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After Aziz Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct, these two Twitter threads look at larger questions

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Conversations regarding sexual assault dominated the social media space last year, especially towards the latter part of 2017. Taking it forward, this year too celebrities donned black at the recently concluded Golden Globes to protest against sexual harassment. Internationally, Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey were the prominent names accused of sexual harassment last year. Now, Indian-origin comedian Aziz Ansari is the latest celebrity to be embroiled in a sexual harassment case. A 23-year-old photographer, in an interview to, has revealed that she was sexually violated by the Master of None star and seeing him with the Time’s Up pin at the Golden Globe Awards infuriated her. Ansari, on his part, issued a statement, where he said he believed whatever transpired between them was consensual.

While the jury is still out on that, as is often the case, this incident and the way it unfolded have brought certain relevant and uncomfortable questions to the fore.

Do men feel entitled to sex? Can men, who are perceived as otherwise ‘nice’, get away by not comprehending non-verbal cues? In the light of the Ansari incident, two journalists Lara Witt — writer and managing editor of the magazine Wear Your Voice Mag, and Meghan Murphy, founder of the website Feminist Current, in their respective Twitter threads have raised these questions.

While Witt wrote, “That Aziz Ansari piece isn’t surprising to me but it is difficult and heartbreaking because I’ve been there, many times because ‘nice’ men thought they could use whatever kindness they had performed earlier to ignore my boundaries in intimate situations,” Murphy, stressing on rape culture, wrote, “The Aziz Ansari stuff is a perfect demonstration of how rape culture works and how men are socialized to feel entitled to sex. No, there was no rape, but this thing where men pester women for sex and don’t let up, even when it’s clear she isn’t into it, IS RAPE CULTURE.”

This is what Witt wrote.



Expounding on what comprises rape culture, Murphy wrote.

While there are divided opinions on the Ansari case, as these two journalists highlight, there are many layers and shades to sexual assault and what can be deemed as consensual. While society at large remains to be educated and sensitised, it’s heartening to see that this conversation – this time – has not been overshadowed and forgotten.

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