16 Most Disturbing Scenes In 'Sixteen Candles'

16 Most Disturbing Scenes In 'Sixteen Candles'

An old classic with modern problems.
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I was beyond excited when Netflix added "Sixteen Candles" to its list, but when I watched it again, it felt different from the many other times I’d seen it. I was unsettled by a lot of what the characters were saying, and I found many of the scenes to be problematic. I grew increasingly frustrated with the plot line, and worried about the kinds of messages that it conveyed. I spent a lot of time wondering why I hadn’t picked up on anything earlier. Why, after so many viewings, I had only just broken through its spell. Many of the scenes in this movie can be dangerous if not fully analyzed, which is why I think that it is important that we take a closer look at them. "Sixteen Candles" is highly regarded by many as one of the best 80s Rom-Coms, but it contains multiple themes of racism, sexism, ableism, and classism that, quite frankly, aren’t funny

1. When Mike is accused of hitting his younger sister.


This first scene might not seem like a big deal because many of us have experience with pesky younger siblings. It becomes a problem however when you begin to consider the real life cost of this joke. Laughing about abuse, regardless of the original intent of the perpetrator, takes away from the severity of the act. Imagine that Mike goes on to hit his sister when his father isn’t around, and she eventually stops telling anyone about it. That could indirectly affect the way she deals with physical violence in the future.

2. When Samantha and Randy talk about how she originally envisioned her sweet sixteen going.

In this next scene we see Randy’s face fall into instant panic mode when she thinks that Sam wants a Black Guy.

Randy: Just a pink Trans Am and the guy, right?

Samantha: A black one.

Randy: A black guy?

Samantha: A black Trans Am. A pink guy.

When Sam assures her that that’s not what she meant, you can see her character’s physical expression shift back to normal. Some may try to argue that this joke was made for a different time, but the ongoing conversations about race in America prove otherwise. I think that it serves as an example of the influence that media has over our lives.

3. When Farmer Ted first asks Samantha to go to the dance with him.

Farmer Ted used to be my guy. I used to find his character funny, but in this viewing I found him irritable rather than charming. On the bus, he continues to invade Sam’s personal space, even though it obviously makes her uncomfortable. When Sam turns down his dance proposal, he pushes further: “I mean, you don't have to dance. Maybe you could just stand there with me and my dudes and just be you,” or in other words, “this isn’t about you having fun Sam, this is all about how I look in front of my friends.” It becomes easy to see that underneath the illusion of his feeling for her, Ted has no real regard for Samantha.

4. When Farmer Ted walks up to Samantha on the dance floor.


After calling her "fully aged sophomore meat" and promising his friends that he'd sleep with her, Ted walks up to Samantha on the dance floor. She feels so uncomfortable in his presence that she starts crying and runs out of the gym. By now she has asked Ted to leave her alone on multiple occasions, and his blatant disregard for her comfort has left her feeling out of options. This is the kind of thing you feel when you're being stalked.

5. When Joan Cusack’s character is trying to drink water from a fountain.

I would really like for us all to take sometime here and really think about the purpose of this scene—or even think about the purpose of this character. Joan Cusack has no speaking parts in this film and is often used as the butt of a joke. Here she fills the usual helpless disabled person trope where we see her struggle to drink from the water fountain. This kind of portrayal exploits disabled bodies and provides us with false understanding.

6. When Farmer Ted finds Samantha in the auto shop room.

If you had reservations about calling Ted a stalker, think about this scene. Samantha runs away from the dance to be alone and—surprise. I was most frustrated by the fact that she eventually gives in to Ted’s persistence and opens up to him. What that says is: If you push someone hard enough, you’ll get what you want out of them. Because Ted listens to Samantha rant about how crappy her birthday is going, he ends up looking like a good guy, but his next action proves him to be the opposite. Having just gained her trust and compassion, Ted reveals his original intentions to Samantha. He then proposes a new idea for how she can help him without them actually getting physical with one another. He ends up talking her out of her underwear and later showing them to most of the boys in his class. If there’s anything I’ve learned about Farmer Ted, it’s that he is self interested and manipulative.

7. When Samantha practices what she’ll tell Jake when she sees him.

I only realized how wrong this scene was when I realized that Samantha had never actually talked to Jake before. She knew absolutely nothing about him except for the fact that he was popular. It seems unrealistic to me that she would be so in love with him that she would to anything to make her love him. The reason why it works in this movie is because popularity is held as an end-all be-all throughout this film. I would argue that Samantha’s self-esteem is reliant on her social position, and it’s why she feels like she has to give something of herself up in order to be loved by someone like Jake.

8. When Jake boasts about his easy access to women.

This was by far the most absolutely disgusting and terrifying part of the film. Ted tells Jake that if he wants to be with Samantha he’s going to have to treat her right.

Ted: I feel compelled to mention, Jake, if all you want is a piece of ass, I mean, I'll either do it myself, or get someone bigger than me, to kick your ass.

Jake: I can get a piece of ass anytime I want. Shit, I got Caroline in my bedroom right now, passed out cold. I could violate her 10 different ways if I wanted to.

Ted: What are you waiting for?

Jake: I don't know.

I don’t know why I had never paid attention to Jake’s statement before, but now I was completely repulsed by it. Date rape is not something that should ever be joked about, and these two characters spoke about it like it was nothing. The idea here was that since Caroline loved partying and was sexually active, it was okay to violate her body. It also reinforced the problematic idea that Samantha was be different than her, and that therefor would be treated better. This cop-out allows Jake to treat women like crap and remain relatively unscathed. It is a classic case of victim blaming disguised as a teen love story.

9. When Jake offers Ted a deal.


Jake has a sweet tradeoff offer for Ted. In exchange for Samantha’s underwear, he’ll allow Ted to drive Caroline home. “Jake, I'm only a freshman,” says Ted. “So, she's so blitzed, she won't know the difference,” says Jake. Once again, the women in this film are treated as nothing more than property. Jake lends Ted a car to take Caroline home in, although Ted has been drinking alcohol and doesn’t have a license. Caroline’s safety is in no one’s interest here.

10. When Caroline gives Ted a present.

Let's all remember that Ted was driving without a license and having consumed alcohol. When Caroline offered him a pill he took it willingly without knowledge of what it was. "Now we're both on the pill," said Caroline.

Ted: You gave me a birth control pill? You have any idea what that'll do to a guy my age?

Caroline: I know exactly what it'll do to a girl my age. It makes it okay to be super careless.

So many wrong things are happening here! First off, it is again obvious that masculinity is placed above femininity in this film. Would Ted have been more satisfied if Caroline had passed him ecstasy? What was he expecting? He was mad at her for passing him a contraceptive, when he really should've been mad at himself for putting both of them in danger. And that's not all, Caroline's statement was very misinformed. With the current politics surrounding women's health issues, it is especially crucial for us to understand the functions of contraception. It's easy to understand how these messages can be harmful when we hear politicians like Rick Santorum repeat them in the present.

11. When Ted gets his friends to photograph him and Caroline in the Rolls Royce.


Ted continues to prove to us here that his only concern is appearance. He wants everyone to know that he got together with Caroline even though, at this point, it isn’t true. Caroline is nothing but a prop that he uses to gain social status.

12. When Samantha’s mom asks Mike to apologize to his sister.


Samantha’s mom feels bad about forgetting her daughter’s birthday and is apologizing to her in the hallway. When Mike walks by and his mom makes him aware of the fact that they missed his sister’s birthday, he makes a witty remark and laughs it off. “Deep down, he's really sorry,” says his mom, after all, boys will be boys right? Wrong, Samantha was really hurt by her family forgetting her birthday, and her brother shouldn’t just get a pass. Everyone just wants to be acknowledged, and Mike’s inability to be have compassion has an effect on the people around him.



13. When Ted and Caroline wake up in the church’s parking lot.

When Ted and Caroline wake up the next morning neither one of them can recollect the night before. Ted has one immediate concern and hopes to get answers from Caroline.

Ted: Did we, uh...

Caroline: Yeah. I'm pretty sure.

Ted: Um, excuse me, but do you...Do you know if...Um, did I enjoy it?

The part that disturbed me the most about their exchange was that neither party dealt with the severity of the event that had taken place only hours before. Ted went about the conversation as if what they had done was a consensual act, and even worse, he was still portrayed as a good guy. When Caroline kissed him and decided that they were dating, it was like that moment when the underdog finally comes out on top. The lack of actual resolution in this scene is disheartening.

14. When Jake apologizes to Caroline.

This is another example of a crappy resolution. Serious problems are being glossed over left and right in this film. Jake apologizes to Caroline for getting her mixed up with Ted, and in turn she tells him that it’s fine because he “wasn't too terrible.” With this apology Jake appears to rid himself of all the damage he’s caused. He is still the good guy that we want to end up with Samantha. If only his apology was actually worth something in real life.

15. When Jenny gets married.


Getting married isn’t typically held as a light commitment, and it definitely isn’t one that should be made with an unclear mind. Jenny is severely medicated on her wedding day and is incapable of walking down the aisle. Her father basically has to carry her down to the alter. The running joke is that Jenny is on her period and has taken a few too many muscle relaxers to numb the pain. Although that is what the movie wants us to focus on, there is another piece to the puzzle that is rarely brought up. The relationship between Jenny and her fiancé doesn’t seem to be a healthy one, and many of her family members have made this clear. Jenny appears to be going through with this wedding because she feels like it is what she has to do. She tells Samantha in the beginning that she’s never had a man who’d been in love with her for six months straight, and perhaps she feels that this is her only chance at it.

16. When Sam and Jake end up together.


I was frustrated by this ending because I don’t think that Jake is a good guy, and also because I realized that this was the first time either of them had spoken to each other. There were so many disconnects in this movie, and the relationship between Samantha and Jake that was established at the end was one of them. It took one simple act for Jake to sweep Samantha off of her feet, and it makes me realize how manipulated her character is all throughout the film.

I have found the portrayal of the male and female characters in Sixteen Candles to be neither romantic nor comical. I can’t help but notice, however, how similar the themes displayed are to some of our most prevalent issues today.

Cover Image Credit: nypost.com

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Islam Is Not A Religion Of Peace, But Neither Is Christianity

Let's have in honest converation about the relgious doctrine of Islam

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Islam is not a religion of peace.

Christianity is also not a religion of peace.

But, most people in both religions are generally peaceful.

More specifically, bringing up the doctrine of Christianity is a terrible rebuttal to justify the doctrine of Islam.

That is like saying, "Fascism is not a good political ideology. Well, Communism isn't any good either. So, Fascism is not that bad after all."

One evil does not justify another evil. Christianity's sins do not justify Islam's.

The reason why this article is focused on Islam and not Christianity is the modern prevalence of religious violence in the Islamic world. Christianity is not without its evil but there is far less international terrorist attacks and mass killing perpetrated by Christians today than by those of Islam.

First, let's define "religious killings," which is much more specific than a practicer of a religion committing a murder.

A religious killings are directly correlated with the doctrines of the faith. That is different a human acting on some type of natural impulse killing someone.

For example, an Islamic father honor killing his daughter who was raped is a religious killing. But an Islamic man who catches his wife cheating and kills her on the spot is a murder, not a religious killing. The second man may be Islamic but the doctrine of Islam cannot be rationally held at fault for that killing. Many men with many different religions or experience would make the same heinous mistake of taking a life.

Second, criticizing a doctrine or a religion is not a criticism of everyone that practices the religion.

It is not even a criticism of everyone who make mistake while inspired by the religions. Human are willing to do heinous things when governed by a bad cause. Not every World War 2 Nazis was a homicidal maniac but human nature tells them to act this way in order to survive in their environment. It is hard to fault a person from traits that comes from evolutionary biology and natural selection.

However, commenting on a philosophy, ideology or a religion is not off limits. Every doctrine that inspires human action should be open for review. The religion may be part of a person's identity and it holds a special place in its heart but that does not mean it should be immune to criticism.

Finally, before going into a deconstruction of the myth that Islam is a religion of peace, there needs to be a note about the silencing of talking about Islam.

There is a notion in Western Society that if a person criticizes Islam, then that person hates all Muslims and the person suffers from Islamophobia. That is not the case, a person to criticize religion without becoming Donald Trump. In Western Society criticizing fundamental Christians is never seen as an attack on all Christians because there is a lot of bad ideas in the Bible that Christians act on. Therefore, criticizing Islam should have the same benefit of the doubt because the Quran has many bad ideas in it.

The Quran advocates for war on unbelievers a multitude of times. No these verses are not a misreading or bad interpretation the text. Here are two explicit verses from the Quran that directly tell Followers to engage in violence:

Quran 2: 191-193:

"And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah (disbelief or unrest) is worse than killing... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists and wrong-doers)"

Quran 2: 216:

"Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not."

There is no rational way to interrupt these passages in a peaceful way. The whole premise of both passages is to inspire followers that war against the unbeliever is justified.

The first verse advocates for genocide against non-believers for the mere transgression that a society worships a different god or worships another god along with Allah.

The second passage is arguable more dangerous because the first passage just advocate that fighting may be a necessity, while the second passage encourages it. The second passage claims that war on the unbeliever is a good thing under the eyes of Allah.

The reason why these passages are dangerous is because they directly incite religious violence. For most followers of Allah, these passages are ignored or they convince themselves the passages means something they do not. However, for a large numbers of followers that view the text of the Quran as the unedited words of Allah, these texts become extremely dangerous. These passages become all the rational they need to wage war on non-believers.

This is dangerous because there are millions of followers of Islam worldwide that believe every statement in the Quran is true.

Therefore, the Quran becomes a direct motivation and cause for its followers to attack non-followers. Rationally one can understand where the Islam follower comes from, if a person truly believes that Allah or God himself wrote these words then why would you not comply.

Especially when there is verses in the Quran that says the Follower who does not fight the infidel is not as worthy of a Follower that does wage war against the non-believer (Quran 4:95). Finally, when male Followers are told that their martyrdom fighting for the faith will be rewarded with an eternity in paradise with 72 virgins for personal pleasure. If a Follower truly believes all of this is the spoken word of Allah then there is more rational why a person would commit these atrocities then why they would not.

Men and women are radicalized by these passages on a daily basis.

No, it is not just the poor kid in Iraq that lost his family to an American bombing run that indiscriminately kills civilians but also the middle classed Saudi Arabian child or some Western white kid that finds the Quran appealing. If radicalization were just poor people, then society would not have much to be worried about. However, Heads of States, college educated people and wealthy Islamic Followers are all being radicalized and the common dominator is the doctrine of Islam.

Osama Bin Laden, one of the most infamous terrorist in history, was not a poor lad that was screwed by the United States military industrial complex. Bin Laden was the son of a billionaire, that received an education through college from great schools. There is no other just cause for Bin Laden to orchestrate such grievous attacks on humanity besides religious inspirations. A person can rationally tie Islam Followers gravitation towards terrorism to a specific verse. Quran 3: 51 tells readers,

"Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers."

Any rational person can tie Islamic passages like this directly to terrorism. It is not a complicated correlation to like Nazism and Jewish persecution to Christianity. The Holy Book of Islam directly encourages the Followers of Islam to inflict terrorism unto the non-believer.

So why do some many people deny these obvious truths about Islam and violence?

Political Correctness and the want to not be viewed as a bigot. The correlations here are as direct as the terrors of the Spanish Inquisitions and Catholicism and no one is afraid to retrospect and say, "Yes Christianity caused the direct murder of thousands of people". A person would not even be controversial if one stated that both World Wars has significant religious undertones. However if anyone states that terrorism and violence has a direct link with Islam then there is an outcry.

Even President Obama refused to use the terms Islam and Muslim when publicly talking about the War on Terrorism. I am a hypocrite also because I used the term Islamic Follower instead of Muslim in an attempt to sound more political correct.

That is a problem when society refuse to use terms that are correct in an attempt to not offend anyone. Imagine if scientist could not report their findings because the underlying politics. Society needs to be able to have open dialogue about this problem or else it will never heal. Society needs to throw away the worrisome about being politically correct and focus on identifying the problems and solving them.

The world of Islam needs to open themselves up to this criticism.

There can no longer be a closing of dialogue where the West cannot speak on the doctrines of Islam because they are not partakers (That applies to all organized religion too, especially the Catholic Church). People who draw Muhammed must no longer be threatened with attacks on their life.

When Islamic women and men speak up about the sins of Islam, they must stop being silenced. If humanity is going to take steps into the future with better technology and more dangerous weaponry, then we need to solve this problem with Islam and gradually to organized religion at all.

If not it will doom us way before we get there…

Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed this article follow my podcast on Twitter @MccrayMassMedia for more likewise discussions.

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Love Is Clear During Pride Month But It Should Be Shown Year Round

Each of us deserves to be treated with kindness, acceptance, and respect, regardless of sexual orientation.

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June was all about love and embracing yourself, regardless of sexuality or gender!

Now that it's July, it's become increasingly difficult to remember the warmth that was present for all people in June. Without a month specifically dedicated to openly accepting people, the welcoming vibe quickly fades to become a fragment of the not-so-distant past. It's impossible to forget the outpouring support for the LGBTQ+ community, but it's even tougher to remember how impacting the support of June once it's over.

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The most beautiful part of pride month is the way it brings people together who never would have met otherwise! Pride allows all love to flourish, without the harsh judgment. Pride month shouldn't be limited to one month, but practiced year-round!

People should focus on looking at our similarities and celebrating our differences! We may look different on the outside, but we share the same skeleton, muscles, and anatomy. Each of us deserves to be treated with kindness, acceptance, and respect, regardless of sexual orientation.

Practice treating others the way you would want to be treated, with respect. You wouldn't want your loved ones to be treated disrespectfully based on their preferences or gender, so be a part of the change needed to bridge the gap.

There have been several times where I've witnessed a friend being treated disrespectfully due to being gay or transgender. This behavior is unacceptable.

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We have a duty, as human beings, to work together against the factors that threaten to rip our harmony apart. To help our community make individuals feel comfortable in their own skin. To ensure safety, above all else, for the people who make up our society. Despite age, race, sexuality, and gender.

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To overcome struggle is to face obstacles with courage. Understanding that stereotypes are not valid is essential in moving forward. Our country has come a long way with acceptance but still has a tremendous journey ahead to truly embracing change.

The courage LGBTQ+ people possess is immeasurable. They bravely face each day with the question of who might be unkind to them, for no reason.

We must work together to make this world a better place, for everyone that lives here. We have it in our power to be kind, to treat others with respect, no matter what time of year it is.

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Drop any preconceived notions and be nice to others, even when you don't agree with their choices. Imagine how much easier life would be if everyone on the planet was loving and accepting. By allowing people to be comfortable, we open the door to endless possibilities for happiness and collaboration.

We create a place where children can grow up proud to be themselves and adults can live without fear of rejection.

The future is so bright because we are closer than ever to celebrating ourselves, gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgender, polyamorous, asexual, or whatever floats your boat!

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The world would truly be a more beautiful place if we could walk with our colorful freak flags flying proudly year-round (as some people might say!)

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