Aziz Ansari, the funny, brown skinned, Muslim Man on Netflix, does not look like an ogre and by all accounts is an affable man.Now, I am not validating him with a clean character certificate, but the thumb rule of common sense says that if someone feels bad about a sexual advance, he/she should nip at the bud at the very onset. Ansari who have been accused of molestation charges by the victim using her pseudo name on the feminist website Babe, seems to have been trapped between the fine line between seduction and molestation.
As per the reports in the feminist website Babe, the girl went to Aziz’s apartment, had wine, and appreciated the knick-knacks of the kitchen, before she was drawn into things which were not to her liking. Reportedly, such action happened more than once in course of the encounter with Ansari, before the girl reacted that such experiences were not appreciable. Later on, Aziz texted back and apologized. A few days later, it’s all over on social media with feminazi brigade in full fervour denouncing Ansari and his shows.
Now there’s the catch, the girl talks about how Ansari ignored her non-verbal cues and went on with his approach. So, now comes the vexing issues-Was Ansari supposed to be mind –reader? Shouldn’t be the girl straightforward in her reply in the very first instant when she felt uncomfortable? Or is it simply a case of Bad Sex, now camoflaogued as molestation, further spiced and served across media-well just because the protagonist is a celebrity and also some of us want to extend the =Me too Campaign to a longer extent.
In general, such activism have confused men. A recent poll by The New Yorker stated that now more men are cautious about approaching women via inviting them for drinks and other social activities. Adding to the woes, there is no social script which defines flirting and molestation in modern times. And we move on to further complex questions-Should a man at once understand a woman’s non-verbal cues? Can a man (always) understand a woman’s non-verbal cues? What is the standard parameter of non-verbal cues? Yes. Yes and No.Nobody knows till now are the most pragmatic answers for the questions.
Now, it is perfectly sane to label Harvey Weinstein as a monster, who arm twisted women to his wishes, on the account of his dominant position in the industry, and the fact that his actions were repetitive and forced. But, here we are talking of a confession which states preferences for wine, and step wise approaches to the sexual act. No accusations of brute force or being drunk or being tricked. Just a plain, naked account of actions which did not comply with the cues of the victim. Sure, Ansari is guilty of taking things too far, and getting into a mode without a clear verbal clue form the other end. But, at the end of the day he did not get any verbal cue, and sometimes cues need to be loud and clear.
That brings out to a more vexing issue-Aren’t the voices of women strong enough? Strong enough to ward off any wanted advances of any kind? Or should they insist only on non-verbal clues? We have already read stories where women, including celebrities were subjected to sexual assault under threat, but it is a different story this time.
It’s time women do realise that they can own property, drive cars, run governments, handle emergencies and of course be loud and clear about their choices-including their choice of physical relationship. Nothing can be more empowering in twentieth century world, when a woman says no, and the world accepts it-without probing for further explanations.