I’m sorry Grace had this experience. I too have had lousy romantic encounters, as has every adult woman I know. I have regretted these encounters, and not said anything at all. And I have regretted them and said so, like Grace did. And I know I am lucky that these unpleasant moments were far from being anything approaching assault or rape, or even the worst night of my life.
But the response to Grace’s story makes me think that many of my fellow feminists might insist that my experience was just that, and for me to define it otherwise is nothing more than my internalized misogyny.
There is a useful term for what Grace experienced on her night with Mr. Ansari. It’s called “bad sex.” It sucks.
The feminist answer is to push for a culture in which boys and young men are taught that sex does not have to be pursued like they’re in a porn film, and one in which girls and young women are empowered to be bolder, braver and louder about what they want. The insidious attempt by some women to criminalize awkward, gross and entitled sex takes women back to the days of smelling salts and fainting couches. That’s somewhere I, for one, don’t want to go.