Hannah Fidel has a new movie coming out. The “boundary breaking film maker”, in her interview with Elle, tackles a subject that is sure to titillate the same way that the still relevant Fifty Shades of Grey titillated, but with a twist. In this film the male is barely of legal age. The movie is Called “A Teacher”, because thats what the female protagonist is.
It just so happens that this love affair is between a teacher and her student.
All it takes is a little rationalization, and the ability to, as we already know, confuse the tingles with love. To get started in the right frame of mind you have to be down with the struggle of young women, what with all the insecurities and self esteem issues that so plague women these days.
Diana, a young single teacher, struggles with family issues and loneliness, while her student, Eric is a mature 18.
Diana, poor dear, is single, lonely, and has some “family issues”. Victim. The student is a “mature 18”. Perpetrator.
In the same way we have Eat Pray Love and those movies that sell the divorce fantasy, and we have every manner of rationale for promiscuity among consenting adults but with the built in excuses we must accept for the carousel riders, we are sold a particular narrative about boys and women, even women in positions of authority over them. If that is not enough to convince the reader of the primacy of the tingle and the woman’s helplessness to resist it, we find specific personal commentary by Ms. Fidel to help us understand.
The interviewer asks her is she or her friends struggled with lust for their teachers. She answers that and turns it back to the dynamic present in the movie where the student is a male.
Fidell says of her teachers, “I didn’t, but friends of mine did. They didn’t have, to my knowledge, affairs with them, but they definitely did [lust after them]”
then goes back to the movie:
So, in a way, I look at what the character of Diana [the teacher who is having an affair with Eric, a student in her AP English Literature class] is doing, trying to capture the youthfulness that Eric seems so full of, and at the same time, he is relatively mature in some ways, too
Again, the boy is mature. But the interviewer takes it further when she says:
he seems to be really in control and dominant, which makes it easier to have sympathy for Diana.
In case sympathy based on his dominance isn’t enough, Fidell plays the judging card and adds:
The main goal was how to not judge her, because I’ve certainly been in situations that were regrettable, that I shouldn’t have been in. I think the relationship came out of kind of a desperate loneliness that Diana felt.
The interviewer asked Fidell about Mary Kay Letourneau and whether or not that case had any influence on the writing and Fidell waves that away:
Mary Kay Letourneau… she really loved the guy
But….I thought this movie was a love story….
Fidell admits that she can see how this kind of thing could happen and because of that, well, the women are victims too doggonit:
these women could potentially be victims themselves, in certain ways. It still crossed the line, don’t get me wrong, but I personally can sympathize with losing yourself in someone,
She goes on to share an anecdote that actually did inform the movie where she had found herself drawn to a high school boy when she was a young woman:
He walked in, and I just realized I was super-attracted to him and, like, ‘Oh my god, that guy is hot! [ ]
And then I got thinking [about what he represented] for me at that moment. “No, he doesn’t necessarily have to pay bills, or do his taxes himself and worry about rent…,” none of those issues. He’s living a beautiful, carefree life, and I was confused about whether I was physically attracted to him or attracted to that.
Hello, and welcome to hamster exhibit 1. She has started an interview with the fact that the story is a love affair. She goes on to explain that the woman was vulnerable, the male was a dominant mature 18 year old, and how with all that in mind you just cannot blame the woman. She writes off one of the most famous cases like this based on the fact that the woman was on love. Then finally she grants us a peak into a woman’s mind.
She was tingling so hard she could mix drinks just by holding them. But, she was confused. It wasn’t any kind of lust. She did NOT have a rogering against a tree in mind. Nope, the kid had never filed a tax return and didn’t have a signed lease. Damn, I get it. Wait….those things apply to kids of any age don’t they? See that? She has set up a perfect rationale, no, not just a rationale, but an aura of sympathy for every woman who has ever dug her finger nails into a strong underage well muscled back.
Little or nothing more is needed to justify dipping juuuuuust below 18 years old. Then below that. Etc. Now, rewrite the interview with the genders reversed and see how it reads.