Aziz Ansari was surprised by how she felt after the date, and I’m not surprised at all. Here’s why.
This is the text Grace* sent Aziz Ansari after their date which left her feeling “violated”. She tells Ansari how uncomfortable he made her feel, saying “you ignored clear non-verbal cues” and “kept going with advances.”
— babe (@babedotnet) January 14, 2018
Aziz and Grace
Louis CK once said, “When a person tells you that you’ve hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.”
By now I am sure most people have heard, at least bits and pieces, of the Aziz Ansari date. An anonymous source that goes by the pseudonym of Grace online has raised concerned about Aziz’s behaviour. She went on a date with him, and she felt very pressured. While she did not explicitly say NO to anything sexual with Aziz, she claims to have been sending him signals of being uncomfortable and uninterested all night. For Grace, this lead to a car ride home crying, feeling as though she had been taken advantage of, and sadly even sexually assaulted. Since the details of the date have come out, Aziz has admitted to being surprised by how the woman was feeling after the date. And that doesn’t surprise me at all. Here’s why.
As a newly single 21-year-old woman checking out the dating scene, I can honestly say, sometimes you have to be very blunt. Sometimes people don’t pick up on clues because they’re intoxicated. While intoxication is never an excuse to ignore someone’s feelings, sometimes messages that are vague or unclear are misunderstood. I understand how Grace felt after leaving her date, but I also understand how Aziz could truly not have realized how his actions were coming across.
“….The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed okay,’ upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.
“I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.” – Aziz Ansari
The gray area
I believe that the controversy over the details of this date have been very important. Whether or not you agree that it was sexual assault. If you think Aziz is not at fault. Or you think it lies in the gray area. People are talking about it. I do not think people should discredit Aziz’s career, and I do not think people should victim blame Grace.
I do think people should talk about the situation openly. Be able to safely share their feelings on this topic.More conversation is needed. This will lead to less people being surprised when they are told they are pressuring people into sex. As well as help women become comfortable speaking up when they feel they are being pressured, because they are not alone.
Whether or not you side with Grace, or with Aziz, take this date as a learning experience for yourself. Use it as a tool to become more socially aware of your own actions.