Easy A (2010) Movie Review, Discussing Rumors & Stigma Against Women


Just because of a rumor that has not been proven valid, a woman can be stigmatized continuously. Olive, in the film Easy A (2010), is one of the women who go through this unpleasant experience. Just because the rumors spread uncontrollably, she immediately got the nickname ‘cheap girl’ who was known throughout the school when she was 16 years old. Unfortunately, Olive can’t erase that stigma easily. Moreover, many men also take advantage of the stigma attached to Olive, to save themselves while sacrificing Olive who is increasingly debased in the eyes of almost everyone. Easy A Movies(2010), through Olive’s story, clearly invites us to talk again about how rumors easily stigmatize women, but in a light comedy package and an impressive female lead character.


Easy A Movie Review (2010)

The film Easy A (2010) begins with a rumor that was born from a friendly relationship that can be categorized as quite toxic-covered between Olive, the main character, and Rhi. Olive Penderghast was forced to lie to Rhi about her weekend date with a man who had come to a sexual relationship, when there had been absolutely no dates and no man named George. Unfortunately, the chat that was actually private was overheard by Marianne, one of the religious-fanatic school activists. From then on, rumors about Olive spread throughout the school and Olive got a new, stigmatizing nickname: “slut”.

At first, Olive is still easygoing with that stigma-filled nickname—until she is forced to join in on her ‘lie’ about her sexual life, because Brandon, her homosexual friend, is asked to ‘help’ her pretend to be a straight man.for a quieter high school life. Olive and Brandon pretend to have sex at one of the popular teen parties at school. Unfortunately, Brandon told other students at school and Olive began to be sought by many men to ‘ask for help’ so that the men who were considered ‘less popular and less cool’ could rise in social status. Olive ends up falling into a vicious cycle because she is too kind to help, with unequal rewards. She really looks like a commercial sex worker at school—even though she’s never had sex with the clients who ask for help.

Despite the light comedy genre, the film Easy A (2010) quietly takes a very critical position on many issues. The main thing is how easy it is for rumors to stigmatize women, especially regarding sexual matters. Regarding sexuality, it must be admitted that there is a very significant difference in treatment between women and men. When women who are ‘known’ to be sexually active are labeled ‘cheap’ and demeaned, sexually active men are actually considered ‘champions’ and great. Just look at this different treatment in the scene when Brandon and Olive come out of the room after pretending to have sex at a teen party: Brandon is cheered on – mobbed – saved by the boys, while Olive is humiliated with a male gazesensual men and looked down upon by women.

The film Easy A (2010) also criticizes how religious fanatics take a big role in this stigma, through their one-sided ‘moral judgment’. Through a light satirical comedy, we who still choose the religious path, are reminded to be careful with the tendency of the moral superiority complex. Committing to adhere to certain religious values ​​does not mean we have to embarrass ( shaming ) other people who make mistakes or sins in our eyes and make them outcasts who are alone and marginalized. Told through Olive’s narration from the beginning of the film trying to explain the truth through online video streaming with flashbacks of scenes, moviesEasy A (2010) presents an interesting plot that is a pity to miss.

Closer to Olive Penderghast in Easy A (2010)

Olive Penderghast is a 16 year old girl with an ordinary teenage life. She was unpopular and her existence was not given much attention until she was hit by slanted rumors, until she earned the stigmatized nickname of ‘slut’ at school. Since then, her days at school have changed drastically—everyone noticed, talked about, and humiliated and humiliated her openly. Uniquely, Olive is a woman with a relaxed character who dares to fight stigma. Inspired by the book The Scarlet Letterdiscussed in class, Olive, who feels the same as Hester Prynne (the main character of the novel) fights in a controversial way. Olive began to wear tighter clothing with a flashy red embroidered letter A, as Hester Prynne was forced to wear the symbol A on her clothes by society that morally punished her—A as an acronym for Adultery (infidelity). Cleverly, Olive redefines the letter A symbol as an acronym for Awesome.

“People thought I was a dirty skank?

—Olive Penderghast, in the film Easy A (2010)
Based on his desire to be popular and trapped in a situation, Olive tries to survive with that stigma—trying to make the stigma less bad. He also doesn’t have the heart, wants to help his male friends who are labeled ‘less popular and not cool’ at school, to raise their social status. In fact, helping BK (Counseling Guidance) teachers who cheat with male students and transmit the sexual disease chlamydia. Olive is forced to keep lying about her sex life with the boys, even though none of them are true. However, things get more complicated, especially since Olive’s position as a woman is clearly at a disadvantage. When his male friends gain more social status because of his help, Olive is even more looked down upon by the people at school. Men’s privilege is much greater than women’s in terms of sexuality. When Olive wants to put an end to the lies and stigma of ‘cheesy women’ that already clings to her, her male friends also refuse to help.

“Except that’s the one thing movies don’t tell you, how shitty it feels to be an outcast.”

—Olive Penderghast, in the film Easy A (2010)
Olive is protested and judged openly by religious fanatics, including her best friend, Rhi. Their friendship (which is actually toxic) ended just because of rumors. Inevitably, Rhi tends to be arbitrary towards Olive all this time. Rhi doesn’t listen, pushes his will (including how he wants Olive to be more sensual like him), focuses everything on himself, until he doesn’t accept that Olive is a ‘too cheap’ woman than he expected (and of course, much more popular). from Rhi). Because of the rumors and the stigma, Olive was completely marginalized and became an outcast at school. Which, of course, was very unpleasant.

The culmination of an unpleasant experience with the stigma label ‘cheap girl’ is when Olive is sexually harassed by Anson, one of her male friends at school—who she thinks is attracted to her, despite rumors. Anson was completely abusing Olive, forcing a kiss to Olive, just because he felt ‘he paid for’ Olive—not caring about Olive’s explanation of how she had never actually had any kind of sexual relationship with her clients.

“Let me just begin by saying that there are two sides to every story. This is my side, the right one.”

—Olive Penderghast, in the film Easy A (2010)
Of course, Olive was heartbroken. However, she did not stop and gave up trying to break the stigma of ‘cheap woman’ that had attached to her because of the rumors. Because of that, Olive did an online streaming to explain everything to the whole school. Even though Olive finally gets social-emotional support from Todd (a male friend she had helped as a child and had a sincere heart for her) to break the stigma, Olive is one of the female characters in the film who is able to stand up and speak for herself. .

Although not directed and written by women, the story of the female character Olive Penderghast in the film Easy A (2010) is not a bad representation. The character of Olive Penderghast, through her story in Easy A (2010), manages to touch our hearts about social exclusion and humiliating acts that are received by women who are stigmatized with the label ‘cheap women’. In fact, sexuality is one of the most private spheres of each person that does not need to be everyone’s business. Then, don’t forget to also ask, why is there a stigma label of ‘cheap woman’ when there is no stigma label of ‘cheap man’?