January 17, 2018

‘Master of None’ Star Aziz Ansari’s Sexual Assault Case Is NOT A Sexual Assault Case

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‘Master of None’ Star Aziz Ansari’s Sexual Assault Case Is NOT A Sexual Assault Case
Photo Credit: Greg Doherty/Getty Images


Aziz Ansari won a Golden Globe for his role in Netflix’s hit show “Master of None” but sure enough, his high moment turned into a new low when a woman accused him of sexual assault just a few days later.


23-year-old Brooklyn based photographer, who’s going by the name “Grace,” described to The Babe.net a date night turned wrong with the comedian.


Grace claims she was pressured into having sex and forced to do sexual acts on Ansari inside his Manhattan apartment.

After the encounter, she “cried the whole ride home” and felt “violated.”

Ansari released a statement since hearing about the allegations saying, the two did engage in sexual activities but that it was “consensual.” He went on to say he “heard that it was not the case for her” and “was surprised and concerned.”


Now of course, at first glance, everyone’s initial reaction would be of shock and horror, but as I read the details of the accuser’s account, I started saying to myself,  ‘if this is sexual assault?’ This story was a surprise for me, personally, because it’s the first time I’ve found myself doing so when reading about a victim’s stories.


We have to be very careful when using this term. With the way society is shifting nowadays, it’s easy to misidentify situations. Women and some men have felt more courageous than ever to share their stories of sexual misconduct, and though we all should be sympathetic, we also have to be realistic that there’s a chance some of these stories may not be true or may not be what they think it is.


Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, Russell Simmons Bill Cosby, all of these victim’s accounts are clear cases of sexual harassment/assault.


But, this is not one of those cases.


I know I know, it feels weird even to type this because I’m a big advocate for women.  I believe every woman who feels like they’re victims of sexual misconduct should have their accusations taken seriously but in my opinion, this right here is just a case of regretting your decision of “sleeping with someone on the first date.”


Here’s why.


Grace willingly went on a date with the Ansari, and then went back to his apartment.

Now let’s be honest, men would assume if you agree to go back to his apartment, and you’re on a date, there’s a chance that something sexual may occur. It doesn’t necessarily have to be sex itself, but there’s a big chance you’ll go as far as first base. As women, we’re smart enough to know this. And if you’re not, you’re just lying.


Naturally, if you were uncomfortable in a situation, you would leave, right? But Grace didn’t.


The two ended up kissing (consensually) and although she was feeling weird about how far it went, she never told him “no.” Instead, she went along with everything. Here’s the problem, by doing so, in Ansari’s mind, he assumed she was okay with everything. How was he supposed to know she wasn’t?


If she was bothered by it, she should’ve stopped and left his apartment, but instead, she chose to stay signaling to Ansari that his sexual advances were okay. She said “no” in her mind but didn’t verbally tell him “no.”  Again, how was he supposed to know? He’s just assuming you’re all right with what’s happening because you’re still in the apartment with him and allowing these things to happen.


Listen, the only person that has mind reading as a superpower is Professor X and she ain’t him.


According to RAINN.org, the term sexual assault refers to “sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the victim.”  Some forms of sexual assault include:


  • Fondling or unwanted sexual touching
  • Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body



But Grace wasn’t forced to do any of these things. She willingly did so because she physically allowed it to happen throughout the night. She allowed him to do all these things to her and she did them back to him.


That’s what’s making this hard for me to agree that it’s sexual assault because the night continued.


Ansari didn’t stop her from leaving; he didn’t force himself on her, like other cases of sexual assault. Furthermore, Grace texted Ansari the next day telling him how uncomfortable she was about what happened inside his apartment. He responded and apologized saying; he “clearly misread things at the moment” and is “truly sorry.”


So, for me, this is a situation where Grace regretted a night that went too far. Unfortunately, it’s at the expense of Ansari’s career. He will now have this stigma attached to his name for the rest of his life.


To the women out there, the #MeToo movement is dominant, the #TimeUp movement is magical, but we need to be more cognizant of whose stories are sexual harassment and sexual assault vs. whose aren’t.