image: Netflix Images
image: Netflix Images

‘365 Days’ sets back women’s rights by centuries


Content warning: rape and domestic abuse

A mafia boss kidnaps a young Polish woman to make her fall in love with him. He subjects her to domestic abuse, taunts her with sexual advances, only for her to actually fall in love with him. Sounds wrong doesn’t it?

Well, when you ignore the glamour of Sicily and the beauty of sailing on a yacht, all 365 Days is is another excuse for Netflix to develop porn which blurs the lines of consent, violence and love. If you hated 50 Shades of Grey you will really hate this. While I don’t mind a steamy shower scene or hot window sex, what would be lovely to see in adult films which feature erotic scenes is consent. Yes, that’s right you read correctly, consent!

You only have to watch the first fifteen minutes to have witnessed the blurred lines of consent. I am rather surprised Netflix would consider making a film which shows every woman that a powerful man will always get what he wants, even if he has to kidnap you in the process. The opening plane scene makes me feel sick. Here you have a young airhostess being pushed down to give Don Massimo a blow job. Its graphic, its uncomfortable to watch and the only thing which makes it bearable is the great soundtrack playing in the background.

The movie industry is fighting the notion that powerful men are able to make passes at women and get away with it. The #MeToo movement and the trial of Harvey Weinstein are rendered useless if streaming services choose to make films which showcase an abuse of power. The air hostess has no time to give proper consent, she is pushed down and held by her hair. Here we have a powerful man, angry after a business meeting, who wants to let off some steam on the plane. Nothing wrong with using gratification as a distraction when there’s consent. Let’s not forget that there are other men on the plane who can see and hear everything that is going on.

The problem here is not BDSM, rough sex or any other fetish. The problem is the glorification of domestic abuse, kidnapping and the lack of consent in the first half of the film

Massimo’s treatment of Laura also lacks consent. He kidnaps her, watches her while she sleeps, gets into bed with her, straps her to a bed and makes her watch him get off with a hooker. Why do women want to fall in love with abusive men? The problem here is not BDSM, rough sex or any other fetish. The problem is the glorification of domestic abuse, kidnapping and the lack of consent in the first half of the film. There is a right way to explore different preferences in the bedroom, there is a right way to educate audiences on sex, this is not it.

Duffy spoke out against the sickening display of toxic masculinity and I question why so many girls on Tik Tok want to have a relationship, with a man who is willing to beat you to make you fall in love. She writes ‘365 Days glamorises the brutality of sex trafficking, kidnapping and rape.’ I could not agree more. The entire plot of the film centres around the kidnap of Laura. She is bought many clothing items, goes on expensive trips and has a lot of sex, all in the hopes that she will eventually fall in love. Firstly, you cannot buy love. Secondly, love does not rely on sex. I have learnt nothing about her as a character other than the fact she has had two questionable romances and she looks better as a brunette.

What’s upsetting about the film as a whole is that Laura was a very successful sales director. She had worked for everything she got. Laura should’ve been a role model for young girls and women, for breaking out of a stereotype and becoming the bread winner. Instead she became subservient and dedicated her life and washed her hands of her family for a toxic and abusive man.

So why is it that streaming services choose to make ‘entertainment’ which focuses around the abuse of power?

Duffy, a victim of assault and rape herself finds the movie ‘careless, insensitive and dangerous’, what this teaches people is that if a woman teases you, it’s okay to have sex with her. It teaches you that clothes and sex is the only way to a woman’s heart. It teaches you that consent doesn’t necessarily mean yes, it just means she didn’t say no. In the 21st Century 85,000 women and 12,000 men experience rape or attempted rape a year. Only 15% of victims will report their abuse. Only 5.7% of rapists get convicted.

The political climate of today questions authority and the power of individuals. Today we are more than happy to speak out against institutions which render us speechless and cause us to be victims. So why is it that streaming services choose to make ‘entertainment’ which focuses around the abuse of power?

Netflix would not produce anything racist or homophobic so much, so they have stopped streaming shows such as Little Britain. But there has to be consistency as to what is and isn’t appropriate. Victimising anyone for any reason is not entertaining. It’s sickening to think that the production of films and TV shows which feature ‘lad culture’, rape culture or an abuse of power is occurring today after so much protest, anger and speaking out.

365 Days sets back women’s rights and values centuries. There is nothing wrong with a woman choosing to take control of her body in any way she pleases. There is nothing wrong with partaking in any form of consensual sex. What is wrong is the domestic violence and lack of consent which this film advocates for. What is wrong is the overall message that women are used for gratification and it doesn’t matter how illicit the means of getting gratification is.

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