18 Jan 2018
Aziz Ansari, would you have believed it. Would I have believed it? I want to blurt out
a reactive no but had to keep in mind that this is the man who has refused to comment on his friend’s and mentor’s Louis CK accusations. Still, not unlike the situation with Matt Damon’s ignorance, I have been fooled by the public persona and what that public persona attempts (pretends?) to stand for. Matt Damon would always have had easier time to appear intelligent and serious – when your best friend is someone who f-cks up as consistently as Ben Affleck does, by association you will be seen as the more polished, more considerate half of the friendship. In the case of Aziz Ansari though, there’s no one to compare him to quite in the same way so every opinion about him has been formed by way of our seeing his work – books, stand-up, series – all of which are literary ventures and inevitably lead to common assumptions that Aziz Ansari, as a writer, as an observer of the world, knows what to say and how to say it. Which he has been doing in such correct, winning ways that are not only charming but also strong and respectful and inclusive.
The difference between the two, of course, is that while Matt has been the Hollywood’s golden boy for years, which might or might not have prepared us for the bullsh-t that comes out of his mouth on a weekly basis these days, Aziz has had to work multiple times as hard to get to the position he is in today. And I guess, bearing in mind that and the fact that all of his work is famous for relentlessly tackling the issues of diversity, feminism and sexual harassment (well, well, what d’ya know), you’d think he’d be more careful with preserving it. And sh-t, maybe he was and maybe he truly did misjudge the situation, but to me this is reading like a hundred percent entitlement. When the girl, who has chosen be called Grace, asks him to stop and he stops for a minute before launching back into action, it doesn’t sound at all like he was intent on listening, it sounds to me like a horny, spoiled, successful man expecting every pussy he so generously invites into his apartment to be at least willing and at most honoured to stroke his dick. Ew.
I am sure there will be a few think pieces weighing in on the situation (I have already found my favourite here at Refinery29). Meanwhile, I want play the dirty “journalist” and go through Aziz’s kinky laundry that Grace has so gracefully hung out to air. This move in particular: “[He kept] taking his two fingers in a V-shape and putting them in my mouth, in my throat to wet his fingers, because the moment he’d stick his fingers in my throat he’d go straight for my vagina and try to finger me.” What do you think of this practiced and perfected move? Would your pussy pop if a man you had only talked to for two-three hours, tops, insisted on doing this and didn’t seem to have a doubt about its magic on women he had built zero level of intimacy with? Would you laugh? Would you giggle? And if you were, indeed, dtf (a generous millennial has enlightened me that the letters stand for "down to fuck") from the start of the date and sex was your reason for going out with him in the first place, would you still smile and create a group thread to discuss the details of “the claw” with your girlfriends? I think I wouldn’t have laughed if I was Grace, but I would have laughed now that I am old and have zero f-cks to give about men who have zero f-cks to give about me. Also, I am a low-life.
“Where do you want me to f-ck you?” – music to every girl’s ears on the first date, curtesy of Pornhub 101.
On a more serious note, this situation is f-cked up, that is if you needed anyone to spell it out for you. And I have been there, unsure of why I’m feeling so lost and offended when, on the surface, no violation has happened. Except it HAS happened, and I would know because I was the one violated. All it takes is for a man not to stop when you ask him to stop, what happens after is almost an afterthought – whether you put up a fight or proceed to engage in the act to simply have it over with and get him off you. The discomfort, the tears, the confusion – they are there to let you know that although, of course, violation has its degrees and levels, it is violation nonetheless. Consent is fluid, it goes from beginning to middle to end, therefore perhaps it’s a good idea to check in on each other from time to time. And I hope that for the new generation this will become key: not to wait for a firm verbal “No” but instead to ask whether it’s a “Yes”. I guess when Aziz Ansari says the sex felt and was consensual he means the former.