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April 18, 2024

  • Jeanette Winterson for “gAyPRIL”
    “gAyPRIL” (Gay-April) continues on Falcon Radio, sharing a playlist curated by the Queer Trans Student Union, sharing songs celebrating the LGBTQ+ experience. In similar vein, you will enjoy Jeanette Winterson’s books if you find yourself interested in LGBTQ+ voices and nonlinear narratives. As “dead week” is upon us, students, we can utilize resources such as Falcon […]
  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
Spring Housing Guide

Aziz Ansari faces backlash from past date

The Babe article that detailed an anonymous woman’s date with Aziz Ansari has sparked up a debate about the #MeToo movement and what consent actually means.

The woman, refered to as Grace in the article, detailed her date, and she said when they arrived back at Ansari’s apartment she engaged in various sexual acts that she felt uncomfortable doing, but she also felt uncomfortable saying no.

As far as sexual violence goes, this is not the most heinous, and it’s not illegal, but it does reveal a lot about what both men and women are conditioned to think about sexual encounters and what the #MeToo movement means to people.

Unlike what many people are saying, this article is not career-destroying for Ansari. It’s not a witch-hunt for successful men, and it’s not a case of regret.

Grace had an incredibly uncomfortable date with Ansari, who didn’t care much to truly see if she was enjoying it as much as he was. This brings up an entirely new, but equally important, conversation about sexual relations. Enthusiastic consent is incredibly important to understand and to put into practice.

Enthusiastic consent is the presence of a verbal, completely voluntary yes in a sexual situation. Ansari didn’t look for an enthusiastic yes at all, according to Grace, and this is where the problem came in. As long as she wasn’t saying a clear “no,” Ansari just accepted her behavior as a yes.

Popular media shows over and over again that persistence is key for a man to find a woman. That wearing women down until they give a reluctant yes is okay. And it is time for a cultural shift to say that an absence of a “no” is not enough.

If he had once, genuinely asked, “Is this okay?” then maybe Grace wouldn’t have stayed for so long or felt so uncomfortable.

This conversation about enthusiastic consent reveals what people are getting out of the #MeToo movement.

For many, they were learning what is legal and what isn’t. They are strictly following the legal guidelines of sexual violence. Most women are trained to let men down easy, and it becomes understood that they should make the man feel comfortable and happy when they are together.

But if enthusiastic consent is understood and applied, women’s own comfort and enjoyment are brought into the picture. This is about finally focusing on women, and making sure they feel comfortable and safe in a sexual situation.

According to Ansari, he understood the situation to be completely consensual. This just makes it clear he didn’t really care what she thought, and was operating through the situation with his own, and only his own, enjoyment in mind.

Also, Ansari talks a lot about sexual assault. This situation shows a clear misunderstanding of how women operate the world and maybe he shouldn’t be talking about sexual assault.

In an article from Vox, titled “The Aziz Ansari story is ordinary. That’s why we have to talk about it,” it said, “It means asking men to recognize that and do better, and it means changing the culture so that badgering and pressuring women into sex is deplored, not endorsed. None of this will happen if we refuse to reckon with stories like Grace’s.”

We need to have a conversation about all kinds of sexual violence, and that includes everyday, average but uncomfortable situations.

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