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Why are there so many rapes on TV?
Maclean's ^ | May 11, 2014 | Jaime Weinman

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. Martin’s original books into an apparent rape scene, the producers received the most negative criticism of any episode in the show’s 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 hadn’t come on the heels of a period when rape has been perhaps more prevalent as a story point on TV than it’s 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 aren’t good for women on TV. Karen Valby of Entertainment Weekly suggested there might be stories to tell about a female character “that don’t involve pinning her under some man’s 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 survivors—unlike 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 society’s 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 wife’s rapist, and Downton Abbey hinted that the same thing might have happened to Anna’s rapist. The writers are open, and critical, about the fact that the law often can’t 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 Post’s 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 Elizabeth’s rape was intended as “a big part of what separated her from her husband,” providing an easy explanation for why she’s so repressed. For every show that tries to be sensitive about the impact of sexual assault, there’s 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 don’t always think through the implications of what they’re 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 anymore—but they’re willing to use something that looks like it.


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1 posted on 05/12/2014 9:19:56 AM PDT by rickmichaels
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To: rickmichaels

Seems every female detective on tv has been abducted or raped.


2 posted on 05/12/2014 9:27:48 AM PDT by bravo whiskey (We should not fear our government. Our government should fear us.)
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To: rickmichaels
Why are there so many rapes on TV?

Because muslims have invaded the west?

3 posted on 05/12/2014 9:28:08 AM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: rickmichaels
TURN good solid history based patriotic TV that doesn't make good and evil an ambiguous conceptual thing.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
4 posted on 05/12/2014 9:29:18 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: rickmichaels
I wonder what the changes in law would be.

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.

5 posted on 05/12/2014 9:29:53 AM PDT by chesley
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To: rickmichaels

Cause it raises ratings

Game of Thrones is a BIG HIT
and it’s full of unnecessary
sexual encounters, rape, sadism


6 posted on 05/12/2014 9:32:26 AM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: rickmichaels

But is it ‘rape’ rape?


7 posted on 05/12/2014 9:33:59 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: rickmichaels

Hollyweird thinks this is normal behavior.


8 posted on 05/12/2014 9:34:18 AM PDT by minnesota_bound
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To: bravo whiskey

Will gays start complaining that there aren’t enough homosexual rapes on TV?


9 posted on 05/12/2014 9:36:15 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: bravo whiskey
Seems every female detective on tv has been abducted or raped.

You should see what happens to them in comic books: Women in Refrigerators

10 posted on 05/12/2014 9:37:26 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: HangnJudge
All forms of violence in entertainment have soared in the last 40 years. Funny though, how Hollywood with their Pacifism and anti-Smoking Liberalism show enormous tons of destruction and violence by cigarette smoking cool folks.
I can’ see films anymore with a hunk or babe holding a pistol with two hands outstretched (or in futuristic Science Fiction films, Laser gun) blaming away. In the same way, I can't watch Manhattan, Chicago or LA being obliterated by robots, aliens, Godzilla, the fog, meteorites, the cold, Tsunamis etc., just can't stand this death wish Hollywood has for America and her icons (like a sinking statue of Liberty - a real favorite) or the white House blowing up. Just can't do it anymore...
11 posted on 05/12/2014 9:40:28 AM PDT by Netz
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To: rickmichaels

Why does anyone watch any of this garbage.

It’s like drugs.


12 posted on 05/12/2014 9:43:36 AM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: cripplecreek

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...


13 posted on 05/12/2014 9:44:10 AM PDT by IrishBrigade (')
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To: cripplecreek

Don’t assume people will know what show you are talking about from the photo.


14 posted on 05/12/2014 9:44:28 AM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: cripplecreek
Yup. This was my favorite growing up:


15 posted on 05/12/2014 9:45:00 AM PDT by rickmichaels
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To: rickmichaels
Why are there so many rapes on TV?

Why is raping of women on TV a big deal, while the killing of men on TV is not?

16 posted on 05/12/2014 9:46:03 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: rickmichaels
Just another plot device to get ratings. Usually there is revenge on the rapist which gets the audiences juices cooking in expectation.

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)

17 posted on 05/12/2014 9:47:19 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: Netz

You mean you didn’t cheer when the Martians blew up Congress in Mars Attacks!


18 posted on 05/12/2014 9:47:31 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: chesley

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.


19 posted on 05/12/2014 9:48:31 AM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius (www.wilsonharpbooks.com - Eclipse, the sequel to Bright Horizons is out! Get it now!)
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To: dfwgator

not if you are a director of xmen...(btw accused not conviction)


20 posted on 05/12/2014 9:49:27 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: rickmichaels
The Walton's was my favorite (and yes, I know about Grandpa).
21 posted on 05/12/2014 9:49:53 AM PDT by liberalh8ter (The only difference between flash mob 'urban yutes' and U.S. politicians is the hoodies.)
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To: Netz

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.


22 posted on 05/12/2014 9:50:40 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: HangnJudge

GOT is a big hit - yet the vast majority of the country does not watch it.


23 posted on 05/12/2014 9:52:00 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Netz

I love seeing LA or NYC destroyed because they are leftist icons


24 posted on 05/12/2014 9:54:03 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Netz
What you said. It's tiresome, boring and banal. There's probably 3-4 mainstream shows I watch. TMC is still at the top of my list.

FMCDH(BITS)

25 posted on 05/12/2014 9:55:19 AM PDT by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: rickmichaels

Our family watches the reruns. You can’t find family friendly shows like that anymore.


26 posted on 05/12/2014 9:58:01 AM PDT by jaydubya2
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To: IrishBrigade
James Patrick Riley of Colony Bay productions wrote a great "review: of Turn.

Our Take on Turn

I also enjoy a story of the American Revolution that is unashamed to recognize the British as the bad guys. They were, after all, morally compromised, fighting for a cause you can tell they had trouble believing. Now, I have not watched the series to the end, and no villain can be so uniformly villainous you have no sense of their humanity, but there’s enough here, certainly, to hate — and drama thrives on hate. A dramatic, fictional television series can’t be as neutral as the bloodless academy observer, clucking on about a war that can’t possibly touch him. Men voluntarily enlist in armies and go to war for a reason. I’m glad the series producers appear to realize that.

(snip)

We live in a great, though fading republic, and the truth is: we need a lot more of these stories. We shouldn’t be counting them on one hand.


I was pleasantly surprised by the portrayal of the Dunnmore Proclamation. They didn't portray it as the kindly Brits freeing the oppressed slaves. They portrayed it honestly as slaves being seized from patriot families and given to British officers, loyalist families, giving them the choice of fighting for the British or being resold.

Its exactly the sort of television conservatives should support in any way possible. We won't win the culture war by retreating from it.
27 posted on 05/12/2014 9:58:51 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: driftless2

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...


28 posted on 05/12/2014 10:05:24 AM PDT by IrishBrigade (')
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To: minnesota_bound
Hollyweird thinks this is normal behavior.

Because it is normal behavior in Hollywood. Ask any child actor, male or female, but mostly male.

29 posted on 05/12/2014 10:06:27 AM PDT by dragonblustar ( Psalm 103, Psalm 37:7, Ephesians 6:12)
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To: IrishBrigade

It’s the same in every action movie as well, always have to have the tough butch chick who kicks guys’ asses.


30 posted on 05/12/2014 10:06:33 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: driftless2

The A-Team... hundreds and thousands of bullets fired and perhaps two people ever hit...


31 posted on 05/12/2014 10:06:37 AM PDT by Ingtar (The NSA - "We're the only part of government who actually listens to the people.")
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To: rickmichaels

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.


32 posted on 05/12/2014 10:12:57 AM PDT by I want the USA back (Media: completely irresponsible. Complicit in the destruction of this country.)
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To: rickmichaels

propaganda. plain and simple.


33 posted on 05/12/2014 10:13:44 AM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: driftless2

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.


34 posted on 05/12/2014 10:14:54 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan

You have a point.


35 posted on 05/12/2014 10:20:09 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: I want the USA back

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.


36 posted on 05/12/2014 10:21:05 AM PDT by morphing libertarian
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To: IrishBrigade

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.


37 posted on 05/12/2014 10:23:52 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: Ingtar

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.


38 posted on 05/12/2014 10:29:14 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: cripplecreek

TURN is very good. Hubby and I have gotten quite hooked on it.


39 posted on 05/12/2014 10:31:13 AM PDT by Hoffer Rand (Bear His image. Bring His message. Be the Church.)
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To: Ingtar
Dozens of weapons listed, pictured, and use described at Internet Movie Firearms Database, starting with this Beretta:

Seen twice during Season 5. First in the episode "The Theory Of Revolution", when the A-Team show General Stockwell just how many weapons they managed to smuggle into the farmhouse without his security detail noticing. The second time in "Alive at Five", as the sidearm of Tommy Tedesco's right hand man. It has a slide-mounted safety/decocker and a round trigger guard, identifying it as a 92SB.

Countdown
40 posted on 05/12/2014 10:39:02 AM PDT by caveat emptor (!)
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To: Hoffer Rand

Robert Rogers is a bad guy but a spectacular character and very interesting historical figure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQVLP9Pu9pk

“I’ll make you something even lower than a sodomite or even a snake’s belly.”


41 posted on 05/12/2014 10:41:33 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: cripplecreek

Good show


42 posted on 05/12/2014 11:01:31 AM PDT by redhawk.44mag
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To: I want the USA back

Why do most of the video games involve violence?


43 posted on 05/12/2014 11:04:35 AM PDT by redhawk.44mag
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To: Sherman Logan
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.

Not all that true. Guns are the great equalizer but only so great. Fitness levels being equal the man would still be able to run faster. upper body strength means that if training levels are similar he would be able to get shots on target quicker because he would be less affected by recoil. Which one do you think would be more able to fire more shots on target one handed while running and taking cover? So the 'size of target' thing would just be one trade off of many. When it comes to one shot each, like a duel, then size might be the most important. But in all out combat I am not so sure.
44 posted on 05/12/2014 11:13:31 AM PDT by TalonDJ
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To: dfwgator
Will gays start complaining that there aren’t enough homosexual rapes on TV?

That's sick............yes they will, and it will work.

45 posted on 05/12/2014 11:24:29 AM PDT by showme_the_Glory (ILLEGAL: prohibited by law. ALIEN: Owing political allegiance to another country or government)
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius
Forcible rape should be a capital offense.

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.

46 posted on 05/12/2014 11:25:57 AM PDT by chesley
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To: chesley

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.


47 posted on 05/12/2014 11:51:04 AM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius (www.wilsonharpbooks.com - Eclipse, the sequel to Bright Horizons is out! Get it now!)
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To: TalonDJ

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.


48 posted on 05/12/2014 11:56:29 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius

Unfortunately you are right. Rape is far more common than most people believe.


49 posted on 05/12/2014 12:12:46 PM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" is more than an Army Ranger credo it's the character of America.)
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To: rickmichaels

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?


50 posted on 05/12/2014 12:19:00 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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