All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

‘All the Boys Love Mandy Lane’ Cannibalizes Its Feminist Message


All the Boys Love Mandy Lane manages to convey that toxic rape culture narrative in subtle ways, like when she’s alone with a boy who says, “Can I hold your hand? Can I kiss you?” and she turns her head to let him kiss her cheek. I felt my stomach turn during this scene; she was alone with a boy who clearly had sexual intentions, and Mandy Lane’s cheek move seemed like an appeasement, like a way to delay any unwanted sexual contact without making him angry. Unfortunately, it’s also a move that men often read as coy, as “teasing” … and it puts women in another double bind: she doesn’t want to piss him off and risk him potentially hurting her, but she also doesn’t want to do anything sexual with him. This kind of behavior gets women labeled “teases” all the time, and it’s a way to take responsibility away from men who believe, incorrectly, that the slightest amount of sexual contact—kissing, hand holding—means a woman automatically wants to take things further.