I’ve been on a longer hiatus from making movies than I’d like. Got caught up in a month too many of teaching, non-profiting, and Brooklyning it up. But this might be my inspiration to pick up the camera again. My girl Nuala wrote, directed and edited this piece as a response to the casual sexism young women of color encounter during simple walks down the street:
It speaks to me, loudly, on a number of levels. Especially in this week where I (and probably many others) groaned silently when the Hofstra University student, a young black woman, recanted her widely publicized gang rape story.
It’s the kind of event that’s tailor made for people to gloss over its underlying issues. Ones that can’t be limited to being (justifiably) bothered by her lying. I wondered what made her have sex with four (or 5) guys at once. Or why she couldn’t be honest with her boyfriend about her act, for fear of being labeled a slut.
Regardless of whether or not the sex was consensual, that fear of hers is representative of the narrow spaces–be they literally on the sidewalk or figuratively in our minds–that young women, and young women of color in particular, find ourselves in.
These spaces are partially what Nuala is trying to confront with her video. Systems that underlie men casually labeling women as “bitches” are undoubtedly intertwined with the power dynamics implicit in five men having sex with one woman, with one man videotaping it.
And it’s why experimental art like Nuala’s will always be doubly important–a chance for us to use tools like video and through form and content, challenge existing systems of oppression.
Plus, it’s definitely consensual.