The Aziz Ansari Allegation and Why it Highlights a Much Bigger Problem

By: Hannah Kanfer

It was a regular Sunday night. I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, uncooked Poptart in hand when I saw my old teacher from high school had shared an article from Babe entitled, “I went on a date with Aziz Ansari. It was the worst night of my life”, she captioned it with the comment, “this is why we can’t have nice things”.

I immediately stopped mindfully chewing my frosted pastry and clicked the article, expecting the worst. In this #metoo era, it’s like my mind keeps a running track of “how many days since a sexual harassment abuse case." I feel like none of my favorite movies, actors, tv shows, hell...even news stations were safe. But Aziz Ansari, the comedian I’ve laughed at millions of times, the quirky dude who seemed like he would freak out when trying to smash a bug--no, it couldn't be him.

Via TheAtlantic

I’m not going to describe what the article touched on for the sake of not being graphic, but you are free to read the article yourself.

I am going to touch on a specific line from the article that the author used to describe Aziz Ansari:

“Ansari’s sexual mannerisms to those of a horny, rough, entitled 18-year-old...But Aziz Ansari isn’t an 18-year-old. He’s a 34-year-old actor and comedian of global renown who’s probably done more thinking about the nuances of dating and sex in the digital age."

That line stuck with me. It left a pit in my stomach and at first I couldn't understand why. Then it hit me--I’m surrounded and have been surrounded by these “18-year-old boys” my whole life.

The idea of having to push guys' advances away seemed normal to me. I’ve grown a thick skin to the almost look of betrayal in a guy's face when I push his hand away when our gentle makeout session somehow does a 180 into an aggressive groping session. I had learned how to speak up for myself. But I feel that at some point, every girl has been silently complicit in a guy's advances, the feeling of wanting things to be over, to just leave. You just don't want to feel like "that girl."  If you met on Tinder and are in his dorm room it's obviously not a Notebook-esque romance. College-aged girls especially have a constant battle between their own boundaries and the fear of leading someone on. This idea of entitlement coupled with the notion that men have to be aggressive leaves the feeling of almost being cornered, that when they say “yes” once, that means free range.

Us girls have to get it into our skulls that boys are not entitled to anything. It doesn't matter where you met, where you are or what you said before, if you’re uncomfortable, then say stop. Saying stop or no or verbally communicating is such a vital thing in these situations. Not to diminish the reality that guys should realize when girls are clearly uncomfortable and know that asking for consent is ongoing, but using your words puts empowerment back in your own hands.

Related: Thoughts on Sexual Assault and Vulnerability

Why must we accept this aggressive sexual behavior as normal purely for the fact we are young and in college?

The saying “boys will be boys” has such toxic implications, that even in college us girls are still paying the price. Aziz Ansari made me realize that “18-year-old” behavior should not be accepted at any age.