Director: Benjamin Nolot
I wasn’t sure what this newly added film is about but I watched it because I noted it has something to do with changes in the society, which always interests me. It was that, but also much more.
The film is also about the devastating influence media and popular culture has on boys and girls, and on the effects of patriarchy and social norm. It features real people as well as experts (both male and female), and it is all perfectly edited and put together. A true delight and plenty of food for thought.
At first, we meet young people who are telling us that everything is liberated now and that women no longer need to worry about coming to spring break in the US to have fun and lots of sex, because gender roles do not matter anymore. As the film progresses however we get to learn that girls are treated as everything but equal in these spring breaks. Nevertheless, these beach parties are often a place for raping and assaulting young women, as well as places where they are treated as a piece of meat and a score on a masculine score board. We do get to see real shots of women being grabbed for their breasts, or have their bathing suits taken off against their will, unbearable pressure to show breasts, etc.
The film talks to these young men and women and while they all at first appear to be cool about everything, the more conversation progresses the more they realise that everything is imposed on them. Boys are forced to start having sex and acting masculine even though they do not want to at the age of 13 or 15. If they do not conform to this expectation they will be mocked by peers and socially isolated so they end up conforming. On the other hand, girls are taught to dress in a certain way, act in a certain way and look in a certain way in order to appeal to men. Both genders are basically forced to be something they are not, and both genders are forced to participate in socially and media imposed ‘hookup’ culture they would otherwise refuse to join.
Once again we see how patriarchy works and why patriarchy is bad for everyone. The fact film tackles devastating influence of popular culture and the media is outstanding, and this film will be on my must watch list once my new module on popular culture starts. I particularly like that film tackles imposition of social norms on both genders and thus no men can say that this yet a feminist film criticising men and portraying them as animals. This film actually clearly promotes my view (and the view of many feminists such as myself) that patriarchy and socially imposed gender norms are bad for the society as a whole. Nevertheless, there are plenty of male speakers and experts in the film expressing these views and some even invite men to be good men by respecting women. These men also explain how socially imposed norms are bad for men.
I can’t stop thinking about the beginning of the film when some boys said that this is how life in America now is and that this youth is the future of America. As film vividly portrays, if something is not going to get done, it will be a dim future.
This is a must watch film for everyone interested in media, popular culture and women’s studies. However, this film is a must watch for all young boys and girls out there who could learn how not to behave and that standing up for yourself is not bad at all.
Thank you for reading.