Aziz Ansari Acted Like an Ass, and Is Now Being Made to Feel Embarrassed For Acting Like an Ass

An article was recently published and in my opinion, incorrectly titled “The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari.” I would like to offer my alternative title: Aziz Ansari acted like an ass, and is now being made to feel embarrassed for acting like an ass.

His career is not over (or is it? If you have articles that show that he’s been fired from a show or hasn’t gotten another role since, please send them to me, I’d be happy to be proven wrong on this point), nobody sent inappropriate photos of him to his boss or his family*. The only thing that happened is that someone told a story about a date with him, and now the internet is exercising its right to call her a liar and explain to everyone why what he did is “not that bad.”

Are you mad yet? No? Well then, please keep reading!

I’m not going to link to the article that prompted me to write this, because I don’t want to give it more traffic. But here are some things it says:

Grace’s account is “proof that women are angry, temporarily powerful—and very, very dangerous.”

If you’re making this face right now confused emoji you’re in good company. I’m sorry, you needed proof that women are angry? Very, very dangerous – you mean like guns and big nuclear buttons? Temporarily powerful?

If anything, the article is proof that the opposite is still true – women still cave to the power of men, at the expense of their own personal safety and comfort. Some have argued that Grace didn’t say no – but she did say a lot of other things, all of which I would expect Ansari to have understood. He’s smart, you know – he wrote a book about dating. I even read it a little over a year ago. He’s funny, and he had some good ideas. So I honestly expected him to understand ‘Whoa, let’s relax for a sec, let’s chill.” To mean, I’m not entirely okay with what is going on here at the moment, and I need you to stop doing what you are doing so we can talk about what we are both comfortable with, and without me feeling pressured. Yes, I expect him to understand that. It’s not such a reach.

Do I wish that women could communicate more clearly and say “no” more assertively? Yes, I do. But do you know why we sometimes don’t? Because of fear of being beaten, or raped, or murdered, or sold into slavery. Real fears of real things that are, unlike women complaining on the internet, very, very dangerous.

Aziz responded to Grace’s account that he had no idea that she was experiencing things that way. Suppose he is being honest about this: this is still a big problem. It is this that I have argued over and over again that is the cause of so many cases of sexual assault; the not paying attention, the ignoring, the doing it anyway, in short – the entitlement.

If men were as scared to make advances on women as women are afraid of men, then I would be willing to sit at a table where someone suggests that women are powerful and very, very dangerous. Until then, though, it’s anybody’s guess how the author of that article drew that particular conclusion.

*The account is compared to “revenge porn” in the article that must not be linked.


Time Travel in Everyday Life

What would you do if you had a time machine? Comedian Louis CK says, “Go back in time and make you not ask me that question.”

I like to believe that actions make a difference. Sometimes it gets a little hard to keep believing that, especially when proof to the contrary springs up right before my eyes. Last year there was a tent city protest in Jerusalem, and yet housing is still as expensive as Paris. I’d like to believe that writing letters to politicians makes them change their mind about something. I’d like to believe that the “Slut Walks” make people change the way they think about rape.

Still, in the year 2012, where women drive and work and vote, and blacks and whites marry each other, self-respecting people can be found blaming the victims of sexual assault. This Judge overrode the Jury’s punishment decision and told the victim publicly that “If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you.” What is the judge saying? She’s saying women, don’t go out to bars. Women, don’t walk around alone. Are we not one step away from “Women, get back in the kitchen and stay home and take care of your babies?” Why are we moving backwards? Oh – yes! I’ve always wanted proof that time travel is possible!

It’s possible to go back even further than Toronto in 2011. Some people attempt to travel all the way back to the writing of the American constitution. This is what Chris Kluwe said in his letter to Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. when the latter tried to silence the voice of a football player who supports gay marriage. After you read the letter, read the comments. While the words of the state delegate are ridiculous, this letter is problematic as well. Even if you support gay marriage, doesn’t this letter make you want to apologize to Burns? From the first line of the letter, I thought to myself, if this was addressed to me I would stop reading right here. From my experience, if you want someone to read your letter, you shouldn’t open it with a string of vulgar insults. This sort of approach brings us back in time just as much as opposing gay rights.

I’ll ask you again; if you had a time machine, what would you do with it?