#MeToo playing as Revenge of the Disappointed
#MeToo playing as Revenge of the Disappointed
In what reads more like a Dear Abby letter bloated to feature article size, this tawdry and irresponsible revelation of a girl’s inner voice during a date-gone-wrong with Aziz Ansari is yet another indication of problems of the #MeToo phenom that came to being within about fifteen minutes of its conception.
To recap the piece, we meet the pseudonymous Grace, 22 at the time of her ‘date’ with the 34 y/o Ansari. She relates the ‘cute meet’ — connecting over film cameras at an Emmy Awards after-party that she was attending with another date — and then about another weeks’ worth of flirtatious banter by text prior to the date.
Before meeting Ansari, Grace told friends and coworkers about the date and consulted her go-to group chat about what she should wear to fit the “cocktail chic” dress-code he gave her.
Remember this “go-to” group, they figure prominently later.
Recalling the date begins with this rather strange line:
After arriving at his apartment in Manhattan on Monday evening, they exchanged small talk and drank wine. “It was white,” she said. “I didn’t get to choose and I prefer red, but it was white wine.”
Is this a literary attempt at foreshadowing the evening? Otherwise, I was disturbed by the indication of how Grace behaves – she permits others to lead and direct while she sandbags another transgression for later use.
After the dinner is over and they return to his apartment, the article spends the better part of 21 paragraphs in a, excuse the pun, blow-by-blow description of the sexual activities of Grace and Ansari.
It’s a cringe-worthy endeavor to read, not just because Grace keeps remembering her interior dialogue of feeling uncomfortable accompanied with little girl astonishment that Ansari wasn’t a mindreader, but that she never takes any responsibility for her own part in active participation in sending signals that are easily interpreted as coyness, not reticence. She receives and gives oral sex. Indeed, after she told him she didn’t want intercourse that night, she remained naked and even consented to give him another round of oral sex.
Maybe as an old chick I don’t get it, but wandering around a guy’s apartment in the nude and giving him head when he asks usually is an indication I’m consenting to sexual behavior.
Now, I get that Ansari, if I’m to accept at face value everything Grace says, acted boorishly and too aggressively in trying to get her into bed. However, persistence isn’t assault. Being on the receiving end of wolfish or piggish behavior makes for a bad experience, but an adult chalks it up to a learning experience, not an excuse to engage in public character assassination and virtue-signalling.
Grace says her friends helped her grapple with the aftermath of her night with Ansari. “It took a really long time for me to validate this as sexual assault,” she told us. “I was debating if this was an awkward sexual experience or sexual assault. And that’s why I confronted so many of my friends and listened to what they had to say, because I wanted validation that it was actually bad.”
Ah! Her personal focus group can both choose her clothing and define her date’s behavior! How special. I actually find this sad because it appears that Grace hasn’t learned anything at all, certainly not to stop her own passive-aggressive behavior and take responsibility.
Am I victim-blaming? Only if one considers Grace a victim and I don’t. Am I excusing Ansari’s behavior? Nope, he acted like he was entitled, and that’s obnoxious. High profile men are just as seduced by their celeb-status and all the perks that go with it as the women who want the bragging rights that go with starf*cking.
It is ironic that Grace was triggered by seeing Ansari participating at the Golden Globes …
“It was actually painful to watch him win and accept an award,” she said. “And absolutely cringeworthy that he was wearing the Time’s Up pin. I think that started a new fire, and it kind of made it more real.”
… where the industry was engaged in its own round of cynical virtue-signalling.
How did Grace, or any number of women who feel let down by the hook-up culture, get to this place? Feminism, per se, was supposed to both acknowledge women’s personal agency and give them the tools to clearly communicate such. Yet, decades of third-wave feminism and its promotion of male-sexuality as the sexual standard has sold women the proverbial bill of goods. Even more problematic, it has paralyzed women and stripped them of the tools their mothers and grandmothers had in negotiating the terms of sexual encounters.
Here’s a large clue-bat, if you don’t want sex on the first date, don’t go back to the guy’s apartment, get naked, and engage in fellatio.
Grace should type that out and put it on her refrigerator for the next time she starts “catch[ing] eyes every now and then” with a celebrity across the party room.