Rape culture has been front and center in the past few years, with a major focus renewed because of the president’s past indiscretions and misogyny, going as far as to defend his using the phrase ‘grab her in the p*ssy’ as locker room talk instead of acknowledging how it contributes to a culture that doesn’t value women. Award-winning ensemble Girl Be Heard is taking rape culture head on in their new theatre piece ‘BLURRED LINES,’ designed to uncover the insidious nature and role rape culture plays in campus sexual assault and all forms of sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and intimate partner violence. While it’s partly focused on the importance of awareness, Blurred Lines also calls on the audience to challenge their thinking by asking: “How do we define consent? No means no. Yes means yes. Silence means...? Who decides? Who do you believe?” These questions all too often are dismissed or ignored, made light of and blurred in our culture, in our laws and with each other, but the effects are tangible and the evidence of their impact is concrete, with 1 In 5 college women are raped and more statistics like this permeating our culture. Written and performed by Girl Be Heard company members Gabriela Carrera, Maria Diez, Allison Lee Flom, Ray Johnson, Jesse Krebs, Me'Khai Lewis, Jewel Phillips, and Lise Wedemeyer and directed by Girl Be Heard 2010 Alumni Tiff Roma in partnership with Artistic Director Kim Sykes and producer Jessica Greer Morris, as well as an original theme song by Bush Tea, this is truly a project and performance that will have lasting influence on every person they’re touching.
By T. McLendon, AFROPUNK Contributor