17th January 2018   •   opinion
Aziz Ansari behaved horribly, but what he did wasn't sexual harassment

I was once in such situation like the woman who went on a date with Aziz Ansari. I felt like I was struck by a bolt of lightning, I couldn't move, talk, even breath.

Yes, she shouldn't have attacked him the way she did in public, but please stop with your lectures. The people tweeting that 'she should have pushed him away' - she was clearly shocked as things escalated quickly.

Unless you've been in a situation like that, you don't judge. When people are shocked, trembling, nothing makes sense to them. And often when they gather their thoughts, it's always late.

Aziz Ansari did behave disrespectfully, disgustingly and disturbingly. Like putting fingers in her throat etc., is he a teenager? But I don't think she was forced to do anything. He got carried away, because there was flirting / kisses / comfort already.

But you can't just wake up in a morning and decide to accuse a man of sexual harassment. We must recognise that men too can be victims of false accusations (I still think men are trash) but there's little they can say to defend themselves later and we don't believe them either.

She clearly was intimidated by his celebrity image, but he did sincerely apologise straight after it was made clear to him by her. So why after a year, try to ruin him? I don't understand.

Be it a celebrity or a random guy; if you don't know them well enough and you don't wanna move fast, you DO NOT go to their place on the first date. Meet in a public place and take it from there. Don't let anyone spin you around against your will.

You make it clear with a person how you wanna go on about the first date. Set your boundaries. If he agrees, fair enough. If he doesn't he can simply fuck off. And once it's clear what you want to do, if he doesn't behave then you know what to do.

And in all this the real victims of sexual violence are judged and brushed aside. Their stories are genuine and real. They must be heard. And men, FFS, learn how to behave with women!

I believe Ansari did behave horribly, but he is innocent when it comes to allegations of sexual harassment or assault. We all have been with people who we never wanted to see again because of the way they behaved, it doesn't mean they assaulted us.

Speaking as a woman, I think neither men nor women are mind readers.
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Samia Khan is a student journalist.
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