Back the Night commentary Selina Qian

I was shocked after watching the play. First, because the play gives me a direct personal view of Em’s (played by Meg Houck) inner world, who is the actual victim of campus sexual assault. I’ve only heard of sexual assault as an outsider, but never feel the sorrow and twisted feeling as person to person ever before. Second, I’m shocked because I have questions lingering in my head throughout the whole play, and eventually I solved it. I kept wondering what was going through Em’s head that she would care so much about the details of the night Cassie got wounded on the head? Why would she argue against something less relevant to me – the truth of the night – so strongly that she missed the actual movement of people voicing to help her solve the problem. Why would she not care about justify women’s, or her sorrow? The last monologue of Em helps me solve those question. She said that: “I wanted to get rip-shit drunk…And I said give me back my shirt, please don’t. But they didn’t believe me, and somewhere, deep inside, I didn’t even believe me, drunk in the basement without a shirt and sweat and heat and what do you say about girl like that?” She was never some victims who were depicted as poor, innocent lamb get rape by horrible people, like Cassie. She wants sex; she has desires. Her case is way more complex than the way people can understand it. Shutting down the frat and making the campus safer are not going to solve the problem that men always think girls who dress less means consent; the details, the way people interact with people matters. It gives me goose-bulb thinking that boys consider their commentary actually gives value to women. Brandon (played by James Shakow) commented that “I liked that about you, and it has nothing to do with anything else. Plus I needed to copy your notes because mine sucked. (Beat) Nothing? I don’t even get a smile? Yeah. They said you were a frat rat. Is that what you wanted to hear? They said you were up for anything.”

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