CONSENT IS GRAY.
Does No mean no or Maybe? Is No a full sentence or a suggestion? Do you understand No as a showstopper or a pause? Is there a grey area when it comes to the issue of CONSENT?
On the heels of Aziz Ansari's bad date with a 22 year old female photographer, I want us to answer this question: What is the appropriate way to get a NO across? According to his date, Aziz Ansari was pushy after their date. They took it back home and some sexual activity occurred. She says she didn't want it to get any further so she stalled. She paced his house, he followed her around. She went into the bathroom to put some space between them. He left her alone. And then he started up again. This whole story seems to me that once again, we have to explain to guys that NO MEANS NO.
When it comes to the issue of consent, there is no grey area. When I read the story, I could understand her beyond her words because I have been in similar situations where you give a guy an inch because you want to and then he decides, "I'm going to keep adding an inch, here and there and see if she can finally be worn down".
I also would say this, as women especially, we owe it to ourselves to nip these awful behaviors in the bud before it sprouts. Yes, you like a guy. You make out with him because you want to. He starts moving into areas that make you uncomfortable. He keeps egging you on. You are uncomfortable. You tell him you are uncomfortable with it. But he still keeps pushing.
Get yourself out of harm's way.
Let him call you "emotional", "a drama queen" or whatever dog whistle or stereotypes is attributed to women.
Say "hey dude, I'm gonna go".
And then leave.
We sometimes let these incidents happen because we like him. Look at Aziz. The guy who has branded himself as the cutesy, funny guy who respects women. For him to exhibit such gross, inappropriate behavior must be hard to reconcile with his public personality but people are people. I may be in the minority when I say, I don't consider this incident sexual assault. I will say that it is gross and very inappropriate sexual behavior.
"So damn. A guy can't even try to get a girl to go to third base with him anymore. I thought women liked to be chased?".
Sir, if you have to coerce, be aggressive or persuasive to get an adult woman to have sex with you or perform any sexual favor, it is not mutual. Sure, she may give in but 9 out of 10 times (I'm leaving a 10% room for error) she is not into it. Why would you want to have sex with someone who isn't 100% into it?? Don't you feel odd with all the tension and hesistation?? Don't think,"hey this may be one of the 10% cases".
Do not put yourself in a position where you get accused of sexual assault. Don't be a jerk. Protect yourself.
You may think, "I may blow my chance of a relationship with this guy if I don't give in or he may get violent". Both of these assumptions are very valid. But first of all, why would you want to be in a relationship with a guy who does not respect your boundaries?? Sure, predicting behavior and reactions can be tough. You may be alone and not have the physical strength to restrain him. Pick your moment and leave. Call the police if you have to.
Again, get dramatic if you need to.
This isn't a joke.
I know that for some people this can be the end to a working relationship. It may ruin a lot of things for you but mean your NOs and stand by them, knowing that you made the right choice for you. This case was about a popular actor and a NO name female photographer. It could be the opposite gender in your case. It still applies!!!
CONSENT IS NOT GRAY. IT IS NOT WISHY WASHY. IF YOU ARE NOT SURE IF YOU HAVE IT, ASK!