Women are under constant criticism for being too sexual. They’re called sluts or whores if their skirt is “too short” (who decides that I don’t know). However, if they are not sexual enough they’re called prudes or uptight.
There is no winning; it is an impossible standard.
Recently, however, The Perks of Being a Wallflower has presented readers and audiences with an alternative to the dichotomy to that of whore and holy.
I have never seen a movie that handles sexuality and gender so perfectly. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you haven’t already seen it, see it tonight! You will not regret it.
Sam (played by Emma Watson) is a senior in high school who garnered a reputation at her school because she was sexually abused. During her freshman year, older boys passed her around, raping her while she was drunk at parties. She became known as the school slut for it.
Her reputation led to more boys taking advantage of her, which reinforced her reputation. This cycle almost destroyed her.
But then her life turns around when her friends help her realize, “We accept the love we think we deserve.”
After a long, hard year, Sam realizes that she is worth more than what the men in her past told her she was worth. She breaks the patterns that she felt she was rooted in and discovers “[she is] infinite”.
Perks of Being a Wallflower is neither condemning nor shaming. As soon as the movie was finished I wanted to watch it again because I felt empowered to combat the negative extremes presented in most films. If you have not seen this movie, seriously watch it. Wallflower deals with sexuality in a way that doesn’t judge anyone while still promoting healthy sexual relationships.
- Film Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (thomasjamesmitchell.com)
- Abuse and Sexuality in The Perks of Being A Wallflower (misplacedfaerie.wordpress.com)
- understanding and taking action to help victims of sexual violence (youngmormonfeminists.org)
via experimental criticism http://www.experimentalcriticism.com/2013/05/21/perks-of-being-a-wallflower/