Who’s the Victim?

My first experience watching Diary of a Teenage Girl was a memorable one at best. My night had included a bit too much wine and a scroll through Netflix to find terribly cheesy movies when I landed upon it. To me, it seemed more like a low budget porno based in the seventies, instead of an award-winning film. I couldn’t imagine a grown man taking advantage of a 15-year-old girl in the way Monroe, a grown man, did.

It wasn’t until my second time watching it, that I realized the strengths this film exemplifies. I realized, Minnie starts to grow more respect for herself and see that she is worth more to the world than just somebody’s girlfriend or, for lack of a better word, a good fuck. With the role models in her life perpetually letting her down in every way possible, she was forced to find her own way. Of course, she made some hiccups, but who doesn’t?

The debate in class focused mostly around whether Monroe or Minnie was the victim, or perhaps if either of them were. Personally, I think the answer to this question is very black-and-white. Minnie is a child. By law, that makes Monroe the perpetrator. That to me, is enough to see he is in the wrong. Even when Minnie tries to manipulate him, this is just more proof that she doesn’t have the proper mentality to deal with the situation. We can remember how we acted when we were 15. We didn’t know best, contrary to what we may have believed and we did not have the maturity to be sexually active. Just because her teenage hormones, or her lack of a loving relationship with her mother made Minnie “want it” surely doesn’t give Monroe the right to be sexually involved with his girlfriend’s daughter. He is a grown man who knows right from wrong. How weak does a man’s ego have to be for him to forget all of this?

 

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