Sunday, October 12, 2014

a certain respect

Recently I watched the film "22 Jump Street". I sometimes enjoy the quirky humour and can appreciate the silliness of these mindless scripts.  

There was a particular scene that truly caught my interest, and though it was intended to be a harmless scene in it's philosophy and something easily relatable and recognizable in our society, it also had a very underlying  and subtle important message without even meaning to.

In one part of the movie, we see a character getting praised and complimented on his tremendous "accomplishment" of having sex. Sex is seen as a prize, a reward and the bragging of it is the flashing of the trophy. We see a man in particular being at the forefront for congratulating him on his "conquest". 

Cut to another scene later in the movie, when we see the man that once did the congratulating discover the woman involved in the sexual act was in fact his daughter. Now this man's opinion on the matter is the complete opposite. He is angry, he is in disbelief, he is upset. 

It brought up an interesting point that I am sure was missed by most that saw it... That this woman only deserved respect in the instance where the man knew who she was.

Now, in the other instance, had this woman had been a complete stranger to the man still, his opinion would have remained that she was a conquest to fulfill and he is proud of the man for his accomplishment, regardless of the woman's opinion or how it affected her. That never even crossed his mind. He would have completely disregarded the fact that somewhere out there was another man who was the father to this girl, who lay awake at night hoping his daughter was being safe in school. There is another man out there who hopes that his daughter is respected and that if someone were to mistreat her, that other men would come to her defense.  There is another man out there who thinks and feels about this girl the exact way he feels about his own daughter, so who better to understand, right? 

Instead of someone hearing of another's "accomplishment" of sex and thinking, "I am glad that wasn't my child or my sibling or my friend" while at the same time high-fiving the person and making them feel that they earn respect and are rewarded by their fellow peers for these types of acts, people  should hear another's story and react to it as if they knew all involved personally. Ask more about the one they were involved with, what they did for a living, how the night went. Giving that person a face, a name, a personality will bring to light that this person was in fact, a person and not a disposable object and that it's okay to make your friend feel bad if they mistreated them and have no intention of following through. That it's okay to make your friend aware that they shouldn't be bragging about this person if they really liked them, and if they didn't, that it should not have progressed the way it did. If more people reacted that way to their friends, then there are a lot of men and women out there who could sleep comfortably knowing that people would "have their back" and could protect their children, siblings, and friends when they can't. Everyone would feel safer knowing that someone out there will come to their defense instead of knowing the harsh reality that they are most likely going to be taken advantage of someday, because our society has embedded into our heads that sex is seen as a higher necessity over healthy, deep relationships. 

Why is it, I wonder, that we have to know or emotionally care for another person in order to consider them worthy of respect and protect them from degradation? All people deserve to be seen as a whole and complete person, free from pre-judgment and free from degrading remarks. 

More people need to stand up and come to the defense of other people who are mistreated, and things like, "what if that was your sister?" or, "how would you feel if someone judged you that way?" eventually won't even need to be said. 

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