Best of the Week 2018-2019: Teaching to the Future


"LABYRINTH" SHARES WOMEN'S STORIES TO INCREASE CONSCIOUSNESS OF OUR ACTIONS

"Labyrinth" shares seventeen diverse women's experiences with misogyny, sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace, on the street, at bars and at night. Not only does the film explain these women's individual experiences, but it also dives deeper by sharing how they dealt with the aftermath of these events, how their experiences continue to affect their lives and how, in their opinion, we can move forward in creating a change so that women do not have to live in fear. "'Labyrinth' is a metaphor for how our society is stuck in a culture with a staggering number of sexual assault and violence accounts," says Malen. "I was shocked by how similar each participant's story was about feeling unsafe at school, work or just walking down the street. Everyone, especially young men, should take responsibility to recognize the serious problems that we should no longer tolerate. It's important for us to spread their stories and enforce the message that we all should make different and better choices for the future and be more consciously aware of these issues."

The film opens up with one participant saying, "We almost always say, 'What if that were your sister, daughter or mother?' We never say, 'What if that were you?'" Participants then courageously share the experiences they've had to endure, the situations they've had to get themselves out of, and the pain and fear that they continue to cope with. These seventeen women repeatedly expressed how they wished their situations never happened at all or how they could've been handled differently, but that the need to keep their jobs and the fear of making others uncomfortable forced them to push their own feelings away and learn to deal with it without seeking help. "After having conversations with these women and reflecting on the impact of their stories, I quickly understood that we don't always see the things that others do," says Andre Holland '19. "Looking at these women and hearing their stories as a third party helped me recognize the wrongdoing that continues in our world." As the film progresses, some women share how they try to protect themselves on a daily basis from being harassed or approached on their way home, when they go out at night or even running simple errands like going to the grocery store. Participants' examples included tucking their hair in a hood or a hat to make themselves look masculine, walking at a fast pace, always carrying mace in their pockets, and wearing headphones but not playing music so that they look distracted but can hear everything going on around them. Others shared how their PTSD from their assault or harassment experiences has kept them homebound or in fear of being left alone. "This is not a woman's problem, it's a man's problem and it's their job to fix it, not ours," says one participant.

"We live in a pretty broken world," says Colin. "As a teenage boy, it's hard to hear that women have these constant fears that burden them. Keeping what I've learned from this ex