Main Content

Ball/Oberman Crim Law Casebook

I Went on a Date with Aziz Ansari. It Turned Out to be the Worst Night of my Life

“Grace compares Ansari’s sexual mannerisms to those of a horny, rough, entitled 18-year-old. She said so to her friends via text after the date and said the same thing to me when we spoke.”

“But Aziz Ansari isn’t an 18-year-old. He’s a 34-year-old actor and comedian of global renown who’s probably done more thinking about the nuances of dating and sex in the digital age than practically anyone else. He wrote a book about it, “Modern Romance”, and it was a New York Times bestseller. Ansari built his career on being cute and nice and parsing the signals women send to men and the male emotions that result and turning them into award-winning, Madison Square Garden-filling comedy.”

This is the story of one woman (pseudonymously named “Grace”) who describes an unwanted sexual encounter with Ansari after going home with him one night after a date. The recollection of the night provides valuable insight into the rape culture that persists in this country. The article illustrates Grace’s awareness of Ansari’s coercive behavior, his failure to obtain affirmative consent throughout the sexual encounter, and her inability to decide, afterwards, how to think about the encounter: had she been assaulted, or was it just really bad, sloppy sex?