Skip to comments.Why are there so many rapes on TV?
Posted on 05/12/2014 9:19:56 AM PDT by rickmichaels
It seemed like Game of Thrones had gotten to the point where nothing it did could shock anyone. Then came a scene in the April 20 episode Breaker of Chains, where Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) forced himself on his incestuous lover, Cersei (Lena Headey), while she urged him to stop. For turning a consensual scene from George R.R. Martins original books into an apparent rape scene, the producers received the most negative criticism of any episode in the shows history; the popular online critic Film Crit Hulk spoke for many people when he wrote Hulk smash the totally mishandled rape in the recent Game of Thrones episode. But the reaction might not have been so strong if this scene hadnt come on the heels of a period when rape has been perhaps more prevalent as a story point on TV than its ever been.
The current TV season has been especially heavy on this type of story ever since Mellie, the U.S. first lady on Scandal, turned out to have been raped by her own father-in-law. On House of Cards, the Lady Macbeth-like Claire revealed that a high-ranking military officer is the man who raped her in college. And in period dramas like Game of Thrones, rape scenes have become shorthand for the power imbalance between men and women: It happened to the anti-heroine of the 80s drama The Americans, to Anna the maid on Downton Abbey, and to Joan on Mad Men.
Many people took the popularity of this storytelling device as another sign that things arent good for women on TV. Karen Valby of Entertainment Weekly suggested there might be stories to tell about a female character that dont involve pinning her under some mans heaving chest.
But not all the reaction has been negative. Some commentators have argued that by making rape a big part of important characters histories, TV is finally dealing with the impact rape can have on its survivorsunlike older shows, where victims appeared for only a few minutes and then were forgotten. Eliana Dockterman of Time magazine wrote that Scandal and The Americans reflect societys new-found willingness to look at unreported rapes, to deal with the fact that for so long rape was something swept under the rug.
Alyssa Rosenberg of the Washington Post also drew attention to the difference between many current shows and the old exploitative rape plots on TV: in these shows, no one gets rescued; no one gets a day in court. Sometimes the rapists are punished, but usually through extra-legal means: the male lead of The Americans murders his wifes rapist, and Downton Abbey hinted that the same thing might have happened to Annas rapist. The writers are open, and critical, about the fact that the law often cant help rape victims: Amanda Marcotte of Slate praised House of Cards for showing that perhaps the forces of sexism are just too overwhelming for meaningful change in sexual assault law.
Yet even these shows can turn rape into a plot device. Some have used it as a humanizing factor for characters who otherwise seem unpleasant. The Washington Posts Bethonie Butler called the rape storyline on Scandal part of an attempt to make Mellie more likable. And The Americans co-creator Joe Weisberg said that Elizabeths rape was intended as a big part of what separated her from her husband, providing an easy explanation for why shes so repressed. For every show that tries to be sensitive about the impact of sexual assault, theres one like Downton Abbey, where the rape scene came off as old-fashioned melodramatic shock; Sadie Gennis of TV Guide called it rape as cheap and consumable entertainment.
Despite the efforts of some TV makers to show they take rape seriously, the Game of Thrones controversy may show that they dont always think through the implications of what theyre showing. Alex Graves, director of the notorious Game of Thrones episode, told Alan Sepinwall that people misread the scene, saying that it becomes consensual by the end, because anything for them ultimately results in a turn-on. TV shows may not be willing to use rape for titillation anymorebut theyre willing to use something that looks like it.
Seems every female detective on tv has been abducted or raped.
Because muslims have invaded the west?
Even a rapist is entitled to the presumption of innocence at trial.
On the other hand, a violent rapist should never again see the light of freedom.
And rape has to be rigorously defined. No accusations from regret. And knowingly false accusations should be rigorously prosecuted.
Cause it raises ratings
Game of Thrones is a BIG HIT
and it’s full of unnecessary
sexual encounters, rape, sadism
But is it ‘rape’ rape?
Hollyweird thinks this is normal behavior.
Will gays start complaining that there aren’t enough homosexual rapes on TV?
You should see what happens to them in comic books: Women in Refrigerators
Why does anyone watch any of this garbage.
It’s like drugs.
TURN good solid history based patriotic TV that doesn’t make good and evil an ambiguous conceptual thing.
...right you are...Turn is indeed very good...
Don’t assume people will know what show you are talking about from the photo.
Why is raping of women on TV a big deal, while the killing of men on TV is not?
Reminds me of all the quicksand stories in old westerns and dramas. Whenever the writers ran out of ideas, they'd have an episode where the hero falls into quicksand...which was all over the place, wouldn't you know. Women getting raped is somewhat the same. The writers are getting desperate for ideas. And Downton Abbey has one of the women sexually involved with a visiting black american jazz musician. I bet that happened a lot in England in those days. (snicker)
You mean you didn’t cheer when the Martians blew up Congress in Mars Attacks!
Forcible rape should be a capital offense. And if you were to survey the number of women around you, I believe most men would be shocked to know how many have been raped over the years. And the number would be even higher except so many women are too embarrassed and ashamed to admit they were raped.
not if you are a director of xmen...(btw accused not conviction)
I used to be quite amused by the old The Avengers series with Diana Rigg beating the heck out of all sorts of baddies. Ditto for Wonder Woman. Now it seems every cop show has to have a super tough female cop (who weighs about 120 lbs.) beating the snot out of 250 male baddies. Can’t watch it without laughing.
GOT is a big hit - yet the vast majority of the country does not watch it.
I love seeing LA or NYC destroyed because they are leftist icons
Our family watches the reruns. You can’t find family friendly shows like that anymore.
Now it seems every cop show has to have a super tough female cop (who weighs about 120 lbs.) beating the snot out of 250 male baddies
...that annoys the crap out of me...at least the Avengers tried to provide a plausible scenario for it...Peel was an accomplished martial arts expert...but today, they just stand there, toe to toe, and dish it out like a good old boy...and then make some kind of snarky remark after dispatching the guy...
Because it is normal behavior in Hollywood. Ask any child actor, male or female, but mostly male.
It’s the same in every action movie as well, always have to have the tough butch chick who kicks guys’ asses.
The A-Team... hundreds and thousands of bullets fired and perhaps two people ever hit...
Why is TV fascinated with people being violent, hateful, deceitful and rotten to other people? Answer that and you have the answer to this question.
propaganda. plain and simple.
A 120 pound woman has a very difficult time beating up a 120 pound man. And a 120 pound man has a very difficult time beating up a 250 pound man. Do the math.
OTOH a 120 pound woman with a gun has a slight advantage over a 250 pound man with a gun.
She’s a more difficult target.
You have a point.
Here is the way I think it works. Executive approve shows they think people will watch. They measure the results of that assumption. People watch what interests them. Based upon how many people watch they get more subscribers or sponsors at a higher rate. The more who watch, the more money the owners make. The more money they make the executives get to keep their jobs.
So tv is not fascinated with anything but getting viewers. Viewers are to blame.
I wonder if these false scenarios aren’t getting a lot of women who think they’re the physical equals of men hurt. “Gee, I saw that tiny woman on tv whip that big bad man...I guess I can do that too.” Women would be better off arming themselves. Physical confrontations between themselves and men will not end well for them.
That’s many, many tv shows and movies going back a long time. I used to get a kick out of scenes where some clowns are firing automatic weapons, and there are no corresponding bullet marks on walls or vehicles at where the shots are being fired. One hundred rounds fired towards a wall behind a target, and maybe ten squibs exploding on the wall. Of course, some shows were better i.e. more realistic than others.
TURN is very good. Hubby and I have gotten quite hooked on it.
Robert Rogers is a bad guy but a spectacular character and very interesting historical figure.
“I’ll make you something even lower than a sodomite or even a snake’s belly.”
Why do most of the video games involve violence?
That's sick............yes they will, and it will work.
Can't say that I disagree.
On the other hand, the presumption of innocence must be maintained. There have been many falso accusations of rape, and many men rotting in prison because a woman lied.
Therefore, I believe a false accusation should be severely punished, if proven. Not just for rape but for any crime.
100% agreement in that. Knowing that you could send someone to death because of your false words might make a few women realize the severity of a false accusation as well. And if there is a false accusation of rape, it should carry the same penalty as the rape itself.
No doubt true. My comment was meant somewhat in jest, to point out that firearms are indeed the great equalizer, making a 120 woman very nearly, if not exactly, equal to a 250 pound man in a fight.
My personal favorite in the movies is the woman archer specialist who outshoots men. Using a true warbow is one of the specialties of combat where men have the greatest advantage over women. The physical strength required is almost entirely upper body strength.
A medieval male English archer could probably pull a bow at least 3x the draw weight any woman of the time (or today) could pull, meaning he would have something around twice the range, assuming roughly equal levels of skill.
Recent evidence is that some English longbowmen pulled bows up to 180 pounds. Developing the strength and skill to do so took literally decades of training and created significant deformities in the archers’ skeletons. In mass graves of the time, they can pick the archers out by those deformities.
Unfortunately you are right. Rape is far more common than most people believe.
I’ve not watched much of GOT.
But the show has repeated mass slaughter of innocents and children, lots of torture, and nobody gets upset till a single character is raped?
A few months ago Boko Haram murdered 50 boys, many of them burned alive. Hardly made a blip on the news.
The same group kidnaps (and presumably rapes) 250 girls recently, and the world reacts with outrage. Entirely appropriately, to be sure.
Go to wikipedia for any recent conflict, and there will usually be considerably more space dedicated to discussion of the rape of women than to the mass murder of their men.
I’m as opposed to rape as it is possible to be, but when did murder of males become a minor issue relative to rape of women?