And “you” imply that the exception is the rule. None of us were on that date with Aziz Ansari. But most of “us” have been on dates with men who disregarded nonverbal and direct verbal communication that they didn’t want to hear. While not a scandal, it is fair to describe incidents like that as misconduct. And they suck. And as has been pointed out, we don’t know if they will escalate. So we have to take that into consideration as well.

Language matters. People need to be free to say “That date sucked. He totally pressured me into things I wasn’t comfortable with” without being disregarded wholesale as crying rape. See above. Dude read what I wrote as decrying “everything as rape”.

What struck me with the news coverage of the Ansari incident was an overwhelming feeling that the reporter who interviewed the woman was exploiting the situation and the timing as an opportunity to make a name for themselves as a journalist. Like, Yes! I’m the first to break the newest celebrity scandal since Weinstein. Next stop, Pulitzer. There was something very manufactured about that “exposé” that felt exploitative and opportunistic. Ultimately I think it did more harm for the #MeToo movement than it did good. But that’s not to say that the woman didn’t have a legitimately bad date.

Unfortunately, everyone who has felt pressured or used now has an even higher threshold to pass before being believed that anything was amiss. That story further bloats this horse shit dismissiveness about “well it’s not like he raped you.” True. But not being raped is a pretty bare fucking minimum standard in evaluating a date.

We should still be able to call a jerk a jerk. And not because they fail to intuit our wine preferences but because they pressure us into intimacy we aren’t eagerly reciprocating or initiating.

twitter @h_m_edwards unsplash @heathermedwards

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store