Sonny Bunch,

This date was an example of “a tale of how powerful people humiliate and subjugate those who want nothing more than a chance to chase their dreams.” Ansari is powerful. His date had the dream of going out without having to constantly fend off unwanted sexual advances in someone else’s home, after drinking alcohol. Was it Weinstein in the cellar with a candlestick? No. But to dismiss it is wrong. Were I to go out with a CEO or a celebrity and end up at her house, the power dynamic would be one in which I would not want to be treated as Ansari treated “Grace.”

Date rape is a thing, and its borders are not as neatly defined as, say, “quid pro quo” or “hostile working environment”. Even those definitions are lacking.

Further, when you claim, remarkably, referring to the comment in the story about wine:

“ It’s simply out of place in a piece that should have immense gravity.”

It shows your privileged distance from the actual way people narrate tales of assault. Someone with distance might want to edit out personal details like that, and, sure it might not have made it into The Washington Post — but it seems like The Washington Post is missing the point here, not babe.net [who you seem to disparage].

babe.net reported something wildly popular which has sparked innumerable uncomfortable conversations about how people should behave on dates, especially people acting as aggressors. [Let’s face it, had he not been an aggressor “Grace” wouldn’t have left in tears. This is not a story of what she should have done.]

Yet, you lament it is capturing attention in the same media space as the story of Eliza Dushku. I read both stories and was horrified by both. In your privileged space, do you assume we, the readers, do not do this? Or should we only use as sources for our evaluation of #metoo the kind of pubs you mention, despite the fact that babe.net, as you admit, got the story factually right? I guess you’d have us ignore it because the recipient of repeated unwanted advances didn’t provide the right “tone” to babe.net, or because babe.net didn’t edit out parts of the recipient of repeated unwanted advances’s story which offended your sensibilities as a white male journalist?

I think #metoo belongs to those people, like “Grace” and the other women/people, who have come forward, not to you.

You seem to miss the part where this is her story, not yours, and the Washington Post is worse off for it.

Resident of Frogpondia.

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