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Old 02-01-2018, 09:35 AM #1
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Default The conversations that we’re not having (Aziz Ansari/SNL)

I remember the first year of SNL. From 1999-2013, though, I was out of the popular culture loop and only started watching SNL three-years ago.

I’ve been trying to process #metoo for some time. As a diehard Tarantino fan, I appreciated the Weinsteins, and when the Harvey accusations began to pour out I felt some shock (but, as Mitch McConnell said of Roy Moore’s accusers, “I believe the women.”) but as women (and men in re Kevin Spacey) continued to come forward and rightfully calling out men who had behaved abhorrently - sometimes criminally - I felt that this might be a long-needed watershed moment in history, even as I thought if Tom Hanks name was mentioned I would need to move back to Finland.

And then I read of Aziz Ansari’s anonymous accuser. And I read the babe.com story.

I’ve read the NYT & WaPo opinions. I don’t do Twitter or Facebook so I’m not aware of the ‘social media’ opinions. But when I watch the SNL take on the Thing That We Do Not Speak Of... I felt a little sick.

Before I wrote this, I re-read the babe.net article (prejudically - the punctuation is horrendous and I’m suspicious of .net websites), watched the skit again (it is all over the internet), re-read pro/con articles written by women that I respect and love, and then returned here to see if anyone might be interested in a little convo about The Ansari Situation.

I really hope that others will read the babe.net article and watch the skit. I’m prepared for flames when I write that the single sentence that I felt most in awe of in the skit was “she should have just... left.” Oh, the horror!

Why was I in awe, yet horrified? Because, as I read the babe.net article, I had the same thought.

I’ll not dissect the pseudonymic Grace’s interview but there is one term, used twice in the article (I think?) and the root is ‘flirt.’ When Grace meets Ansari, she’s a little tipsy and they flirt. She gives the comic-actor her phone number. For ‘a little over a week’ they exchange flirtatious text messages.

So. That’s where I stop. This is where I bow to my idol, Bill Maher, who is paid for his wisdom and candor. Watch his “Distinction Denial” video on YouTube. He addresses the rhetoric that claims that a “butt tap” is the same as “rape.” I’m like Bill; I, too have a penis. If I am a male with any degree of dominance over a woman and I show her my penis, that’s disgusting behavior. If I rape a woman, that is not equivalent to penis exposure. In this Brave New World, where facts and alternative facts create a black & white worldview, we’ve tossed distinctions and degrees out of the Oldsmobile window. As Maher points out, there are degrees of murder. Ansari’s... accuser?... offers a kind of bizarre notion of sex. The two performed oral sex upon the other but they didn’t, she says, have “actual sex.” This is where I bow to my hooker friends who mandate the pricing of sexual acts: oral sex is sex but is priced lower than actual sex (which I think means genital sex?).

I don’t believe that women need to be hookers to realize that sex has degrees, that there are distinctions that are not equal. Flirtation between men and women can lead to amorous encounters. Other than in arranged marriages, I don’t know of any loving relationships that might have developed without flirtation. Flirtation - shock! - can even continue during relationships.

Lord, help me, I have to make one more observation. Grace is an adult female and was an adult woman at the time of her date with Ansari. I’ll only say this once - she admits that the majority of her discomforts were non-verbal and this is where some women have suggested that Ansari might not possess the skills of a mind-reader. Grace is able to excuse herself to go to the bathroom. Is it reaching to think that an adult women - armed with a cell phone - might be able to excuse herself and leave using her cell phone to contact Uber or a taxi service?

I’ll demure and just ask others to watch Maher’s response to the hyperbole equating a butt tap with rape. No, butt-tapping is not acceptable but there exist degrees of separation between it and rape. And oral sex (I think we all can agree) is sex. All of this brings me back to flirting. Human flirtation is our mating call. It may or may not lead to more-than-playful courtship or love.

Two questions (to end):

1) do we need new definitions or limitations upon what is acceptable in practicing courtship from those of us who are penis-endowed?

2) is the ‘Ansari Affair’ a degree below, for example, the ‘Nassar Affair’ or are they equivalent?

Open book test.
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:29 PM #2
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Default Re: The conversations that we’re not having (Aziz Ansari/SNL)

Wow. That article was the biggest load of bull I've ever read. None of that made any sense whatsoever and yes, it's possible he could have crossed lines, but she had every opportunity to say no and leave.
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Old 02-08-2018, 02:44 AM #3
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Default Re: The conversations that we’re not having (Aziz Ansari/SNL)

When the article came out, I was sickened to my soul at the blatant nonsense of it all. I wrote many things, on many forums regarding this, and it was mostly because like all movements, this #MeToo one is getting abused and thrown around carelessly. #MeToo is about real assault and forced acts that damage women, and dare I say even men, who have dealt with an aggressor.

I didn't see the Bill Maher thing or the SNL skit, because I refuse to give this "Grace" thing any more attention, or have any further damage done to Ansari's career. I will share with you something I wrote on Reddit.com a while back describing my views on the whole thing, (it was in response to a young guy who got accused of rape when it was consensual to him, but she changed her mind about how she felt after):

I feel so, so bad this happened to you. As an older woman now, I look back on my life at all the mistakes I have made. Did men take advantage of me? Yes. Do I blame them for it? Hell fricken' no. When the hell are people going to take responsibility for their actions? Women are sometimes scared to say no because they feel if they don't "perform," the guy won't like them anymore, stop calling, or find another girl who will put out. That's the reality. Is it the guy's fault for our screwed up self-esteem? No way.

Screaming sexual assault and rape for situations that were in your control diminishes the actual victims of such horrible crimes. I have never been such a victim, but I have had many, many sexual encounters that I regretted and maybe I was pressured into. The point is I will never blame any of the men of my past because I always had a choice. Mind you, I was a minor in some of these situations, and STILL it was always my choice. Women have a choice these days, more than they ever did. Its not the damn 20s anymore.

I was so mad when this story hit because not only do I love Aziz, but this directly impacts how men feel about courting women, and how scared they will be now to even ask a lady for a drink. Aziz isn't in the clear, he was pushy, but far from assaulting. Romance has been on a decline for years, and crap like this just kills it. You win "New Generation of Women" don't let me see you frickin' complain that guys don't approach women anymore, and have fun telling your grandkids that you swiped right on Grandpa on Tinder. Don't be ashamed that you have to devote all your time to the internet to find a guy now, because that devishly handsome blue-eyed stud that you've been eyeing at Starbucks will NEVER ask you out because dumb loose women with "Fake News" stories made him too scared.
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Old 02-08-2018, 07:08 AM #4
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Default Re: The conversations that we’re not having (Aziz Ansari/SNL)

Ansari acted like a creep, and she did the opposite of what she wanted to do (had sex with him when she didn't want to), and did not vocalize her discomfort to him (so how could he know?). Yes, she could have left. Reading the article, I saw no pressure from him on his part for her to have sex, just him acting sex crazed and creepy, and her assuming that he would somehow be able to read her internal emotions, while he's horny and she's behaving the opposite way of her internal emotions.

That being said, I do think there needs to be more education about dating. Or support. Something. It seems like hookup culture is so "in," and popular. But not everyone works like that, and sometimes one doesn't know unless they actually experience it. Casual dating can be painful and hurtful. But thats where you need to have integrity. Go into a date knowing what your values are and the consequences of any actions for yourself.

I don't feel so harsh towards this woman. I feel compassion and sympathy for her ****** night, and her inability to say and do what she really wanted. She did not need to try to ruin his career over it, like LadyShadow said.

Also, I just have to mention her age. She was 22. That's really young. He was 34? When I was 22, I didn't know my *** from my elbow about some stuff, including socially and dating. The brain apparently doesn't fully develop until 25.

The SNL skit was HILARIOUS. I laughed so loud I think I may have disturbed my neighbors. LOL. Hey, at least I'm not eating Doritos in public.

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Old 02-08-2018, 11:06 AM #5
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Default Re: The conversations that we’re not having (Aziz Ansari/SNL)

I agree that in Ansari's case it wasn't rape and there's definitely degrees to sexual abuse and harassment. But, in the same way as you'll get some sort of punishment for any act of murder or physical harm of another person that wasn't legitimate self defense, any kind of unwanted or exaggerated sexual behavior is not alright. Yes, definitely, Ansari isn't a "rapist" and he might not have realized he was being pushy and overstepping his bounds, but he did overstep.

Look, the problem here isn't that this is a "male" behavior(being sexually demanding, overstepping or being downright abusive) or that women are sensitive flowers who can't take sexual advances and need to be outright asked for consent every 2 seconds(although in some cases maybe some people, both men and women, do, and that's also ok).

The issue here is that most societies are still in the process of doing away with deeply ingrained patriarchal, male centric views and attitudes regarding everything. It's in a way harder to advance on these issues of true equality now, because in western societies a lot of the deeply sexist, dehumanizing stuff are very subtle and strongly weaved into the fabric of society, they're ideas about gender and the relationships between genders that we take for granted and that are reinforced because most people don't question them and aren't yet willing to.

This influences the way heterosexual(or any other sexual orientation that includes opposite sex attraction) romance and sexual encounters take place and the way the two people engaging in that type of interaction relate to one another.

A cis man, particularly a cis straight male, grows up in a world that sends him very subtle messages(along with not so subtle ones) that since he is male he is supposed to be more sexual than women, be the one doing the "conquering" and "convincing" women to have sex with him. Men also grow up with some entitlement, even those who are pretty feminist and very aware of these issues, because that's just the culture they live in and there's subtle messages we're being bombarded with from all directions. Men, most if not all men, fall victim to objectifying women sometimes, to some extent or another. There's even been some studies about that. Even women objectify themselves and other women a lot of the time, for the same reason, because they live in the same society.

This is why men overstep more often and why a lot of the time they don't even realize they're doing it or that it's bad. This is also why women tend to go along with things they might not feel like doing at a given time, not just fear but discomfort with saying no, being more assertive. Physical differences between men and women are not so great as to explain this behavior, they aren't enough to make women inherently weak and men inherently strong or anything, certainly not to the extent where it would create the gap that still exists. No, instead women grow up in a world that still instills the belief, albeit subtly, that they are somehow weaker and could never defend themselves, that the activities and attitude that would allow them to defend themselves are not available for them cause they're not "female" traits. They grow up in a world that treats them in dehumanizing ways every day and most of these ways are so subtle they aren't questioned. Everything from clothes to toys and the way we speak to girls and women is inherently sexist at the core and vice-versa for men.

All of that creates an imbalance in sexual relationships and the way men and women go about satisfying their sexual needs. Men need to be aware of this and try to be part of the change we need to have, part of the solution not the problem.

Most women, if they feel some reluctance from their partner or like they're just not that eager and in the mood, they will stop. A lot of men don't even bother acquiring the ability to read body language and the vibes coming off from sexual partners unless they're very clear. Yeah, newsflash, men aren't wired to be clueless about that, testosterone isn't killing that capacity, they're just not encouraged to use it. Also, the majority of women, if told by their partner that he'd like to stop, isn't that in the mood, etc, would stop and not insist again. No, asking again and again isn't abuse but it puts pressure and that's not right, in general. Many people ended up being coerced into doing stupid things(sexual or otherwise) just by having someone insist and ask over and over.

Imagine, there's still a much too high percentage of men who don't see the harassment and dehumanization they engage in when ostensibly looking after women on the street, coming up to strangers, making lewd remarks and throwing pick up lines to random women. Many men still think it's a compliment to tell random women on the street they look good. No, it's not, it's harassment even if it's not whistling or outright sexual. Women check men out too but they don't engage in that behavior and that's not cause they're women per say, it's because society never dehumanizes cis, straight men so even when men are looked at in a sexual way, it's as humans with a sexual side, not as sex objects first.

Point is, if someone says no or seems even a little bit reluctant, just stop. Same if someone says maybe. Yes, some women(and men) like being coy but a lot of women who might want to say no, end up saying maybe because they've been conditioned to feel uncomfortable saying no. If your partner says maybe then stop and make it clear it's ok if that maybe is more of a no than a yes. For ex I imagine there's plenty of women who might not want sex at that point but want to have sex with that man in the near future and they go through with it out of fear that if they say no now, the guy will get the wrong impression. Men are rarely faced with these conundrums.
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Default Re: The conversations that we’re not having (Aziz Ansari/SNL)

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Originally Posted by Entity06 View Post
I agree that in Ansari's case it wasn't rape and there's definitely degrees to sexual abuse and harassment. But, in the same way as you'll get some sort of punishment for any act of murder or physical harm of another person that wasn't legitimate self defense, any kind of unwanted or exaggerated sexual behavior is not alright. Yes, definitely, Ansari isn't a "rapist" and he might not have realized he was being pushy and overstepping his bounds, but he did overstep.

Look, the problem here isn't that this is a "male" behavior(being sexually demanding, overstepping or being downright abusive) or that women are sensitive flowers who can't take sexual advances and need to be outright asked for consent every 2 seconds(although in some cases maybe some people, both men and women, do, and that's also ok).

The issue here is that most societies are still in the process of doing away with deeply ingrained patriarchal, male centric views and attitudes regarding everything. It's in a way harder to advance on these issues of true equality now, because in western societies a lot of the deeply sexist, dehumanizing stuff are very subtle and strongly weaved into the fabric of society, they're ideas about gender and the relationships between genders that we take for granted and that are reinforced because most people don't question them and aren't yet willing to.

This influences the way heterosexual(or any other sexual orientation that includes opposite sex attraction) romance and sexual encounters take place and the way the two people engaging in that type of interaction relate to one another.

A cis man, particularly a cis straight male, grows up in a world that sends him very subtle messages(along with not so subtle ones) that since he is male he is supposed to be more sexual than women, be the one doing the "conquering" and "convincing" women to have sex with him. Men also grow up with some entitlement, even those who are pretty feminist and very aware of these issues, because that's just the culture they live in and there's subtle messages we're being bombarded with from all directions. Men, most if not all men, fall victim to objectifying women sometimes, to some extent or another. There's even been some studies about that. Even women objectify themselves and other women a lot of the time, for the same reason, because they live in the same society.

This is why men overstep more often and why a lot of the time they don't even realize they're doing it or that it's bad. This is also why women tend to go along with things they might not feel like doing at a given time, not just fear but discomfort with saying no, being more assertive. Physical differences between men and women are not so great as to explain this behavior, they aren't enough to make women inherently weak and men inherently strong or anything, certainly not to the extent where it would create the gap that still exists. No, instead women grow up in a world that still instills the belief, albeit subtly, that they are somehow weaker and could never defend themselves, that the activities and attitude that would allow them to defend themselves are not available for them cause they're not "female" traits. They grow up in a world that treats them in dehumanizing ways every day and most of these ways are so subtle they aren't questioned. Everything from clothes to toys and the way we speak to girls and women is inherently sexist at the core and vice-versa for men.

All of that creates an imbalance in sexual relationships and the way men and women go about satisfying their sexual needs. Men need to be aware of this and try to be part of the change we need to have, part of the solution not the problem.

Most women, if they feel some reluctance from their partner or like they're just not that eager and in the mood, they will stop. A lot of men don't even bother acquiring the ability to read body language and the vibes coming off from sexual partners unless they're very clear. Yeah, newsflash, men aren't wired to be clueless about that, testosterone isn't killing that capacity, they're just not encouraged to use it. Also, the majority of women, if told by their partner that he'd like to stop, isn't that in the mood, etc, would stop and not insist again. No, asking again and again isn't abuse but it puts pressure and that's not right, in general. Many people ended up being coerced into doing stupid things(sexual or otherwise) just by having someone insist and ask over and over.

Imagine, there's still a much too high percentage of men who don't see the harassment and dehumanization they engage in when ostensibly looking after women on the street, coming up to strangers, making lewd remarks and throwing pick up lines to random women. Many men still think it's a compliment to tell random women on the street they look good. No, it's not, it's harassment even if it's not whistling or outright sexual. Women check men out too but they don't engage in that behavior and that's not cause they're women per say, it's because society never dehumanizes cis, straight men so even when men are looked at in a sexual way, it's as humans with a sexual side, not as sex objects first.

Point is, if someone says no or seems even a little bit reluctant, just stop. Same if someone says maybe. Yes, some women(and men) like being coy but a lot of women who might want to say no, end up saying maybe because they've been conditioned to feel uncomfortable saying no. If your partner says maybe then stop and make it clear it's ok if that maybe is more of a no than a yes. For ex I imagine there's plenty of women who might not want sex at that point but want to have sex with that man in the near future and they go through with it out of fear that if they say no now, the guy will get the wrong impression. Men are rarely faced with these conundrums.
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:23 PM #7
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Default Re: The conversations that we’re not having (Aziz Ansari/SNL)

I want to thank all who replied - and hope that I can in the coming weeks. It may be that we need to create a new lexicon to speak to the degrees between courtship, which involves all sexes, harassment and abuse, exclusive to the male sex (I believe). Speaking as a bisexual man - with a penis - I have never felt harassed nor abused by a female. Hurried and expectations of glorious performance? Yes.

Valentines Day was supposed to be a good day. I had plans. As the news from Florida came in, I lost the day and the plans seemed of little consequence. I crashed, I burned, I have been sick, and I cannot stop crying.

It has happened, again, and has unfolded as it always does and we can expect the same. Already, the news coverage has fallen away and we’re going to allow news of our president’s infidelity to overtake the murder of your children - the child that might have been mine.

How long must it take to sufficiently mourn the murder of a teenager approaching adult years? One day? Two days, it seems, is the rule. That is our attention span. Murder isn’t permanent any longer and fretting over having a conversation too soon (meaning: We never need speak of this), speaking around murder (snitch on the queer teen who is probably acting out rather than genuinely violent), and editorials that might mention the last indiscretion when the next emerges? This is what we do. This is all that we do. This is what we do time after time after time until all murder lacks meaning; we have become unindicted accomplices.

We - I - am a co-conspirator. Anyone who might read this also conspires, by containing the grief to two days.

LISTEN: I was first hospitalized for mental disorders on April 14 (or 15 - I don’t remember the exact day), 1999. I didn’t react well to the events that occurred in the following week. A switch was flipped from “how could this have happened?” to a Holocaust-like “never again.” And I could not do anything but throw up and cry.

Right now, today, as much as I think of this topic as being crucial to the manner in which humans court, I cannot do anything but throw up and cry.

Our president tells us that we need share violent-ish behavior with authorities. The FBI was not up to the task, we’ve learned.

My knowledge of What Can Be Done is limited. People much smarter than me say that this National Treasure of ours is Too Big To Be Confronted.

I don’t believe that.

The sickness and weeping will pass, I’m ashamed to say. Single-minded fury will come and go and I will find less complicated indignities to champion.

But. Now. I am grieving for lives cut short and grieving with the grieving.
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