‘That’s what happened to me’: We all know someone who’s had a date like Grace’s
‘It’s heartbreaking because I’ve been there’
by Una Dabiero
On Sunday, an anonymous woman called Grace* told babe about "the worst night of her life" — a date with comedian Aziz Ansari.
Grace says Ansari took advantage of her because she was "not listened to and ignored" when she used verbal and non-verbal cues to indicate how uncomfortable and distressed she was by his sexual advances.
Her story of being ignored by a man while he continuously pushes for sex is (unsurprisingly) relatable to like, every woman in the United States.
The thing about that Aziz Ansari story is almost every single woman has had that experience at least once in her dating life. #MeToo
— Cher (@thecherness) January 14, 2018
I saw someone tweet something like “if what Aziz Ansari did was sexual assault then every woman I know has been sexually assaulted” and like yeah, actually.
— Arnesa (@Rrrrnessa) January 15, 2018
Since it's 2018, women are sharing their Grace-like experiences on Twitter. And their tweets are starting an important conversation on our dating culture, that lends itself to interpersonal pressures and sexual coercion.
This story is hitting me really hard. Every woman I know has had an Aziz Ansari kind of date, if not many. It’s not just poor communication and it’s not an isolated event, it’s a pattern of male entitlement. Sexual coercion is not innocent! https://t.co/f0VMNSxQ98
— YUNG MOMMY (@actuallycall) January 15, 2018
Women began to realize they themselves had been in Grace's situation
And most girls recounted that they had experiences like this multiple times.
That Aziz Ansari piece isn't surprising to me but it is difficult and heartbreaking because I've been there, many times because "nice" men thought they could use whatever kindness they had performed earlier to ignore my boundaries in intimate situations.
— Lara Witt (@Femmefeministe) January 14, 2018
ok I have something to say about the Aziz Ansari story:
when I read the full story – of Aziz repeatedly forcing himself on a woman during a first date – my reaction was “well, that’s normal, isn’t it?”, because it has happened to me REPEATEDLY.
it’s. not. normal.
— Kate Gray 🇨🇦 (@hownottodraw) January 14, 2018
The Aziz Ansari sexual assault story is so painful for me to read because it's so similar to what I've been through with so many men – pulling my hand away, trying to avoid conflict by saying "next time", and being slowly worn down by repeated advances
— modern-day hippie (@trishaobannon) January 14, 2018
This almost universal experience gave the story an eerie relatability
I've been thinking all night about why the Aziz Ansari allegations account struck me as strange and odd. Couldn't put my finger on it. Until…I realized in my 20s I'd had many many many dates just like Grace described in her account.
— Nneka M. Okona 🇳🇬 (@afrosypaella) January 14, 2018
Reading the article about the woman's encounter with Aziz Ansari was really hard, because it made me realize how many times I've been in situations with men like Ansari and had no idea to get them to stop.
— sierra (@scanlansierra) January 14, 2018
What makes me really mad about the Aziz Ansari story is how fucking relateable it is. It’s like the fundamental outline of so many dates I’ve been on. It’s not just a case of ‘I had a similar experience’ – off the top of my head I could give a list of men that did that to me
— Roxie (@roxanna_wa) January 14, 2018
And allowed lots of girls to empathize with what Grace did in the face of fear
Reading the article about Aziz Ansari initially made me roll my eyes, because I'm like, "Girl…we've all been there, why didn't you just leave?" But then I had to check myself because I've been there, and didn't always leave.
— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) January 14, 2018
The story brought some women back to specific experiences
"How about we just chill on the couch?"
This… hits home with a certain experience of mine. If you're sensitive to this stuff, you should be aware that it's REALLY detailed.
Given the nature of the detail, I find it pretty impossible not to believe. https://t.co/xnUhslfthY
— Sady Doyle (@sadydoyle) January 14, 2018
— Head Full Of Kittens #FBPE (@notwaving) January 14, 2018
Hey, you know that Aziz Ansari story of sexual assault? That’s what happened to me when i was assaulted. I don’t think my friends ever fully understood. I blamed myself for a long time but, tho I never forcefully said “no”, I made it v clear I didn’t want to.
— Yasmina (@Yaziet) January 14, 2018
While it caused others to think broadly about their experiences with rape culture and feeling powerless in sexual situations
To those defending @azizansari, listen. One of my worst experiences was probably viewed as consensual by someone who pressured me into things I did not want to do. I felt unsafe. Understand rape culture. Realize how prevalent and bad it is. Stop doing it.
— Breeyn McCarney (@breeynmccarney) January 15, 2018
Reading that article on Aziz Ansari made me feel physically ill because I know how it feels to be powerless and pressured by someone
— Jenna (@velvetveins93) January 15, 2018
I read the entire article on Aziz Ansari and holy shit it's so similar to how my last abuser groomed me
that awkward, gradual aggression, that persistent crossing of boundaries mixed with soothing words
I hate how universal that experience is proving to be
— farren (@cautiousghost) January 14, 2018
On Aziz Ansari…. it took me a really, really long time (see: December 2017) to realize that I didn't have to give up sex if I didn't want to. But more so, the realization that we are socialized in a way that says sex is a requirement for intimate interactions with men
— overalls spice (@yayayayayaz) January 14, 2018
Or how rape culture lead them to not realize when they had been assaulted or abused
Im really glad that aziz ansari piece came out.. feel like i been in that type of situation so many times and hadn't been able to quite explain what was wrong abt it or if it's just something wrong w me
— mit (@damn_mit) January 14, 2018
that aziz ansari story made me realize i’ve been violated without knowing it was sexual assault
— wicked witch of the yeast (@punjababe) January 14, 2018
Girls are still living with the effects of these experiences
I relate to the story of that woman who went on a date with Aziz Ansari so much. That type of sexual violence was so traumatizing to me, in 2016 and early 2017, that I stopped seeing anyone for a while year. I was literally terrified of intimacy and had to work on it in therapy
— Chawette (@Run_PhD) January 14, 2018
But they're also speaking out. Time's up.