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Do you think soaps have used rape as a story too often?


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44 minutes ago, j swift said:

Given the statistic from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center that 1 in 5 women will experience a sexual assault,  I  think the proportion of female characters per show that have been victimized seems realistic; unfortunately. 

 

However, I agree that the lengths that certain writers will go to explain or justify sexual violence in order to keep a male character have been extreme and distasteful.  Thus, the message that I don't approve of is that a female soap character is much more likely to marry her attacker than participate in his prosecution. 

Yeah, #metoo seemed to shine a light on how unfortunately common sexual assault and rape are. But soaps have sensationalized and even glorified/romanticized rape in frankly disgusting and antiquated ways.

 

I keep going back to Eden’s rape on Santa Barbara, which showed the brutality of it (albeit in a very amped-up, ‘80s-action-movie way) but sort of undermined all of their good educational work by making her rapist her gynecologist(!), which was so exploitative and unnecessary.

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11 minutes ago, Faulkner said:

Eden’s rape on Santa Barbara, which showed the brutality of it (albeit in a very amped-up, ‘80s-action-movie way) but sort of undermined all of their good educational work by making her rapist her gynecologist(!), which was so exploitative and unnecessary.

If anything, fortifying the false narrative that sexual assault is only attributed to strangers who will steal babies and leave weird clues all over, is even worse.  Most women are sexually assaulted by someone they know.  Men are ten times more likely to be attacked by a stranger than women.  Soaps misinform their audience about actual threats and that is a huge disservice.     

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The Bold and the Beautiful have, if my memory serves me, only had three "clear-cut" rapes during its history (Caroline, Jessica and Brooke). I wonder if that is the lowest amount for a show with a 30+ year history.

But on the other hand the show has a very disturbing history with sexual assault of a more ambiguous nature, which many people probably would categorize as rape. Ridge/Caroline, Ridge/Brooke and Thomas/Caroline springs immediately to mind, but you could also add Eric/Brooke to that list after he had sex with a drunken Brooke which lead to the paternity issue with Bridget.

Stories like that could be seen as more harmful than the more conventional (for lack of a better word) rape stories because they are more often swept under the rug and the perpetrator is more often a leading, romantic man on the show,

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21 minutes ago, j swift said:

If anything, fortifying the false narrative that sexual assault is only attributed to strangers who will steal babies and leave weird clues all over, is even worse.  Most women are sexually assaulted by someone they know.  Men are ten times more likely to be attacked by a stranger than women.  Soaps misinform their audience about actual threats and that is a huge disservice.     

I totally agree. But they were pushing the narrative that women should confide in certain authorities when they’re raped, and making her rapist the man who I believe examined her post-assault (!) contradicted that message.

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5 minutes ago, dragonflies said:

ReRon's rapemance's on OLTL, GH and Days. I swear it sickens me 

Not to beat the proverbial dead horse, but given the stats, most women have to work out a way to maintain a relationship with the person who sexually assaulted them because most women are assaulted by someone they know.  So, while I understand how gross it was to watch, perhaps it is actually more realistic than the revenge fantasy plots that often play out on-screen.

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Just now, j swift said:

Not to beat the proverbial dead horse, but given the stats most women have to work out a way to maintain a relationship with the person who sexually assaulted them because most women are assaulted by someone they know.  So, while I understand how gross it was to watch, perhaps it is actually more realistic than the revenge fantasy plots that often play out on-screen.

but NOT a romantic one like Jessica with Ford on OLTL, or Marty with Frodd, etc... all the ones he's written were ROMANTIC

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29 minutes ago, dragonflies said:

but NOT a romantic one like Jessica with Ford on OLTL, or Marty with Frodd, etc... all the ones he's written were ROMANTIC

Unfortunately from the same source: Between 14% and 25% of women are sexually assaulted by intimate partners during their relationship.  

 

I agree it was icky to watch, but my argument is that those stories were at least more aligned with actual experiences of sexual assault in the culture than stories about a big boogeyman stalking women on the darkweb.

 

Look at this statistic: 80 percent of American adults celebrated Easter Sunday with the average person spending $140.62 on this year's holiday.  If 1 in 7 women has been assaulted in a current intimate relationship than around 18 million women (equal to the state population of Florida) spent the holiday yesterday with a man who had sexually abused her at least once.  

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I think it goes back to the uneasy fit between creators’ desire to make swooning romantic fantasy for housewives and the push to reflect uncomfortable realities of life. It’s a hard sell to make rapists romantic heroes. If soaps leaned more into the complicated lives of women coming to terms with relationships with their attackers (a tricky prospect for even the best of writers), maybe these stories would be more palatable. But they too often deify these rapists and make characters who are critical of them  (or who have long memories) into villains. Roger/Holly was handled somewhat well on GL, and even that felt icky from time to time.

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2 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

I actually blame GH for setting off the second wave of rape storylines and upping the ante:  making it seem as if a character could actually become some type of romantic hero/leading man.  Before this, most rapists were either sent out of town or became the town pariah but Luke changed the dynamic and made showrunners believe that you could somehow have a viable rapist character who is a leading man. 

 Oh, I totally agree with you.  GH did make a big mistake making Luke a hero despite his rape to Laura.  However, after that, maybe because of that, they didn't have another rape on the show for almost 20 years.  I give them small kudos for that.

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12 hours ago, j swift said:

Most women are sexually assaulted by someone they know. 

 

Soaps misinform their audience about actual threats and that is a huge disservice.     

 

I couldn't agree more. In a 1998 issue of SOD, one soap writer wrote an essay about her own rape while helping write Liz's rape story on GH - Michele Val Jean. I wish I could find that article; I would like to read it again.

 

Anyway, for only being on the air 8 1/2 years - SB had an overabundance of rapes. Those who endured it were THREE sets of sisters (at different times)...Eden and Kelly Capwell, Gina and Summer Blake, and Mary and Christie Duvall, as well as Julia Wainwright Capwell, Hayley Benson Capwell, BJ Walker, and I would also include Amy Perkins (who was artificially inseminated without her knowledge while under anesthesia at the dentist's office!!!). Tori Lane took advantage of Cruz when he was disoriented for some reason and thought she was Eden...and she got pregnant with Chip. Then there were all of Peter Flint's (aka the Carnation Killer) victims who were sexually assaulted before being murdered (including the aforementioned Summer and Kelly, though the latter was able to escape alive after he forced himself on her). It was just too much.

Edited by amybrickwallace
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When Liz was raped on GH it was so gross to see the show make it more about Luke and Lucky than Liz or even Laura.

 

And yes, Monty learned a huge lesson after the Luke thing.  None of the women were raped during the rest of her tenure and on through to Riche.  Karen’s child abuse was the first time they got back to that kind of gritty storytelling, which was Riche.  The women also were generally portrayed as strong characters on GH.

 

I think it is important storytelling and that these shows almost always fail in telling it responsibly and without exploration.

 

Other than Luke and Laura (and if I had been a viewer in the 70’s maybe I would feel differently), I never rooted for a rapist to be with their victim.  I came to them already established as a super couple.

 

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It disgusts me when I heard of female fans in the 80s and 90s calling out, "Rape me, Luke/Todd!!!" when Tony Geary and Roger Howarth made personal appearances. Do you not understand what you are saying???? To their credit, TG and RH were also disgusted by that, to the point where both stopped making personal appearances. At least, RH did while at OLTL. I have no idea if he did during his run on ATWT.

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11 hours ago, amybrickwallace said:

It disgusts me when I heard of female fans in the 80s and 90s calling out, "Rape me, Luke/Todd!!!" when Tony Geary and Roger Howarth made personal appearances. Do you not understand what you are saying???? To their credit, TG and RH were also disgusted by that, to the point where both stopped making personal appearances. At least, RH did while at OLTL. I have no idea if he did during his run on ATWT.

Yeah that is just gross.

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11 hours ago, amybrickwallace said:

It disgusts me when I heard of female fans in the 80s and 90s calling out, "Rape me, Luke/Todd!!!" when Tony Geary and Roger Howarth made personal appearances. Do you not understand what you are saying???? To their credit, TG and RH were also disgusted by that, to the point where both stopped making personal appearances. At least, RH did while at OLTL. I have no idea if he did during his run on ATWT.

 

He was terrible during his run on ATWT, it's hard to believe he would do anything public during that run (but perhaps he did?).

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