Oh, brother…Sex Drive, comedies, and sexist tripe.

I just got an email from one of my brothers (I’m in a co-ed fraternity, long story) asking people if they want to see a free advance screening of a movie at the local theatre.

Trailer: http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/sexdrive/

From the trailer, this movie looks hilarious!!

Here’s the Facebook group advertising it for more details.

Would anyone be interested in seeing Sex Drive?

It’s free!!

Go ahead and check out the trailer, if you have a few minutes of your life that you won’t miss. The short version: scrawny 18-year-old tells atrocious lies to a hot girl through AIM (“We open against Michigan in 2 weeks. Coach has got me hitting the bench pretty hard.” “So, how much do you bench?” Shoot! How much is a lot? “I’m puttin’ up 300.”) and then, when she shows interest in the totally fictional character he has invented for her, he steals an acquaintance’s”1969 GTO Judge” (which is, apparently, an awesome car) because, “When you roll up in a 69 GTO, she’s not gonna care what you look like.”

BONUS: homophobia!

“Dude, you’re eighteen and you’ve never had a girlfriend. That’s how people wind up gettin’ gay.”

Do I really have to explain this? Really? Lying is bad. Stealing is bad. Doing these things to “get a girl” is worse, because it’s basically attempted rape. No, really– the idea is, that if you don’t lie to her, she won’t want you. That’s kind of inherent in the lying. In other words, you have to trick her into having sex with you. Consent under false premises is, guess what!, not consent. Sex without consent is, guess what!, rape. Just because you committed fraud to make your rape go more smoothly, that doesn’t make it any less rape. It makes it rape plus fraud. (And, in this case, grand theft auto.)

I can’t possibly be the only one who fails to find any of this funny. And yet, it’s nearly impossible to find a comedy that doesn’t rely on an awful lot of misogynistic jokes, and it seems to be getting worse, not better.

Before Superbad, it never would have occurred to me to ask Hollywood not to make movies that openly endorse rape. I don’t care how it ends, the protagonist begins the movie with the explicit goal of comitting rape, and we’re supposed to sympathize. And here’s another one, and the more I think about it, the more movies come to mind in which the main character attempts to trick a woman into sleeping with him against her will, and it’s all played for laughs.

So I guess the time has come. Hey, Hollywood! Stop making movies that endorse rape!


10 Responses to Oh, brother…Sex Drive, comedies, and sexist tripe.

  1. pizzadiavola says:

    In other words, you have to trick her into having sex with you. Consent under false premises is, guess what!, not consent. Sex without consent is, guess what!, rape.

    Very directly, simply, neatly, and accurately put. I don’t understand why this point is so hard for people to get.

  2. eloriane says:

    I know! And yet, people not only misunderstand, they disagree. This post is the only post of mine to attract trolls.

    Maybe they’re worried that if they subscribe to the idea of enthusiastic consent (link included for the benefit of lurkers), they won’t get to have any more sex?

  3. Jamie B. says:

    “Maybe they’re worried that if they subscribe to the idea of enthusiastic consent (link included for the benefit of lurkers), they won’t get to have any more sex?”

    Given the level of assholery previously displayed (by the trolls), my thought is that it’s a legitimate concern on their part.

    But that’s, ya know, their problem, not mine. ^_^

  4. Dollface says:

    I don’t like the trailer either, seems like a bad movie to me with lame jokes (plenty of which will be misogynistic).

    I really don’t know if lying to a girl online about how much you can lift is necessarily rape though. I get your argument about lying to get into someone’s pants. However, I don’t think that most women would sleep with a guy who they don’t find attractive just because he tells her lies online. I’m pretty sure she’ll figure out the truth when they meet in person.

    So many guys lie to girls anyway. They may say things like “I love you” or “I want to date you” when in reality they just want sex. I don’t think that constitutes rape, just bad behavior.

    However, that being said, I still think the entire premise of the movie is pretty lame.

  5. eloriane says:

    Here’s the thing. Lying, in and of itself, is not rape. And I can see the argument that lying is less “serious” than “real” rape, but that’s really only true when we’re talking about little lies– I love your hat, no I didn’t eat the last cookie, that kind of thing. But we make distinctions between lies.

    If you take two candies from a free-candy bowl by lying and saying you haven’t had any yet, that’s “bad behavior.” But if you lie and say you represent a certain company and take all of someone’s money, that’s fraud and it’s a big deal. Likewise, if you lie to someone you like and say you picked out a present just for them, when really you just found it in your closet in a shoebox, and they’re so pleased they make out with you, maybe that’s “bad behavior.” But if you fundamentally misrepresent who you are as a person, so they have no idea it’s you, and you convince them to sleep with you that way, that’s fraud, and it’s also rape, and it’s also a big deal.

    Our culture really tries to minimize anything but violent-stranger-in-the-bushes rape, because as long as we call it “a disagreement within a relationship” or “just a few lies” or “bad behavior,” we can feel safe and we don’t have to worry about teaching men not to be rapists. But the thing is, that doesn’t do anybody any good. Neither does the rubbish advice meant to keep women living in fear– don’t go out at night, always check your back seat of your car, carry your keys like a weapon– these lessons don’t protect women, they protect rapists. Because a rapist is overwhelmingly likely to be someone a woman knows, in a place she is familiar with.

    I think we, as a society, need to have a serious conversation about consent and the gray-areas-that-aren’t-really-gray that too many people operate in. I fully believe sex should only happen when both people know each others’ expectations and are 100% enthusiastic. I don’t think this is an unreasonable hope. If you feel the need to lie about who you are in order to grease the wheels, that’s an enormous red flag that you should stop.

    And a lie like “I love you” is just as bad, if not worse, than a lie like “I’m actually a football player,” because it makes informed consent impossible. If you just want sex, say so– there are a lot of women who just want sex too. (I’ve heard that “Nice shoes, wanna fuck?” is one of the most-effective pick-up lines, because it makes everyone’s intentions clear from the start. It would work on me, if the person saying it was cute.) If you have to tell a woman you want to date her in order to get her to sleep with you, but you don’t actually want to date her, that means that your expectations are incompatibile and you shouldn’t sleep together.

    I’m sorry for going on like this (but not too sorry), but I think it does a lot of harm to dismiss criminal acts as “bad behavior,” and I wanted to make my case a bit for the trolls I’ve been blocking. I see where you’re coming from, but I have zero tolerance for anything but enthusiastic consent in my life, and I think it would go a long way towards making women safer if more men understood the idea.

    The page I quoted above said it best, I think: “See, I’ve never really thought of it as a problem if my lover was chanting (or screaming) YES! YES! YES! “over and over for hours without interruption” during sex.” And I don’t understand these people who aparrently have unenthusastic sex with partners who don’t even know who they are. Where’s the fun in that?

  6. Dollface says:

    I agree with much of what you’re saying (and I hear you about the trolls). I knew you’d see the words “bad behavior” and zero in on that. I felt the same way typing it out. There ARE so many gray areas. However, rape is such a loaded concept, word, etc. I think men lying to get a woman into bed (or vice versa, actually) is abhorrent. However I don’t think that it’s something we want to get wrapped up in the definition of rape because that, in some respects, lessens the importance of the word rape and all that it connotes.

    So, while “bad behavior” may not be strong enough terms to define misinforming your sexual partner, I think “rape” is *too* strong.

    I guess that is mainly my point. I’m not very experienced in discussing rape, honestly. And since I have anonymity here, I feel more comfortable in saying that I have been date-raped. However, that doesn’t make me feel qualified to discuss rape even so. It’s such a weird, awful part of life & society. Sometimes I think labeling it just hurts the person it happened to more. (Just to be clear, the label is GOOD if you can press charges, etc. However, after all of that mess is over with, the label just remains in your mind to haunt you, I feel).

    Wow, okay, I have no idea if my ramblings are making sense at this point. I will say this, I would definitely agree more with your point of view than any trolls that post here. I think we’re more on the same page in that respect.

  7. eloriane says:

    Please don’t take this as a personal attack: I think we have to agree to disagree here. If informed, enthusiastic consent is lacking, you’re doing it wrong, as the internets would say. And in my mind, fraud plus rape is not less rape, it’s more rape. And this idea, that lying to someone so they’ll have sex you is somehow different from drugging someone so they’ll have sex with you, allowed a man to get away recently with pretending to be his twin brother, and raping his brother’s girlfriend. She pressed charges, and he admitted to both the fraud and the sex, but since she consented (even though she consented under false premises), the judge ruled it was not rape. I call rubbish, but the jury, wanting to believe that “lying to get someone into bed” wasn’t rape and that therefore they didn’t have to worry about rape (I assume)– the jury agreed. And since everyone is a potential juror, I desperately want to introduce everyone to the idea that consent isn’t the absence of a ferocious no– it’s the presence of an informed yes.

    I have my own experiences with rape that I don’t feel anonymous enough to share, but claiming the name is an important part of accepting my experience and moving on from it. And I hate the idea that somehow anything other than strangers-leaping-from-the-bushes is not “real” rape, that the pain from date-rape and other so-called “gray” rapes isn’t “real” pain. I don’t think there’s anything gray or confusing about rape. Unless both people know what’s in store, and are looking forward to it, and able to clearly express those ideas– it’s rape. And I think it’s important to claim the name rape for all the situations that merit it, as a way of getting those crimes to be taken seriously.

    Honestly, just check out this link. It was revolutionary for me.

    I won’t force you to see things my way, since it took me a while to get to this place, and rape is often a very personal issue, but I think that as long as we reserve the word “rape” only for the absolutely horrific acts, it minimizes the other very real rapes that happen all the time, doing harm to the victims and protecting the rapists.

    And since I do believe we’re on the same side against rape, I encourage you to spend some time at other feminist blogs reading other people’s perspectives about rape. At least in my case, when I was able to put my experiences into a box, with a name and a context, I was no longer plagued by the discomfort and unhappiness of my memories. And I found that writing anonymously, at length, in a couple different places, really helped to put the whole thing to rest, because it was no longer a deathly secret. Even if you never agree with me, I truly hope you’re able to find some comfort and healing.

    You have my best wishes.

  8. Shaun says:


    “Wow, okay, I have no idea if my ramblings are making sense at this point.”

    well, they’re making sense to me…if you want the opinion of random internet persons, LOL.


    i *was* going to say that dollface was right about this whole lying-for-sex-not-equalling-rape thing, but that story about the twin brothers has really thrown me, i confess. jesus christ, that’s just disgusting. and they let him off? jesus christ…

    what unwholesome food for thought.

  9. […] written about this before, but a lot of humor relies on truly unfortunate stereotypes. A LOT. Racism, […]

  10. Crowfoot says:

    I desperately want to introduce everyone to the idea that consent isn’t the absence of a ferocious no– it’s the presence of an informed yes.


    Repeated for emphasis.

    That’s all I have time for at the moment (at work), but I wanted to pop in with a total agreement with you, eloriane, and internets hugs to both you and Dollface (and myself for that matter). Good essay, good discussion.

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