Posts Tagged ‘sexual assault’

Yo, Seth Rogan can go to hell. Sexual assault is not a laughing matter, not to mention the ways in which a “goofy” scene like this can be extremely triggering for people of all genders watching it and caught off guard. This could have been a really good opportunity to educate folks about consent, but instead…

Cross-posted from thehuffingtonpost

Seth Rogen’s new film Observe and Report is under fire over a “date rape” sexual assault scene in which Rogen’s character has sex with an unconscious female after heavy drug and alcohol use.

“The movie doesn’t mitigate that sex scene at all,” writes New York’s Dan Kois of the scene, portions of which are featured in the film’s R-rated trailer (below). “In fact, it makes it even more clear than the trailer does that when Brandi and Ronnie get home from dinner, she’s unbelievably trashed on antidepressants and tequila. Not only does she throw up all over the place, she can barely walk — and she certainly can’t give any kind of informed consent. She’s way too wasted for her yelling at Ronnie to mean anything.”

Seth Rogen discussed the scene in a recent interview:

SETH ROGEN: When we’re having sex and she’s unconscious like you can literally feel the audience thinking, like, how the fuck are they going to make this okay? Like, what can possibly be said or done that I’m not going to walk out of the movie theater in the next thirty seconds? . . . And then she says, like, the one thing that makes it all okay: “Why are you stopping, motherfucker?”

But critics, including several prominent feminist writers, aren’t satisfied. Courtney at Feministing.com wrote on Friday:

It’s not funny Seth. First of all, one out of six women in this country is sexually assaulted in her lifetime. Which means a whole lot of your bromen are confused about what consensual sex is. Is the laugh you get worth making them even more confused? Basically giving them permission from one of the most adored dudes of the moment to not take rape seriously? Yeah, we didn’t think so.

Lindsay Beyerstein added:

Rogen excels at a brand of awkwardness-based humor where much of the laughter is tension release. Which means that the scene fails on its own terms, unless you believe that an unconscious person can consent. Without the unexpected “evidence” of consent, it’s just a rape scene. If you see the encounter as rape, Brandi’s slurred semi-conscious interjection just seems piteous. It doesn’t make anything “okay.”

Over the years, we’ve come to adopt and refine several organizing principles, that ground our work, facilitate communication and internal support, and challenge us to grow as dedicated organizers enmeshed in a web of struggles for justice in a very broad sense. As a group dealing with community based responses to sexual assault we have found it very important to come from a common ground. Being far from a formal group that needs paperwork to back up our intentions to submit to a non-profit umbrella or something of the like, we did find it essential to create points of unity. It is something of an agreement for anyone wishing to join our group needs to whole heartedly believe in and understand. It is a living document that has changed as the group has over the years, but has always served as a center for how we approach the work that we do. Breaking these things down into sentences obscures the depth that these concepts hold and we explore them in many ways beyond what you see here (as we shall do with future postings in the blog).

We offer them here in summary for anyone to borrow, adapt or discard. We are all imperfect and humble our work and our lives by that fact. These are a reminder of that:

PHILLY STANDS UP * Points of Unity (as of January 2007)

• We are a group dedicated to dealing with sexual assault.

• Philly Stands Up formed in reaction to specific incidents of sexual assault in our community and will continue to exist as an avenue of support for the future as well as working on proactive means to deal with sexual assault.

• We strive to take an active role in our communities and to deal with the deeper rooted causes of sexual assault by challenging sexist attitudes and deconstructing patriarchy in our daily lives. In this, we also recognize the interrelatedness of systems of oppression and work to confront them on all fronts.

• We work to educate ourselves and others on issues in our society that contribute to sexual assault. As well as provide information to the public that will help confront these issues and provide access to resources that exist.

• We acknowledge that socialization in a patriarchal society greatly affects how we view and deal with sexual assault. In this, we recognize that gender does not define a person and we welcome anyone who agrees to these points of unity into this group.

• We are a group that survivors can come to for help and support. We will always support survivors and ensure survivor autonomy, where they will always be in control of how a situation is dealt with.

We work with perpetrators to recognize, understand, and change behavior, not to simply punish them or run them out of town. Dealing with an assaulter includes the long term goal of ensuring that they are not a threat to others, recognize what they have done, and work to permanently change their behavior.

We do not support the prison system as a viable means of rehabilitation for perpetrators, but we will always support a survivor’s wishes and engage the legal system on any level necessary.

• We are dedicated to this issue and this group. We all promise to ensure that our level of commitment is clear and consistent. This includes a time commitment and accountability to tasks that we agree to take on.

There is no hierarchy within this group. We make decisions as a group with casual consensus, but will call on using formal consensus for making serious decisions.

• We value communication and honesty in our interactions. We practice active listening and do not attack one another, but rather work through conflicting views. We are not interested in “PC” responses, but communication of our true understanding/ feelings.

Members of the group may at any time step back from an issue or situation that is being acted on by the group if they feel that they need to or that they cannot be objective.

• We operate under strict confidentiality in both our work as an action group and as a support group. Information shared within the group, stays within the group, unless consensed upon by the entire group.

• We work in tandem with Philly’s Pissed and hold our group accountable to theirs. Certain situations may also call for Philly’s Pissed to be accountable to us.

• We strive to include and support anyone who has been targeted for sexual assault, sexual abuse, gender-based assault, or gender-based abuse. This includes all sexual and gender representations and identities.

We believe anyone can be assaulted. Sexual assault and abuse are not solely contained within heterosexual and gender-normative relationships.

• We always assume the best intentions of one another. Recognizing that none of us can be completely articulate in communicating our thoughts, we give time and space for clarity on things that may be hard to hear. We will work through the inherent difficulties between communication and misunderstanding.