In both Roxane Gay’s “Blurred Lines, Indeed” and Caroline Framke’s explanation of the Aziz Ansari scandal, both authors reference the efforts of men and women (though mostly men) to tell women to shut up about sexual assault and harassment. The examples of these incidents occur frequently on a large spectrum, from the literal (such as Donald Trump literally telling his accusers to shut up), to the more figurative. Both articles, however, introduce the issue in slightly different ways.

In Framke’s piece, she describes the silencing of women as a process of denial. Framke describes part of the backlash against the article as a retaliation of people who believe that the #MeToo movement has gone too far. Regardless of your thoughts on Aziz Ansari and his actions, the #MeToo movement has undeniably uncovered countless powerful men who have abused their power to harass and assault women without consequence. The backlash then strikes a blow to those wishing to change power structures, as they are essentially denying the actions of more powerful men.

For Roxane Gay,  the call of the oppressor for quiet comes in the form of diminishing the experience itself; in her words, they tell women to “lighten up.” Here, the men do not deny that the allegations of sexual misconduct, but rather claim that it doesn’t matter. For many, this is almost more dangerous than the other kind; to assert that the actions of men upon women simply do not matter is not a debate that can be easily fought, since it is not based on any logic. Thus, there is no way to stop such rhetoric, which very well may lead to more assault and misconduct in the future.