This week has blown up in terms of how much the female experience can suck sometimes. Yes, we get wonderful moments (hello, multiple orgasms, my old friend), but there’s a ton of bullshit that either gets perpetuated or willfully ignored. The huge, glaring one is the casual acceptance of sexual harassment, as well as the experience of sexual assault. Until this week, a lot of people didn’t realize how often the women in their lives have been violated, and how they may have either contributed to that or turned a blind eye. Bearing that in mind is a new film from filmmaker Jessica M. Thompson, The Light of the Moon. It stars Stephanie Beatriz as Bonnie, a woman coming to terms with her rape. Check it out.
The most common reactions I’ve heard this week are the sheer shock and sickness upon realizing how many women out there have experienced either harassment or sexual assault. Make no mistake, these reactions are coming from men, while women are nodding and saying, “Yeah, that’s happened to me too. Guys, we tend to call this ‘a day that ends with y.'” There’s sheer revulsion at how common it is, and it’s happened to the people you couldn’t conceive of your life without. The reaction speaks to a need to fix it, and when that happens, the questioning begins. How can I make it better? Why didn’t you tell me? What made you feel afraid? While it’s well and good to have those questions asked, we also need to review the experience of the victim as well, and this film has been generating enormous buzz (it cleaned up at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival). Sometimes, you need to see someone going through it in front of you in order to get how shitty the reality of a violation is. That’s what Thompson set out to do: present the realities of the victim experience without the schmaltz and high drama of a Very Special Episode of Fill In the Blank Television Show. In light of so many women talking about how their experiences, I think it’s relevant: a victim who might be sarcastic, workaholic or flippant, and the ways tiny actions impact a person after something really, truly shitty happens to them. Most people don’t get it. Maybe this can help them.