2.01.2007

How Can You Help If You Don't LOOK?

One of my biggest pet peeves is when proclaimed animal lovers refuse to watch Animal Planet's Animal Precinct or when people who adore children don't want to talk about child sexual abuse. I say bullshit. If you care so much about animals and/or children then you need to actually SEE the abuse that they are forced to endure in order to help them at all. You can't truly help someone unless you understand what is happening to them. I will force myself to see things that make me want to puke, but it's because I want to help and I know that no matter how hard it is for me to see what they've gone through, I'm not going through it so I'd be quite the shallow bitch to complain or say I can't handle it. It's been with this attitude that I've gotten through some Rape Crisis calls with a woman covered in blood, or with a mentally retarded child. I've always made a promise to myself and to the women and the children of this world who are in pain that I will never turn away and I will always try to shine a light in the dark places of this world that nobody wants to look at.

It is with this in mind that I was quite distressed when I read this on The Smoking Gun. It's a report talking about how a new Dakota Fanning (who I love) movie Hounddog isn't finding any buyers at the Sundance Film Festival. And why? Because the movie depicts a rape scene of a young girl. You can read the script of the rape here, and it's very clear that it doesn't show any indecent shots of young Fanning, yet people are still balking at the thought of a rape of a young girl being shown. As Smoking Gun says, yes, it is a very disturbing script and it is probably even more disturbing to watch, but the fact also is that it is Reality! Girls are raped more often than our country wants to admit and to shun a movie that accurately depicts this is a travesty and just absolutely disgusting to me. No, it would not be an easy scene to watch, but that's the point. It's supposed to evoke horror and disgust from you, and hopefully then you might be moved enough to do something about it or at the very least be more aware for your own children's safety.

The film industry has disappointed me by their cowardness.

Speaking of ignoring the abuse of women and children, more abuses by the Janjawid.

5 comments:

otto said...

Thank you for writing this. I'm getting so sick of the controversy about this movie, which was invented by the likes of Bill Donohue and Sean Hannity to exploit Dakota's success and popularity to push their own idiot agenda. It really makes you wonder why men like this don't want the subject of rape to be discussed.

mai wen said...

It really does make me wonder and make me mad too, as you could probably tell. :)

Thank you for your comments, Otto! I really couldn't agree with you more.

Lisa R-S said...

Okay Mai first let me say I agree with your points totally. But let me play devil's advicate for a moment (because we both know I like to do this), is about the not wanting to see the issue that Hollywood is doing the balking or is it the marketability of it. Let's be real. I don't get out much because I have young children and when I do get out and go to a movie odds are that I am not going to go to see a movie where a young girl is raped. I have a young girl, I know that rape happens but I go to the movies for escapism and I don't want my escapism ruined with something that will give me nightmares worrying me and keeping my daughter in the house until she is 21. When I will take her to a karate class and buy her a gun. So I am not going to spend my dollars on it, which is why Hollywood doesn't make a big deal of it. It won't sell. Also to use an argument that you have used about porn before if you bombard the public with this image you desensitize some people to the notion that this normal, acceptable, a fact of life and okay. Not message any of us wants to send. But as you said girls do get raped and people need to be aware of this, not hide from it and take action against it. And I will probably rent this movie when it comes out on DVD and watch it after the kids are in bed.

mai wen said...

I can see your point as in your personal reasons for not going to see such a movie, but I don't think it's universally true. If people were going to the movie purely for escapism, then there are Many movies that have become popular that would not be. Would anyone watch movies about the Holocaust if people's only reason for viewing movies is to escape? Now I'm not saying nobody watches movies to escape, but to say the Film Industry is only not making this movie because they are under the assumption that people only go to movies to escape is an inaccurate statement. It's obvious that the Holocaust overall is a bigger travesty than the rape of one girl, so marketability of a horrific human rights violation isn't the issue, it's the fact that rape of little girls still happen and our society doesn't like to recognize it. Let's look at our laws and the fact that armed robbery (in which nobody was actually injured) gets a heavier sentence then child molesters and rapists! Hollywood in this instance is only perpetuating the don't look and maybe it'll go away attitude that our country has already had with child sexual abuse for ages.

As for the bombardment theory, it's completely a different situation than porn in my opinion. Porn is telling women and girls to not respect their bodies and for the fact that roughly 85% of women in the porn industry have been sexually victimized in the past, so you're basically watching women get revictimized. A movie about a little girl getting raped and then showing the consequences, pain and perhaps healing of it is a very Real picture to women and children of the pain of sexual abuse, versus the glamorized image porn provides. Thus, I feel like they are very different things. Showing a little girl get raped and react to it in a very real manner isn't at all saying that it is okay and that it's normal and acceptable.

I appreciate your comments!! And I think I beat you on the length! :)

spyscribbler said...

Oh, so true! People really don't want to see how often incest and sexual abuse occurs among girls in our country (and other countries).

I love Dakota Fanning, too, and I hope I get to see this movie! I bet she's awesome in it!

 

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