TW: mentions of abuse, sexual harassment, assault, and r*pe.
Rape culture does not only consist of rape. It includes many many factors which is something we call the rape culture pyramids, which at the bottom includes things that we face on a daily basis that have been extremely normalised such as sexist attitudes, rape jokes and locker room banter. Then we have sexual harassment which includes cat calling, unsolicited touching, pictures and groping. Then we introduce violations such as revenge porn, stalking, and safe word violation. Diving deeper into rape culture which is what most of us are aware of, victim blaming and coercion or manipulation are included as well as things such as stealthing, which is the act of removing contraception without consent, molestation, drugging, and finally – rape.
But what is rape?
Is it simply forcing yourself on to someone when they said no?
If you refer to the rape culture pyramid then you’re most probably aware that the answer to that question is no. Rape is the act of non-consentual sex to put it lightly. However that doesn’t mean that a simple “yes” is what you need. What you must have is a continuous and an enthusiastic yes. You may argue that it may ‘ruin the mood’ and while I can sit here and argue and tell you how sexy consent can be in certain scenarios, it is by all means necessary and if you are afraid it will ruin the mood, then don’t have sex and it’s just that simple. Also, saying consent is sexy is problematic, because consent is not sexy, it is not optional, it is necessary.
In the media, we are always presented with different perspectives which change the narrative, becoming more and more interesting to watch as the antagonist all of a sudden is our protagonist. You may have seen such examples in films like Maleficent and shows like You and books like Lolita.
Lolita is a good example of romanticising horrible and evil things in our society like pedophilia and why we must understand that it is not some sort of star crossed novel and a modern day Romeo and Juliet. However, the example that we present to you today which alligns perfectly with rape culture is the trending movie on Netflix – 365 Days.
The Polish-Italian film made its debut on our screens in the tragic year of 2020 through Netflix and thereby breaking records in Netflix history. The film remains one of the most viewed films in dozens of countries and though the world is divided on almost every issue there is, we all basically enjoy one thing together – sex, which is intetionally what the film was supposed to provide, correct?
This film not only has a rapist and a kidnapper as its main character but it includes well desired sex scenes that are widely dominated by hardcore pornography which manipulates the audience to tolerate rape to an extent. Not only does it demonstrate rape which is in conclusion non-consensual sex but it also provides the rapist’s perspective, presenting their desires which allows the watcher to not only to condone the rapist’s action but to justify them as well as enjoy them to an extent.
What 365 Days does not broadcast is how this is a crime that is being committed daily by millions of people across the world, meaning that millions of people who have heard of or actually watched the movie may have been triggered. Yet it doesn’t stop there, this film condones rape and justifies it, thereby it invalidates any victim’s experience and raises fear of stepping out and actually reporting their abuse.
However rape is not the only thing romanticised but so is Stockholm Syndrome which the act of falling in love with your kidnapper which in itself condones and romanticises kidnapping and it also romanticises sexual assault and abuse as well financial and emotional abuse.
This film has not only exposed many young men and women to very traumatic events but by romanticising it, we are teaching them that all of these crimes are normal and accepted and hereby we are raising a generation of rapists and victims who will never heal from said trauma.
In order to change that, we must have these difficult but necessary conversations with our children which include sex and consent which is vital to understand given our sex-hungry society.
Right here is a petition link you can sign so Netflix can take this movie down. If you want to do something, share this, and sign that petition.