What role does the incident involving Aziz Ansari and Grace play in the #MeToo movement? Now that the story has been out for a few weeks the No Free Drinks crew revisits this controversial topic and peels back the different layers that contributed to what occurred. At the center, the words “no means no” and the acknowledgement of these words holds the key to preventing situations like this to happen.
“The worst night of my life,” assault, bad date- are some of the many references that have been used to describe the story published by babe.net. There are many different angles to discuss and this episode is meant to talk about the deeper points that are highlighted by this incident. We will go through the different events of the night, discuss our points of view, and ultimately dissect how interactions when dating and different ways of communicating can lead to confusion that could result in someone getting hurt.
Let’s talk about Aziz, below is a word for word recap of the events of the night that we think are important to talk about:
The story of Grace:
- Where the first red flag was: In a second, his hand was on my breast.” Then he was undressing her, then he undressed himself. She remembers feeling uncomfortable at how quickly things escalated.
- When Ansari told her he was going to grab a condom within minutes of their first kiss, Grace voiced her hesitation explicitly. “I said something like, ‘Whoa, let’s relax for a sec, let’s chill.’” She says he then resumed kissing her, briefly performed oral sex on her, and asked her to do the same thing to him. She did, but not for long. “It was really quick. Everything was pretty much touched and done within ten minutes of hooking up, except for actual sex.”
- “It was 30 minutes of me getting up and moving and him following and sticking his fingers down my throat again. It was really repetitive. It felt like a fucking game.”
- she says she used verbal and non-verbal cues to indicate how uncomfortable and distressed she was. “Most of my discomfort was expressed in me pulling away and mumbling. I know that my hand stopped moving at some points,” she said. “I stopped moving my lips and turned cold.”
- “I said I don’t want to feel forced because then I’ll hate you, and I’d rather not hate you,” she said.
- At this point she thought the sexual encounter was over
- “He sat back and pointed to his penis and motioned for me to go down on him. And I did. I think I just felt really pressured. It was literally the most unexpected thing I thought would happen at that moment because I told him I was uncomfortable.”
- “He [made out] with me again and says, ‘Doesn’t look like you hate me.’”
- ‘How about we just chill, but this time with our clothes on?’”
- “I remember saying, ‘You guys are all the same, you guys are all the fucking same.’”
- He hugged her and kissed her goodbye, another “aggressive” kiss.
- “I cried the whole ride home. At that point I felt violated. That last hour was so out of my hand.”
The sequence of these events led to various conversations and revealed different points of view. This articlefrom the Lily does a good job of exploring different points of view. Maddie, Westley, and Lina D picked the ones that resonated the most with them and discuss.
- Erica Linebacker Hoffmeister: “I do think there’s a place for this experience in a DIFFERENT conversation. How women feel like we owe men something sexually, how elusive consent can feel, how strange it is we sometimes lose our confident voices in sexual situations, how complex sex is emotionally even when we go in with different expectations … all of those issues deserve a platform in the feminist discussion. I can relate. And it’s problematic and f — ked up. But this is an account of a gross, regrettable situation that could have turned out terrible. This particular account is not ASSAULT. How can we find our voices as women, and become sexually positive and confident, and STOP sexual assault with accusations like these that minimize and trivialize the whole movement and bring us steps backward?”
- Quinn Biscoff: “I think it opens up important discussions that men need to listen more and women need to talk more. A massive cultural change is hopefully taking place.
- Anita Cake: “To me, a large degree of assault is about intent. Did Aziz intend to hurt this girl or was he genuinely not picking up on her nonverbal cues? Should he be punished for what he did or be allowed to learn from it? That’s where I’m stuck.”
- Brittany Cliffe: “She refused him multiple times, both verbally and physically showing her discomfort, and he continued to pursue her and physically touch her. He did not ask for consent (other than ‘Where should I f — k you?’), and she never gave consent to any of those actions. THAT’S ASSAULT. … Coercion is NOT consent.”
As we continue the conversation we come to a controversial but important question, “does no ever NOT mean no?” Examples are cited by men and women alike where there is an element of playing hard to get. We also discuss Maddie’s story with Jim and the fine lines that exist between persistence and harassment.
We had so much to talk about in this episode and we went longer than we were anticipating. We will be releasing another episode in the future to talk about toxic masculinity and what we need to do better to avoid these situations.