The discussion of rape is relevant to Ansari's case, not because he committed a rape (and no one that I'm familiar with has said he did) but because the deliberate ignoring of the messages from a sexual partner is exactly how many sexual assaults do happen. Men have to acknowledge that the single-minded pursuit of sex, badgering women into submission, and normalizing these kinds of sexual encounters is normalizing scenarios that do lead to rape. The woman telling the story didn't use the word rape--she used the words "assault" and "violation", and I get why she used them. I don't get the impression that she was using the word "assault" in a legal sense, but in the sense of being overwhelmed and pursued in an overly aggressive manner. Similarly I don't think that she used the word "violation" as just a place holder for rape. I think that if someone repeatedly puts his hand in your mouth, repeatedly puts your hand on their body after you have removed it, and refuses to let you keep personal space, that person is violating your boundaries and your bodily autonomy. I know that everyone has opinions about how women should respond to assaults or improper behavior, but just because someone doesn't react the way you think she should doesn't mean that what happened to her wasn't wrong. There are women who spend the night in bed next to their rapists; they don't deserve less sympathy because they didn't immediately call a cab and flee.Jinnistan wrote:Such sweeping "all or nothing" extremism is a rejection of the necessary nuance that this requires. The intimate issues of consent, which no one seriously has suggested to be criminal, require more careful judgment. I've noticed a lot of people slinging "rape" around, as if this is some rational component to Ansari's case. Since some men rape, then Ansari is equally culpable to bear that brunt. The reason why some people have been fearing the #metoo movement becoming a witch hunt might just be due to the torches in the street and the enthusiasm to lower the criteria for which crimes get sentenced to the pyre. Ansari doesn't deserve the judgment that a rapist or assaulter receives, and there's no justification for erasing that distinction.
When I say burn it all down, I don't mean lump every sexual impropriety together. It's insulting to say that women don't understand the difference between sexual assault and a dirty joke. Believe me--many women have had enough experiences all along the spectrum that we can easily understand degree. What I mean is that women need to speak out about the range of their experiences, large and small. The pressure that women shouldn't speak up because of the effect it will have on men is something that has kept a lot of women quiet about a lot of horrible (and sometimes illegal) experiences. I'm not saying that every man who commits a sexual impropriety should be destroyed, but I do think that brushing away behavior like this with a dismissive "Yeah, but it's not as bad as Weinstein" is wrong.
It's frankly hard to hear people saying "A man's career could be ruined!" when we've actually seen evidence that women have had their careers deliberately derailed for not "playing the game". Women speaking out about more "minor" incidents comes at a higher cost to men. Women staying silent (and implicitly accepting) about these "lesser" crimes comes at a higher cost to women. If you don't want to be raked over the coals, behave like a decent human being.