Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Aziz Ansari Case Isn't About Assault, It's About Sexual Politics (or, Why Heterosexual Relationships Are Unnatural)

I am only vaguely aware of Aziz Ansari because I think he was on "The Daily Show" back in the day. I have never seen "Parks and Recreation" or "Master of None" and what little I recall of him on Jon Stewart I found annoying. (That weaselly voice.) But I strongly believe the #MeToo movement just took a huge hit with yet another non-story about a celebrity interaction that didn’t go how someone hoped(?) it would. As far as I can tell the smoking gun is he served white but she prefers red. “Media” outlets need to STOP TAKING THE BAIT of starfuckers who don’t want to fuck — this is not assault, this is an invasion of (his) privacy. The public has no right and no need to know the intimate details of Ansari's sex life. He was aggressive and gross. But he's not her boss or in a position of power over her. It's very possible he thought she was saying no to intercourse -- the condom conversation -- but not to fooling around. Leave. No biggie. Something that was BADLY NEEDED is being destroyed by people using this movement to air their grievances about bad boyfriends (Bret Tyler Skopek/Bryan Singer), bad coworkers (Daniel Franzese/Bijou Phillips) and now bad dates. Soon all accusations are going to be met with a collective eye roll if this continues. I can't understand why other so-called journalists don't see this.


THIS would be a newsworthy story -- but enough with the online accusations and anonymous sourcing. If this really happened, let it go through the standard reporting/fact-checking process.

I am thrilled that society is FINALLY realizing we should err on the side of believing people who say they were abused. But each allegation needs to be weighed on its own merits -- due diligence still applies and media outlets shouldn't just regurgitate everything an accuser says. How are my fellow journalists dealing with this increasingly relevant issue, and how do non-media types think the issue is being handled thus far?

UPDATE 2: Aziz Ansari and more thoughts HERE.

UPDATE 3: Samantha Bee makes some valid points (in favor of the accuser), yet somehow what she says makes me even sadder for the person who thinks a connection is to be made with a total stranger.


jaragon said...

The problem with #metoo is the same all these lame hashtag cause have- in our current idiot century EVERYONE wants their fifteen second of fame-and it's too easy to tweet for attention

Joe said...

Yep, you said it: each allegation needs to be looked at. This is why the quick lambasting and removal of Al Franken was so ridiculous.

But what's to be done? Every time I try point out the ridiculousness or the injustice that every accuser is 100% legit and every accused is guilty I'm told that, as a man, I should just be quiet. Or that I'm a misogynist. Or that I just don't understand the #metoo movement (which I do, because ... #metoo).

The importance of the movement is going to be lost if it keeps going this way. And yes, eye rolls are what the responses will be. Not every accusation is sexual abuse or harassment, not everyone accused is guilty. Simply because someone accuses doesn't make the accuser an automatic saint.

Edgar_Carpenter said...

What we all need is a culture where women and men feel comfortable saying "no" to sexual propositions (including the mini-propositions and non-verbal negotiations that go all through a sexual encounter), and women and men making sexual propositions do so in a respectful way, and accept the other person's "yes" or "no" civilly.

What steps do we need to be taking now that will lead us to that result?