On Tuesday, I dismantled Caitlin Flanagan’s steaming hot pile of take on the moral failings of Grace — the woman who talked about her horrible date with Aziz Ansari — and feminism and modern women. Here are women who are also speaking on the matter and who aren’t just the worst person ever.
The world (or, at least, the part of it that I live in) has been talking about the recent expose by a woman, pseudonymously known as Grace, who went out on a date with comedian Aziz Ansari and ended up getting persistently and aggressively pursued, and aggressively kissed, fingered, and dry humped, plus a weird thing where he kept sticking his fingers down her throat, over her objections. In a statement Ansari released in response, he doesn’t dispute her account of the events of the night — he that he’d thought she was into it. There have been a lot of analyses and responses, many of which I’ll get to later on this blog. But then Caitlin Flanagan decided to jump in — because of course she did — being, as is her way, the fucking worst. So here’s some stuff about “The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari.”
Last night, Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Golden Globes. She started her shattering speech by recounting a moment from her own childhood, watching Sidney Poitier become the first black man to receive a Best Actor Oscar in 1964. And her speech only became more moving and heart-wrenching and inspiring from there.
Yesterday, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken announced his pending resignation after a seventh woman has come forward to accuse him of sexual harassment and dozens of Senate Democrats have called on him to step down. This morning, on Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski stood up for Franken by identifying his first accuser, Leeann Tweeden, as a Playboy model and a Republican, and asking if maybe “I believe women” doesn’t have to apply to all women. Y’know, like women who are accusing a man you like.
TIME magazine has announced their Person of the Year, and it’s actually People: the silence breakers who have come forward about the sexual harassment and assault they’ve experienced — as TIME calls them, “the voices that launched a movement.”
It almost feels too self-indulgent to enjoy even tiny lighthearted pleasures while people are dying and people are being attacked for protesting people dying. Almost. It could be argued that We Need It even more. And We Need It to double up on awesome women.
Trump has spent the first not-even-six months of his presidency showing exactly how crass, juvenile, reactionary, impulsive, and vindictive he is in all aspects of his personal life and his presidency. Conduct becoming the presidency? It sure is if you ask him. And public figures left and right were certainly all about his presidentiality four months ago.
Breaking news: Donald Trump is crass, reactive, vindictive, and obsessed to a disturbing extent with women bleeding, and these are desirable qualities in a president as evidenced by the fact that three million fewer voters elected “a fighter.” This time, it’s a tweet attacking Mika Brzezinski for getting a facelift and bleeding from her face and wanting to come to Mar-a-Lago, or something, and I don’t even know, but apparently it’s okay because they started it, which is apparently acceptable for the president, because this is the world we live in.
New from the “Fox to Hold Town Halls About Henhouse Security” Department: Bill Cosby, recent recipient of a mistrial in the sexual assault case against him (prosecutors intend to retry), plans to host a series of town halls about not committing sexual assault. Hahaha, no, the town halls will be about sexual assault and the legal system, or specifically not being the victim of lying bitches accusing you of sexual assault.
Since the release of a video featuring Donald Trump unwittingly speaking into a hot mic about how great it is that his celebrity allows him to nonconsensually grab women’s genitals without consequence, Trump has thrice dismissed the celebration of sexual assault as “locker room banter” or “locker room talk.” Pro athletes across the U.S. have united to say that, in fact, such banter is not acceptable in any of the locker rooms they frequent. (You can take that with as many grains of salt as you choose.) But it raises the question: If that banter isn’t happening in the locker rooms of the Dodgers or the Falcons or the Clippers, in which locker rooms is it taking place?
There is still one more chilling but less-discussed aspect of the Trump video. Yes, his language is vulgar, and yes, his casual discussion of sexual assault is horrifying. But two reporters, in separate pieces, point out that there’s something even more disturbing about the video: the way they talked about actress Arianne Zucker, Trump’s costar-to-be, as she waited, unsuspecting, at the end of their bus trip.