The Weekend Reading List

The Weekend Reading List

Can we take a moment to talk about the Aziz Ansari story that appeared on Babe.net this weekend? I’m still trying to process exactly how I feel about the story shared by a 23-year-old woman who went on a date with Ansari last year. In her detailed account of the evening she shares how she felt “violated” by his sexually aggressive behaviour.

I’ve been trying to make sense of my feelings around this story all week, and found Cup of Jo’s post particularly thought-provoking (the insightful reader comments are worth making time for, too). And after reading Jill Filipovic’s opinion piece in The Guardian, I’ve also realised that much of my inability to form a solid opinion around this story comes from the awkward way it was reported on Babe.net. Jill writes:

“It seems to have been reported only because there was a celebrity name attached, and not even because the celebrity broke the law or leveraged his power to do wrong, but because he was sexist and sexually entitled – while despicable, that’s shaky grounds for broadcasting an individual’s sexual play-by-play.”

What do you think? Find the link to The Guardian opinion-piece (and Cup of Jo’s take on the story) in the links below, along with more of the week’s top life and style stories…

The Poorly Reported Aziz Ansari Exposé Was a Missed Opportunity – The Guardian

How To Do Your Makeup When It’s Below Freezing Out – Into The Gloss

10 Tips & Tricks for Running Your First Half Marathon – Wit & Delight

Why the Aziz Ansari Story Is Important – Cup of Jo

Target’s New Furniture Line Is a Design Lover’s Dream – My Domaine

January Jones is Dating Nick Viall from The Bachelor – Lainey Gossip

A List of Things I Buy Solely For the Packaging – Man Repeller

Ellen Pompeo Reveals Her Behind-the-Scenes Fight for “What I Deserve” – THR

Cook: 10-Minute Creamy Tomato Soup – A Beautiful Mess

Alexander Wang Is the Latest Designer to Leave New York Fashion Week – ELLE

  • I have given up on trying to take a stance around any of these ‘expositions’. If these are true, legal action will proceed. If they are not, I wish legal action will also proceed but most likely will not. I feel sorry for all the girls that went through horrible horrible experiences like this (including the worst one), but I just want to live in the world – maybe I am just delusional? – where courts fight for their rights, not blind mobs.

    • cocos_tea_party

      So true. Unfortunately I think the reason so many of these cases are tried in the media is because courtrooms around still have such poor records of conviction in rape and sexual assault cases. Hopefully all of this discussion in society will now trickle down into government and law and that will begin to change though.

  • First of all, I consider myself a feminist but I don’t stand by every woman’s side if I think the woman is wrong. I read and commented a lot during these months and, regarding to Ansari’s case, I can’t help but agree with what Ashleigh Banfield said. A bad date is not an abuse. For what I read, “Grace” started to feel uncomfortable even at the restaurant, but she decided to go to Ansari’s place, anyway. If I’m not to wrong, it was pretty clear he was looking for a one night stand. She wasn’t comfortable but many things happened at his apartment before she decided she didn’t want to have sex.

    How can we ask for equality if we don’t act like we’re equal? I mean, how can a woman who feels uncomfortable with a guy can even think about going to his apartment? Because he’s a celebrity? Because she’s hopeful the evening will improve?

    Men should treat women better, much better, for sure. But gosh, women should be a bit more smarter, a bit more realistic and careful. Ansari didn’t insist, at the end, he called her a taxi and the day after he seemed to be truly sorry, but what if he wasn’t? But if he didn’t accept a no, the night before?
    Honestly, I’m tired of reading and hearing that women have been taught to please men so even if they are not comfortable or willing to have sex, they end up making it not to disappoint them, because of patriarchy. Because that’s exactly what patriarchy want from us.
    And do you know how Babe’s journalist replied tor Banfield? She called her old with burgundy lipstick and bad highlights. Wow, so feminist…

    • cocos_tea_party

      Oh my gosh, I did know see the Babe journalist’s response. That’s crazy!

      I agree with so much you’ve written here. When reading the account a huge part of me felt like I needed to side with “Grace” because I also consider myself a feminist, and women’s rights and equality for BOTH sexes is probably the issue I’m most passionate about right now. But I do feel that she should have taken more responsibility if she was feeling uncomfortable, as although Ansari seemed to be incredibly pushy (and perhaps not that receptive to her feelings), by her account she didn’t appear to feel threatened or in danger.

      I think in a lot of cases women do go along with things they’re uncomfortable with because they feel like it’s safer than saying no, but that didn’t appear to be the case here. So, like you said, it’s more the story of a bad date.

      Overall I hope men will read this piece and realise they need to be less sexually-selfish and check whoever they’re with is comfortable. But women also need to learn from it and take more responsibility for their actions, and not go home with guys they don’t know that well or feel uncomfortable with.

      • Guys must learn to treat women better and be less sexually-selfish, so true, but women must learn that sexually-selfish men exist and that if you feel uncomfortable with a man in a public place like a restaurant, maybe they shouldn’t go to their place. It’s not about blaming women, but about being realistic about what can happen.
        Sometimes, we can’t control events, sometimes we can.

  • cocos_tea_party

    I just wrote the same thing to Aleksandra below. Unfortunately I think the reason so many of these cases are tried in the media is because courtrooms around still have such poor records of conviction in rape and sexual assault cases. The Me Too movement seems to be waking people up though – and showing that for years men with power have been able to get away with disgusting actions. So hopefully we are now moving into an era where this will be taken more seriously by the law.