Last time I watched Baise Moi, I remembered being struck by how much of the rape I had forgotten. There’s an irony to that. I can’t remember the first time I was sexually assaulted either. In fact, I was unaware of how many of those experiences I’d already had the first time that I watched the movie too.
I had a thing for banned films when I was younger. Part of it was pure teen rebellion: my parents were relatively strict about enforcing age ratings for media on me as a child, causing me to have a harder time relating to my peers. I grew to resent censorship because of that, and when I came of age, I used the internet to watch as many movies as I could that my government had claimed were not appropriate for distribution in Australia.
The other reason I did it was because it was impossible for me to feel a lot about movies back then. My autism, and my (then unknown,) gender dysphoria made it difficult for me to see myself in almost any character, and for that reason I struggled to relate to them. But for some reason, when I watched Baise Moi, I saw myself in both of the protagonists. They are women practically defined by anger: they exist as weapons levelled at the patriarchy, whose violence eventually finds them once the movie ends.
I didn’t know that people like me could be women then, which made it even weirder. I never would have guessed that my affinity was for them coming from the anger I’d been cultivating about that. I didn’t even have the confidence to talk about my love of it for many years. I was so worried about that love being misconstrued, and therefore violated. But without knowing the reason why that caused me anger, there was nothing I could do.Continue reading