Counterpoint: Why Your Defense of Aziz Ansari Makes You a Tone-Deaf Asshole


If saying NO is not what needs to be said these days then it's not #metoo, it's that too long? :)
This sentence here: Women are made to feel uncomfortable in situations, often sexual in nature, where they should be on even footing with their male counterparts.

That is the crux of the discussion and where we are in learning, as a culture, to change the dynamic.

I began years ago to remove the phrase "makes me feel blah blah." I realized that it placed me in a passive position and removed my ability to act.

I feel, dag nab it.

I FEEL. I am not a passive observer who has feelings forced upon them. They are mine, they are important, they are appropriate to the situation I am in, they must be attended to. And that takes me out of being acted upon and into owning my own experience and taking action so that I can begin to feel differently.

It is a subtle distinction. And it is a powerful one that places you inside your own body.

I am firmly against "blaming the victim." We must be careful to not "blame" the victim.

And we can take care to look to the future and train ourselves to be active not passive. We must raise our girls to be more active and empowered -- because we don't know who they are going to be meeting up with. So we need to give them the tools when they are young to deal with ANY situation. We haven't done that yet, so yeah. No "blaming" the women who never were presented with the tools before.

And then that "should" word. "Should" is a crap word that is used by ourselves and others to punish for not being ideal -- punish others and to punish ourselves. Years ago, I started to train myself to not use that word. Never. Ever. (I use it still, sometimes, of course. Being human and all.)

And if you never use that word, what do you say instead? What are you really wanting to say? It is an amazing experience to rewrite a sentence without the word "should." Try it sometime. It can unpack your psyche.

"...[Women] should be on even footing with their male counterparts."

Well, they aren't. They aren't and we have all the evidence in the world that they aren't. So what is real then? What is it that is really being said about the world and what we want?

This is awkwardly phrased, however this would be better -- "It is imperative to work towards a world where men and women are on even footing."

No passivity in that sentence. Action.

Words have power. To go from shaming about the past ("it should be this way") to making a statement of the path we need to move towards ("let us work towards this specific goal") is putting men and women on an equal footing RIGHT NOW.

And for pity's sake, yes, please, stop calling women "girls." It is infantalizing and it is flipping endemic in our culture.

Because words have power. Stop giving yours away, please.

>>The alleged coercion Grace experienced is not assault but, if we’re really serious about ending this culture that is harmful for women, especially young women, we have to talk about Aziz Ansari

I find this seriously problematic. I don't think there's a way to effectively talk about it, in a public way like this, without destroying Aziz Ansari's life and career over something that you admit isn't assault. I think we have to draw the the line. This was a private, albeit bad, sexual encounter that both parties need to deal with IN PRIVATE and hopefully learn from.
I don't see anyone leaping to the defense of Ansari as your title suggests. He clearly acted like an asshole. But thinking critically of the one-sided account of what happened, the actions of the person who told the story, and that person's motivation for writing the story is not the same as defending Ansari.

Nobody is saying "way to go, Aziz! What you did is just fine!" -- defending him -- unless they're assholes too (but like I said, I haven't seen it).
The problem I have is attacking this women, as jeopardizing #MeToo Movement. She is writing about her experience. It was crappy. Ansari obviously was acting like a creep with one focus.

I feel everyone should calm down a bit. Ansari will survive this, the women should recover.

One thing that Flanagan said (not mentioned here) that was pretty spot on in my opinion is that this thing kind of struck her as 'revenge porn'.

I understand in this puritanical shithole of a country everything is either black or white, one crackpot extreme or the other, but consider maybe two things can be true: Ansari can be a jerk and it can also be a travesty broadcasting the particulars of this bad date all over the mediascape and conflating bad sex with sexual assault. Said this before and I'll say it again: the left is starting to eat its own once again. The cranks and zealots are, as cranks and zealots are wont to do, starting to sabotage this 'grand reckoning' from within.
I don't think you have to defend Ansari to still think that the first question a person should ask themselves after willfully subjecting themselves to fucked up behavior, when there is no physical threat or Harvey Weinstein type power imbalance, is "what about me stopped me from just getting up and leaving?" "Why didn't I heed the first round of red flags that this guy is a dick?" "Is this a pattern in other areas of my life?" (Spoiler alert: probably). If I let something like that happen to me and felt that upset about it later, I would be more concerned about those questions. If one wants to talk about cues and whatnot rather than explicitly stated requests and expectations, what about the "non verbal cues" that he was sending made her think that the date was going to improve if she stuck around?
It's important for men to know that it's not enough to just not be overtly predatory, and the behavior like Ansari's is clearly wrong but anyone who doesn't ask the above questions of themselves when in a similar situation will keep finding themselves in teary eyed cab rides leaving the apts of the Ansaris of the world, even as hopefully with a shift in culture, the Ansaris become fewer and fewer.
I remember years ago a girl once got upset with me because I didn't get take her to a specific restaurant she'd wanted to go to.

I said, "If you wanted to go, why didn't you just say so? Why didn't you just ask me to take you there?"

Her response, "I shouldn't have to tell you those things... you should just know. If you really knew me and cared about me, you would know I wanted to go there without me having to tell you."

I said back, "Ok, well, we can still go there, do you want to go tonight?"

She said, "It's not romantic anymore. I want to be romanced and surprised with thoughtful gestures. If we have to have a discussion about it it's not romantic anymore."


Do women still do this? Am I the only man who's ever heard this?

I also frequently hear women say stuff sort like this: "I want to find a confident man who knows what he wants from life and boldly takes it!"

TL:DR version: "Mixed messages confuse people."
@Urgutha Forka
It still happens. So many women I know say they want Affirmative Consent to be the norm but then think asking an unambiguous "do you want to have sex" kills the mood. When pressed on this they say guys can read consent in the response to activities like kissing, touching over clothes, that there will be body language and non verbal cues, etc. I've also been told that a guy passionately approaching, kissing, and gently forcing the partner up against the wall makes the woman feel DESIRED.
As a guy, I can say definitively that one woman's unenthusiastic kiss doesn't feel different than an enthusiastic bad kisser, that a woman trying to concentrate on the sensations on her clit coming from my fingers or clit is not distinguishable from a woman who is uncomfortable with what is happening, and that I would NEVER even play at pinning a woman against the wall early in a sexual relationship because what one woman perceives as passionate is something another woman could (legitimately) view as assault.
This is a lot of talk about an incident that won't lead to criminal charges or Ansari losing his job.
I've gone off already on the wrecking-ball approach of #metoo, but for all its lack of moral relativism, it was at least relegated to the still-righteous cause of erasing sexual harassment in the workplace. However, as with most other righteous revolutions, this one is broadening in an exponential and unsustainable way. We are now analyzing how people are supposed to date. That's a realm very much unlike the workplace, where there are largely defined and agreed-upon codes of acceptable conduct to reference.

I mean, do I think Ansari's behavior according to Grace's account was shitty? Absolutely. But Ansari has his own version of events. And while the #metoo crowd could kinda/sorta get away with not taking the man's story into account (actually it really shouldn't get away with that, but stay with me), the dating world is a whole lot squishier. What one woman thinks is creepy AF, another woman thinks is assertive and hot.

So maybe Ansari misread this situation. Perhaps even willfully so. He could be a big 'ole douchebag, and over the next week all sorts of other women will come forward about The Claw. And yes, a guy like Ansari who has worn the Woke Feminist mantle should probably have better antennae.

But in this patriarchal society, guys are still expected to be sexual initiators. It's a big fucking responsibility, and a pain in the ass. And yeah, women sometimes initiate, but let's be real. The majority of the time, often the vast majority, the guy has to "make the first move" and indicate sexual interest. Not every guy figures out how to do it well. But unless he's crossing some very bright red lines, it shouldn't mean we get to ruin his career and reputation over it.
Tone deaf asshole? Meow! Frosty ride when Nathalie and Katie share an elevator at the Stranger Tower!
“Bitch,” I heard him yell after me. I was shaking as I shut his front door behind me.

All these years, I've been considering myself unexceptional in my conduct - I'm probably within the standard deviation among straight men. So when people criticize "the average man" for their conduct, I'm defensive: you're talking about me! Average men aren't doing anything wrong, we exist in a world that isn't perfect and I don't think I do anything wrong so I want to defend someone who's doing what I want to do!

But that story is so extremely fucked up, and contains multiple junctures of extraordinarily fuckhead behavior, that I could only conclude that it's fake: no one could possibly imagine that that's appropriate in any scenario. Only a total fucking maniac would do that shit. Right?

And now I wonder, where am I really on the curve? I never truly imagined I was better (morally) than anyone else.

I hope y'all can tell me I was right
I think we shouldn't rely on nonverbal cues to stop men from doing things that we aren't comfortable with, or that we don't want them to do. This is difficult, because women are socialized to be passive and accomodating in our culture. But it's the only way to avoid misunderstandings, and stop people from claiming that since we didn't say no, we must have wanted it. Also, verbal cues are unreliable, people can interpret them differently, depending on their background, culture, past experiences. Different people can also have different sensitivity to nonverbal cues. We need to speak up, and stop giving in to societal pressures to be less confrontational, just because we are women.
@16, yes, and we need to underscore our words with actions. In practice that action might be to tell someone to go fuck themself and leaving.
@11 speaks the truth. Despite what the Stranger writers will have us believe, women are deeply divided on this whole "ask directly" thing. And anyway, what's up with heaping yet more responsibility for interpreting the situation on men? Haven't we already proved to be overwhelmed? Now you're asking us to try and figure out if the woman we are about to make a move on expects an explicit question before we even try to kiss her? How is giving us MORE to do supposed to help the situation?

Perhaps--and I hope this doesn't bring out the "stop blaming the victim!" pitchforks, but going to say it anyway--there's some slack here which the ladies should be taking up, in the form of making both their enthusiastic consent AND the lack of that consent more abundantly clear?
@10 yes. In my dating experience, this is most women.

Hah, I'm remembering the Savage Love letter written from a woman who offered her boyfriend a threesome, but admitted in the letter she did it because "she wanted to be the reason he said no"
I meant @10 and @11, sorry Urgutha.
How old are you? Young, I'd guess. It's a bad date.

"There is a toxicity that runs deep within society that tells women they have to endure even after they say no."

No, you say no and leave. That you got a particularly nasty guy is sad but it's still a bad date.
a few thoughts. i cant believe an actor and entertainer is different in person than he is on stage. amazing. how unbelievable.
and, how both men and women not get hammered on a first date. that might help both sexes think and communicate clearly as well. that way you inner creep wont come out, and if you're sober, it's a lot easier to not 'freeze' and to think clearly and control your destiny.

And finally, guys over 30...please stop dating women who barely old enough to drink. it makes you seem like a predator, even if you're not.
Re: the last paragraph of the article, it actually is as easy as saying no. Setting boundaries is a critical part of being an a reliable, responsible adult. People want to know what they can and cannot expect from you. And what you do and don't need from them. The ability to set boundaries makes life easier for you and everyone around you

I imagine that it is probably pretty humiliating to look in the mirror the next day and realize that some dude you don't even know was able to coerce you into doing stuff you didn't want to do with nothing more powerful or threatening than acting like a little bitch. I learned my own worth and voice much younger than Grace. It's a tough lesson and by placing the responsibility of her participation this shitty episode with someone else, it's no wonder that at 23 she still struggles with this.
"His alleged actions are nowhere near a Weinstein level of corruptness, and I hesitate to even associate the two by mentioning them in the same sentence."

..says the author, while not hesitating to mention them in the same sentence.
@10 @11 @16 Why is everyone talking about nonverbal cues and not being able to read women's minds? She TOLD him to slow down and that she would not have sex with him. Multiple times. Out loud. Using the hole in her face that makes noise. Why are we pretending that women are mad at Ansari for failing to read her mind? We're criticizing him for ignoring her out-loud protestations.

1. When he tries to grab a condom: “I said something like, ‘Whoa, let’s relax for a sec, let’s chill.’” He responds by kissing her and going down on her; AKA not chilling.

2. When he asks her where she wants him to fuck her: "I said, ‘Next time.’ And he goes, 'Oh, you mean second date?' and I go, 'Oh, yeah, sure,' and he goes, 'Well, if I poured you another glass of wine now, would it count as our second date?'" Gentlemen, if a woman says she wants to wait until a second date to fuck you, this is not a response that is respectful of that request.

3. After she comes out of the bathroom: "I don't want to feel forced because then I’ll hate you, and I’d rather not hate you." (He responds with "Oh, of course, it’s only fun if we’re both having fun. Let’s just chill over here on the couch," showing that he understood that she was trying to slow down and wasn't having fun. But then continues to try to fuck her.)

4. "I stood up and said no, I don’t think I’m ready to do this, I really don’t think I’m going to do this." After that, he backs off briefly (again, showing that he fully understood her 'no') but then comes onto her AGAIN.

How was any of that nonverbal? How was any of that ambiguous? Saying that she wanted to slow down, she wanted to wait until the second date, she was feeling forced, and she wasn't ready to do this. Nonverbal cues, affirmative consent are all discussions for another time. This woman used her words and said no.

Are people saying that men should literally not be expected to respond to anything other than someone screaming "NO I DO NOT CONSENT TO SEX YOU" right in their face? Anything less than that is just too ambiguous and confusing and involves mind reading? I'm so baffled.
@27, I do think he behaved like an asshole, according to her account. But his version of events needs to be heard as well, right? Maybe he’d say “well sure, she said that about not feeling forced. But then we sat on the couch and she put her hand on my leg and snuggled me, so i felt like maybe she’d changed her mind.” Who the hell knows?
@27, also, why, if she was really making her non consent clear, did she blow him? Twice? And let him go down on her?
Modern American men are already basket cases of sexual insecurity. Am I big enough, did I last long enough, did i go too fast, was the foreplay enough and sufficiently earnest, did she climax, etc etc etc. Now we have a whole new set of things to get neurotic about, did I make her feel validated, did I only assume consent and participation, will she retroactively alert all her girlfriends I am unskilled?
A former girlfriend once said to me "everyone is sexually insecure, men & women alike. We wouldn't be able to recognize the world without sexual insecurities, it is intrinsic to how we navigate the world."
#teamnathalie wtf is up with KH and her apologism?
I pretty much would say exactly what schmacky said right after your post.

How was any of that ambiguous? Saying that she wanted to slow down, she wanted to wait until the second date, she was feeling forced, and she wasn't ready to do this. Nonverbal cues, affirmative consent are all discussions for another time. This woman used her words and said no.
The whole thing was ambiguous. Even from her OWN story she says she mumbles and is unsure, and then she keeps blowing him. She doesn't say "I feel forced," she says "I don't want to feel forced." Not the same thing. She does say no at the end there... and then immediately follows it up with "I don't think I'm ready to do this." She's STILL telling him she's not sure. She's not saying "No, I'm not ready for this, period" she says, "No, I don't know."

Some people would read all those signs and think "she seems unsure, I should stop." Other people would read those signs and think "she seems unsure, I should keep at it until I get a clear yes or no." Fuck, I deal with salespeople every day and when I don't want something I very clearly say no because if I say "no, I don't think I want that" you better believe they'll keep trying to sell me their shit. And those are the salespeople who are awarded, lauded, and admired.

Even in their post date texts the next day, the first thing she says to him is: "It was nice meeting you too." Did he assault you or not? It doesn't surprise me in the least that he's confused.

I'll say again what I said in my original post @10; when you send mixed or unclear messages, people get confused. When a traffic light turns yellow, some people will slow down, others will speed up. It's not illegal to go through it until it's red. Clearly, unambiguously red.

I mean, jesus christ, just fucking say no. Period. And leave. Period. THAT would be unambiguous.

It sucks that women have to be so direct and clear. If I could change it I'd do so in an instant, but that's the way every little boy and girl in this country is raised... go for it and don't ever give up, don't ever take "no" for an answer. It's baked into our culture.
Copying & pasting part of a comment that I already added to the Katie Herzog thread:

'I read the whole embarrassing article and thought basically yeah, Ansari comes off looking like kind of a bonehead [I'd be willing to upgrade that to creep or asshole if bonehead isn't strong enough]; but I noticed that he responded appropriately whenever "Alias Grace" used her words. Could he have been more sensitive? Absolutely. Did he make her do anything she didn't want to do? No. Did she go ahead and do some things she didn't really want to do but didn't refuse? Yes. Whose fault is it that that happened?'

I agree: saying "no" when society has raised you to be passive and compliant is hard and uncomfortable. But we have to learn how to do lots of things that are hard and uncomfortable, and we do.
A woman once got mad at me when I left after she said she should go because she had to get up early in the morning instead of trying to sleep with her.
I'm not excusing men who don't take no for an answer, but it isn't all just being assholes. It is how the game is played sometimes.
Women can't excuse themselves from any accountability in these situations by falling back on the idea that they're socially conditioned to be pliable and agreeable. By that logic, men are socialized to be persistent and aggressive -- does that excuse their poor decision-making?

We are all socially conditioned in problematic ways and we're all differently susceptible to that conditioning, depending on our own personalities and circumstances. It's not unreasonable to expect a grown woman on the dating scene in NYC to be able to communicate her boundaries clearly and without ambiguity, and to have the wherewithal to remove herself from a situation if those boundaries aren't respected.

That being said, yeah, Aziz sounds like he was being an asshole. More than one thing can be true.
@35: I have always found it strange that when a woman makes a bad decision, it was because she was conditioned by society to make that decision (a victim), but when a man makes a bad decision, it is because of his own individual failings (not a victim).

It strikes me as incredibly sexist, as it makes all women into passive victims of society who need special help, and men as having actual agency.

It is like we expect men to take responsibility for themselves, but not women.
"You guys are all the same" sounds like "Grace" has had this same issue in the past, like she can't seem to communicate what she wants effectively. To me, the way it all went down and her statements (both during and after), make it seem like she was after romance and Ansari was after a hookup.

I know it can be a bitter pill to swallow when you're enamored of someone and your choices are either continue the hookup or GTFO, but that's how it happens sometimes. Some guys only want a hookup with you at that time in their lives so then it's your choice what you want to do, and the choices aren't great. Her choice was to stay and not continue but his choice clearly was different.

I think this is yet another example of why we should move to a more Victorian code of conduct updated to account for feminism. If even the slightest infraction will lead to public shaming and perhaps even loss of one's career then we have to observe the eggshell rule and create rules with the most vulnerable in mind.

Some examples of rules we should implement.

NEVER be alone with a member of the preferred gender unless you are in a long term relationship.

Do not engage in any form of physical intimacy until you have explicit and enthusiastic consent for each individual act, regardless of how long you have been together. Unless you have explicit and enthusiastic consent, don't go there.

By the mid point of the first date you should both have a clear and distinct conversation about what each of you want from the encounter.

I'm sure there are other rules that should be imposed but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
what a strange turn where women want to defend their right to complete fragility in easily-handled situations
Totally agree with @35’s first paragraph. Would love to hear a cogent argument explaining how social conditioning is somehow a thing that only affects women.
@38. I'm starting to agree with the general sentiment. In our drive towards equality of everyone (a good thing) we threw out the rest of the societal book of proper conduct believing it was all evil.

We're now reaping the consequences of that choice.
I don't think anyone arguing that women are conditioned to be passive would disagree that men are similarly conditioned by our culture to the equal/opposite behavior of refusing to take no for an answer, but it shouldn't be a mystery why people tend to be more sympathetic to the victims of sexual violence than the aggressors.
I think women just shouldn’t be interacted any longer and any man that catches the #metoo virus by interacting with any female deserves what he gets. Like any strain of infection, if you starve it, it will eventually be cured. If women want a cure for #metoo (which is unlikely because like anyone with Munchausen Syndrome, “victimhood” promulgates the syndrome), then they too wouldn’t bait both themselves or an unsuspecting male with courtship, dating, dinning, drinking, flirting, innuendo, any social (work or other) interaction, going home with someone you don’t know, or anything else - beyond that of cat food delivery (and even then it should be left at the end of the sidewalk or by the mailbox)
Good grief, she didn't enjoy her date...oh no, your life is over. And now she has the opportunity to pick apart every part of his behavior and derive some deeper social power dynamic from it.

This stuff has gone off the rails. It's imploding, which is sad, because there are women out there that need support.

I'm vacillating between that and thinking that consciousness is a mistake that inevitably leads to suffering and it really would have been for the best if we wiped all life from the planet back during the Cold War.

Having all of my mental health scars being repeatedly poked over and over again has been pretty awful.
I'm beginning to think that getting into punk as a teen was the best thing that could have happened to me. Because somewhere along the way, I concluded that 1. sex was not The Most Important Thing in the World and 2. that i could Use My Words to deal with sexual situations.

It's worked for me ever since. I've had less female friends because I couldn't put up with the passive-aggressive manipulative ones, but the ones I've had have been excellent friends. And I've had good relationships and raised kids who now seem to have healthy views on sexuality.

So maybe we need to give all teenage girls spiked bracelets and steel-toed boots and de-socialize them?
Generally speaking, I've tried to resist having an opinion on this case, instead commenting on the more generalities - the facileness of #believewomen, the people who'd rather defend victims than prevent victimhood, etc.

But it's almost like we need a license for sex now.

We need a license to drive: you need to prove to society that you're vaguely responsible. why not sex? How did this women get to age 23, get through college, sufficiently charm a guy who has unlimited pussy options, but fail to be able maintain her boundaries against downy-soft pressure. Beri Weiss was right: This girl is weak as shit. She's not emotionally mature enough for sex. As far as Ansari, he could have avoided this by stepping his game up. Sure, he just wanted to get laid, and that's fine, but he should also understand that he has a lot more to lose than some pretty 23 year old.

Grace needs her license revoked, she shouldn't be fucking anyone; at this rate she'll figure out a way to have nonconsensual sex on her wedding night. Ansari needs to come in for an eye test in order to extend his license. The rest of us... do the world a favor and say yes to organ donation.
@42 -- The question isn't whether victims of actual violence deserve sympathy, it's whether the way women are socially conditioned divests them of any accountability for their own actions and choices.
This reminds me of the blowback from that New Yorker story a few months back ("Cat People"?) The situation is, of course, not black and white. But the whole issue brings a whole lot of male fragility coming out - just look at this comments thread thread (and I think that's safe to say even though I don't know how many commentors are actually men). A large group of people really don't like being challenged about a type of behavior that's probably gotten them laid a bunch over the years.
Weird, the Stranger's comment section is a sausage party of apologists explaining women's issues to them.
#50: to be honest I'm taking a sabbatical and letting women make up their minds about all this shit. Once you have the new rules all written up, let us know. I will support whatever the High Council of Women decide on the issue and go from there. Hopefully we won't end up with temperance again.
@50 how dis a womens issue? I mean, i get it, you only care about one side of the issue. but everyone's not you.
Many fine points have been raised, but one that has not is the propriety of "Grace" being allowed to be anonymous while Ansari is not. This is crass exploitation and hiding behind anonymity gives her license to be abusive, destructive and vindictive in a way that trivializes what occurred to her, assuming that she has not embellished or omitted relevant facts that would reduce the drama she describes. She should be outed and subject to the same scrutiny as this hapless celebrity. He does not deserve this public recount of what he allegedly did sexually. None of us do unless we are criminally charged.
Wow. I am SO glad I'm 59 years old, gay, and with the same man for over 20 years. 'Cause straight dating these days sounds amazingly Fucked Up.
Guys: your hand is never going to go some sleazy internet tabloid to have an anonymous smear written about your last session, in which it silently felt that you should know what it was thinking while it pretended to be OK with stroking your cock. Just sayin.
@50 If you look a bit closer you might be disturbed to see that there are quite a few vagina havers who are also not real comfortable with going all in with this tabloidesque neo inquisition. Margaret Attwood? Obviously she has become a Trump supporter since last we heard from her, or perhaps she is senile.

In any case revenge porn has its place in this grand reckoning. Can you envision this : a new reality TV show on the Babe network: My Horrible Really Bad Date with a Celebrity. Re-enactments, hidden cameras, public shaming, lawsuits!...All for a good cause! Dang I got to get to work on pitching this idea before someone else jumps on it.
The part where they both get naked and engage in oral sex over an extended period of time makes the discussion kind of confusing for me. Not surprised Ansari would be confused as his assumptions did not match the evolution of the encounter, especially since they didn't have some version of "the talk" before about no sexual intercourse even though they were going to get naked and rub together.

From his stand up and sitcom I'd expect Ansari to be a bit of an awkward man. I can't help but feel that Grace somehow thought she was getting Rudolph Valentino, but instead got the ordinary awkward graceless well-intentioned while tone deaf American dude that Ansari actually is.

Also, I do not agree that his career as a live performer/actor isnt going to take massive, possibly irretrievable hit. Be interesting to see if he ends up with a future career in the writer's room only.
@51 I was taking that stance and wish I had stuck with it.
@8 The Left is for community-building, including fighting community-breaking excessive imbalances in power, mainly economic.
This is not the Left.
This is unmoored, narcissistic, self-promoting behavior all around, against a backdrop of deep anomie.
Also, get this writer an editor. Less is more.
@59 Anomie is the intended outcome of the progressive ideology: destruct all norms as the route to ultimate freedom.

Anomie (/ˈænəˌmi/) is a "condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals". It is the breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community.

But there's no going back in our lifetimes :/
See, this is the voice of the reason. In any other situation, if someone is mistreated, we don't tell the victim to "deal with it." If someone's car is broken into, we don't attack the victim and defend the criminal. If someone is bullied (say, but an asshole boss) we don't defend the boss and tell the employee to just grow a pair. We try to make society more humane. We try to make work places less traumatic. And so forth. Even as a straight dude, when mistreated by a boss in the past (mind games, unfair accusations leveled at me, embarrassing me in front of coworkers etc), no one who was aware of it blamed me. So why is it when a guy assaults a woman people (even feminists writing for The Stranger, apparently) do all kinds of mental somersaults to push the blame onto the woman? If these were two gay dudes, I highly doubt that sort of blame would happen. It would be directed at the aggressor. What the actual hell? How is this blatant double standard not painfully obvious?!?!?
@61 Just want to be clear. You believe the encounter described by Grace was a sexual assault?
@62 Yes. Not Weinstein level, but still assault.
@63 i'd say it's more like leaving your doors unlocked, your windows down, and a car thief walking by but not stealing anything. And let's be real: 90% of all crimes people just have to live with. Mugged? You'll never see that wallet back. Hit-n-run? If you didn't get the plate, well, tough nuts. Not like the police are going to spend more time on you than it takes to put the police report in the file cabinet.
@61: The double standard you've constructed is false and doesn't apply here. In all the scenarios you described, the accused gets to defend themselves and there's a burden of proof on the accuser. There are also laws in place and protocols established, which the accusations can be measured against. None of that exists here.

Furthermore, even if we take what Grace is saying at face value, there is widespread disagreement on whether it constitutes assault.
@64 So....they were asking for it? Shouldn't have been wearing that! Shouldn't have been in his apartment! Shouldn't have been in his car! shouldn't have been talking to him! Shouldn't be outside! Shouldn't have a drink!
If they weren't interacting in any way, any where near anyone, wearing a head to toe cardboard box then none of this would have happened. Why aren't women shipping themselves off to a secluded island if they want to be safe. The audacity of them!
@66 I apologize, i'm one of those Americans who only speaks one language. I don't think we can have a further discussion until you make it to the next level in your ESL class.
@60 On the contrary, anomie is the unintended, but predictable, outcome of all-out capitalism. All that is solid melts into air, someone said long ago.
@68 in that you've inexorably defined capitalism as the only free system, I think that's right. But dare I say, we live in a moderated capitalist system with plentiful limits and regulations. The acceleration of Anomie in recent America is more closely related to the progressive ideology that has taken root over the past ~25 years. To requote the Wikipedia: "a condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals" is inarguably the fundamental goal of modern progressivism
Oooh, touched a nerve eh?
@70 I'll through your idiotic ass a bone: if you're conflating a failure to take common sense actions to avoiding victimization with "asking for it", guess what - you're an idiot! Have fun over on Tumblr!
@70 "you've inexorably defined". I what???

Anyway, your view would imply that most of Western Europe (more left-wing) is more anomic than the US, which I believe is not the case.

Much of the cultural capital in the peoples of the US is to be found in established, functioning communities, and it's being eroded by the forced march of individualistic, savage capitalism.

It looks like the trend is toward the total absence of common values and common culture at the masses level, perhaps towards something like the current state of the still-victims of slavery, the canary in the mine.

(It was by design, I believe, that those imported from the same places in Africa were separated on arrival. To avoid the peril of having too many slaves together speaking a common language.)

As for the top few percent, they're forging their own weird little transnational, multi-all, moneyed, chichi, bobo identity. They don't give a toss about those below.
@72 I think we're talking about different things.

Take, for example, gay marriage, one of the achievements of the modern progressive movement. Gay marriage hadn't been fully legal previously for essentially moral reasons despite not being explicitly illegalized by law. The ideological underpinnings of pro gay marriage argument were that " doesn't get to define morality for everyone else". It's the same concept behind trans rights, and so on. Broken all the way down, it's the idea that society no longer can apply moral norms to individuals - only the courts can do that, and only by the application of laws and only within the bounds proscribed by the constitution. That's why I say anomie is the intended outcome for the progressive movement, rather than from the capitalist one - we're nowhere close to the savage capitalistic state that you describe; and we've got hundreds of years of capitalism functioning just fine even within extremely insular societies (say, Japan, or pre-Civil Rights Era America)
@69 I "inexorably defined" ? What? Anyway, I wrote a thoughtful reply but it seems to have been lost. Maybe the intern who approves comments thought it might trigger the Stranger's sensitive readers. Think of the readers! The remaining ones, that is, because I'm done with this rag.
@70 Anyway, your view would imply that most of Western Europe (more left-wing) is more anomic than the US, which I believe is not the case.

Much of the cultural capital in the peoples of the US is to be found in established, functioning communities, and it's being eroded by the forced march of individualistic, savage capitalism.

It looks like the trend is toward the total absence of common values and common culture at the masses level, perhaps towards something like the current state of the still-victims of slavery, the canary in the mine.

(It was by design, I believe, that those imported from the same places in Africa were separated on arrival. To avoid the peril of having too many slaves together speaking a common language.)

As for the top few percent, they're forging their own weird little transnational, multi-all, moneyed, chichi, bobo identity. They don't give a toss about those below.
@73 Are you aware that up until fairly recently Japan was the land of very low unemployment, and common career-long employment at the same company, with loyalty of companies towards employees, and not just the other way around? Is this capitalism? I don't think so. This is changing now. But they have a deep, deep, deep reservoir of social capital, widespread acceptance of common rules of behavior. They'll run into trouble much further along the line than societies with less-established cultures (i.e. everyone else).

Re gay marriage: Marriage, schmarriage. First things first. This is a latte liberal priority: they don't care about economics, since they drew the long straws. You're playing their game. Anyway, even coherent, homogeneous cultures might end up accommodating those new set-ups, one or or another, or not at all. It'll play out, doesn't matter. Then the latte liberals and right-wing plutocrats will have to find new polemics.

Capitalism is the reduction of human relations to commercial exchanges. It end in a really ugly place, I think. Human nature will reduce to that as easily as it fit the new communist format in the USSR. It will not.
*cheering sounds*
Yes!!!! You nailed it! Why the hell is an awful agressive date that translates into being sexually pressured and pushed around viewed by so many people as something acceptable? It is NOT. We had enough! Congratularions Grace for being brave and speaking up. YES women are entitled to just not put up with this BS anymore. Let agressive unsensitive men know how you feel! Let's all let them know!