Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution is a story that needs to be told. The enlightening documentary sheds some light on the college hookup culture during Spring Break in Panama City, Florida. Available now, exclusively on Netflix, the film is making the rounds of the college lecture circuit. Hopefully, the film will lead to an open discussion of the hook-up culture, which seems to work really great for the guys, but not so much for the girls.
The film follows the journey of college students gone wild during Spring Break, and the way young guys behave in the film towards women is scary. Apparently, these guys got their sex education by watching hardcore gang bang porn.
As someone who does the college lecture circuit myself, discussing consent and the current state of dating, “non-dating”/hooking-up, and relationships, I found myself asking the whole time while watching this illuminating film, “What the hell happened to feminism?” The college boys depicted in the doc look like they have de-evolved into cavemen. Apparently, according to teenage hook-up culture, being a gentleman is no longer considered cool.
A telling comment from one of the doc’s subjects: “The more intoxicated they are,” the more likely they are to let you motorboat them,” says one clueless frat bro. (My Mother just asked me what motorboat meant, and I told her its when a drunk guy put his lips between you boobs and moves his head back and forth. “What does the girl get out of that?” she asked. Exactly.)
At one point while watching the film’s more horrifying, groping party scenes, I also found myself thinking that the only feminism we have left is telling a man on the spot to stop being such a dominating a-hole when they are acting like one, and to not do anything on their terms. Oh, and just say no to going to Spring Break.
“It is an honest and raw depiction of this casual sex environment where sexual violation has become normal,” says the director Benjamin Nolot.” Liberated widens the view of today’s hookup culture by examining the role of pop-culture in shaping conceptions of gender and sexuality.” Somewhere in the education of young men in our world, how to treat women with respect didn’t make it into the curriculum.
What I found most interesting, because I already knew that dudes on Spring Break try to bang as many chicks as possible, was the lack of self-esteem of the young women, averaging 18-21, which seemed pretty low. During one scene, a bikini contest where women twerk to get applause and beads from the binge-drinking bros, the M.C. of the contest actually sexually harasses the reluctant girls into taking their tops off, in a mass group chant of “Take it off!” Although on the surface it looks like the frat bros are having fun, its all at the girl’s expense, and looks very rapey.
Afterwards the filmmakers interview the girls who participated in the archaic sexist contest, and asked them what they liked about it. The girls said that it made them feel great, sexy, and even empowered, which is so twisted considering they are being demeaned while it was all happening. One girl even said “I felt famous!” a revealing statement about valuing attention, instant gratification, and “fame” above dignity, self-esteem, and true female empowerment.
Sociologists, Psychologists, and College Professors weigh in on the social phenomena, which makes the raw footage seem even more powerful. According to them, like Instagram, the women who are twerking their asses and shaking their boobs for the bros, are mistaking attention and “likes” for female “empowerment.”
Kudos to pro-women Director Nolot for a great documentary, and for shedding light on the anti-feminist annual ritual that is Spring Break. Check out the trailer here at magiclanternpictures.org.