Trigger warning for discussion of rape ahead.
In light of the recent Game of Thrones rape scandal, rape and rape culture have once again become the topic of debate. While many people naturally looked upon the scene in disgust, the same was not true of all people. These past few weeks, victim-blaming, misogynistic, rape-apologist rhetoric has once again made its way into the secluded corners of the internet that I tend to frequent. Hey, it’s the internet, so I couldn’t avoid it forever.
Sadly, this is nothing new. This is a society-wide problem that stems from a lot of dark places, and no matter where you go, you will always find offensive misunderstandings about what rape is and a dismissal of its consequences on its victims. Even more unfortunate, it’s not just limited to Game of Thrones. Rape-apologist themes recently made their way to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and before that, you could find them in shows like True Blood, Stargate SG-1, Charmed, and many, many others. And that’s not to mention something like Family Guy. Rape themes are in our musicals, our TV, our video games, and our books. In many ways, they’re treated as a joke and rarely are they ever presented in a realistic light. More often than not, rape is used for shock value. Of course none of us should be surprised that we find the same thing in fanfiction.
We have fanfiction that like to tell us that rape is love, a trope I first found in my Zelda fanfiction. Ganondorf kidnapped and raped Zelda. The two then fell madly in love and fought back against the evil Link, who was trying to tear them apart. I’ve seen this trope in Final Fantasy, between Cloud and Reno, Sephiroth and Aerith. We also have fics that tell us that rape is a suitable punishment for women who need to be put in their place or men who commit crimes. Kairi from Kingdom Hearts is a victim of this, which is one of the reasons I steer clear from Kingdom Hearts fanfiction. Severus Snape often falls victim to this as well. Additionally, there are fics that tell us that victims who are mind-controlled into sexual acts are just sluts who deserve it or cheating bastards. I see this again with Kairi a lot, and Mozenrath from Aladdin (or any sci-fi show I’ve ever watched). We’re told that rape is funny. That rape is shocking. That rape is always a “back alley” scenario involving a masked attacker. That virgin rape is worse than non-virgin rape. So on and so forth.
I personally find that last trope to be one of the more damaging rape myths out there.