Call it the Aziz Ansari problem. A guy behaved boorishly on a date. This behavior fell well short of a crime. What now?
To some extent, the two sides in the Ansari debate are talking past each other. The celebrated comedian, actor, and self-identified male feminist behaved like an utter lout on his now-famous date with “Grace.” The pseudonymous young woman in question (just 23) understandably felt ill-used by the encounter, and following the guidelines that have been established on campus, she channeled her bad feelings into the language of crime. “It took a really long time for me to validate this as sexual assault,” “Grace” said in the gruesomely detailed 3,000-word piece that, it seems safe to guess, has now been read by millions. “It really hit me that I was violated,” she also says, implying that not merely assault but actual rape took place.
Oh? Then why didn’t she go to the police instead of to Babe.net? Because even Grace actually understands that no crime occurred. Sex willingly embarked upon by both parties, even if one party feels reluctance or disgust or shame, is not a crime.