Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

If you stood by and enabled, you're complicit. Because of the cultural bias against women in sexual assault cases, we have convictions that, according to RAINN, are less than 1% of total incidents reported to police. In Promising Young Woman, Nina's case doesn't even go to trial, presumably because Al's now-repentant attorney intimidated her with the threatening weight of our society's opprobrium toward women we suspect of either confusing men with mixed messages, deserving their treatment because of drunkenness or provocative dress, or outright lying for whatever mysterious reason, as if there is an epidemic of women seeking attention through false rape claims. Add to this "white and well-educated" and you have Brock Turner spending three months in jail. "Innocent until proven guilty" has been flipped and wielded against the alleged victim if she comes for justice. In response to this, Emerald Fennell gives us a revenge fantasy without either catharsis or patly satisfying end, except insofar as nihilism is satisfying--for which I am grateful. Because a Tarantinoesque plot would be terribly depressing and empty of meaning. Murder conviction rates are better, so why not bring a violent man protected by privilege to his natural state of violence in a way that more easily convicts him? Cassandra (mythological reference obviously intended) has to martyr herself, because her ingenious, vindictive complaints were shunned and ignored.

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