A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More UGH

Have you seen Sixteen Candles recently? If not, I'll give you something to cringe about.

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Even Laura Jean in “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” was still talking about it

at least they know it’s racist

This movie has been criticized before for its racist and sexist undertones, but there's no denying that it's been a go-to at sleepovers and group hangs. Maybe even to this day.

And once we reflect on what goes down between Ted and Caroline, it's not surprising that our culture is still so confused about consent - especially when alcohol is involved. 

If you've forgotten, Ted is the lovable dweeb, who spends the movie on the prowl for a lady to validate his prepubescent masculinity. And Caroline is the Queen B of this 'typical American high school' scenario. *Note, this being a reflection of typical basically is the definition of perpeturapetion

The hero of the movie, Jake, just doesn't feel 'interested' in his girlfriend, Caroline, anymore. All she wants to do is party, and he's looking for real love. Aw. 

So instead of just breaking-up with her like a normal human, he exchanges her listless body for another girl's underwear.

What a protagonist.

Let's take it from the words themselves - with my comments obvi.


Jake: "I can get a piece of ass anytime I want." 

Can you? Because I'm pretty sure that it takes two for a piece of ass to be had.

Jake: "Sh**, I've got Caroline in the bedroom right now passed out cold. I could violate her ten different ways if I wanted to."

I told you - CRINGE.

Ted with a glimmer of admiration in his eyes: "What are you waiting for?"

Isn't it so fun to see Ted look up to our 'protagonist' for having a beautiful drunk girl 'waiting' to be violated upstairs.

(Can't you just see all of the young men who watched this and related with the lovable Ted and thus took on this same admiration for the behavior of Jake ... perpetu-rape-tion, ammiright??)

Jake: "Let me keep these [Molly Ringwald's underwear] and I'll let you take Caroline home."

LET YOU?

Jake: "But you have to make sure she gets home, you can' t leave her in some parking lot somewhere."

Because our protagonist is a nice guy, he makes sure that before some rando takes a female human's body with him that he doesn't just forget and leave it somewhere.

Also is anyone else thinking of Brock Turner??

Ted: "Jake, I'm only a freshman."

Right because this is what makes it wrong. 

Jake: "So? She's so blitzed she won't even know the difference."

Oh such good reasoning Jake! I wonder if anyone else has used that reasoning for taking advantage of a female's body recently? 


So why is consent such a pain point for us today? Because we grew up watching THIS.

Boys watch this and think it's just fun and games (Jake tells Ted to 'have fun' when he gives away his girlfriend), and girls are shown that if they were drunk then that was on them. And it's all wrapped up into a light-hearted teen comedy!

Hi, rape culture!

Not to mention, that when they wake up the next day, and Caroline doesn't remember much, she still adds that she's pretty sure she liked it. 

What the EFF kind of storytelling is this.

Remember only a few months ago when we heard that Aziz Ansari didn't have the awareness (either intentionally or unintentionally, we'll debate it for forever) to understand that a female didn't want his sexual advancements.

Maybe it's because people have written female characters so drunk that they don't remember what happened to them, and yet they STILL LIKED IT. Clearly whoever wrote this movie has never been a drunk and used female because I'm pretty sure the surrounding feelings are generally shame.

Yes it was the '80s. And yes we're evolving.

But this is what we watched. This is what was glorified and perpetuated. And this is what we're still dealing with today. 


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

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