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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

I had seen people online talking about the Netflix Original, Yes God Yes, starring Natalie Dyer, and I decided to give it a watch.

Short Summary:

The movie takes place at a Catholic high school, where Alice (played by Natalie Dyer) is exploring her new sexual feelings as a teenager while dealing with both a rumor that she had sexual relations with a guy and with the guilt of her religion.

How did it heal my inner middle schooler?

During this movie, Alice goes through a lot of sexual awakenings and experiences. She “sexts” on AOL, watches the Titanic car sex scene on repeat, masturbates with her cellphone vibrator, has a fantasy about a guy she likes, kisses someone, and even deals with a rumor that she had sex with a guy. She does all of this while going to a strict Catholic high school and getting shamed by her peers, teachers, and priests for the rumor.

I understand that some of these examples are extreme and were even hard to watch at times. But I think this was necessary to be able to reach a wide variety of women’s experiences when they were growing up. To watch a female character in a movie masturbate and fantasize in a way that wasn’t oversexualized but instead very personal and realistically represented was healing. It reminded me of myself being a shy eighth grader, feeling extremely embarrassed that I had thought something “gross” about a crush in passing. At one point, Alice even imagines running her fingers through a cute guy’s arm hair. This seems silly when you’re watching it, but that’s exactly what it is, just a silly thing about growing up. 

I remember shuttering at the thought of masturbating as a girl. It felt like at that age women weren’t supposed to be sexual, because we were gross or we were asking for something if we expressed our feelings. For boys, it just was a part of growing up, and this movie even represents this feeling. At the beginning of the movie, a boy makes a remark about masturbation in class, and his peers laugh, but Alice was shamed by her friend for just watching the Titantic sex scene a few times over. For me, figuring out my sexuality as a young girl was a reason to be embarrassed. Watching this movie and seeing it through the lens of a girl who was also embarrassed showed me how normal all these things were, and it wasn’t something to be ashamed of. Alice even remarks while laughing at the end of the movie, “I thought I was going to hell for cybersex!”

I think all women should see this movie. Even though most of these scenes are very private, it’s easy to see yourself in them. And I think this is a very important place to see yourself represented as a woman, not a hypersexualized context but in something that is real.     

Kearsten Little Ankofski is Staff writer and a Sophomore Film Major, hoping to pursue a career in screenwriting. She also works part- time for Michigan State University, and likes to spend time with her cat, Korra in her free-time.