Bruce Almighty: Perpeturapetion Reflection

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I’ve got the power

to change your mind about rape culture

Let's talk about Bruce Almighty. 

This is a simple - almost undetectable - example of perpeturapetion. But those are the most likely to get you! And this short example makes me want to eat a hand whenever I think about it. 

The moment I'm talking about is when Bruce has just gotten his god powers and is strutting down the street to Snap's 'I've Got The Power.'

It's iconic. I don't think there was anyone in my 5th grade elementary school class who didn't practice their god strut, screaming those words at recess. 


It was fun. Or at least it was meant to be. But that's what makes it that much more upsetting. 

Bruce sees a beautiful woman walking down the street next to him. He blows some wind through his mouth with a powerful look in his eyes, and her skirt flies right up to her head. She screams and pushes down her pesky clothing.  

"And he saw, and it was good," he says.

It’s a quick moment - one that induces the usual snicker. But it’s a lot more harmful than it seems.

Back at recess, along with their god struts, 5th grade boys were practicing lifting up girls’ skirts too. Then, the girls were expected to be shocked and delighted to find their skirts lifting. Fun right?

It depresses me to think about how normal it seemed to let this play out - trying to ignore something inside that said, “I don’t love that I have no way not to be apart of this.”

They indeed had the power, and the girls had little vocabulary or understanding for confronting their assigned part in the structure. This is where rape culture thrives: in developing minds that are just replicating what they see. Fulfilling the roles that are set out for them because that’s what we’re taught in school, at home, at recess.

We must recognize that this has an impact on men believing they can lift women’s skirts when they please and on women believing that they should let them. Because it’s a culture, people.


If you’re confused about perpeturapetion - I totally get that. It’s confusing! Learn more about what I’m talking about here.

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