Men, all men,
serve as the antagonist in novice director Emerald Fennell’s
“Promising Young Woman.” While the woke indoctrinated
will seal clap the victim porn that confirms their noxious
bias, the movie nevertheless makes a damning confession on
behalf of a generation eschewing achievement to wallow in
the victim’s narrative.
heroine, Cassandra or ‘Cassie’ (Carey Mulligan)
dropped out of medical school after her best friend and co-medical
student, survived a sexual assault. Since then she has dedicated
her life to her true passion: scolding and shaming men who
try to have sex with her while she pretends to be drunk.
classmates went on to become doctors and start families, Cassie
collected entries in her grievance diary, recording the name
of every man who took the bait. When asked why she doesn’t
pursue marriage or a career, she scoffs that she could have
all of those things in 10 seconds. Instead she chooses a dead-end
job as a incompetent barista while continuing to mooch off
her disappointed parents.
begins with Cassie sprawling immodestly in a nightclub booth
while pudgy, unattractive men cast predatory looks at her
long legs and seemingly half-unconscious eyes. A particularly
twerpy man moves in to coax her into a car and then to his
apartment. When his pawing and groping approaches the point
of no return, Cassie snaps into full sobriety with a speech
scolding him for his date-rapey intentions.
the movie “demands to know why we protect so-called
promising young men.” Rolling Stone called the movie
a “rape-revenge thriller” and an “unabashed
skewering of rape culture.” Of course, the movie is
not a thriller, or a horror movie. If we’re going to
be honest, it’s Oscar-bait narrative fulfillment. Cassie’s
hairstyle resembles the unruly serpentine locks of Christine
Blasey Ford. She even captured Ford’s girlish, uptalking
voice. The man who assaulted her friend in medical school
has the same hair and polo shirt as the young Brett Kavanaugh.
One can even hear uproarious laughter from attack spectators
as recorded in a video that later surfaces.
villainizes the very nature of men, all men. Can Cassie trust
that non-threatening beta-male with the soft androgynous body
who has the potential to become a servile but highly affluent
doctor boyfriend (Bo Burnham)? Yes, even him. He’s a
man, isn’t he? Spoiler alert: It turns out that he was
the source of the uproarious laughter, caught on the implausible
smoking gun party video.
In the climax,
Cassie playing a stripper costumed as a Harley-Quinn-style
nurse, infiltrates the attacker’s bachelor party. Cassie
entices him into the upstairs bedroom and into handcuffs before
producing a medical bag with sharp scalpels and threatens
to carve her friend’s name into his skin. But he frees
a hand allowing him to kill her before she can exact her revenge.
The scene calls to mind the narrative conjured up when an
African-American dancer accused a group of white Duke University
LaCrosse players of sexually assaulting and humiliating her.
The story wasn’t true and the LaCrosse players were
revenge plots become as much about punishing women who refuse
to believe her friend’s accusations as they are about
attacking the alleged perpetrators. She stages not one but
two date-rape scenarios to punish a non-believing former classmate
and a college dean. We’re meant to cluck with outrage
when the dean uses ridiculous excuses like, ‘presumption
of innocence,’ and ‘lack of evidence,’ to
justify inaction in response to the medical-school attack.
The movie makes it clear that all men are guilty of something,
so the details of a specific case aren’t terribly important.
the movie accuses all successful men of being constantly on
the prowl to rape and just waiting until the opportunity presents
itself without consequence. The movie reinforces the same
narrative that made Julie Swetnick an instant celebrity when
she ‘me-too’ed’ Justice Kavanaugh with outlandish
and easily-disproven stories of high school rape parties.
the face of the angry young white woman who threw fire bombs
at police over the summer. A lifetime devoted to the cult
of victimhood yields a barren life. But the real rage stems
from the knowing suspicion that personal choices are the real
culprit. Contrary to Cassie’s assertion, it takes more
than 10 seconds to build a life, start a family, and maintain
a career. Cassie’s story is fictional but the tragic
tale of the victimhood trap is all too real for too many young
review first appeared in American