May 29, 2015

A Rant About Rape on Television

I'm disturbed by the selective outrage regarding story lines involving rape on TV series. Recently, many viewers were so "disgusted and fed up" with the wedding night quasi-consensual sex involving a 'Game of Thrones' character (while conveniently ignoring previous instances of rough quasi-consensual sexual content on the show - this was apparently "the last straw" according to them) that they publicly cried they would stop watching the series; this group includes Senator Claire McCaskill. The outcry to stop rape as what was called a "television plot device" was heard in every corner of social media. 

However, I have just finished watching 8 out of 15 episodes of season 1 of the Starz series 'Outlander' and the main character was almost raped twice and successfully raped once within those 8 episodes. Actual rape. 

My question is: where is the outrage about that? Where is the social media outcry? 

I am way behind in the season of 'Outlander'; the season finale is scheduled for tomorrow night so, it is long past due for that show if the usage of rape as a plot device was a real issue and not some bandwagon, manufactured, faux-feminist screeching to get noticed on social media. 

If nothing else, the use of rape on television SHOULD get us talking about it. It SHOULD make us uncomfortable, even disgusted. It SHOULD shed light on the real issue...rape is about violence and control, not sex. If we refuse to see and talk about the terrible things that actually happen to (mostly) women in our world, if we, instead, simply sweep it away and pretend it doesn't exist because it makes us feel icky, nothing will ever change. 

End of rant.