American Reflexxx is a short film documenting a social experiment that took place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Director Alli Coates captured performance artist Signe Pierce as she strutted down a busy oceanside street in 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. The result is a heart wrenching technicolor spectacle that raises questions about gender stereotypes, mob mentality, and violence in America.
This film was shocking and unsettling, and drew a lot of really interesting commentary from across the internet. Tumblr user blushingchameleon said of the film
I think it’s interesting to note how the crowd reacts to the person’s expression of feminine (sexual) confidence, versus their masculine (direct) confidence. The sections where they were being “sexual” drew simultaneous attention from those who were discontented and those who propositioned this person, but it would be hard to argue that any of this unwarranted attention was positive. In the part towards the end where they showed your typical form of masculine confidence (i.e. squared shoulders, walking directly towards the crowd, stable hips) the crowd actually becomes scared and runs away.
What does it tell us when feminine confidence is something to be gawked at, or when quietly but publicly showing feminine sexuality warrants harassment, but a [female] display of masculine sexuality (which is socially allowed to be more overt and direct than feminine sexuality) actually scares people?