Essay: Rape Culture and Spring Breakers

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Rape Culture That Exists and How it Is Supported in the Media

Throughout the course of human history, male dominance over women has been continually utilized as a social norm (i.e. The Rape culture). This has resulted in a gender biased social structure which is concentrating on depicting women as sexual objects in a male dominated world. Over the course of time, this has become an ideal that is designed to subdue women in order to reduce their levels of social significance. Once a woman is seen as sex object, is the point they are able to minimize her importance and any contributions that are made. (Rozee)

The movie Spring Breakers is the classic example of how these stereotypes are continually being embrace by modern society. From the moment the film begins, is when women are shown to be nothing more than sexual beings (who are easily influenced by male dominated figures). It follows the lives of four female college students with no money that want to go to spring break. Most notably: Brit, Candy, Faith and Cotty. To pay for their vacation, they decide to rob fast food restaurants. (Dargis)

At first, this supposed to be a short tem solution to provide the women with additional resources for living out their ultimate dreams of attending spring break. However, as the film progresses, is when they become friends with Alien. He is a male drug dealer who encourages them to engage in even more outrageous behavior such as: smoking marijuana and becoming involved in group sex with him. (Dargis)

Towards the end, is the point he becomes increasingly dominant over the group and makes them into hard core criminals. The only one who starts to question what is happening is Faith. In this case, she feels that they are being manipulated by him for his own personal benefit. She decides to leave the group and other three remain. (Dargis)

This is when they begin a sexual relationship with Alien. However, his activities infuriate a rival named Big Arch. He wants Alien to stop selling drugs in his territory. Alien refuses and is nearly executed in a drive by shooting. During the incident, Cotty is injured and returns home. To extract revenge Brit, Candy and Alien attack Big Arch at his waterfront mansion. Alien is killed during the shootout. While Brit and Candy, attack Big Arch and subsequently murder him. The film ends with Brit and Candy leaving the scene in Big Arch's Lamborghini. (Dargis)

These different events are illustrating the challenges women are facing from society's acceptance of the rape culture. In the movie Spring Breakers, these ideas are represented through the way women cannot think for themselves, how they are sexual objects and can easily be influenced by dominant male role models. The combination of these factors gives the impression that a woman cannot be strong inside a male dominated world. (Dargis)

For instance, throughout the film all four females are shown to be wearing skimpy swimsuits and other outfits. Many of the actions they engage in are designed to entice males to want them more. To crave this sense of attention, they will continue with this behavior in order to achieve these larger objectives. (Dargis) (Long)

A good example of this occurred in one scene, where one woman drank more than the men and began engaging in a sexual dance. This attracts the attention of all the males inside the room, who want to have some form of group sex with her. However, she tells them no and subsequently shows them her breasts. (Dargis) (Long)

In this case, women are being depicted as lowly sexual objects for men to lust after. When they are told no, is the point when they will engage in other acts of lewd behavior to attract even more attention. From a social perspective, women are seen as people who can easily be influenced and will use their bodies at all costs to attract attention. (Dargis)

Evidence of this can be seen with observations from Long (2012) who said, "While movies and TV shows aren't overtly promoting rape culture. They repeatedly tell young women that their worth is their bodies and what they let men (or other women) do to them, whether it's a grope, nude photo or sex." This is illustrating how a rape culture exists in various forms of media. The movie Spring Breakers is a classic example of these personas and the way they are utilized to depict women in a negative light. As sexual objects, who do not know what they want and are the targets of men's aggressive advances towards them. (Long)

Furthermore, these insights are cemented with the many different sexually explicit scenes involving group sex. In these situations, the women are willing participants in Alien's sexual fantasies. Despite them continually telling him no, they are persuaded to engage in these activities as he gains more influence over their lives. This is when they become actively involved in the using drugs and willingly participate. (Buchwald)

These scenes are cementing the rape culture by telling that audience that no does not really mean no. Instead, it is a possible yes, if the male is able to overcome their objections. This is when they can realize their truest sexual fantasies at the expense of the woman. (Buchwald)

Moreover, the movie is also highlighting how women do not have the ability to think for themselves and will often need men to help them. This occurs with the females' relationship with Alien. In the beginning, they are seen as individuals who did not know how or what to do in order to raise money for their vacation. (Dargis)

At first, the fast food robbery was something that amateurs were up to, with them having no idea what they were doing or the best way to successfully accomplish it. However, once they began working with Alien, is the point they learned all the tricks about engaging in these kinds of activities. This is depicting men as more intelligent and cunning than women. Throughout the film, these activities are glorified with their continuing depiction of these events and the lasting effect it is having on the audience. (Dargis)

The way that this is supporting a rape culture is to highlight that females do not know what they want in life or how to achieve it. The male's job is to steer them towards these objectives through charm, persuasion and brute force. When this happens, they will knowingly submit to them. (Buchwald)

As a result, these images provide the audience with insights that women are sexual objects who can be exploited by men at any cost. The consequences of these actions are not harmful for the male. Instead, they are seen as a hero, who was able to overcome these negative perceptions and achieve all of their objectives at once. When this happens, they can feel a sense of pride about what occurred and can flaunt their triumph for others to watch. (Buchwald)

This only adds to the perceptions of rape culture, by underscoring how a woman must use her body to satisfy men. Those who do not, are only playing hard to get and actually want the same thing. The only difference is that the man must be able to overcome the no (which really means yes). This the point they can highlight their sexual triumphs to others and illustrate that they were able to achieve the highest levels of control inside a male dominated society. (Buchwald)

These insights will negatively affecting everyone when they are interacting with each other inside the real world. A good example of this can be seen with a rape that occurred last September in Northern California. What happened was a 15-year-old girl named Audrie Pott was drinking with… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Rape Culture and Spring Breakers."  Essaytown.com.  April 30, 2013.  Accessed April 20, 2019.
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