Here is a post I wrote for my writing class last week. It was in response to the short film "Love is All You Need". Enjoy!
"Love is All You Need" is a profound film. I'm glad the filmmakers switched the norm of a heterosexual society bullying a homosexual kid and instead did the reversal of that because it is something we have never seen before. It draws us in immediately. I think it's a very important film for those opposed to gay rights to see because sheds light on the issue from a different point of view. However, at the end of the film there is a message that states although this is a work of fiction all the events that took place in this film are true stories from victims of bullying.
This just breaks my heart.
What kills me the most about bullying is that there is no universal law that says we are supposed to be a certain way, only society determines that. I recently watched a TED talk given by Brene Brown about shame. The most important lesson I took away from her speech was her point on shame versus guilt. Shame, she tells us, is a focus on self. I am bad. While guilt is a focus on behavior. I did something bad. This is a major theme throughout "Love is All You Need." Ashley is continuously shamed for loving a boy, for being heterosexual. For behaving in a certain way that society has determined is not acceptable. Instead of calling her behavior unacceptable they call her bad; they even tell her that she should go kill herself, which she does.
This is not ok.
It saddens me that sexuality is somehow definitive of our characters. One of my favorite authors Jodi Picoult wrote a book about a lesbian couple and during this time her eldest son came out to her and her husband. Here is what she said: I started writing Sing You Home because I think gay rights are really the last civil right we have yet to grant in the U.S., and I wanted to explore the issue and to see why those still opposed to gay rights are opposed. However, this became a much more personal quest for me when my oldest son came out to me during the writing of the book. Did I know beforehand? Sure. I could have told you he was gay when he was 3, and it didn't make any difference to me. I wouldn't love him any more if he wasn't gay; I don't love him any less because he is. Kyle is brilliant, a Yale sophomore who is an Egyptology major and who can read hieroglyphs (and about four other languages) and can do math that gives me an aneurysm; who competes in ballroom dance and runs a children’s theater and outreach drama program in the New Haven schools.His sexual orientation is the least interesting thing about him.
I love this quote so much and totally agree with her! Our focus needs to be on character not sexual orientation or history, which is why the sentence "A rape is the worst thing that can happen to a woman" boils my blood. (Wow, I'm diving into deep water today!)
Well, lets back up for a moment shall we? Back to a very popular movie that came out in the summer of 2010 "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse." (Oh yes, I went there.) In the movie Eclipse there is a scene in which Bella and Edward are alone in his house and, well, she tries to initiate sex with him. She's kissing him and trying to rip off his shirt when Edward, the gentleman, stops her.
At which point the following conversation ensues.
Edward: Believe me, I want to. I just wanna be married to you first.
Bella: You really make me feel like I'm some sort of villain trying to steal your virtue or something.
Edward: It's not my virtue I'm concerned about.
Bella: Are you kidding?
Edward: It's just one rule I wanna leave unbroken. It might be too late for my soul but I will protect yours. I know it's not a modern notion.
Ok, so it's that last bit (It might be too late for my soul but I will protect yours) that I have a major problem with. I reject the idea that one's virginity is linked to their soul. Like if a person has sex before marriage it somehow damages their soul.
It brings our discussion back to rape victims. Is their soul ruined or do they get a free pass?
While waiting to have sex before marriage is a valiant goal, I don't think--in regards to your soul--that it is the most important goal in life. And I think that the media is sadly pushing the idea onto millions of young girls that virginity is a contributing factor to their worth as a human being, which is not ok.
The statement "A rape is the worst thing that can happen to a woman" bothers me so much because it assumes that my worth is solely based off of the sum of all the parts on my body that can be violated.
Our worth isn't based on our sexuality. Being a virgin, a heterosexual, homosexual, asexual, transgender, etc, isn't wasn't determines our value as decent human beings. How we treat people and what we do with our lives determines that.
So, in conclusion, I think the Beatles said it best: All You Need Is Love.
Blog to you later!