I used to love the movie Bring It On. I think next to Legally Blonde, it was the movie my sister and I rented the most from Blockbuster. (good times)
I transferred from Los Angeles your school has no gymnastics team this is last resort
what’s a girl to do
It was just so fun. Rivalries, cool stunts, magical sticks, CHEERS. What's not to love?
Plus, I was always so into the fact that (spoiler alert) the Toros don't win the competition. I mean just brilliant. THEY DIDN'T DESERVE IT OVER THE CLOVERS AND I'M GLAD THE WRITERS KNEW WHAT THEY HAD TO DO.
But one moment in the film is a great example of perpeturapetion.
It's the poo, so let's take a big whiff.
The moment I'm talking about is when the Toros are on their home turf, cheering for the [horrible] football team.
Remember: Jan's got spirit, yes he do! Jan's got spirit, how bout you?
Jan: Dude you just lost!
But Jan had his problems too.
If you need a refresher, Jan was the over-sexualized basically self-proclaimed perv of the Toros. He was always stealing underwear and talking about his 'spirit stick' - funny stuff really.
Here though, it wasn't so much.
Jan has Courtney in a lift, (I'm sure there's a much more specific cheerleader way to say this but that's what I've got for you) and instead of supporting her butt in the appropriate manner, he literally sticks his finger inside of her.
She looks bewildered and uncomfortable. But holds her pose and tries to smile. He lets her down and smells his fingers, (ugh) and she chides him for being a jerk.
And this is supposed to be entertaining and funny to us.
What casual assault we got going on!
For anyone who still has doubts about perpe-tu-rape-tion or feels like I'm making too much out of nothing, let me lay this one out for you.
Imagine all of the men (a lot of them young at the time) who watched this film and saw that moment. They must have thought that doing something like that isn't a big deal because they know each other, they are friends, she must not have hated it that much if she didn't make a bigger deal about, and it was just so funny LOL.
Now let's think to some months ago when #MeToo was going down. A lot of stories sounded like this.
It was girls getting inappropriately touched but not really having the words to express why it was so uncomfortable at the time.
Or maybe it was a friend and there were other people around, so they didn't say anything because no one really complained about these things. Or they didn't want to confront the fact that this was inappropriate behavior from their friend.
And who are the perpetrators of most assaults and rapes? People that the victim already know.
Probably if Courtney were a real person, you'd see her story.
Jan, that was really uncool when you fingered me in front of the entire school while we were cheerleading. I know it was kind of a joke, and I always laughed along with you, but it really made me super uncomfortable. And I wish I could have had the courage to say it before but #MeToo
Sounds familiar, no?
It's small but important. And luckily movements like #MeToo let us bring media moments like these without feeling like we're making something out of nothing.
Bring it on - we're better than that!
My film Perpeturaped. will be screened at the Artemis Women In Action Film festival on April 28th. It will also be available to be screened online through the festival. All information can be found here.
In honor, this month is perpeturapetion reflection month. Read more on the blog or follow on Instagram @hermeout