With new accusations of sexual misconduct making news weekly and sometimes daily, it might feel like a witch hunt to some out there. But I propose anyone claiming this is all going “too far” isn’t acknowledging all of the “witchcraft” that’s at play here. Yea, I hate this analogy. Let’s drop it and go on a journey through some different language, shall we?
Ok, I’ll admit we were a little linguistically underprepared for all this because no one saw it coming. While warranted for decades and arguably thousands of years, no one had 2017 on their feminist Mayan calendar as “The Year of the Revolution.” For example, the day I heard Harvey Weinstein had been fired from The Weinstein Company I made the shock emoji face IRL. Essentially a combination of all of these 😳🙄😮 But with glasses.
I couldn’t believe he actually got fired. It wasn’t the accusations that surprised me, it was that after his 40 years in the industry he was finally being held accountable.
Then I also didn’t see #metoo coming after that, but the minute I saw it: I knew what it is was, joined in, and said, “This will be on national news by tonight.”
I was right.
Still, 45 years after the Second-wave feminist movement, I don’t think even the die-hard women’s studies majors out there predicted a 5 character hashtag would be the wake-up call the men around us needed to realize magnitude the problem.
Ok, so here we are in 2018.
Post Harvey, Lauer, and now Aziz. (plus the 50 others in between.)
Insert your most disturbing one here ___________________ .
So now that we’ve had some months to prep – I think it’s time for a vocab sesh!
(verb) To seize and take away by force.
(noun) Unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will of another party.
OK, now use it in a sentence.
Harvey Weinstein is a pathetic piece of shit human, and also an alleged rapist.
Well done class.
(noun) Illegal sexual contact that usually involves force upon a person without consent or is inflicted upon a person who is incapable of giving consent
Matt Lauer is accused of sexual assault, like a lot of it.
(noun) The deliberate or unintentional engagement in sex and sexual acts solely based on one’s own desires and assumptions, completely ignorant and/or negligent of their partner’s preference and comfort.
Aziz aggressively sexually projected on this girl so much that she felt enough hatred towards him to publicly humiliate him via a website well positioned to exploit them both!!!
Wow. That is a lot.
I know. It’s my admonishment and defense of Aziz.
At a headcount of 84, Harvey Weinstein is still at the top of Hollywood’s sexual predation list. Of those accusations against him, 5 involve rape. Not to mention the model he chased around while naked as she defended herself with broken glass. No joke.
Matt Lauer is also up there with almost a 20 year HR record at NBC for this kind of stuff. Very bad peacocking 30 Rockefeller Plaza!!! He even had a button on his desk to remotely lock his door like a bond villain. A woman actually passed out in there and his assistant had to get her to a nurse.
A woman who went on a date with Aziz and exposed what sounds like a really upsetting evening with him in this babe.net article.
Ok, would I leave my hypothetical 22-year-old daughter with any of these men? NO NO. NEVER. Do you I think they all deserved some kind of backlash for their disregard and lack of respect for women? Yes. Are they are all the same? No. Are we lacking in enough labels to separate them all and respect all victims? YES!
Here is the thing. I just made that last one up.
And “Sexual projection” might be too vague or technical, but what do we call this?
Other ideas so far: Pressure-cooking, Jaywalking, Firehosing, Steamrolling, . Steamrolling has the most votes as of today. Do we just call it “aziz-ing” ?
His apartment was nice but he totally aziz-ed me the minute I got there.
@JessicaValenti any ideas?
Suggest in the comments below!
Many will say what Aziz Ansari did was not assault, but a lot of women would walk away from that encounter feeling ashamed, diminished and anything but sexy – just like she did. So it’s something very bad. She did not sign up for that when she went home with him and even took her shirt off.
But this has been the first split in the #metoo movement. Some think she is unfairly claiming her status as a victim. Other’s think we are, in fact, blaming the victim. So it’s started a much-needed convo about updating our ideas of consent. All this debate has the potential to prevent a lot of other upsetting evenings. Which is great.
So clearly, I want to begin the convo with new labels! Hey, we named “ghosting” and it helped a lot of people call out the shitty dating practice. (I also made a video about that. #miniamyfilms) So let’s try it here.
If he is guilty of sexual projection, she is guilty of passive sexual resistance. Both offenses, while not equal, are products of hook-up culture, overuse of porn and, yes, the patriarchy.
This country has patriarchal puritanical roots that we see echoed in everything from how we separate young girls and boys to even discuss sex, to your father’s inability to acknowledge the existence of a tampon.
“As the church is in subjection to Christ, so let the wife be to her husband in all things…and if she rebel against his commandment, she rebels against God.”
– The Duties of Husband and Wife – by John Dod http://www.apuritansmind.com/
Eeshk– Does anyone else feel like they need a shower after reading anything #Puritan?
So why didn’t this chick just leave? Well, team, there are a lot of subconscious lessons taught in our culture, like how contradicting a man, or worse, bruising his ego puts you in a specific category called “Bitch”. Which rhymes with Witch. Which what did the Puritans do? Just sayin’.
Now today, some young women wear that title with a badge of honor which is cool, but I believe many more want to avoid it like the plague. So what results is: passive sexual resistance, which I also just made up for the sake of this post. Feel free to suggest a catchier version of that one in the comments below too.
I don’t think we teach a lot of young straight women that many men need direct, solid, clear signals of what they are thinking or feeling. But how do you tell someone their approach to sex is not working for you in a kind way? It’s may not be fair to put that pressure on only one person, but right now it’s necessary. I have spent totally unsatisfying encounters scared to make the guy feel bad, afraid to overreact, or worse, anger the person and present a dangerous situation. I usually wasn’t scared though, I was embarrassed for us both. I even know a few women who are ok having unaroused, and even painful sex with men just to get out of it without it being “a thing.” Which is really sad.
So on my quest for improved language, I interviewed a handful of men on how they would like to receive this sort of info while in the act.
What I heard said most often was: “It’s confusing, does she really want him to stop or is this part of the game?” I know. To me, that should be obvious. Remember though, many of them did not learn about sex from a well rounded public school curriculum, but from porn that is all over the map and probably a shitty episode of Entourage. “I asked this one girl why she never texted me back, and she literally said I wasn’t aggressive enough.” Apparently some ladies out there are, dude by dude, adding to the confusion.
So if that’s the case; we can, dude by dude, make the world a better sexual place instead. Another guy suggested saying “Hey, let’s pause this here and pick it up later”. To him that sounded specific and lot more like direction instead rejection (feigned or otherwise). Plus, if he’s a good guy he’ll probably get that whatever approach he was trying should be adjusted next time because it failed to get him laid. Which lead to me another convo with a different guy about….SAFEWORD LOGIC!
When trying to redirect or adjust someone’s approach to sex or foreplay, try taking a tip from BDSM enthusiasts out there. BDSM uses safewords like “Banana”, “Zucchini”, and “Richard Milhous Nixon!”. Safewords are anything but sexy for a reason – so they can be interpreted clearly when spoken during sex and no one takes offense to them.
So using that same logic, when a guy is sexually projecting in a way that makes you feel gross or uncomfortable but you still think there’s hope this Tinder bloke – change the proverbial album on the playlist from “Rage Against the Machine” to “Weird Al Yankovic”. Change the energy of what’s happening. Like in a theater when the house lights suddenly come up, everyone knows the entertainment has been paused and will resume after some adjustment has been made.
Can’t say these are foolproof but they feel a lot more practical then slamming a door in someone’s face.
In conclusion, I have friends that have been raped. I have been sexually assaulted. And I think most of us, men included, have been sexually projected on. I think it’s really important to keep those experiences properly labeled in order to make the most progress in this movement and also not to fuel anyone seeking to undermine our revolution with an argument over semantics.
Thanks for reading.
Guest Post by Amy Kersten