Modern Romance 💔

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What? 2017 was the year of sexual misconduct allegations. It started with film producer Harvey Weinstein, who abused and threatened female actresses. This started a domino effect of allegations that quickly spread throughout the rest of Hollywood, into politics and eventually other industries.


#MeToo: As a result of the seemingly endless allegations, the hashtag “#MeToo” was created to help women share stories of sexual misconduct they had experienced. The hashtag quickly caught on and women united to share their stories with the world. 


New Allegations: The most recent allegations are against comedian Aziz Ansari. These allegations (worth the read) were brought on by a 23-year-old woman, under the pseudonym ‘Grace’, who went on a date with Ansari. She alleges that he refused to listen to her verbal and nonverbal cues rejecting his advances. Ansari claims he thought everything was consensual.


Aziz: Creep or Victim? Unlike the other #metoo stories, the public’s reaction has been conflicted rather than supportive of Grace. Some believe Grace is simply complaining about a "bad date" and filing it under sexual assault. Others feel that her story expands the conversation to include more than just the extreme cases of sexual assault, which is important because it addresses real issues with dating culture in America.


Those who see Grace’s story as an expansion  of the movement argue that all unwanted sexual advances are a violation of a woman’s right to say ‘no’. Just because Aziz Ansari didn’t rape ‘Grace’, doesn’t mean he didn’t force her into things she was uncomfortable with. This side believes that #metoo should include women who feel they have been violated in any way because their stories are just as important, and just as valuable to changing the toxic culture.

 

 

Those who believe #metoo has gone overboard with Grace’s story, see her story as an affront to the purpose of #metoo. The victims of #metoo are mostly telling stories of rape and criminality, whereas Grace’s story is about an aggressive man on a date. People on this side of the conversation see the Aziz Ansari controversy as a tipping point for the movement, halting it’s momentum in changing date, sex, and rape culture by diluting the main issues that #metoo addresses. Watered down = powered down.


Too much #MeToo?
Although ‘Grace’s’ story doesn’t fit the classic #metoo guidelines, the night she spent with Aziz Ansari would likely be considered sexual misconduct that didn’t violate the law. This type of misconduct is just as potent and real as actual rape, and shouldn’t be overlooked (assuming we believe everything she said). As for the #metoo movement, this might be a lull in its forward momentum, but it could also be the start of an expansion of the movement, to help all victims instead of only those with the worst offenders.

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