Ceres Magazine Issue 4 - Fall 2016 - Page 54

been lucky enough to escape. But unfortunately, I’m the exception to the millions of women who have experienced rape. Many women feel that they’re at fault for these incidents and that they couldn’t speak out against their aggressor.

Women who undergo or report rape are ridiculed and doubted. In fact, most sexual assaults are carried out by repeat offenders who don’t realize that they’re rapists. When asked if they’d ever had sex with someone who didn’t consent, men repeatedly said yes, they had. Many men don’t see this is as technical rape because most rape goes unreported. Our national rape culture is as real as the sun in the sky. But men and women everywhere deny its existence.

 Ceres: How do you think being a female artist could contribute to changing the still very present gender discrimination?

 

Sarah: Art has always been a reflection of society. The United States’ most significant cultural export, Hollywood movies, perpetuate gender imperatives across the globe. Stereotypes like the ice queen and female tease teach men that “no” is just a coy way of saying “yes.” This, in my opinion, encourages rape culture. Reducing even the most powerful women to hot pieces of ass creates a global social phenomenon that tells women to shut up and let men stay in control. In my opinion, the depiction of women by Marvel and DC comics creates and encourages our very problematic rape culture. By putting Scarlett Johansson or Jennifer Lawrence in a tight body suit behind multiple male superheroes,

Hollywood is effectively telling the world that even the best women in the world must answer to and be controlled by men.

So, in terms of changing Hollywood’s awful depiction of women in film, I’m not very hopeful. The answer to me lies in emphasizing progressive roles for women in television. Hollywood’s most important demographic, men aged 20-25, is increasingly turning to streaming software to access content. Networks like HBO and Netflix are creating opportunities for women to push gender norms and boundaries that are unparalleled in big-budget films. Overall, I think men should be objectified as frequently as women in film. Chris Pratt would agree with me

that the only way to end sexism in Hollywood is

to apply equal standards to both sexes.

Ceres: How do you define yourself in this society?

 

Sarah: I define myself as part of a more progressive group of women who believe feminism is akin to egalitarianism.

 

Ceres: You are one of the new generation of women, the one who may be able to pick up the pieces where the generations before you dropped the ball on women's rights—let's just say that feminists of the past kicked many doors open that we have now taken for granted. Because of that laxity, some—mainly men—would want women to go back to being "owned" and their rights repealed. What do you think that

 

 

28 | Ceres Magazine | Oct/Nov 2015

Artwork by Lands of Void

"The answer to me lies in emphasizing progressive roles for women in television."

54 | Ceres Magazine | Fall 2016