My take is that in Grace’s account of her experience with Ansari, there’s no indication she felt afraid. As in any situation, we should all be expected to use our judgment. Not all strange men (in fact, few strange men) are going to kill us for saying no. Assess the situation. Use judgment and common sense. If there’s no reasonable expectation of fear, say no and leave.
The last thing we want is to communicate to anyone to NOT say no. “Always be afraid. Never say no” is a terrible message. Haven’t we just spent a decade instructing that “no means no”? What will happen to “no” if we never say it?