Well, after months of putting it off, I finally got around to finishing True Blood’s third season. Once again, I found myself absolutely adoring this show, while simultaneously hating a great deal of its themes. Last season put me off by its portrayal of religion, and it even featured a religious fanatic who attempted to sexually assault Sookie, because why the fuck not? This season also put me off by its gratuitous rape themes that existed for no damn reason. Despite being a really good show with an awesome female protagonist, True Blood’s biggest problem seems to be offensive clichés, and that is no more apparent than how the show treats both Tara and Eggs’s characters and their misogynistic and racist plotlines.
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.
Just about every Game of Thrones dream I had came true this past weekend. Well, not every dream. My OTP Jaime/Brienne is still not a thing, but hey, there’s still time. That said, our latest episode “The Lion and the Rose” finally featured what is known as the Purple Wedding—something that I had been waiting to happen for a very long time. And now that I’ve seen it, I can only wonder what’s in store for our characters in the future.
I have only finished the first three books of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, which puts me quite a bit ahead of the show, for the most part. However, the show has already started to add in or hint at things in the fourth and fifth books. In some instances, this is needed—we don’t see Theon at all during the third and fourth books—but in other instances, the narrative gets changed completely. Sometimes this is for the better, but other times, I wonder how the TV series is going to tie everything together.
Massive Game of Thrones spoilers and a trigger warning for rape after the cut.
I hate cliffhangers. I really do, because no matter how angry I get at the rest of the season, cliffhanger endings actually make me want to tune in for the next season. Season 4 has left me feeling very ambivalent about this show. There are parts of it that I really did not like—such as the Governor’s storyline and ending—and there have been other parts of it that I loved.
Spoilers and a trigger warning for rape ahead.
Oh, EXO. I wish you could stop making me feel icky about liking your music.
In a follow-up to their last hit, Wolf, EXO seems to be keeping with the uh… wolf theme in Growl. Outside of how ridiculous that sentence must have been to read—it felt ridiculous to write—the fact that they’re going on with predator themed ‘love’ songs should already be setting off huge warning signs. Warning pyres, if you will. Even if my judgment has been clouded by reading the lyrics first, there’s just something about the entire presentation of this song that just seems rape-y.
Read Part 1 here.
Last time, I talked about Aerith, Tifa, and a little bit about Shera. Now I’m going to talk about Yuffie and Elena. Yuffie is much the same as Tifa and Aerith. She has a lot of good qualities about her. She also has a very interesting past. But in a lot of other ways, she falls flat. Elena is a little bit different. She is more like Shera, in that I have relatively nothing positive to say about her.
MadameAce: If there was one thing to praise Teen Wolf for, it would be its treatment of rape culture, and this can be shown through the actions of Matt, Kate, and Peter. The show doesn’t condone their actions, though it doesn’t try to draw a large amount of attention to them either. Teen Wolf doesn’t do those annoying specials that other shows do, where they present a serious topic and devote the entire episode to giving a lecture on it. Teen Wolf instead presents rape culture as something that not only exists but often happens that people have to deal with.
Trigger warning for rape throughout.
If you’ve been following the news, odds are you probably know a good bit about the Steubenville, Ohio rape trial. The case centers around two Steubenville High School football players charged with raping a drunk teenage girl.
The case is unique in that hacker group KnightSec first drew attention to the case by leaking a video showing students joking that the victim “is so raped her puss is about as dry as the sun right now.”
If you didn’t throw up a little bit, get the fuck out. Better yet, sit down and learn something.
A while ago I posted about this show after viewing the preview for the premiere. At the time, I was concerned for the show in terms of its story and character development but cautiously optimistic on a few counts. Now that the full premiere has aired I have a bit more to say. As is often the case with special two-hour episodes, the premiere was really just two episodes stuck together; the second episode even included its separate title card so there was no mistaking the fact. Both episodes had their strong points, but they had some glaring problems too.
(Trigger Warning: Rape, sexual assault, torture, murder)
If there is one movie you should definitely avoid, it’s Girls Against Boys.
From what I can tell from the trailer a girl, we’ll call her Girl One, is sexually assaulted outside her apartment. Girl One meets another girl, that we’ll call Girl Two, that offers to kill Girl One’s rapist. It turns out that Girl Two “gets off” on killing people and particularly targets men who have done women wrong. The entire premise of the movie seems to be “girls get revenge on men who are assholes.”
Now, maybe you are wondering why I, a feminist, am telling you not to see this movie. I’m telling you not to go see this movie because based on the trailer it’s looks like a terribly sexist movie! And what’s worse, despite the fact that neither of the women identify as feminists, people are already calling this a feminist movie, feminist porn, and even worse, feminist torture porn.
Let me reiterate, this is not feminism! If the writers and directors of this movie think this is feminism then they are wrong–very, very, very wrong.