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Lights, Camera, Activism: Using a Film Series to Generate Feminist Dialogue About Campus Sexual Violence

Family Relations / Family Relations Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies

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We examine the use of an interdisciplinary film series, “2015 Sexism | Cinema: 50 Years on the Silver Screen,” as a space for discussion where attendees can discover allies, express critical thought, and advance their thinking. A film series is a useful response to the widespread problem of campus sexual assault in three critical ways: (a) a theater provides an informal, recreational space for discussion of feminist thought; (b) the content of the films highlights the insidious nature of sexual violence and gender inequality in our culture; and (c) there exists a degree of separation that subverts defensiveness while inspiring a critical dialogue. We discuss the utility of a film series as an accessible approach to the cultural antecedents of sexual violence on college campuses. We offer our own experiences of the film series and recommend film as a feminist pedagogical tool to address sexual violence.