Uncovering Rape Culture: Zara McDermott’s documentary uncovers the root cause

In her new BBC documentary, Zara McDermott investigates the spread of rape culture in society by visiting British schools.

Love Island’s Zara McDermott becomes a compassionate and bold interviewer in her new documentary—Uncovering Rape Culture. The documentary talks about Zara’s assault at the hand of a teenager and how she is on a mission to find the root cause of the violence against girls and women. Having suffered through an assault herself by a teenager, her documentary tries to uncover the problem from schools.

In 2017, Zara was attacked by a teenager in uniform who was not more than fifteen years old. The boy was never found by the police, but it sure highlighted a significant issue that no one talks about. In her documentary, she openly talks about the assault with other victims. One is a sexual assault survivor herself, while the other is the mother of a girl who took her life after being assaulted.

Is porn the problem?

The reality TV star is too intrepid in her approach while talking to the schoolboys. As such, the one word that kept popping up in conversations was—porn. With schoolboys confessing that they started watching porn as early as when they were eleven, it comes as no shock that kids cannot differentiate between assault and consent. Zara discovered in the documentary that even an innocent search on Pornhub shows results with trigger words like ‘destroy’ and ‘barely even legal.’

In her pursuit of knowing why minors are not prohibited from viewing such content, she travels all the way to the headquarters of Pornhub. However, her journey brought no luck, and she returned empty-handed without an answer. The company that owns Pornhub showed no interest in any conversation that Zara wanted to have on the subject.

Not enough but a start

The way rape culture is entangled deep within the roots of society, one such documentary will not suffice to eradicate the problem. However, it definitely is the start or rather the first step in the direction to solve the problem at the root cause. Being a model, Zara realises the kind of content and the sexual imagery that she posts may contribute to the issue, but she believes she is selling fashion and pop culture. She added,

I am selling fashion and popular culture. There’s a massive difference between that and hardcore violent porn.

While the documentary may not be the solution, it still opened up a safe space and open dialogue between school children by the end of it. The boys who were initially afraid of being a part of the initiative were by the end of asking the girls of their class how to respectfully give a compliment. Zara may not have solved the problem, but she started in the right place!

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