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Dear Hollywood, Stop Glorifying Violence Against Womxn

Author: Anusha Ghosh

TW: violence, r*pe, manipulation, and abuse

A few weeks ago, the entire world raved over a new Netflix Original — "365 days."So much so that the movie broke multiple Netflix records, including most consecutive days on the Netflix Daily Top 10. After constantly hearing all the hype, I decided to watch it.

Here’s a quick summary:

A dominant Italian mafia boss kidnaps a Polish woman, who he had been seeking for years, and gives her 365 days to fall in love with him. (SPOILER: she ends up falling in love with him.) The movie is practically a Wattpad fantasy come to life and an overwhelmingly successful appeal to millions of Netflix-watchers all over the world.

Yet, it is important to note: 365 days inherently glorifies violence against womxn.

By portraying the idea of kidnapping a woman and forcing her to fall in love in a positive light, the movie romanticizes sex trafficking and Stockholm syndrome, a psychological phenomenon when a captive becomes attached to, and identifies with, their captor. In any case, kidnapping is a crime and should not be taught otherwise, even in the fantasy world of films.

Moreover, the movie falsifies and blurs the true definition of consent. It seems to praise Massimo, the Italian mafia, because he refrains himself from having sex with Laura, his victim, without her consent. Yet, throughout the movie, he often purposefully sexually assaults and abuses her to assert his “alpha dominance.”

Regardless, most audiences, especially teens and young adults, loved the movie — a sequel is set to be released next year.

Unfortunately, this is not the only problematic movie modern-day Hollywood has released. Movies like the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy and the "After" series glorify and normalize violence against womxn in all forms – especially sexual and emotional abuse.

The fact remains – our society still has a far way to go in terms of gender equality. Hollywood, or any other entertainment source for that matter, still struggles with the “blurred” lines of violence, rape, manipulation, and abuse. In a culture where real life is far from what the screen shows, it is up to us, the consumers, to actively identify the difference between violence and romance.

Dear Hollywood - stop glorifying violence against womxn. Rape is rape. Emotional and sexual abuse is abuse. Manipulation is manipulation. There is no in-between.

Image Credit: 365 Days