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A widely circulated Jezebel article suggested late last month that Me Too’s next frontier must be “the gray areas,” defined by the author as “behavior that is harmful and inequitable but isn’t illegal.” This assertion came in an expose of sorts on former Mic writer Jack Smith, who was accused by five women of emotional abuse and coercive sex. He lost his job as a result of the Jezebel story.
“All of these women accuse Smith of behavior they variously describe as emotional abuse, manipulation, and gaslighting,” the article stated. “Three of these women say independently of one another that these tactics led to coercive sex.”
Sex - Aziz - Ansari - Woman - Allegation
Coercive sex is what Aziz Ansari was notoriously accused of pursuing, although only one woman made such an allegation against him. She referred to their encounter alone in his apartment as “sexual assault,” a clear overstep that was widely and immediately criticized.
The similarities between Smith’s alleged behavior and Ansari’s are so obvious that Jezebel made the connection itself. “[L]eveled more clearly, the Ansari story could be interpreted as a night of repeated transgressions and sex that could have been characterized as coercive,” wrote Julianne Escobedo Shepherd.
Excerpt - Ansari - Story - Jezebel - Reporting
Recall this excerpt from the Ansari story (which Jezebel acknowledges amounted to “sloppy reporting”):
**** - Thing - Moment
He sat back and pointed to his **** and motioned for me to go down on him. And I did. I think I just felt really pressured. It was literally the most unexpected thing I thought would happen at that moment because I told him I was uncomfortable.
Now here’s an excerpt from the story on Smith:
Jenny - Frame - Mind - Thing - This
Jenny says that she then ‘just let it happen’ because, still stoned, she ‘wasn’t really in a frame of mind to make a thing out of this.’ Smith then ‘pressured’ her into sex in a way that made her uncomfortable, she...
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