When Shakespeare wrote Titus Andronicus and The Rape of Lucrece in the late 1500s, women were quite literally the property of men (their fathers, then their husbands). The rape culture that plagues us in 2013 was essentially the same, although laws of coverture have dissolved and women are no longer legally property.
And Shakespeare understood the horror of rape. Shakespeare–more than 400 years ago–seemed to understand that patriarchy hurts women. Patriarchy kills women.
Patriarchy is rape culture.
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.
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers Written by Lady T. A year ago, I began writing a series called “Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Consent Issues,” looking at specific episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that included a major plot point related to consent, rape culture, and sexual violence. What I found was illuminating. The […]
Movie posters for Sixteen Candles Written by Stephanie Rogers (but not in time for Wedding Week). Holy fuck this movie. I started watching it like OH YEAH MY CHILDHOOD MOLLY RINGWALD ADOLESCENCE IS SO HARD and after two scenes, I put that shit on pause like, WHEN DID SOMEONE WRITE ALL THESE RACIST HOMOPHOBIC SEXIST […]
Jacqueline Joe as Tui and Elisabeth Moss as Robin Griffin in Top of the Lake This guest post by Lauren C. Byrd previously appeared at her blog Love Her, Love Her Shoes and is cross-posted with permission. You know there’s a Maori legend about this lake… that there’s a demon’s heart at the bottom of […]
Written by Rachel Redfern Jonathon Gurfinkel’s debut film, Six Acts, winner of the TVE Another Look Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival, is premiering in the United States at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. The film is the product of six years of research and filming on the part of newcomers Jonathon Gurfinkel and […]
Tyler Perry’s Rape Problem by Carolyn Edgar Jessica Chastain, “Roles for Women Have Taken a Step Back” by Sasha Stone via Women and Hollywood Think ‘The Walking Dead’ Has a Woman Problem? Here’s the Source by Simon Abrams via The Village Voice Rick Ross, Don Draper, and the Fantasy World of Masculinity by Mychal Denzel […]
By Myrna Waldron I know I tend to gush about this series a lot, but today I’m going to talk about its dark side. I rewatch the episodes on a regular basis, but now approach them from an entirely new viewpoint. When I was a teen, I didn’t really understand feminism that much (beyond disliking Barbies […]
Written by Max Thornton. [content note: explicit discussion of violence and rape] Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle: “Violent media poisoning nation’s soul.” Is it, though? To his credit, LaSalle recognizes that it’s pretty fatuous to blame movie violence for real-life violent crime, but that doesn’t stop him from calling for blanket R ratings […]
2013 Golden Globes Week: ‘Les Miserables,’ Sex Trafficking & Fantine as a Symbol for Women’s Oppression
Anne Hathaway as Fantine in Les Miserables Written by Megan Kearns. Some writers, like professor Stacy Wolf, have enjoyed yet criticized the film adaptation of Les Miserables for not being feminist enough and turning the female characters into “bit players.” While others have lauded its feminism. Sure it irks me yet another film focuses on […]
Women and Gender in Musicals Week: Bros Before Hoes, or How Kidnapping Makes for Great Dance Numbers: on ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’
This is a guest review by Jessica Freeman-Slade. When Bitch Flicks first put out the call for a review of the movie musical landscape, this was the first movie that came to mind. It has all the elements of a great movie musical: the hummable ditties of Kiss Me, Kate, the buoyant dance sequences of […]
Megan‘s Picks: Haters Need to Shut the Hell Up About Gabby Douglas’ Hair by Dodai Stewart via Jezebel Gabby Douglas Leads Team USA to the Gold by Crunktastic via Crunk Feminist Collective Sisters in Cinema: Where Are the Black Female Directors? by Evette Dionne via Women and Hollywood “It’s Hard to Find Female Leads that […]