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Tackling tough social issues is something Freeform's The Bold Type excels at. Still, it was hard not to be nervous when the show announced it'd be doing a consent episode in Season 3, especially considering they decided to tell it from the male perspective.
"Stroke of Genius" focused on Alex (Matt Ward), of all people, and his bumpy journey of self-examination when it came to a less cut-and-dry version of consent. Mirroring the anonymous Aziz Ansari consent exposé from last year, this episode presented a similar testimony written from one of Alex's old hookups, who detailed her experience with a guy who badgered her into having sex with him, eventually prompting her to reluctantly give in and sleep with him when she didn't really want to. When Alex went to interview her about her powerful piece, she shocked him by revealing that the guy in the story was actually him.
Alex - Clips - Exchange - Favor - Matter
Alex was stunned to realize that because he'd promised to read her clips and help her out professionally, she'd felt pressured into sleeping with him in exchange for that favor. There was also the matter of her repeatedly trying to signal to him that she didn't want him to come home with her or sleep over, which he ignored. Many women have faced a situation like this in which a guy clearly wants sex and can't or won't take the hint that they're not into it. Unfortunately, it's also where the grey area of consent comes in, because from Alex's point of view, he had a fun night of consensual sex with a friend. From her perspective, she was pushed and prodded and forced into giving him what he wanted for fear of rejecting him and losing a helping hand in her career.
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