Friday, March 29, 2013

'Spring Breakers' Promotes Rape Culture?

Look, anything with Selena Gomez ain't going to cut with me. The young lady's still on Disney Channel. And now she's starring in a movie about some spring break hotties?

Yeah. Right.

From Heather Long, at Guardian UK, "Spring Breakers isn't just a terrible movie, it reinforces rape culture":
If you are still struggling to understand how so many people, including TV commentators and reputable news organizations, were sympathetic to the Steubenville, Ohio teen rapists, look no further than the recent film Spring Breakers.

In the opening five minutes, the audience gets slow-motion shots of bare breasts and scantily clad bums jiggling as young co-eds dance and drink on the beach. Despite the fact that college men are also engaged in this debauchery, the camera lingers on the females. The message is clear: the girls are the ones really letting loose. Even a scene in the dull university lecture hall features two of the female protagonists mimicking blow jobs in the middle of class.

In other words, Spring Breakers isn't just a terrible movie, it's 90 minutes of reinforcement of the party girl image, the kind of bad girl who's "just asking for it". The kind of girl whom some in the media and in court tried to portray the Ohio rape victim as – pointing out she was allegedly drunk and living it up the night two football players took advantage of her.

The "questionable reputation" of girls is a constant theme in Spring Breakers, which follows four young females on their quest to escape their boring small-town life with a fun beach vacation. Before they even get to the beach, the four women – including "good girl" Faith (played by former Disney Channel star Selena Gomez) – participate in a bizarre handstand ritual where they fling their legs in the air and shout, "I wanna take my clothes off," before they go smoke marijuana and, ultimately, steal a car and money for their trip.

In another scene midway through the film, one of the girls is partying at what looks like a frat house. She is drinking even more than the guys and making sexual poses as the young men encircle her and urge her to "take it like a stripper". She tells the men they can't have her, at the same time she takes her top off.

So much for the tireless campaign to make it clear that "no means no" when it comes to sex, and that if someone is obviously drunk or passed out and can't consent, you should never sleep with them. Films like this make it all the harder to combat the rape culture that exists at many high schools and colleges. Despite the fact that many students don't participate in these extremes, the image in people's heads is "college girl equals wild girl". Nothing is off-limits. Even good ones like the character of Faith just need a little nudging to let loose.
Sounds more like slut culture to me, but this is "Comment is Free," so you know where the author's coming from.

More at the link. And the trailer is here.