I’ve watched with a mixture of horror and fascination over the past few days as my facebook feed has been taken over by a bitter war between people who normally agree. These are largely secular liberal people in blue states. But some of them are angry at Aziz Ansari and some are angry at his accuser.
I have a different perspective. I come from a different place. I was homeschooled and had Christian abstinence only sex ed. When I faced the modern world as an adult, I was totally unprepared. And men did take advantage of me. It is a story I see repeated over and over again in “ex fundamentalist” groups I’m part of. It is a story common among people from other non-Christian ex religious fundamentalist groups as well.
When I hear she just should have said no or gotten into a cab, I hear “people like you, who are naive and sheltered, deserve it.”
And our society will continue to churn out women like me for a very long time. Whether its in churches or in mothers who tell their daughters that pleasing men is the priority. Or people who are just young and make mistakes. If we don’t account for these women, we enable predators.
When I was older I learned to say no. When a man forced himself on me, in a public place where I thought it was safe, I got a cab. He followed me into the cab. I was like “oh so the cab can drop me off then you since you live further south.” He got out with me. He tried to go inside with me.
It might shock you but most self defense classes I’ve taken acknowledge that fact that on average a man is 40% stronger than a woman of the same size. That it is in your best interests to not escalate the situation with aggressive or assertive behavior.
There is no guarantee a man who won’t respect your boundaries when you let him down softly will respect them when you are more firm. I once rejected a man at a bar and he proceeded to harass my friends and I.