The Aziz Ansari takedown is a setback for the #MeToo movement

But the #MeToo movement has also been about something else from the beginning — something less focused or clearly defined. Just two weeks after the Weinstein story broke, I wrote a column in which I noted that the movement was already in danger of becoming a quasi-religious quest for spiritual uplift marked by righteous denunciations, post-Christian expressions of atonement, and calls for moral awakening and conversion, mass repentance and purification.

Over the intervening months, as the movement took down a series of men who had gotten away for years with wildly abusive behavior in the workplace (and also targeted some borderline cases), some of its most prominent champions have insisted the movement be more ambitious. Women need to call out any and all examples of behavior that could be described as sexual misconduct, broadly defined: bad sex, inconsiderate sex, sex in which the man treats his partner solely as an object for his gratification, and sex in which consent is in any way ambiguous or ambivalent.

But of course bad sex isn’t illegal. And neither does it violate any clearly defined laws or regulations, such as those set up in the workplace.