wouldn’t have done myself. No, I don’t consider what he did sexual assault. But I do think it goes past “bad date” territory. At one point in their evening, he agreed they were going too far and agreed to slow down, only to almost immediately pull his dick out right after that conversation. It’s almost like he said what it would take for her to relax and let her guard down, just to get her vulnerable enough so he could keep pressuring her into getting what he wanted.
Here’s the thing about the #metoo movement; it’s not just about rape. It’s about discussions of sexual harassment in general; it’s about the rape culture that the men in this country are born and raised in, where a woman says a man was trying to coerce her into having sex and people jump through hoops trying to make it her fault. “She should have known something was up by the way he rushed them through dinner.” “She should have never accepted an invitation to his house.” “She should have never let him kiss her, or touch her down there.” “She should have been more forceful when rejecting his advances.” “Had that been me, it would never have gotten that far.”
It’s so easy to do that. Hell, had that been me, it definitely wouldn’t have gotten that far. I would have shut his miniscule ass down real quick the first time he ignored my, “Look it’s not happening tonight.” She took a different route. Clearly, she had expectations of a possible relationship with this man and when it started to go south, she kept trying to salvage the night and make it work somehow. It would definitely explain her appearing to ignore the warning signs.
So—she allowed it to go further than she should have. But that’s not the point. He may not be a rapist, but he’s a self-serving asshole, and maybe the reason men are so quick to defend him is because some of his behavior during that date sounded uncomfortably familiar.
If that is so, gentlemen, I’m going to ask of you what I’d ask of Aziz if I knew him on a personal level—put the defensive stuff aside and consider the possibility that your behavior toward women might not be as harmless as you think it is. Look at all the women who find that woman’s story so familiar. That should be a huge red flag. Women aren’t calling all men rapists—we’re just asking for you to stop mistreating us. We want to go on nice dates with interesting men without having to worry if at any point in the date against my wishes he’ll stick his dick in my face and tell me to suck it.
Isn’t that a reasonable request?
Archie Grimm also writes for Cracked (humorous yet introspective articles ranging from pop culture to human nature) and her own personal pleasure (smutty fanfiction that should never see the light of day). Catch her on Twitter
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