Iowa State to host showing of “Liberated,” a documentary on hook up culture

Keegan Kearney

On Thursday, Iowa State will be hosting a showing of the new documentary, “Liberated,” which takes a critical look at attitudes toward sex and gender relations in today’s “hook up” culture. The showing will be held at 7 p.m. in Gerdin Business Building, Room 1148, and will be followed by a question and answer panel.

The film follows a group of college students as they navigate a spring break trip, and examines the ways in which current sexual expectations in both sexes leads to a normalization of sexual violence. According to the film’s producers, the shocking insight into the thoughts and attitudes of the participants is intended to cause students to question what they’ve been raised to believe about masculinity, consent and the depth of their relationships with the opposite sex.

The project began when the crew, filming content for a segment of different documentary, realized that the actions they witnessed when filming students on spring break held deep and disturbing insight into the exploitation of women in a sex-fueled college culture.

Multiple sexual assaults were witnessed by the crew, including a gang rape in the middle of a crowded beach. Nobody intervened.

“The pervasive view among men on spring break is of an entitlement to women’s bodies and the methods that are used to lure women in to submitting to activities where they are presented as an object rather than a human with value.” said Mark Kargol, an Iowa State lecturer who helped to bring the event to Iowa State.

Kargol hopes the documentary will help students to understand the impact of their actions and value their fellow students enough to stand against sexual violence, against the cultural norms of modern society.  

We don’t always take the time to think critically to think about the messages our society gives us and how they affect our lives,” said Daniel Blom, a senior in mechanical engineering who worked closely with the organizations behind the showing. “This film screening gives space to do just that.”

The showing was brought to Iowa State by Iowa State graduate, Madelyn Plain, and her non-profit organization Faithful Envoy, which seeks to bring awareness to human trafficking and exploitation. Also attending the event will be representatives from ACCESS, Student Affairs and the women and gender studies department, who will be hosting the Q and A panel after the showing.