31 Jan – 4 Feb
General Content Warnings: Coarse language, Adult themes, Mentions of Sexual assault and suicide
Bad Feminist: A Little on our Content Warnings
Hey babe! So keen for you to see Bad Feminist!!
But you gotta look after you first – so strap in, this is an in depth content warning for our show. This description does contain spoilers (which we flag each time, because no one likes a spoil sport), and also contains written triggering language, as it is said in the show.
Bad Feminist is a divergence from the way rape culture is often portrayed in theatre. I have found that a lot of work that tackles rape culture is actively difficult for survivors to watch. Bad Feminist draws primarily from tropes of romantic comedy to bring not only levity, but relatability to a topic that can often be very dark and heavy.
This show is a way to unpack the complexities of sexual assault and bystander culture in a way that is safe and accessible for everyone. We want you to feel supported at all times to question, to interrogate, and to be curious- always on your own terms.
First up, a list of warnings:
- Provocative/potentially confronting language around sexual assault
- Continuous themes of non-consent, and references to sexual violence
- One instance of implied domestic violence
- Coarse language
- Two brief mentions of suicide
- A reference to abortion, and the Pro Life Movement
- Other adult themes of intoxication, drug use, and sexual references throughout
- One comedic death
Provocative/potentially confronting language around sexual assault:
The central theme of the show being a potential sexual assault, we use certain words that can be abrasive, these include;
- References to Brock Turner
This language will be present through the rest of this content warning as well.
Continuous themes of non-consent, and references to sexual violence:
The central topic of conversation of Bad Feminist is sexual assault, and the culture around sexual assault; how we speak about it, how we feel about it, and how we act within it. (SPOILER) Audrey, the protagonist, finds out her boyfriend Benji was accused of sexual assault in high school. The show revolves around her imagining various scenarios of where she could go, what she could do, after being told this information. The content ranges from silly and cinematic, to gritty and realistic.
(SPOILER) The first time the word “rape” is used is in a scene midway through the show where Benji breaks up with Audrey. Audrey says “Who’s coming up to you and asking if you’re a rapist?”
There are a few descriptions of how the assault might have taken place, mostly toward the end of the show. There is a description of a non-consensual experience, and an attempted rape. There is no description of force, only of non-consent, and no description of rape itself. The first reference to a physical occurrence of an attempted/completed assault occurs when four victims of sexual assault come forward about their experience with Benji. This scene is played out in four videos, all on AV, of four AFAB people speaking directly to the camera. The most descriptive lines of any implied/completed action are written below.
“She was drunk. She wanted it. It was consensual.”
“Regret and rape aren’t the same.”
“Benji Palmer sexually assaulted me in the change rooms after gym class/ the bathroom at the ball/ the cool room at work/ at a party at leavers”.
The next scene in the show details a description from Benji, the accused assaulter, of the attempted assault. The language involves gaslighting and belittling. The most descriptive lines of any implied/completed action are written below.
“The next day she went around telling people that she was super drunk and that I, like, took advantage of her. But she looked totally fine. For sure not as drunk as she said she was. No way. She wanted it. Like, she was really verbal about wanting it. Wanting me. But she claims she was drunk, claims I raped her. She just regretted it. THat’s all. She didn’t know how to handle it, so I guess I became a rapist.”
“You think I went to that party and took advantage of some poor drunk girl who couldn’t tell left from right?”
“You’re pretty much flat out telling me you think I’m an awful, violent rapist.”
“Go and make your silly little Facebook post about how you, the ultimate ally, you support #metoo, how you stand united with some random girl you’ve never even met even though there’s no evidence. No proof. Nothing Concrete- Cate’s word. Not even her word! Secondhand word, from Elle, who wasn’t there and saw nothing, who only heard it from other people who weren’t there and saw nothing.”
(SPOILER) In one scene, a baby is left at the doorstep, supposedly the imagined baby of the accuser, ‘Cate’ and the accused boyfriend, Benji, leaving us with the implication of penetrative sexual assault. This is never spoken out loud or said explicitly.
(SPOILER) In a late scene, Benji is turned into the police. Audrey says “I didn’t think Benji was a rapist, but clearly things aren’t always as they seem.” Later in the same scene, Benji says “they called some girl from my school and she told them that I’d… raped her.”
Elle and Audrey discuss a different way an attempted assault may have occurred, and discourse over what ‘actually counts’ as sexual assault takes place. The most descriptive lines of any implied/completed action are written below.
“Then she said he kept kissing her, and she was kind of trying to pull away and he just kind of, compensated for the steps back she was making, and he tried to feel her up.”
“I guess I thought it wasn’t actually assault.”
Audrey and Elle speak about their experience of being ‘groped’ and touched inappropriately without consent at nightclubs and bars. There is no explicit description of this, only references. This occurs briefly at an early point in the show and later in the aforementioned scene.
One instance of implied domestic violence:
(SPOILER) About halfway through the show, Benji lifts his hand to imply he might hit Audrey. This action is not completed, as the scene resets to the moment Audrey finds out before the scenario is concluded.
- Bitch (both casually and in attempt to degrade)
Brief Mention of Suicide
(SPOILER) In one of the very last scenes, there is a soundscape of voice overs reading tweets ‘canceling’ the boyfriend. As part of this, one AMAB voice says ‘Kill yourself,’ paired with a projection of a tweet that says ‘Kys’.
(SPOILER) In the middle of the show, Benji makes a reference to a math teacher who committed suicide before a trial because he was “too afraid of being found guilty” for dealing drugs.
Mention of Abortion
(SPOILER) As part of an Instagram feed of an imagined version of ‘Cate’ (imagined, as Audrey does not know what this person Cate is like), we see ‘Cate’ holding a poster that says ‘Choose life’. Audrey references her briefly as a ‘pro-lifer’.
Multiple characters are referred to as having been drinking, having been drunk, or vomiting due to intoxication.
As well as references to non-consent, we also have a few references to consensual sex and the desire to have sex.
SVWA (Sexual Assault Resource Centre) cards we’ll have onsite and available during the season with the following support:
1800 199 888 Emergency call
Crisis counselling. Call (08) 6458 1828
QLife provides anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people in Australia. 1800 184 527
Home | 1800RESPECT – open 24/7 to support people who’ve experienced domestic, family or sexual violence