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Wasteland: A First Look

Aziz Ansari perfectly captures how women feel walking home alone at night

Aziz Ansari gets many things right in his new Netflix comedy Master of None, but one scene in particular stood out after binge-watching the series.

At the beginning of the seventh episode, titled “Ladies and Gentlemen,” Ansari brilliantly captures the terror many women feel walking home alone at night, wondering if that guy lurking behind her is a neighbor walking his dog—or a rapist.

The scene begins with several people leaving a bar. First we see Ansari and his friend casually stroll away. Then we see a female character says adios to her friends and begin her walk home. Cue the horror movie-esque background music.

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On their walk, Aziz and his pal chat about the weather, they crack jokes, and they cut through the park because it’s shorter. All without any apparent fear of being attacked!! Our female character, meanwhile, tries to stay on well-lit sidewalks and dials “9-1” on her phone, just in case. Men yell out at her from dark corners, and one actually follows her home.

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The scene is not an exaggeration. The very same day I watched this episode, a man attempted to follow me home from the gym, refusing to leave me alone for several blocks. The scene rang true. And notably, in its review of the series, The New York Times pointed out that this particular episode perfectly “contrasts the everyday harassment women experience with the happy bubble that men occupy.”

Not only does Ansari seem to get that, but he’s figured out what may be the best way to convey it to the world—through comedy.

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