The Documentary Every College Student Should See

DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS INFORMATION ON THE SUBJECT OF SEXUAL ASSAULT.

New year, new discoveries, right? This year, I may have discovered my place in the world – film. I’ve recently discovered that I’m a huge fan of documentaries. They’re like reality TV but educational. Netflix is a great spot for them. Recently, I watched a documentary called Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution.

What is the documentary Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution really about? According to Netflix, the description goes “Filmmakers explore how pop culture shapes a new generation’s beliefs about gender, sexuality and violence on display among students on spring break.”

The documentary takes place during spring break in Panama City, Florida. Throughout the film, various college students are interviewed on the current sex culture and how millennials view sex and relationships in this day and age. The scenes looked like your average group of college students on spring break in Florida – students chugging a beer, people making out, twerking, dancing, etc. The entire time, my eyes were opened. Honest and healthy romantic relationships among our generation are very scarce. It seems as though the most common relationship among millennials involves casual sex. You sleep with someone one night and find someone new the next, or you sleep with someone on a regular basis. Basically, it seems like no one wants to get to know someone not solely based on appearance and sex.

In the middle of the documentary, they take a small break from interviewing college students about how they view sex to talk about a more serious and important topic, femininity and masculinity. In this day in age, masculinity is based on how much sex you’re having and who it’s with. If you’re not having sex, you’re considered less of a man. Same if you turn down sex from a girl. It’s quite sad if you ask me. Masculinity shouldn’t be based off how much sex you’re having and if you have sex with a girl when she asks you to.

The femininity topic was much worse. It didn’t contain anything I didn’t already know myself, but seeing and hearing professionals talk about it made me realize just how serious this problem was. Women are always judged solely based on appearance and how they carry themselves. How you wear your hair, how much skin you show, how many men you sleep with if you wear makeup and the list goes on.

I noticed the difference between masculinity and femininity. Men are praised for having high body counts but women are shamed and called “sluts” or “skanks” if they sleep with the same number of people that would be considered great for a man. Even the college students when interviewed agreed that it would be gross if a woman slept with 20 people but if a man did it, well he was a man.

"The number of people a woman does or does not sleep with shouldn’t define who she is as a person. The number of people a man does or does not sleep with shouldn’t define how much of a “man” he is."

Aside from the interviews of masculinity and femininity, there were two scenes in particular that really sat strangely with me after I finished the documentary. The first one was near the beginning. The filmmakers followed around a college student from Tallahassee. He was shirtless, only wearing shorts and had long blonde dreads. He went on and on during his time on camera about how easy it is to get a girl to sleep with you or make out with you. Girls are easy. He talked about how sex is meaningless and that sex is really all that people want now not relationships. He went around on the beach showing just how easy it was. He ran into two girls that he had previously flirted with. He asked them if he could get a kiss on the cheek. And the two girls kissed him. Then he went on to ask if he could get a kiss on the lips and sure enough, both girls kissed him. He made a comment about how he’s cultured and he doesn’t discriminate. He continues walking on the beach until he comes across a group of black women. He does the same thing with them as he did with the other two girls. The only difference is the girls were very vocal about how cute he was. The women then proceeded to twerk on him without him asking them to. Their friend on the sideline hyped up their behavior. I was dumbfounded.

 

DISCLAIMER: INFORMATION ON THE SUBJECT OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

The second and last scene that stood out to me was towards the end. I wasn’t expecting this scene or topic in the documentary and honestly, I’m glad they put it in. After scenes of college kids being drunk and dancing on the beach, the screen cuts to black and shows a police officer giving a press conference. He goes on about how he’s shocked and disgusted about what went on at Panama Beach. He couldn’t believe that this happened and that it’s not the first time.

At the time, I was assuming he was talking about the number of drunk college kids and trash that’s left on the beach but no, it was something far worse than that. On the Panama Beach sometime in 2015 during spring break, a girl was viciously gang-raped by college boys in broad daylight in front of hundreds of college students. The shocking part of it all was that it was filmed on multiple cameras and hundreds of people stood by making comments on it but did absolutely nothing to help her. The documentary showed a clip they obtained from someone and in the video you can see and hear the comments that people are making while watching it happen. It was brought to our attention that the girl’s legs were being held down. It goes on to talk about how the girl didn’t even know it happened until she saw the video and recognized her tattoo. The police and girl believe that she was drugged. She was fine before talking to a group of guys but then she took a drink from a Camelbak backpack. “How do you think that girl feels?” the policeman says. He makes you understand that her life will never be the same, you can’t take it back and that someone should’ve done something.

The documentary ends with more scenes from college students partying on the beach and interviews from college students about how they hate how things are. A girl is in tears talking about the things she endured regarding men and how they viewed her. She goes on to say how she felt this tremendous amount of pressure to do things. She states that she has a little sister and how she hopes she never has to experience what she went through. And that was the end.

Overall, in my opinion, this is a documentary that all kids should see before coming to college. If I had seen this before I came to college I don’t think I would’ve done half the stuff I did. I don’t think the traumatic things I suffered from would have happened.

You come into college thinking you’ll meet your future husband, get a degree and find a job in the subject you’re interested in. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes the guy you meet doesn’t want a relationship, he just wants sex. And sometimes you end up hating the major you came into college to study and job hunting post-grad is the most stressful thing you’ve ever experienced.

Girls shouldn’t feel pressured to sleep with a guy out of fear of what you might call her. The number of people a woman does or does not sleep with shouldn’t define who she is as a person. The number of people a man does or does not sleep with shouldn’t define how much of a “man” he is. Those shouldn’t define your worth or your level of femininity or masculinity.

I hope for the future sake of my generation, millennials, that how we view relationships change. That we realize it's okay to open up and let someone in. That there’s more to life and love than just great sex every night with someone who’s attractive.