Monday, December 7, 2009

I am so angry.

So very, very angry.

Oh yeah, I'm looking at you, Eastwick.  You make me sad to be a woman. Read More...

It's taken me two weeks to calm down enough to write about this.  In the Nov 25 episode, Paint and Pleasure, Lindsay Price's character Joanna rapes a man.  She's  blowing off steam after a crappy day and she uses her power of hypnosis to summon a hot guy to dance with her.  He tries to leave her twice, clearly uninterested in her advances.  But like all rapists, Joanna doesn't take no for an answer.  Instead, she uses her powers to make the man carry her upstairs where they proceed to have sex in a bathtub.  In the aftermath, Joanna is pretty damned pleased with herself and her companion is dumbfounded.  Because he's gay and married.

And that's it.  His husband comes in and starts shrieking, claiming the guy did this as "revenge for Cabo" and we're supposed to find this funny.

Rape is not funny.

I say fuck you! I think it's hilarious, how do you like that? 
I can PROVE to you that rape is funny!
— George Carlin

Really.  Not ever.

What Joanna did?  Exactly like someone using a date rape drug.  There are no consequences for her actions, not moment of her realizing that she just RAPED SOMEONE, not even a consideration for how the man might feel.  Ugh, I'm so disgusted by even remembering this scene that I'm going to let TV Tropes speak because all I'm coming up with is "adkfhhdasdsdsdjklashdfjklashdflajkshdlasjkfhdasjklfhdlasjkhd. !!!!"

Rape is a cruel and evil act, beyond kicking the dog or any of the most villainous acts on TV. Except when they fall in love with the rapist, of course. 
Well, there is one other exception: when the victim is a man, and the attacker is a woman. There are a few reasons for this. Upon hearing about it, some men would think, "Well, what's the problem?" The male being raped is sometimes depicted as "allowing it" and so does not lose much of his manliness or dominance. This, along with the fact that many males do not perceive being raped by an attractive woman as necessarily a bad thing (combined with All Men Are Perverts), makes this trope more acceptable in their eyes.
And when a man is truly victimized, there is a strong stigma about it that would stop them from treating it as an attack. Another part of what causes this reaction is that a man who can't fend off a woman is seen as much more pathetic than the reverse— even when the man is bound, incapacitated, or held at gunpoint. There is also a popular misconception that a man can't achieve the necessary arousal for sexual functions without at least semi-conscious consent and engagement (the old "if he was able to, he wanted to" canard) — though there were always ways around this, and the easy availability of anti-dysfunction drugs nowadays undermines it even more.
The depiction is rare on TV, but the few cases when it does happen are notable for that very reason. Most examples are from comedies, backing up the idea that most people find the concept that a man can be raped by a woman ridiculous. Of course in the real world this is not funny. Relatedly, compare the treatment of a man waking up in bed with an ugly woman after a night of getting drunk with the treatment of a woman who sleeps with a man (attractive or otherwise) in a similar situation. 

Not even my love of Paul Gross can make me watch Eastwick again.  And I've been in love with that man's awesomeness since I was about 12.

It's official.  Eastwick is the Twilight of television.


James Landrith said...

Thank you for calling it what it is - RAPE. I've been there. She bought me a few drinks and I was blacked out for several hours. My guess is that she spiked the last drink.

I'll leave out the rest of the details as they aren't necessary. She incapacitated me, raped me and then blackmailed into further rape when the drugs wore off in the morning.

Rape is anything but funny and yes, women can be disgusting rapist scum too.

Al said...

Thank you for having the courage to speak out. I'm well aware of how many people out there are uneducated and see what happened to you as something to laugh at or criticize.

Rape isn't about gender. It's unfortunate that in the fight to get people to recognize what a horrible crime it is we've somehow turned it into a male v female thing.