By now we’ve all heard about the woman who went on a date with comedian Aziz Ansari and how she felt she was sexually assaulted by him. In the wake of the #metoo movement, it spawned great public conversations about consent, boundaries and agency. The purpose of this post isn’t to lay blame, but to pick out a few teachable moments to empower young women to have more positive dating outcomes. Here are 5 lessons women can learn from the Aziz Ansari date.
( There are also teachable moments for men there, but this post is for women.)
1.Go into the date assuming men will take whatever you make available to them
If you believe this, you’ll understand that going back to his place means only one thing to him…an ideal opportunity to try and get some. Know that, and expect your boundaries to be tested.
This default mindset is like a mental seatbelt: you don’t go out praying to be in a wreck, but you’ve got some protection if you do.
This leads into my next point:
2. If you’re not interested in hitting third base, please don’t go to his place.
Many women find it hard to stop a man when they’re not in the comfort zone of their own home where they can tell him to leave.
On the flip side, many men heading down that path will keep on trying, especially when they’re on their own turf. That’s because they have found that no’s sometimes turn into yesses. They will keep trying to change your mind. Depending on how drunk/respectful/daft/predatory the guy is, he could be keeping hope alive in his head.
Sure, there’s a new consent app coming on the market, but I wonder how many people actually would stop to use one? What if someone changes their mind later a few minutes later? Oh dear.
First dates should always be at neutral locations.
Yet another reason Netflix and Chill isn’t ideal for developing meaningful relationships.
3. Remove yourself from situations where you’re not being treated with respect
Grace’s sense of violation appeared to stem from the fact that Aziz was rushing her, and not doing more to seduce her gradually. First at the restaurant, then at his apartment. She wanted an interest in her, not just her body. What a letdown. This was a date-come-true with someone she’d admired from afar.
You can’t make someone value you and have tender feelings for you.
But you can-and should- disengage from scenarios where you’re not okay with the treatment you’re receiving. Remember #1 above? He will keep on trying, so don’t depend on him to change. Sometimes, you have to be the one to call it.
4. If it’s a choice between disappointing his expectations and looking out for you, choose you.If you have to choose between disappointing him and looking out for you, look out for you.Click To Tweet
The choice to act decisively seems hard for many young women, for a myriad of reasons.
Stop worrying that he won’t like you or that you’ll ruin your chances with him if you do-whatever you’re allowing will then become the new normal, should the relationship continue. You don’t want that!
5. Above all, get comfortable saying, “No”.
Under normal circumstances, men can be dense and not latch on to the subtle hints we give. Mixed messages are hard to decipher. She let him undress her and put his fingers in her mouth-repeatedly. The article doesn’t mention her actually lifting a hand to stop any of this, only that “she gave verbal and nonverbal cues”.
He has made it perfectly clear what he wants. What about what she wants? It’s time to be just as clear: “I’ve told you, I’m not interested in (whatever it is) and I’m not comfortable here. I’m leaving. Good night.”
We all bear responsibility in dating. Men need to respect a no, and women need to speak it. Firmly and loudly.
Is there a need for consent apps? Share in the comments.
Be smart, be brave, be safe.