Angry About Rape

There’s an interesting discussion going on at Feminist SF Blog (which I’m now a contributor to) about Battlestar Gallactica and rape as a plot device. The post that generated this discussion is not about BG or Rape, and thus it has drifted a wee bit off topic. I think it’s an important conversation to have, though, and not just in the context of SF media (though I will certainly use that as my springboard).

You see, I am tired of depictions of rape in media. Not because I think rape is a ‘done’ subject or that there’s no more to say about it. Quite the contrary. But I am tired of seeing rape on my TV and in my fiction because it’s never addressed, it’s used, and used badly, and used for all the wrong reasons. Because it’s used and abused by writers and filmmakers and media people we run the risk of trivializing rape. Or, worse, seeing it as something slightly arousing.

This will not do.

I’m going to warn any potential readers that this post and discussion might be triggering, thus you may want to skip it if you feel it will upset you in that way. I’m going to warn any potential commenters that I’m going to monitor the discussion very closely and will not allow any bullshit, abuse, or minimalization of the act of or portrayal of rape. It’s a touchy subject, so let’s not get crazy.

I’ll start with when I reached my personal threshold on stories with rape as an element. I used to be a ‘slush reader': a technical publishing term for the person or persons who read submissions for magazines or book publishers. The magazine I first slushed for accepted science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories. I saw my share of bad fiction, believe me. But the worst ones, the ones I still (unfortunately) remember, are the ones where rape was a major part of the plot.

The majority of these stories were horror (because some people seem to think that horrific = horror, a sad mistake) but we had a share of sf and f stories like this, too. Most of them started out with the rape, or got to it within the first three pages. It was clear that the author was using rape to show that a certain character was bad/evil/not to be trusted. Or it was there for shock value. It’s like showing a villain kicking puppies, but much more annoying.

All of these stories were rejected.

Mind you, I didn’t kick them back simply because they contained rape. The writing itself was usually not very good, or the story was pointless and not horror at all, just gross and annoying. But these stories had the effect of waking me up to the many times I’d seen rape depicted in fiction and the reason for its use. I started to notice the many TV shows, movies (cinematic & not), and books with rape as a plot point. I saw it more and more until I realized that the trope was everywhere.

A long time ago I wrote a post about Lifetime original movies and how much I despised them. One of the reasons I noted was the incredible number of movies about rape. Women get raped by men they know, by men they don’t know, by husbands, boyfriends, stalkers, and ghosts. Sometimes the women get pregnant and deal with that, sometimes they have to find this man, bring him to justice, and deal with that, sometimes they have to come to terms with their pain, trauma, and fear with or without support. I other words, Lifetime has covered a range of rape experiences three times over. Yet, they continue.

There comes a point when it gets to be too much. That point comes when it stops being about helping, informing, or supporting women and becomes more about how many people they can shock and how many ratings points that will generate. And that is really disgusting.

This is coming from a network that is supposedly “For Women”.

Often, Lifetime movies that have rape in them are about rape and how a woman deals with it. In other media, particularly in SF/F media, rape is thrown in as a plot point, or for a bit of easy characterization. As I said above, if you see a character raping someone, that is usually an indication that the character is meant to be evil. It’s quick and easy for the creator to do this. I wonder if they even consider the implications of it?

Another way creators use rape is to show that a character (99% of the time a female one) is ‘strong’. She may have been raped, but that didn’t reduce her to a snivelling mess, oh no! She got angry! She got strong! She got even! Thus passively putting down any woman who was actually raped and did not react in that way. This is also quick characterization, and it’s just as cheap and lazy as ‘he’s a rapist so we know he’s the bad guy’.

The problem with this use of rape in fiction and media is twofold. It’s cheap and lazy, as I said, and it’s also using rape instead of addressing it. When we see rape in media, we see it used as a way for men to exert their power over women, or used as a way to tell us something about a character, or used to drive a plot in a certain direction, or used to highlight vulnerability, depravity, and power struggles FOR ENTERTAINMENT .

I need to sit back and breathe, so here are a couple of quotes from the discussion on FeministSF:

Ide Cyan on Battlestar Gallatica:

That’s FOUR recurring female characters on this show that have been raped or threatened with rape, and three out of the four lead female characters.

NONE of the male characters, be they lead characters or supporting characters, have been raped.

No, male characters have the privilege of being seduced , which clearly implies they have too much power to be forced .

Laura Q (quoting the comment in its entirety because she makes excellent points):

I think Angry Black Woman (ABW) nailed the point about rape: It’s used, cheaply and disproportionately, as a plot device in SF/F generally (and, it sounds like, BG). Eric (and maybe others; sorry, I just skimmed the discussion) are pointing out that rape is used to show that humans are prone to bad behavior and that rape is inscribed as a “bad thing”. Well, no shit. I think mainstream media characterizations of rape as a “good thing” are rare. But there’s a lot more to use of rape as a plot device than whether it’s shown as good or bad.

Liz Henry has written elsewhere about the eternal rapeability of female characters–that female characters in FSF are frequently shown as rapeable in order to highlight their goodness/innocence/vulnerability/femaleness or other traits. What you all are describing in BG sounds like the same thing: the use of rape and rapeability as a shortcut device for characterization or plot development (as ABW puts it). I’ll add that it’s also often for shock value & titillation–I can’t speak to BG since I haven’t seen it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that wasn’t an *element* of the choices.

Let me suggest that this “shortcut” is hackneyed & tired, #1. Pretty much, we know that women are rapeable. If popular entertainment creators, directors & writers are interested in plot shortcuts & titillation, here are a few suggestions:

* equal opportunity rapeability: men can be raped and sexually assaulted too. (The point that Ide raised about men being seduced rather than raped is important and says a lot about the double standards in SF/F as a whole.)
* realistic depictions of rape as a crime involving serious repercussions to victims, whether “strong” or not
* realistic depictions of *other* crimes than rape which also involve serious repercussions to victims; for instance, physical assaults NOT involving genitals or sexual contact can raise PTSD, issues of vulnerability, etc.
* uses of crimes that are NOT rape to show how humans treat each other badly or as stand-ins for criminality, insanity, or bad-characterness of the villain
* analyses which contextualize rape in feminist terms: meaning, the next time we have our sensitive female character talking to her therapist or weeping over the rape or attempted rape, why don’t we also have some assessment of rape as a political issue, an expression of violence used to control women?

This is a problem not easily solved.

I offer no conclusions here. No calls to action, either. I’m opening this up for discussion. Dissect my views if you want. Challenge me. Or, agree. Offer up your list of books or stories you wish you hadn’t read or shows and movies you wished you hadn’t watched because of this issue. Talk about it, is what I’m saying. The only way things are going to change is if we talk about it thoroughly and intelligently.


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31 Responses

  1. Ayn Rand, ‘The Fountainhead’. Because on top of the Objectivist crap, the story’s main love affair begins when Dominique Francon lets Howard Roark rape her.

    Also, ‘High Plains Drifter’, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. Although I like to think of that film as a depiction of the scary, scary place to which Masculinity-with-a-capital-M can lead.

  2. Ann Rule’s “Possession.” Ick. (Actually that was all about rape like the Lifetime movies only not in a supportive kind of way.)

    I agree that it is used as a character device (“this person is bad, see he raped someone”) too much and that this is all the more disturbing seeing that it is always females who are on the receiving end.

  3. EACH TIME I LEARN AND GROW.

  4. I wrote a scene in a science fiction novel, where rape and battery are referred to in a past tense — i.e. during the interrogation of a rapist.

    Instead of depicting the crime directly (which frankly I don’t have the stomach for), audio recordings and testimonies are described to create a distanced “Let’s explain what happened and why” atmosphere.

    While on one level this is “audience manipulation” (hammering into the reader what a monster the rapist character is), I had to write the scene to point out that this monster is a product of his society: he consistently uses ideological “explanations”, political conspiracy theories and “machismo” conventions to justify himself — to the point where he seems not only “bad”, but almost schizophrenic. There is nothing “natural” or “primitive” about this man raping and beating up women: he was made that way.

    (Can you call a rapist “evil” who doesn’t even understand what he did was wrong? Do you call a mad dog “evil”?)

    So I mean it’s about context, context, context: instead of simply writing “X raped Y”, explain the ideology and philosophy behind the crime, however crude and revolting they may be.

    Some societies have made rape a social institution, sanctioned by tribal law: it’s not the individual male who rapes, he is merely an instrument of his tribal culture — an executioner, if you will. It happens in the real world, today. We read about it in the news and think “Thank God we’re not as backward as those people.”…

    …but what if “Western” rapists are also made, not simply born that way?
    :-(

  5. I happen to disagree about the use of rape in BSG, but I take your point. Way, WAY too many writers (I’m looking at YOU, Wingrove! And you, too, Vinge!) use rape as a shorthand for These People Are Bad. It’s authorial cowardice. It’s saying, not only am I not good enough to write moral ambiguity, I’m not even good enough to convince you that my Bad Guys want Bad Things.

    And, yes, far too often (you AGAIN, Wingrove!) it’s clearly written to be titillating.

  6. Hey David :)

    I will admit that I have not actually witnessed the rape scenes in BSG because I don’t watch it for the reasons outlined in this post. Also because when I heard that kind of stuff was going on I stayed away for the reasons outlined above. Too often, that’s what’s going on.

    I did watch one episode of BSG second season and I asked what had happened to the blond Cylon (6?) and someone said “The people on Pegasus have been beating and raping her.” Why? I asked. “Because they can…” Like I said, I understood then that the Pegasus people were supposed to be bad or untrustworthy, and no one has ever given me a reason think that there was any other reason for the rape to occur.

    I probably find this to be more of a squicky topic than most people. I blame slush.

    *hands him some rope to hang Wingrove with*

  7. The use of rape as shorthand to show how eeeevil a character is, and the portrayal of rapists as undeniable, caricatural villains, freaks of society, and so forth, has the additional consequence that it makes it harder to convict the perpetrators of the majority of rapes, who are just average men, and whose good reputations get taken more seriously than their victims’ words.

    More BSG spoilers:

    Michelle Forbes played the Pegasus’s commander, Admiral Cain, who condoned the gang-rapes and took part in the beatings, and her performance had some subtext with the Pegasus-Six, Gina, suggesting they might have been lovers before Gina was revealed to be a Cylon infiltrator. (This would make it the *only* lesbian relationship on the show, if it were confirmed, which would only add to the layer of fucked-upness of that storyline, because it’s the whole evil/dead lesbian cliché all over again.)Escaping from her cell (with Baltar’s help), Gina kills Cain in revenge.

    Helena Cain: Frak you.
    Gina (right before shooting): You’re not my type.

    And later on, Gina blows herself (and a sizeable portion of the surviving human fleet) up with a nuke.

  8. it makes it harder to convict the perpetrators of the majority of rapes, who are just average men, and whose good reputations get taken more seriously than their victims’ words.

    This is a good point. (I had considered saying something about this in my original post, but thought maybe someone else might mention it.)

    I don’t pretend to know exactly what kind of effect media representations of rape have on real world rape. My sense is that it certainly doesn’t help matters and may actively be making things worse. From the kind of scenario that Ide mentions to creating a cultural mindset that rape is titilating. We seem to have inched past the idea of rape as ‘seduction’, but we haven’t gone too far.

  9. With the other side of that being that rape couldn’t possibly be committed by anyone who’s not a full-blown Hollywood-thriller sociopath; therefore if he seems like a good all-American boy, she must have been lying.

    As for BSG and subtext — I’ll admit it could be read that way, but while I don’t generally put a lot of stock in authorial intention, I’d be surprised if it’s the reading the writers intended. Aand I think they were trying to do something a little more sophisticated than Pegasus = Evil / Galactica = Good. (I’m not expecting to convince anyone who’s already drawn their own conclusions, just, for those of you who haven’t, I want to note that it’s not the only reading.)

  10. That was what finally turned me off the Sopranos for good, i gotta say. First the awful graphic rape with Melfi in the stairway (and, plotwise, as it went on, seemed like it was pretty damn near gratutious); and then the more-vile-than-anyone guy beating the young stripper to death. i had enough. just in general, i’d had enough of the “whacking” and so forth, but…yeah. enough already.

  11. I like your point that in addition to it being a lazy and abusive characterization technique it is “also using rape instead of addressing it.”

    One day I sat down with my sister while she was watching Law & Order Special Victims Unit, which is basically all about women who have been brutally raped and/or killed. It really pissed me off. It was very gratuitous, and the entertainment/plot of the show was centered around rape – what the hell? It also bothered me because it seemed to reinscribe women as helpless victims, again and again and again. And also white women as delicate, innocent, pure victims of violence that everyone should be enraged or mourning over. Like we are powerless and should never walk around at night or talk to strangers. This also helps reinforce the power of men as saviors/protectors/avengers, which is messed up, and police/violent state power as the solution. So you need the violent state power, that is what protects rather than threatens people, and that it should be embraced and thanked rather than questioned.

    Another offender: the movie El Leyton, used a rape like it was a normal sex scene – meant to be titillating and passed off as acceptable and that the women actually wanted it.

    Another thing that irks me about almost all portrayals of rape, fictional and nonfictional, is the emphasis on huge scary violent stranger rapes. People touched on this (comments 7-9), but it distorts the idea of rape into only such an event rather than focusing on acquaintance rapes (it’s estimated that 80% know their attacker). This is really harmful for a lot of reasons: -inhibits discussions of effective prevention strategies
    -prevents discussions of harmful versions of masculinity and our rape culture
    -gives everyone a “not me” attitude (both those at risk of perpetrating and being violated)
    -makes survivors feel like they haven’t actually been raped, or it’s their fault, or that they can’t talk about it because it will give their friend/acquaintance/loved one a demonized Rapist reputation
    -limits mobility & independence of women at night
    -encourages car culture (rather than walkign, public transit)
    -encourages/allows racialized and racist fantasies of men of color attackers among many white women (and family/friends), with a lot of help from the news media. This kind of racism can be particularly difficult for people to recognize or challenge because there is this ultimate (hysterical) justification of rape, so therefore nothing, even racist and inaccurate ideas, can be challenged

  12. I love Law & Order, but I refuse to watch SVU. I call it “that Rape show”. I have never understood the point of making an entire series about that kind of crime. And, from what I’ve heard and seen the few times I’ve clicked past it, your analysis is spot on. I hate that show.

  13. I’ve seen two movies which depict Les Liaisons Dangereux – “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Valmont”. I saw “Dangerous Liaisons” first – the scene where he rapes the little girl (in order to get back at her affianced husband by ensuring he doesn’t get a virgin bride) upset me so badly I had to leave the room. I was told I was “being oversensitive” and “had to get over it” because it was just “life” and “I would see it everywhere.”
    The second movie didn’t upset me so much then, but it bothers me now. In the “Valmont” version of the film, he “seduces” the little girl (in order to get back at her affianced husband by ensuring he doesn’t get a virgin bride). She is still being used, just less violently.

  14. Hmmmmm.

    Before I say anything, I will say that I am a two-time rape victim. Both stranger rapes. both happening in a racially segregated midwestern town. The last one was over ten years ago now.

    I am also a writer.

    I have to admit I am puzzled by your feelings about rape used as a plot device. You seem to be sick of it’s existance, sick of it used to drive a story forward. I guess I understand that…sort of.

    I guess I think that if it keeps coming up, then this is playing in peoples subconscious, they are trying to make sense of it. Some of them are doing a good job of portraying the “absolute horror of rape” and some are doing a terrible job of portraying that, or anything, in a way that resembles real life.

    I put the “absolute horror” of rape in quotes, because sometimes rape is an absolute horror, sometimes it is merely a frightening, life altering experience, sometimes it leaves people maimed and deformed, and sometimes it leaves people confused and seeking.

    This is a topic that is difficult for everyone. But I don’t think we should do away with it.

    I don’t look at the media to accurately describe my experience. I just ask that they aren’t willfully mean or disrespectful.

    I think it’s a waste of time to talk about censoring storytelling, however. Instead, we should work towards making our society less violent as a whole. We have violent rapes in this country because we live in a society the glorifies violence and does not glorify the elimination of poverty or injustice.

  15. Amananta, I can’t watch Dangerous Liasons for that reason as well. And I hate it when people say ‘Oh, just get over it” when you have a strong emotional reaction to something. Kick them between the legs and tell them to get over THAT. jeez.

  16. StephanieMcC: Thanks for commenting.

    If I felt that the way writers and media used rape was doing more positive than negative work, I wouldn’t be so angry about it.

    As I said, it’s one thing to be truthful about what rape is and what it does to people. But I really feel that media has reached the point where it’s not about that anymore. That’s where my objections begin.

    I don’t look for the media to depeict anyone’s real experience of rape, though it may, what I look for is the media to stop bolstering stereotypes with it, to stop USING it. That is what sickens me.

    I don’t advocate censoring anything. For one, I don’t have the power. But it is my right as a writer, reader, and consumer of media to ask other writers and creators to stop being so damn lazy. Their laziness probably contributes more to the problem than it helps. Cyan has pointed that out above.

    As I said in my post, I don’t think rape is a ‘done’ topic. I don’t think it’s something people should stop talking about and addressing. But that’s not what the majority of media does anymore.

  17. ABW, I agree with all you’ve written.

    To add to your words:
    “to show that a character (99% of the time a female one) is ’strong’. She may have been raped, but that didn’t reduce her to a snivelling mess, oh no! She got angry! She got strong! She got even! Thus passively putting down any woman who was actually raped and did not react in that way.”

    I think the other, far more sinister, reason to show ‘strong’ women getting raped is the underlying message of ‘even uppity women can be put in their place’ – the ultimate male power over any and every female, no matter how ‘strong’.

  18. Rape is used as a plot device – and it happens in real life.

    But castration also happens. (Remember John Wayne Bobbitt.) So why is castration so rarely used in fiction? Is there a deeper taboo against pointing out men’s biggest physical vulnerabilities? Just curious.

  19. Even without counting the actual rapes, there are so many books or movies – even/especially kids’ or young adult ones – where a female character is threatened with rape. She’s alone on the street in the dark or is in a situation with a guy and then suddenly there is a moment when she is *supposed to be afraid of rape*.

  20. Hi,

    I’m coming here from the carnival against sexual violence and I found this to be a very interesting read. I’m currntly writing or trying to write a story where rape is pretty frequently used for describing the characters traumas and problems- I have not been questioning it before I read your post but now I’m not sure if it’s partially out of wanting to shock. I feel that I care about my characters and what happens to them but I somehow have the ambition to be uncompromising in my depictions and I wonder where that comes from…

    Thank you for making me think.

  21. A.R.Yngve: say, *whose* fiction are you talking about?

    And (no Googling!) name five other women who’ve castrated their husbands recently.

    It’s a stupid question. Men’s biggest physical vulnerabilities is not their precious gonads, any more than women’s biggest physical vulnerabilities are their vaginas. The reason that women are so likely to be raped by men is that women are subjected to economic and domestic dependence to men.

  22. Two things – I’m going to second the call for more castrated and castrators we’ve heard about recently. Bobbit is the only one *I* remember, and that whole case bothered the fuck out of me. Also, the fact that he went on to become a minor porn star highlights so much of what is wrong with our society.

    Second thing – Going to mention a book I read and loved except for the rape element. This is a spoiler, sorry. G. Jones’ “Life” has what I consider to be a particularly unnecessary rape in that I really feel she only had that character raped in order for her life to veer off the course it was on. It was all about plot machination, but really heavy-handed machnation. That bothered me.

  23. The worst thing about the BSG rapes is that the show’s creator really prides himself on his representation of gender on the show. At least initially he had good reason to feel proud, and indeed although some of the gender stuff on the show still demonstrates a deeply entrenched patriarchal mindset it is vastly better than any other show on TV that I’ve seen.

    Then, all of a sudden, they started losing the magic a bit (it’s still better than most things on air right now, IMO) and into that there was suddenly a massive fallback on the same old rape threat. The three of four main female characters who were threatened with rape were all subjected to this within the space of one season. It was just vile. The fact is that BSG is a dark show so the rapes themselves don’t fairly represent the show’s general attitude towards women. Like I say, it’s nowhere near perfect, but even with 3 attempted rapes it’s still far more woman-friendly than something like Desperate Housewives or Grey’s Anatomy. I find those far harder to watch on a weekly basis than BSG – it’s spurts of massive feminist anger about the rapes rather than the continuous burn of the other shows.

    Anyway, I thought I’d weigh in here as BSG is in my top couple of favourite shows and I love feminist analysis of the show. It’s really goddamn low what the writers/creators did to the great female characters last season and is made even worse because of the fact that they continuously toot their own horns about how ahead of the curve they are in their treatment of women.

  24. And may I just add that it completely sucks that, for someone who loves TV as much as me, basically any choice of a TV show I watch is going to involve massive amounts of women-hatred and violence against women. Talk about a rock and a hard place. I still maintain that BSG is better than most, but god I wish I could enjoy something without having my gender shat all over.

  25. You made some really good points here. I just wanted to say that I have had a different take on Law and Order SVU, which I’ve watched about 150 episodes of (yeah, I’m a little addicted). From watching so many episodes, I have seen a lot of episodes in which men were victims–including one in which a male stripper was raped by a group of women–and episodes in which the victims were non-white. I’ve actually been pretty impressed with the show for its range of racial diversity and generally portraying people who don’t fit the typical beauty standard. There have been a few episodes in which the victims were typically pretty blonde girls, but they’re not by any means representative of the show.

    I haven’t gotten the impression at all that SVU encourages women to be afraid to walk alone at night–in fact, there was one episode in which Olivia Benson (one of the main detectives) was being stalked by a perp who had already killed another woman, but she refused her partner Elliott Stabler’s offer to walk her to her door after work. She made it very clear to him that she didn’t need his protection.

    Benson’s a great character, a strong woman who kicks rapist and pedophile ass. Women on the show aren’t just victims–they’re also detectives, medical examiners, assistant district attorneys, and judges.

    I do have one problem with the show, though, which is that in some episodes, it turns out that the accuser falsely reported a rape. There was even one episode in which a family from the South beat up their daughter to make it look like she had been raped and beaten, and she had sex with a man they had found on a list of sex offenders, so that she could claim she had been raped in order to sue the hotel where the rape happened and make money. There was also one episode in which a pyschopathic woman drugged men and raped them using a machine that allowed them to get erections while passed out, then accused them of raping her.

    The number of episodes with false rape accusations are small compared to the number with real crimes, but it still really bothers me that the show portrays false accusations as something that happen somewhat regularly, when in fact they’re incredibly rare and the vast majority of rapes are never reported. That’s my main problem with SVU–other than that, I’ve found its portrayal of sex crimes to be pretty accurate.

  26. First, before anything else: THANK YOU.

    I started sending letters to CBS and every member of CSI for their pin-headed decision to take a strong, smart woman like Catharine and strongly imply that her drink was drugged and she was raped. It’s wrong to use rape to garner ratings. That recent episode was just the last straw for me.

    The scary thing is, I visited several CSI webforums to see how people were reacting. People were more concerned with Nick Stokes’ reaction when he finds out than Catharine’s emotional state, or the vileness of such a “plot twist.”

  27. Heh. The only way I’d like rape to be portrayed is if first thing viewers see is a trial and the guy gets off because of course he was “innocent”. Next scene the girl has a flashback of the rape actually occuring.

    Might give some people something to think about.

  28. [...] than any estimate puts them in reality. And in general, the entire show is set up to be "using rape instead of addressing it" – a phrase I first saw from Angry Black Woman, which sums up neatly why 99% of TV rapes don’t [...]

  29. [...] Related: Angry About Rape [...]

  30. I wish I knew what to say here, what to write. When I saw Gina lying there on the floor of the cell I had a horrible flashback to my own time lying catatonic for a while on the floor.

    The whole thread, and the use of rape as a plot device shouldn’t be . . . Strong women or no, survivors or not, people who don’t understand it, aren’t going to any better for having seen it, and for those of us who’ve lived it, well it’s just . . . So wrong.

    What was glossed over a bit, and unfortunately I can related to from direct personal experience, is Gina WANTED the resurrection ship destroyed in the hope that she’d really truly die, never to have to remember what she’d been through ever again. She didn’t want to download into a new body because she’d still remember and still FEEL it all just the same.

    The body heals fairly quickly as compared to the mind, heart and soul. I wish, I wish so many things, topping the list is I wish I didn’t understand so well what Gina was feeling and why she did what she did. For her it wasn’t about taking out the Cloud 9, or other ships or lives. For Gina it was an attempt to find peace, to leave behind the pain and memories. When the value of your own heart, mind and soul is such a negative, it is really hard to see any innocence or value in other lives. Given the same set of circumstances and resources, I’d have done exactly the same thing.

    I cannot take my own life to run from the pain, to find some peace, because I know I’ll just be downloaded again, I have before, so I have to be ‘strong’ if you could call it that. Medication and therapy is helping me ‘survive’ but the flashbacks and nightmares are not quietly going away. ‘Strong’ is a relative term, and I’m not even close to the same person I was before I was raped. So what value does it have, what does survival really mean in this context?

    I’m on disability because of the lasting mental and emotional trauma, PSTD, Major Depression, and Anxiety to name a few but they are only words. SO I try not to think about it, and work on learning new ways of living if you could call it that. Days become weeks, then months, and I move through the fog of not thinking, not feeling, not putting myself in harms way.

    Yeah, my fault, it’s always the victim’s fault just ask anyone who doesn’t have a clue. Without a frame of reference you have to wonder, how will the rest of the world catch a clue? How does using it as a plot device make it any less likely to happen?

    Cain and Gina lovers? How does this make any difference? Why should that be a focus? It doesn’t make what Gina suffered any less painful or real for her. Frankly despite my earlier misgivings about BSG being reborn, this is an amazing show, and they are saying some things that I hope are causing people to think a bit.

    So called “Skin Job Toasters” are no less people, real, feeling, hoping, dreaming, live than the Colonials, and in many cases so much MORE HUMAN than the “flesh and blood humans.” It’s a hell of a show, and I don’t want to see the Cylons lose the war because it’s not black and white anymore . . .

  31. [...] This post inspired me to start about an enormous and complex subject which is central to the motivation behind this blog, but which I’ve so far avoided like a darkened street corner or wearing a pony tail: the way misogyny and misogynist baseline assumptions operate in family and love relationships. [...]

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