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American Reflexxx: Gender Stereotypes, Mob Mentality, and Violence in America

A controversial ‘experimental’ short-documentary surfaced the web recently, where director Alli Coates followed performance artist Signe Pierce strutting down a busy oceanside street in Myrtle Beach wearing stripper garb and a reflective mask. The pair agreed not to communicate until the experiment was completed, but never anticipated the horror that would unfold in under an hour of captured footage.

The video is a bit long for all of us who are victims of short-attention-span type content. It’s 14 minutes long and progresses quite naturally, but slowly. If you ain’t patient, or ‘ain’t got time for dat’, then skip to the 10 minute mark, when things start to escalate pretty quickly. It’ll definitely pick your curiosity and possibly push you to watch it again, in its entirety. 

A very important aspect of this piece is the reflective mask Signe Pierce wears during the entire video. The message was to have people see themselves in her, having them think twice before judging her by her looks. However, the plan clearly backfired. The fact that the message wasn’t properly relayed to this audience is kind of sad to watch, and makes you want to reach in and punch everyone’s neck.

What’s even more frustrating, is that nobody even stands back to think ONCE about how much gender stereotyping and bullying was aimlessly thrown at this girl. Everyone felt entitled to throw water, hit her, or even make fun of her, and that’s because of the mob mentality that is increasingly being influenced by social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, Vine and other platforms as well.  

Here are some of the questions that were raised during this video: 

Trans-phobia 

Discrimination against Transgender people is worse than common in a lot of parts of America. Not only do they get verbally harassed, judged, and discriminated against, they practically still have no way of standing for their rights as a lot of places in the world still do not accept or condone any of this movement’s behaviour. It is clear in this video with the crowd’s initial reaction to seeing Signe Pierce strut down the busy street, being called a man at every other turn she took. 

Sexual Harassment 

The lecherous man at the beginning tonguing her, putting his arm around her, saying he wanted to fuck her. TO A STRANGER. Is that not sexually provocative? Sexual Harassment is very alive in this video, and no one who stood there tried to stop any of it from happening. You would think that people would feel some sort of remorse publicly shaming a woman like that. 

Religion

The man standing there with a Bible in his hand (who walks around with a Bible nowadays?), shouting out references that he thinks makes sense in this situation is just pure nonsense: 

He Who Sings Is Of The Devil

Are you fucking kidding me? What in the world did she do to commit any type of sin? Why isn’t this preacher man talking to the people watching the girl to teach them a godly lesson? 

Mob Mentality + Violence

There is nothing more frustrating than watching that grown-ass woman running to shove Signe Pierce to the ground, for absolutely NO REASON. Unsolicited violence, or violence you didn’t ask for should not exist. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for it, and what’s even less excusable is having people around watching, laughing, and doing absolutely nothing about it. Having people stand there around her for several minutes watching reminds of that episode in Black Mirror where people follow a prisoner as she gets tortured and punished while an audience watched the whole time: 

The result of this social experiment is a heart wrenching technicolor spectacle that raises questions about gender stereotypes, mob mentality, and violence in America. 

What do you think we could do to solve some of these issues? Tweet us or comment below…

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