The story of Aziz Ansari and “the date from hell” is the latest in the recent swell of sexual allegations against celebrities and other public figures that began with the Harvey Weinstein expose a few months ago.
The full story is very detailed and may bring up feelings that us guys would prefer not to have. The gist of the story is not new. Think of every time you’ve seen a movie with a greaser in a black leather jacket and slicked back hair. It’s only a matter of time before his car is parked on a cliff overlooking the city and a pretty woman sitting next to him.
Maybe he sees the woman is uncomfortable and maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he doesn’t care, or views it as just some fun that doesn’t hurt anyone. Maybe she led him on for a while. Maybe she’s too scared to say no or doesn’t have enough self-confidence to stop the situation. Maybe he can’t think because of all the blood rushing away from his brain. Add that to some drinks and the get-it-done attitude a guy needs to get somewhere good in life? A story like this is easy to fall into.
And Aziz is stuck in just that kind of situation now and he will have to deal with the consequences. From what he says it doesn’t sound like he set out to hurt a woman that night. Doesn’t change what happened but maybe there’s something that we can all learn from it. Maybe, both men and women can find some warning signs in this mess that will help us avoid some pain and increase our pleasure.
A good first step is understanding how men and women think differently. Tony Robbins uses a perfect example to demonstrate these differences.
During one of his events, Tony picks a random guy from the crowd and asks him to stand up, gives him a microphone and then sets up a scenario: “Imagine you are driving a car and your girlfriend is sitting next to you. You’re driving down the highway and then your girlfriend asks you if you have to go to the bathroom. You don’t have to go to the bathroom so what do you say to her?”
Most of us would just say, “No”.
Then Tony goes on to explain why a better answer would be, “No. Do YOU need to go to the bathroom?” The reason is that a lot of women don’t always say what they mean directly. Usually, they often haven’t figured out exactly how they feel themselves.
Then Tony will get a woman to stand up and offers a different scenario. “Picture a guy you like. Imagine you go up to him and ask him if he’d like to go to dinner with you on Thursday night. Now imagine this guy says no. What’s going through your head?” Usually, the first thing the woman says is, “He doesn’t like me.”
“No!” Shouts Tony. “It just means he is busy on Thursday night!”
Guys tend to take things literally and do things directly. We don’t play games. We just answer the question without considering all the implications.
Neither is better or worse. It just is what it is.
But we’re all adults here right? Lets cut the drama for a second and pretend Aziz has more awareness than a pile of rocks. Let’s also pretend his date has more backbone than a jellyfish.
Perhaps Aziz could use a lesson in empathy, and his date could use some help with articulation. But let’s call a spade a spade… this is not a story of sexual assault. This is a story of two adults that didn’t communicate expectations and who both arrived with different agendas. Nothing else to see here.