Our Campaigns Manager Caitlin Roper wrote the following piece on the viral Netflix film 365 Days.
Not only does the film sexualise men’s violence against women, it paints these acts of aggression as sexy and desirable.
The takeaway messages from the film are that male aggression against women is ‘hot’, that women secretly desire and enjoy violence and abuse, and that even ‘no’ really means ‘yes’.
While some might say “It’s just a film”, as though it has no power or influence, the normalisation and eroticisation of violence against women has serious real-world consequences for women.
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Young people are particularly vulnerable to 365 Days’ toxic messages, as this kind of content plays a role in shaping their attitudes towards sex and relationships while they are still being formed.
Despite its MA 15+ rating, children are watching this film. A number of scenes have been reposted on popular social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube, and teachers have reported students watching on their phones at school.
Some girls appear to have already learned to equate male aggression with love, making comments on social media like “Waiting for my Massimo”, “I wanna have him” and “Sexiest man alive”.
Others have been left distressed and confused about consent following a particularly disturbing scene depicting violent oral sex that looks a lot like a rape, because the woman smiles afterwards as though she enjoyed the experience.
This is not what healthy relationships look like. Framing ownership and domination as love does a great disservice to young people who are still learning how to navigate intimate relationships, and harms women as a whole.
The absolute last thing we need is yet another film glorifying abuse and violence against women.