If there’s one thing that 2018 has taught us so far, it’s that even the worst of predators can hide behind a #TimesUp pin. This week, Aziz Ansari has taken the spotlight of shame and I really wish that I could say I’m surprised.
All of these men are canceled in my book. And so is any other man who pretends to be an ally while still using their power to take advantage of women.
[bctt tweet=”Having too much to drink is not an excuse. Coercion IS sexual assault.” username=”wearethetempest”]
Repeat after me: You are not entitled to women’s bodies just because you are famous. Not every woman you have a friendly encounter with wants to interact with you sexually.
It is mind-boggling how these men have the audacity to hide behind a movement while secretly perpetuating the very thing that it’s fighting against.
It’s even worse to pretend that you don’t know what you’re doing when you’re called out on it. No, having too much to drink is not an excuse. Trying to get someone drunk so they’ll have sex with you is wrong. I don’t care how drunk you are.
Say it with me now: Coercion IS sexual assault.
Why do we still have to have this conversation? It seems like even the “good guys” can’t get it right for once.
At least half of the people I have ever described as "a decent dude" have turned out to not be decent at all. Probably two thirds of the rest have turned out to not be dudes. I'm just saying.
— It Came Upon A Midnight Queer (@AskAQueerChick) January 14, 2018
One of the most disturbing elements about the Aziz Ansari allegations is the fact that over the years he has portrayed himself as a feminist, using humor to speak out about the wage gap and proclaiming his pro-woman stance in interviews. His Netflix sitcom, Master of None, is progressive and examines a number of issues revolving around dating, sex, relationships, the LGBTQ+ community, immigration, and race. He has cultivated an image of “allyship” with women, both in public and on screen. But as we’ve found out, his support of feminism is at best a façade, and at worst, an insidious act used to cloak his misogynistic and violent behavior.
[bctt tweet=”Nice guys who use feminism as insurance are predators.” username=”wearethetempest”]
This is problematic because sexual assault victims are often blamed, ridiculed, and harassed further when they stand up to their attackers. Men usually receive the benefit of the doubt from family, peers, and society as a whole.
But a “feminist” man who has done everything “right” makes himself nearly untouchable: the oppressive line, “She’s lying,” will be hurled at the victims with even more fury because many find it unfathomable that a man who has advocated so openly for women could use the same violence against them that he supposedly condemns.
“Nice guys” who use feminism as insurance against their own oppression of women are predators.
So where do we go from here? If anything, I think this is a wakeup call. Even your fave can be hella problematic.
I think that we need to have honest conversations with those around us. Men, you need to let other men know that this type of behavior is unacceptable. Hold each other accountable. Stop using your supposed devotion to women’s equality as a prop to get you laid. Instead, put in the actual work. Research intersectional feminism, reproductive justice, and the meaning of consent.
And to the brave women in Hollywood, keep naming names. Don’t be afraid to speak out. By speaking up, you really are reminding them that #TheirTimeIsUp.
Men, you can’t hide behind your fame anymore. You can’t shame women into keeping quiet. As women, we are all connected. We are extensions of one another. When one of us hurts, we all hurt. So when you hurt us, we will find you and we will expose you.
The thing about that Aziz Ansari story is almost every single woman has had that experience at least once in her dating life. #MeToo
— Cher (@thecherness) January 14, 2018
There is no middle ground.
We are respecting women and their boundaries in 2018 and if you are not aboard that train then you are getting left behind!
This years Golden Globes winners who are also physical/sexual abusers:
— Kylo Snow (@KyloSnow) January 14, 2018