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February 22, 2024

  • Danez Smith at AWP
    Richard Saker/Contour by Getty Images As we end Black History Month, here is one of my favorite poets, Danez Smith, who writes on intersectionality between their Black and Queer identities. At the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Kansas City, MO, I had the opportunity to personally meet Smith, and they are […]
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    Lauren Slater crafts diligent, depictive metaphors in narrative, and I hate her writing, simultaneously. Should there be lying in memoir? In her book, Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir (2000), Slater crafts lies from epilepsy to nunneries to doctor visits and proposed peer reviewed theses to AA meetings. However, within these lies, she allows us to question […]
Spring Housing Guide

Movie addresses sexual assault, raises awareness

Confession time: I did not shed a tear reading or watching “The Fault in our Stars” this summer.

Maybe it’s because I was prepared for the ending and I knew what was coming. I don’t know.

I knew I was supposed to be sad, but I wasn’t.

People call me an emotionless monster, but that’s nothing new. After all, when I was little, I usually rooted for the bad guy.

I remember being actually disappointed at the end of “The Little Mermaid” when Ursula’s shell necklace containing Ariel’s voice broke just before she was about to marry Prince Eric. Watching “High School Musical” I much preferred Ashley Tisdale’s go-getter Sharpay to the mousy Gabriella.

Maybe that’s why I am so fascinated by works like “Wicked” and, more recently, “Once Upon a Time” that tweak what you already know.

I like to know what makes the villains tick and why they are so evil.

The other movie I saw this summer was “Maleficent,” and I came much closer to crying during this one. I don’t recommend reading another word unless you have seen the movie, or if you know you’ll forget or just don’t care.

I hate crying, especially in public, but my eyes welled up when Stefan tore off Maleficent’s wings while she was unconscious from the drug he gave her, and again when she discovered that her wings were gone and gave a heartrending cry.

It was the saddest thing I had seen on film in a while, sadder than Hazel’s eulogy for Gus.

I know, I’m an emotionless monster.

But Maleficent’s pain felt more tangible to me and resonated as it was clear that the whole scene stood for rape. It might have flown over the heads of the younger kids present in the theater, but not mine and not those who I have talked with about the film.

And not even, it turns out, that of the movie’s lead actress.

A few days ago I watched a clip on Hollywood TV about Angelina Jolie’s appearance at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. Speaking about the scene in question to dignitaries from around the world, she said, “We were very conscious, the writer and I, that it was a metaphor for rape… This subject has been taboo for far too long.”

I commend these filmmakers for not remaining silent any longer. It was a powerful scene in a moving film, and I highly recommend it.

I also recommend bringing some tissues.

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