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10 Women, from 24 to 60, on Aziz Ansari, Sexual Assault and Bad Sex

Wherever you sit on the spectrum, it’s clear Grace’s experience—and its implications for sex and culture—are troubling

I went on a date with Aziz Ansari. It turned into the worst night of my life,” is the as-told-to that launched a wave of impassioned think pieces and Twitter threads.

The queasy-making narrative, shared on the website Babe.net by a 23-year-old woman using the pseudonym “Grace,” recounts a date with the comedian that led to sexual activity Grace says occurred as the result of bullying and coercion. The worst night of Grace’s life has occasioned something of a crisis moment for the #MeToo movement. Women who once rallied in support of victims of sexual assault are arguing over whether Grace’s experience counts, with some saying it undermines the power of female agency.

On the other side of the divide are those women who believe Grace’s story regardless of its imperfect provenance (Babe.net is a mess of contradictions and the piece itself is in desperate need of an edit).

For every woman proclaiming their conviction that Grace should have left the scene after telling Ansari to go to hell, there’s another who has been in her exact shoes. Feminist thinkers see Grace’s story as an emblem of the systemic inequalities that plague our culture, one that often plays out in traumatic sexual experience for girls and women.

Wherever you sit on the spectrum, it’s clear Grace’s experience—and its implications for sex and culture—are troubling. Here, 10 women share their thoughts on this highly divisive encounter.

 

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