This Aziz Ansari situation is out of hand. HE acted in a brazenly disgusting manner, and yet most of what I’ve been seeing on social media is about all the mistakes that SHE made. She should have left sooner, she should have stood up and shouted STOP, she should have maybe worn a less slutty skirt.
I’ve also been reading many critiques of the Grace article itself. Why did you mention that he didn’t ask her what she wanted to drink? Why did you talk about her outfit? Don’t you know these details weaken the story and make it impossible to have the conversation we SHOULD have had? Oh, dear, ladies. You’ve really fucked it up now.
It’s so weird that so many of us are focusing on EVERYTHING about this story other than the fact that perfectly nice, even self-proclaimed feminist men act like Aziz Ansari did on this date, every day, in every town, all across America...
It’s almost like there’s some mysterious haze that makes the bad behavior of men invisible while highlighting every possibly questionable action a woman might take?
My friends, the haze is real and it is called MISOGYNY. And, as I wrote about racism last week, it’s not always virulent. It's not always full-on grab-them-by-the-pussy disgustingness.
Sometimes it’s just forgetting to ever consider anything from the woman’s point of view.
Sometimes it’s just seeing sex as points to be scored, and women not as people but as mere as pussy goalies.
When was the first time I realized I was but a pussy goalie, in the eyes of many men? Looking back, I can see that it started young, but I didn’t see it happening in real time, with my own eyes, until I briefly dated -- hmm, what should I call him? I guess I’ll call him Hold My Balls guy. You’ll see why later.
At the time I met HMB guy, I’d just been dumped, and HMB guy seemed really into me, and I thought that it might make a nice change to date someone really into me, so I went out with him a couple of times, casually. We had dinner and drinks and a few laughs, and it was all fine? Not amazing, but fine, I guess.
The only thing was, he kept asking me for sex, and I was ambivalent, but one night after a few drinks, I went ahead and slept with him and … ugh. It was bad. I mean, not Aziz Ansari bad? It was more useless than creepy. But, still bad. I was glad when he said he had to go home before work in the morning.
The next day, I got up and made a cup of tea and put on the latest DVRed episode of SNL while I tried to wake up. It was the “Dick In A Box” episode, and I could not stop cackling about it. But I remember getting weirdly steamed when I saw Andy Samberg shove a rose in Maya Rudolph’s face. In that moment, I realized I didn’t want to deal with anyone’s dick at the moment, least of all HMB guy, for whom I honestly felt little attraction.
So when he called me later and asked if he could come over, I said, sure. The least I could do was break up with him in person, right? Then he got there, and I went right into my prepared speech about how I needed more time by myself to get over the breakup, and he was a nice guy, and I wished him the best, and I thought that would be that. I was wrong.
What followed was an hour of the grossest and least sexy wheedling you can imagine.
“But we only did it once, give me another chance, it’ll be better this time!”
“But you and this guy broke up WEEKS ago, you should be over it by now! I can help you get over it!”
“Maybe we could just be fuckbuddies?”
Over and over, he kept on trying to negotiate a position from which he’d still have access to my body, even though I was pretty clear that I didn’t want that at all. But I tried to be kind as I held my ground. I mean, you don’t want to kick a guy when he’s down.
After awhile, I could see that he knew this was it, and I saw his eyes harden. And that was the moment I knew -- I was no longer Madge, this cute girl he was attracted to and wanted to spend time with, a human being with thoughts and desires and agency just like him.
Nope. Instead, I had become the Pussy Goalie, cruelly knocking back all his advances on the goal. I guess that means I was also the goal.
I was the Mean Mommy, denying him access to the only toy he wanted to play with. Which meant I was also the toy.
I was the gatekeeper, and also I was the gate, and he felt entitled and even duty-bound to keep trying to crash.
“Well, maybe, if you’re not gonna fuck me before I go, you could at LEAST hold my balls while I jack off.” And he went to open his zipper, and I lost my shit.
“JESUS CHRIST HOW DO YOU THINK THAT IS EVEN ON THE MENU RIGHT NOW? You need to go, dude. Immediately.”
Which he did. But, honestly? I’m still pissed off about this.
I’m still pissed off at how he felt entitled to get SOMETHING from me for his trouble, like a parting gift for a game show loser.
I’m still pissed off at how quickly I went from human being to goal / toy / gate in his eyes.
I’m still pissed off that he felt the need or the right to argue with me AT ALL when I told him I was done.
The issue at hand is not whether Grace should have left sooner, or whether she’s right in calling what happened with Aziz by the word “assault,” or whether I should have led HMB Guy on by sleeping with him, or any of that.
The issue at hand is the whole dehumanizing construction that women are nothing but pussies and pussy goalies, and every man has every right to keep trying to score as much as he wants to.
This right here is the mental construct that allows Aziz and countless other men to find arousal and satisfaction in encounters with unenthusiastic women.
This right here is the mental construct that allows Aziz and countless other men to say “I misread the situation” with plausible deniability, even when the women are clearly in distress.
This right here is the mental construct that allows the Republican party to punish women for being what they consider to be irresponsible pussy goalies.
This right here is the mental construct that causes people to continually say irrelevant shit like “Well, what did she expect, when she went up to his apartment with him?”
This right here is the mental construct of rape culture.
So, let me say this loud for the people in the back.
It is NOT ACCEPTABLE to treat having sex like winning a point from a woman, or sneaking something by her, or taking something from her.
It is NOT ACCEPTABLE to believe that male sexuality is such a powerful force that the women of the world have no other recourse than to twist ourselves into pretzel shapes to avoid being hurt by it.
It is NOT ACCEPTABLE to continue to beg, wheedle, whine, push, grab, or implement the Claw on a partner who has made it clear she’s not into it.
It is NOT ACCEPTABLE to assume that unless a woman is yelling no and pushing you away, then she’s down for whatever.
It is NOT ACCEPTABLE.
Our society, the internet, and even our most mainstream media, constantly perpetuate the idea that men do not need to worry about what our needs and boundaries are. They just need technical consent, however that consent is acquired.
CONSENT SHOULDN’T BE THE GOLD STANDARD. That should be the basic foundation. Built upon that foundation should be fun, mutual passion, equal arousal, interest and enthusiasm. And it is any man or woman’s right at ANY time to stop, for whatever reason.
If you are angry or upset about anything else in Grace’s story, or in mine, then you’re angry about the wrong thing.