This documentary follows two girls, who unfortunately shared a common experience. They both had their sexual assaults caught on camera and shared with others. The film showcases the that the way in which the girls cope with their traumas is a direct result of the pressures from those around them. The documentary’s discussion of sexual agency is one that relates to our discussions in class. When someone is sexually assaulted, the assailant strips the victim of their sexual agency, but what often is overlooked is the way in which society stakes its claim on the sexuality of females. Both Audrie and Daisy were influenced by the way that others viewed them after their assault. Audrie believed that there was no way to recover the hit to her reputation and unclear of what had even happened to her she ended her life. The film also discusses the pressures that were put on girls her age and for something like her assault to happen and for the pictures of her to circulate through the boys at her school, it was just enough to push her over the edge. Daisy on the other hand started off strong, with the support of her family she went out there to fight her case, but over time the judgements that she received from what started off as her home town but soon escalated to the entire country broke her down. She started to blame herself, just the way that others blamed her.
Both girls were deprived of their own sexual authority by everyone around them and soon let others dictate the way that they viewed themselves and their actions. This reminded me of the keyword “Body” and Kelly Hager’s discussion of sexuality. Quoting an argument from James Kincaid, Hager writes “that we are invested in ignoring the existence of children’s sexuality” and that “by insisting so loudly on the innocence, purity, and asexuality of the child, we have created a subversive echo: experience, corruption, eroticisim” (20). The girls were expected behave in a particular way and it “became more important to shield the boys than bring justice to the girls”. These gendered expectations cross over into the way females view and build their sexual identities.
The way in which Cholly’s rape of Pecola is written and perpetuated by other characters is an example of how there are gendered expectations and innate responses to this event. By highlighting other women’s opinions on what happened to Pecola, Morrison exhibits how natural victim blaming can be. These women recognize how horrific the act was but still question why she didn’t fight back and explicitly state that she must carry part of the blame.
It is ridiculous to think that someone can handle all of these judgments and pressures on their own, and we should be teaching acceptance and respect to people of all genders in order to see a difference. We shouldnt continue to see girls being consumed by the opinions of everyone but their own.