Women Fight Back On MTV’s New Show 'Sweet/Vicious' About Campus Sexual Assault

MTV’s new show Sweet/Vicious takes female agency to an all-time high -- the two main characters are college students by day and vigilantes by night.

These girls could not be more different: Ophelia is a computer-hacker and the campus’ drug-dealer while Jules is a blonde sorority girl says “rats!” instead of “oh sh*t.” What brings these girls together is their desire to do something about the sexual assaults occurring on campus. The two girls notice that sexual assaults are happening at an alarming rate. Yet no one seems to notice because the victims are either too ashamed to come forward, or they try to report the assaults and are systematically dismissed.

The turning point is when Ophelia and Jules discover a wall of graffiti in the girl’s bathroom, where dozens of women have written down the names of their rapists and attackers both as a confessional and as an effort to keep what happened to them from happening to other unknowing women.

Ophelia and Jules decide to take matters into their own hands, becoming black-clad vigilantes and using the names on the wall as a hit list to punish and scare the attackers to keep them from assaulting more women. These two women take “partners in crime” to a whole new level.

 

Why should you watch Sweet/Vicious?

The show is as enjoyable and beautiful as it is harrowing. It deals with intense and serious topics, but is handled with sensitivity and comedy. It illustrates how the people and moments in life can be at once sweet and vicious, and that you really cannot have one without the other.

Through their friendship, Jules and Ophelia create a show that means something personal to women in college across the country. These empowering, boss women tackle rape culture, navigate relationships and overcome the damages of sexual assault. The show calls out our country’s and campus’ legal systems and demand that people pay attention and give the victims of sexual assault the respect they deserve. The show brings together women from all walks of life and unites them under the cause of strength and sisterhood.

Why do we need shows like Sweet/Vicious?

Because, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center:

  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.
  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college.
  • More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault.
  • Rape is the most under-reported crime, with 63% of sexual assaults not reported to police.

And according to RAINN:

  • Out of every 1,000 rapes…
  • 310 are reported to the police,
  • 57 reports lead to arrests,
  • 11 cases get referred to prosecutors,
  • 7 cases will lead to a felony conviction,
  • And 6 rapists will be incarcerated.

And if these are just numbers on a page for you, here are some real life examples:

Brock Turner sexually assaulted a woman on Stanford campus and was sentenced to six months in jail (misdemeanor drug charges have longer jail sentences then this). Halfway through his jail time, Turner was released three months early for “good behavior.”

We also have a president that thinks it is acceptable to “grab them [women] by the pussy” and that “you can do anything” to a woman if you are famous, and that this is normal “locker-room talk.”

Shows like Sweet/Vicious demonstrate the strength and passion that real women channel every day, putting in on screen to broadcast the message that you are enough, that you are resilient, and that we are stronger together. In the words of Sweet/Vicious creator and producer, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson: “Enough is enough. No more. I am not an expert, but I am an advocate. To every survivor out there who has connected in some way with this show, thank you for your enduring bravery and your support of Sweet/Vicious. It is my hope that the spirit of Jules and Ophelia can live within all of us. This is not a survivor issue. This is not a women’s issue. This is not a men’s issue. This is an everyone, everywhere issue. Channel your inner Jules and Ophelia and join me in fighting for this cause.”