Sexual assault, etc. in the news

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Re: Sexual assault, etc. in the news

Postby Koseph Jarpenter » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:48 pm

Well said Ice. Also, focusing on Grace's behavior and what she could have done differently/how much agency she had here is missing the point. The reality is that Ansari was not being respectful to what she was expressing, and it made her feel really comfortable. This is important because it's something that women experience (and men do) all the time, yet its very much normalized. The resistance to saying that what Ansari did was dickish is just further evidence of how normalized this behavior is.

A few additional examples of stuff that just felt obviously over the line to me. Sure you can question how accurate the story-telling is, but if you at least give Grace the benefit of the doubt of accurately telling her perception of the events, then this stuff matters. Like would you be okay knowing that you or a friend made a woman feel this way?

Ansari also physically pulled her hand towards his penis multiple times throughout the night, from the time he first kissed her on the countertop onward. “He probably moved my hand to his dick five to seven times,” she said. “He really kept doing it after I moved it away.”


Straight up, you don't force someone to touch your genital area, especially if they've resisted that before.

It was 30 minutes of me getting up and moving and him following and sticking his fingers down my throat again


You can say this is an exaggerated description here, but if this is even close to how someone felt, then you are not paying attention.

Most of my discomfort was expressed in me pulling away and mumbling. I know that my hand stopped moving at some points,” she said. “I stopped moving my lips and turned cold.”


If you're kissing someone and they're not kissing back, they're probably not enjoying it and you should stop. Or like, at least ask whats up. Also, if someone is repeatedly pulling away from your advances, they probably don't like what you're doing.

Halfway into the encounter, he led her from the couch to a different part of his apartment. He said he had to show her something. Then he brought her to a large mirror, bent her over and asked her again, “Where do you want me to fuck you? Do you want me to fuck you right here?” He rammed his penis against her ass while he said it, pantomiming intercourse.


This is after she's said she doesn't want sex. So why would it be okay to bring a girl in front of the mirror and ask here where she wants you to fuck her?

Again, you can question the accuracy of the account, but you have to ask why are women's perceptions of these experiences always the object of so much skepticism? The most likely answer is because it makes us feel uncomfortable to acknowledge that this stuff actually happens and that people we like such as Ansari do this type of stuff.
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Re: Sexual assault, etc. in the news

Postby zanelord » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:06 pm

Ivo Milic-Strkalj wrote:
zanelord wrote:Ivo - no worries, I really did not take offense to your post. I know what you meant and I was poking the bear a little bit with my response.


Ivo Divo is actually Golato. Don't know why he made his username as "Ivo Divo." I guess he's trying to defame my character and good reputation. What a piece of Delco trash.


Oh well if it's Golato then that's a different story...get back to work G! =)

Also I think I knew this (real Ivo vs. Ivo Divo), but I think I'm just becoming old and senile.
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Re: Sexual assault, etc. in the news

Postby Juan » Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:42 pm

Setting aside whether the Ansari situation was illegal, or whether or not it should be litigated in the court of public opinion, doesn't it seem fair to say that it represents a type of sexual behavior that feels wrong and unfair? And I'm not saying this as if I'm exempt from the critique. Reading parts of that story (I don't have the stomach to read all of it) and seeing the response of so many women I know, I recognize in it the pervasiveness of this pattern and its familiarity as something that I was a part of. But I would call it more than just a bad hookup. A bad hook up is when chemistry is off or someone's skills fail to bring pleasure to the other person. This is a hook up where one person made the other person feel deeply uncomfortable, not because she was inscrutably opposed to it. She gave pretty clear messages, including saying no. I don't get the idea that he had to be a mindreader to handle this situation properly.
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Re: Sexual assault, etc. in the news

Postby corn diesel » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:34 am

Ian, in my community it's "skillz" or "skillzzzzzz" not "skills."
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Re: Sexual assault, etc. in the news

Postby Koseph Jarpenter » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:29 am

Which community is that Tom?
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Re: Sexual assault, etc. in the news

Postby zanelord » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:42 pm

Ok I withdraw my "bad hookup" comment. This woman was uncomfortable and was clearly expressing that fact. But then Ansari says that he thought it was consensual and misread the situation. I guess I just don't see why this situation merits being elevated to the level of the national dialogue on sexual assault. I also certainly don't see that the reprucussions of Ansari's actions are that someone gets to anonymously publish an extremely private and embarrassing encounter, rather than trying to have a dialogue with him directly (which he seemed more than open to).
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Re: Sexual assault, etc. in the news

Postby Juan » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:47 pm

The "bad hook up" reference wasn't directed at you specifically. Lots of people are saying that, so it's clearly a sentiment with a lot of resonance. I'm not sure what the criteria are for any of this to be elevated to a national dialogue. It seems like it's largely been an act of desperation. People never want to come forward with this stuff, even anonymously. So I'm not saying i think he deserves any particular outcome. But now that it's done, I have to say I think this is really the most relevant one for national discussion.

Also, the idea of resolution through inter-personal dialogue idea seems a bit utopian to me. How do we expect these conversations to turn out? I agree that something approaching revenge porn doesn't seem like the solution either, but I think it's worth considering that our feeling that the Babe article was wrongheaded is probably a result of the crappy journalism, not necessarily the fact that Grace was reporting the encounter at all.
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Re: Sexual assault, etc. in the news

Postby Koseph Jarpenter » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:11 pm

Completely agree with Ian. This is nationally relevant because women are having these incredibly uncomfortable sexual encounters all the time, and men are generally clueless about it, or don't see what's the big deal. Maybe Ansari doesn't deserve this sort of public humiliation, but the greater good of highlighting how women are affected by this sort of normalized male behavior (for those who will listen) seems very much worth it. It's too bad that this story had to be told in the way it was through a website like Babe because people are going to be less receptive of it. At the same time, Ansari could make this much more meaningful and reach a lot more people if he engaged in a little more open reflection about the way he mishandled the situation.
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Re: Sexual assault, etc. in the news

Postby will91 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:16 pm

Not to pick on Koseph, but ...

Koseph Jarpenter wrote:This is nationally relevant because women are having these incredibly uncomfortable sexual encounters all the time, and men are generally clueless about it, or don't see what's the big deal. Maybe Ansari doesn't deserve this sort of public humiliation, but the greater good of highlighting how women are affected by this sort of normalized male behavior (for those who will listen) seems very much worth it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnqPrDN77Xg

Koseph Jarpenter wrote:Also, focusing on Grace's behavior and what she could have done differently/how much agency she had here is missing the point. The reality is that Ansari was not being respectful to what she was expressing, and it made her feel really [EDIT: un]comfortable. This is important because it's something that women experience (and men do) all the time, yet its very much normalized. The resistance to saying that what Ansari did was dickish is just further evidence of how normalized this behavior is.


I don't think that this is fair to the criticisms of this piece. First, I haven't read a single piece anywhere suggesting that Ansari's behaviour wasn't dickish. (That's assuming the truth of allegations by a young woman with poor judgment as relayed by a young reporter who also has conspicuously poor judgment https://nypost.com/2018/01/17/reporter-behind-ansari-story-criticizes-hln-hosts-looks-in-scathing-email ). Second, critiquing "Grace" isn't missing the point, it's just going beyond the point that Grace sought to impale Ansari on. She says he acted like a "horny, rough, entitled 18-year-old" and that sounds about right. What a schmuck. But wait, there's more here. Adults, women included, are responsible for their conduct in a "sexual encounter" (her words) unless it's coerced. As a legal adult, she gets to choose to go up to a guy's apartment after spending maybe two hours in his company total and have a sexual encounter -- and that's fine (unwise, but fine). She also absolutely gets to call it off any damn time she wants to, and that's fine. Calling off a sexual encounter when your date turns out to be a fucking moron (pun intended) seems like a no-brainer. But hey, a lot of people make stupid decisions about sexual encounters, and sometimes you put up with a bad situation a lot longer than you have to. That's not exactly ok, but it's really to be expected because making adult decisions about meaningful stuff often means that we sometimes display bad judgment. Making bad decisions sucks because they frequently result in situations that are both uncomfortable and embarrassing. So, it seems like a poor decision to stick around for a lousy time.

But, according to Grace, this isn't a story about a dickish 34 year old who acted like a dickish 18 year old, and some weak decision-making by her. According to her, she talked to her friends after it happened because she "wanted validation that it was actually bad." And, after lots and lots of discussion with her friends (against the backdrop of the #metoo movement hitting its stride) about validation, they (surprise) collectively decide to "validate this as sexual assault." C'mon.

I (and a lot of other people) think that Grace is blameworthy in the story she tells. Her blameworthiness does not excuse Ansari's dickishness, of course, but dickishness by Ansari does not mean that Grace's behavior becomes beyond criticism either. Also, I think that her blameworthiness was obviously way less than his. But if Grace has decided to make public the private dickishness of a named individual because its "important" for the nation to consider Aziz Ansari's epic bad judgment both as a lover and a sommelier in order have a teachable moment about the reality that women too often are having sexual encounters that make them "uncomfortable," then it is no less valid for others to explore Grace's lousy decisionmaking in order to have a teachable moment about the difference between being sexually assaulted and having an uncomfortably bad hook-up with a B-list celebrity (after you boasted to all of your friends about it, too).

So I think the more teachable part of Grace's story is the admission that, when Ansari is utterly failing at the sexytime, allegedly for HALF AN HOUR, Grace tells us about her primary response -- she mumbled ... something:

"Most of my discomfort was expressed in me pulling away and mumbling. I know that my hand stopped moving at some points,” she said. “I stopped moving my lips and turned cold."

Mumbling and the occasional pause in hand or lip movements is not the correct response to the discovery that you are engaged in sex with the world's lousiest lover. And, frankly, temperature gradients are hard for others to pick up on or interpret. There are lots of correct responses, of course, starting with polite recollections that one has forgotten a previous engagement and escalating to scenarios that we would all enjoy imagining. Also, both times she did express herself like an actual adult, he backed off. Admittedly, like a dick, he interpreted requests for a stop as requests for a pause, but hey, he was responding to her and backing off. So, when he backs off does she bail? Offer helpfully specific advice about her personal preferences or lack of interest in anything resembling sex with anyone resembling him? Nope, a literal wave of his hand and she goes down on him again. Cripes. That's not coercion, that's just a bad decision by her.
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Re: Sexual assault, etc. in the news

Postby boyeece » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:29 pm

I wish I could find the story that claimed this, so I could do a gut check on reliability, but I read somewhere that Grace did not approach Babe with this story. The reporter (or someone at Babe) heard about the story through personal networks, and eventually tracked Grace down. Which colors both my view of the journalistic ethics here, and of Grace's culpability in the whole thing. (That is, her culpability in the public shaming of Aziz; I'm still contemplating Grace's culpability in the sexual act itself.)
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Re: Sexual assault, etc. in the news

Postby boyeece » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:53 pm

will91 wrote:Adults, women included, are responsible for their conduct in a "sexual encounter" (her words) unless it's coerced.


Will, generally I find your analysis here compelling, but I think the phrase "unless it's coerced" is skimming over quite a bit. One thing that's been apparent amid all these revelations is that many people have a very skewed sense of what constitutes coercion and what constitutes consent.

So I'm not sure we can really consider coercion a concept with a settled definition right now, and swiftly declare that something is only coercion if it involves "physical or professional retaliation," as you implied a couple of pages ago. Aziz's age and celebrity both factor into the ethics here, though not the legality.

Certainly Grace had the agency to remove herself from this situation much earlier, and I hope that's one of the things she learned here. (She is 22, after all; no matter how much we reform our culture, I think our teens and early twenties are always going to be an age where people learn lessons from sexual encounters that don't go as planned.) But in the end, I don't think I mind living in a world where powerful people have to consider that their shitty sexual behavior might go public -- and where people might have to contemplate that they have power they haven't previously recognized.
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Re: Sexual assault, etc. in the news

Postby Juan » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:23 pm

Similarly, have you ever been conned on the street? It happened to me once or twice when I was younger (teens and early 20s) and it was this feeling of going along with something even though in the back of your mind you had some sense that it was not right, but hoping you're wrong and for that reason feeling some sort of forward momentum that is hard to stop once it starts. You risk seeing it through in order to get to that unlikely possibility that it all turns out the way you hoped it would.

Add to that the persistent threat of physical violence that many people have internalized from years of walking down the street as women and it makes sense to complicate one's sense of what it means to feel coerced. That's not the same as saying a guy like Ansari was coercing Grace, or that it was sexual assault, but it might make Grace's experience of the night more intelligible from the outside.
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Re: Sexual assault, etc. in the news

Postby Koseph Jarpenter » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:03 am

Boyce this is where I saw that Babe approached Grace, not the other way around. - https://twitter.com/lauren_kelley/statu ... 5610578946 This was linked from a good piece written on Jezebel about how Babe mishandled the story, that rightly points out that because of the dramatic way in which the piece tried to portray Ansari in a negative light, people are focusing on the wrong things. https://jezebel.com/babe-what-are-you-doing-1822114753

I don't disagree that Grace could have handled the situation more effectively, and that there is room for women to empower and teach each other how and when to say no when they are feeling uncomfortable in a romantic situation. I do think that the amount of attention focused on Grace's behavior is unfortunate, because the bigger issue is that men put women in this sort of position all the time. If we really want improved equality in sexual relations (among heterosexuals), the more important progress is going to be made having men better understand how to obtain consent, avoid sexual coercion, and maintain a sense of decency and respect even when you have a raging hard on and really want to push things further.

I also think that as males on a pretty much exclusively male forum, we should be careful in saying "Grace should have done this or that", because we almost certainly never been in the sort of position she was in, so it's harder to understand the power dynamics and conflicting emotions she was experiencing. On the other hand, we very likely have been in a position where we could have or possibly did act like Ansari, and should realize that the way we are socialized to think about sex, the power of the libido, and the blurriness of consent and coercion can make it very easy to act in a way that leaves a woman feeling really shitty and uncomfortable.

And I did crack up at the Hot Fuzz clip, but still stand by my point
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Re: Sexual assault, etc. in the news

Postby Goat Fan » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:05 pm

Here’s a really good take from an actual woman.

http://www.everywhereist.com/the-ambigu ... -about-it/
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Re: Sexual assault, etc. in the news

Postby DCBarks » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:29 pm

I found this Jezebel article to be particularly helpful because, like some guys, I've had a lot of trouble categorizing (for lack of a better term) what the Grace/Aziz story is https://jezebel.com/its-time-to-map-the ... 1822171954

I think the operative term in this piece is "the sex he takes". This loosely follows the logical thread of a wonderful series of tweets I saw earlier in the Fall from a male writer (name escapes me) on how he would emphasize to his son that consent isn't a "barrier to be overcome/breached". The attitude of "getting her to say yes/ok" or rather not to say no is one that is a line of thinking that is familiar.
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