Episode of the now infamous Aziz Ansari surfaced with great hype and had reached to millions of netizens worldwide. Cries of disgust escaped everyone’s lips, and streaks of feminism sparked from women and men with equal proportion. The reactions were legit and expected, especially, when a woman is sexually harassed without her consent. The same has sadly been the case with Mr. Ansari.
The incident that had occurred need not be explicitly told here as, by now, we are all familiar with what had taken place on that unfortunate day. This is not something that we have come across or heard for the first time. Sex without mutual consent is a crime. You know you are not supposed to touch a woman when she voices out her disinterest in hooking up with you. You know that it is rape. But, what if her voice doesn’t reach out to you loud and clear? What if, the verbal and non-verbal cues she has been trying to give fall deaf?
I read what was being written on the internet, particularly on babe.net, and like everyone else, my first reaction to this atrocity was of abhorrence and disgust. I could not, for a fact, believe Ansari’s total lack of understanding when the girl he met, consistently tried to tell him how uncomfortable she felt during the entire course of action. But he stayed put and kept on at it. Once done reading, I reflected on all cases similar to this, and it brought back to my mind, many incidents where girls, despite showing their disinterest, continued to get exploited sexually, and only later did the guys show signs of being apologetic and misunderstanding the whole situation. I was left wondering as to why men do not stop at the first signs of a girl’s hesitation or her repeatedly saying “no”. It only took me a couple of minutes to figure it out.
Before answering this, let me go back to the infamous incident of Mr. Ansari. The girl, who was at the receiving end of his supposedly sexual assault, said something along the lines of “I don’t think we should do this”. To explain it further, she said she “didn’t think” it was right of them to do it. Aziz Ansari, who was high on hormones at that moment, took her words to be of mere coyness and initial hesitation that probably most girls showcase when they first try to engage in sexual intercourse. There, do you see the problem? Now, to take this a little further, it was stated on babe.net that the girl concerned, remained stiff while he tried to go down on her, but also, while playing the birds and the bees, she “sucked” on to him. This action speaks volumes about the whole misjudgement of the entire situation and Ansari’s actions. If she was unwilling to perform fellatio, why did she not say a brutal “NO” straight to his face instead of acting it out of “pressure”? Why, if she was reluctant to have him go down on her, did not push him away and say “I DO NOT want to do this” instead of saying “I do not THINK we should do this”? To quote her, she said, “I know I was physically giving off cues that I wasn’t interested. I don’t think that was noticed at all, or if it was, it was ignored”. This is where she went wrong. And this is precisely where girls go wrong.
Before you start labelling me as a supporter of Ansari’s vile actions, let me tell you, when a man (or a woman) do not, or fail to understand your nuances and cues, then all you have to do it go brutal with words and actions. Certain words, such as “think”, or phrases like, “maybe we should stop” are liable to be misinterpreted or, in other words, interpreted differently. This is what had transpired between her and Ansari, and this is often the case with girls who do not understand the power that lies in words and strict physical action. There is absolutely no need for her to sit, drink wine and talk after realizing the man’s unwanted sexual advances towards her. A man, for his entire libido, loses his head when he sees a woman, and any “subtle” hint could be misinterpreted by him, and in which case, the girl should drop all her subtleties and put across her reluctance straight on to him without resorting to words or actions likely to be twisted.
What Aziz Ansari did to her was grossly unimaginable, to say the least, and unfathomable. There are many such Ansaris out there who still lack the comprehensive ability to grasp the apprehension women face when they meet them for the first time, and strike a conversation, and in all likelihood, consider her amiability to be gravid with sexual innuendoes. To the all the women out there facing such a situation, say ‘NO’ out loud. Tell them you ‘DO NOT’ want it. Physical rigidity or subtle verbal/physical cues are going to be infructuous if the man is under the possession of his high sexual urges. He will understand your words if they are strong enough and clear. Being unsure of your own wants is only going to make you suffer, and playing the victim card later is reprehensible when you had the weapon of destruction in your hand at first.