Back the Night is a production of Davidson College theatre department. It is written by Melinda Lopez, and directed by Dr. Sharon Green.
This play is all about sexual assault, the trauma it leaves to the victims, and the unequal nature of society treating men and women.
I was a little triggered when watching the play. The topic is so depressing yet so realistic. It was depressing enough when I saw Em, a victim of long-term sexual assault, chose to keep all the trauma to herself, and every time she thought about it, she was suffering more. I can see the fear of speaking out loud–people will naturally believe it’s your fault for not rejecting the men, not their fault for assaulting you. The sadness worsened when Cassie, a victim of a more serious attack, told Em that nobody will pay attention to you if you don’t show up with a scar that proves you’re a victim. Nobody in the society is on the victims’ side, and that is a thousand times worse than sexual assault itself.
The scene of the march was the most impressive–Brandon, the head of a fraternity on campus, showed up wearing a bra. I was questioning deep in my heart, that was he really supporting the march and the rights of women and LGBTQ+ people, or was he trying to gain attention and thus get rid of the bad reputation of being head of a frat? The fraternity people acted way too much to prove their stand–they don’t need to wear bras to the march to show their support to women. What they need to do is to educate every member of the frat to respect women and punish those who break the rule. Wearing bras to a march proves nothing, and nothing will improve after that.
The scene when Sam, Em (two friends of Cassie’s), and Cassie visited the dean of student was also noticeable. The dean said that an authority such as his office could not lead the march, and they could only help the students organise it. It seemed to me that the dean of student was avoiding their responsibility–if things got out of control, they would not get blamed since nobody would know their involvement in this. This scene was especially sad to me, because even the authorities are not on the victims’ side. Where can the victims go if they are sexual assaulted? Where can they get their justice back? The whole society is not supporting them, and the authorities who can really make changes will not help them.