Every Opinion Except Your Own

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.

5 thoughts on “Every Opinion Except Your Own”

  1. I have never heard of this documentary but I am going to watch it tonight. It is so sad that so many girls are afraid to come forward about rape, for fear that they will receive the same reaction that both of these girls did. I think our culture puts too much emphasis on what girls need to do to prevent rape and not what boys should do to stop it or not to it at all.

  2. This is a common discussion in society, of who is to blame? We see it all over with boys getting easier sentences or not really reprimanded for their actions. Some people even blame the girls for what is happening, and saying it is their fault. In society we always to rationalize what happens when sometimes its just that horrible people do bad things. When you blame a girl for what happened or not really punish boys for their actions it will continue to occur and will never change. We need to stop making rape such a “normal” thing that goes on. Create better circumstances for girls and end this behavior.

  3. I find what you discussed in this post super prominent on campus today. I’ve personally heard of multiple instances where girls have been assaulted and people turn it around and blame the victim rather than the assaulter. I think movies like these are helpful in shedding light on these issues in society.

  4. I find this to be absolutely heart breaking. These women have experienced such hardship by being sexually assaulted, and society has put pressure on them to blame themselves. This reminds me of a case I studied in my criminal justice class. In this case, a woman named Penny was raped. She was then asked to pick her attacker out of pictures and then a line up. In this case, she picked the wrong man. This wrongful conviction was terrified years after this man’s incarceration. after he was released, the media and society shamed Penny for choosing the wrong man. Although this was sad, it was not her fault. I found it heart breaking that society did put more trauma on a woman who was already suffering for the repercussions of a sexual assault.

  5. The trailer for this documentary is extremely moving. An aspect that I think helps it to be this way is the childhood videos of the girls in the very beginning of the trailer. This causes the audience to instantly perceive the girls as innocent, because girlhood is so often closely linked to innocence. I believe this has a large impact on how the audience goes on to look at the girls throughout the rest of the trailer, invoking an attitude that takes the side of the girls and not the guys in the situations. This makes sense, because clearly the documentary is meant to tell the girls’ sides of their story, and the childhood videos of their girlhood does a good job of setting the foundation for this.

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