Rape Culture and Spring Breakers Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Spring Breakers

The movie Spring Breakers starts off with images of bare breasts and butts jiggling on the beach with more focus being on the private parts of women. Even though the scene is of both males and females, the main focus is on females. According to Heather Long, this message being presented in this is that only females are letting loose and they are ultimately inviting men to take advantage of them. The author feels that this movie is depicting the desperation and loose character of females that give rise to rape culture. (Long) On the other hand, there are some who feel that this movie shows women in an entirely different perspective and thus condones Rape culture. (Peck) It is my personal opinion that Spring Breakers does not enforce Rape culture rather it goes on to show women in an extreme way.

There have always been arguments between those who believe in the conventional ideas and the feminists who argue on the other side. Regardless of what the movie Spring Breakers portrayed, one thing that is true is that sex sells. Even if its porn movies, videos or even books, it is true that people will be attracted towards sex. What is controversial however is that if men are shown to be included towards this, they are considered normal or it adds on to their manly characteristics. On the other hand, when women exhibit these characteristics, they are termed as sluts or prostitutes. This is quite the controversy in our society because as mentioned earlier: Sex is the basic need of a human being. This means that the needs and the desires are equal for both man and woman. Despite these known facts, the blame and the controversy are always made on women.

The fact that this extreme behavior is looked as the reason for increased rape in the society is one of the main stimulating factors of rape culture. It has been stated that as long as sex is considered as a violent and low act involving domination, rape will stay in our society. (Herman) In other words, rape culture is actually the notion that the charges of sexual assault increases when women are in a subordinate state as opposed to men. It is true that the female sexuality is quite wrongly exploited in this movie; then again some instances do go to show on females in a rather strong position.

Thus, it appears that rape is the logical outcome if the me and women continue to act according to their gender transcribed roles. Our society is full of rape because it enforces and further promotes the notion that in a sexual encounter, male has to show aggressive and violent behavior. (Herman 52) The movie Spring Breakers goes on to show that sex isn't something that is only to be imitated by men. As a counter argument however, Long stated in the movie the girls are asked for it and are actually desperate for sex. According to her, girls go on to be inspired by these movies and further act in a slutty manner. These slutty clothes and actions therefore seduce men and lead to more and more sexual assaults. (Long)

There is a scene in the movie where girls are shown to be partying with frat guys and in one of the scenes, Cottie (Rachel Korine) actually refers to the guy as his little bitch. In this instance, the girls are shown to have sexual power rather than the men. Even though those guys are older than them and probably even stronger, these girls are not afraid to be themselves and ultimately they are not afraid to get raped.

Rape has been labeled as a means of an extension of a cultural outlook on the notion that men are possessors of women. It has been argued that the American dating system puts females in the position of sexual objects that can be purchased by men. (Klemmack and Klemmack 136) These females basically complete to look the sexiest or the prettiest and ultimately attach attention. To this notion, the movie Spring Breaker breaks off the trend of men scoring around. If it does show a woman as wanting to have sex or have some fun, it could be hinting at a society where rape isn't means of possessing a woman. The idea of men possessing women though rape has been initiated from the olden times when a person was forced to marry a woman if she was a virgin.

Even back in the day, Rape used to be something that caused distress and apparently loss to whoever the woman was dependent on. If she was a married woman, her being raped was a cause of problems and distress for the husband. Same notion went for the fathers for the women who were not married. This mindset basically went on to show that the feelings of the woman didn't have much relevance as opposed to the damage this incident caused to the men in their lives. This is quite an insensitive approach towards rape in such societies. This thinking makes to appear that women are not affected by the traumatic event. Thus, the notion that women actually invite rape onto themselves is quite wrong because it is a very traumatic and emotional event for them.

Another argument that appears is that this movie goes on to depict American culture of spring break and what teens rather do in Spring Break. According to Long, this is an overstatement and goes on to portray college students especially college girls as wild and horny beasts. She stated that many teens also opt to volunteer, do internship or basically work and do something production and beneficial for the society. This therefore goes against the notion that this movie depicts the American culture.

However, it is not only the American 'Spring Break' culture that provokes men to go on and rape women. The American culture goes on to produce rapists when it promotes the socialization of men into the values of dominance, competitive, anger and aggression. (Herman 49) Again, this movie goes against rape culture because it shows girls breaking the rules and being bad. For instance, the scene where Alien (James Franco) is forced to perform fellatio on a gun. This basically shows a reversal of the actually situation in a patriarchal society. (Peck) Ever since we have known, men have been shown to intimidate and assault women by using violence or even weapons.

This scene actually goes on to show that women can take on these roles and actually go on to do dangerous acts. One of the acts for instance is going to rob the Chicken Shack. Thus, the women in Spring Breakers are shown to sexually intimidate a man and are also shown to rob a bank. Both these acts don't put females in vulnerable and ready for assault position.

Another ethos that extends to the sex scenes is that the girls are shown to be crazy and desperate for power and money. This is stated specially in the movie and it opposes the notion that the girls are rather looking for some sex. (Peck)

In his interviews, Korine basically stresses on the fact that he wanted to make the movie quite different. He stated that it meant to be like candy and there was no one way of actually interpreting the film. (Russell) Korine insists that with this movie he has shown women in a different light and has ultimately contributed to female empowerment. (Russell) He stated that they gave the glimpse of what actually happens in the world today. He stated that these party scenes that he showed in the movie would also come up in Google if a person went on and searched Spring Break. (Russell) Righeimer feels that even though this movie does cross the level in its explicitness, it goes on to show two different scenarios. She agrees that the first scene in the movie does reinforce rape culture; however there are some parts that go against it. There are some scenes in the movie when the audience knows that something bad is about to happen. For instance, the scene where the drunk girl is about to pass out just and it is expected that she will be sexual assaulted. However, the character Cotty gets very drunk in the movie and despite that she stands up to the guy and says no. This part in the movie therefore shows that there is a line that should not be crossed. (Righeimer) Thus, for many people it was a rather a wakeup call on how to be careful in these instances

If we take the example of head scarves, then the major known concept is that in Islam, women should cover their heads. Women should hide their hair and dress modestly. Sadly enough, there have been equal commandments in the Quran about men lowering their gaze. This means that men should not even look at women…

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