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do films showing rape glamourise it?

(52 Posts)
darleneoconnor Sun 12-Jun-11 19:29:53

Watched Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I found the rape scene quite disturbing. I am of the opinion that having rape scenes in films glamourises it, leads to copycat behaviour and creates a demand for more (ie porn). Other feminists, though, disagreed with me.

Another probelm I have with rape scenes like that is that they perpetuate the myth that the only real rape is violent rape as opposed to acquaintance rape. (I felt the rape scene in Mad Men was well done, as it showed a more common rape scenario and aftermath).

What do MN feminists think of this?

MillyR Sun 12-Jun-11 19:37:38

The rape scene in the sequel to 'This Is England' was justified I thought, because it was extremely distressing and did show the the rapist was someone the victim initially thought she could trust, and happened in a domestic setting.

darleneoconnor Sun 12-Jun-11 19:46:02

I've not seen that. Do they actually show the rape?

I think in a lot of these films they could just say the rape happened, actually showing it does border on titilation at times.

HerBeX Sun 12-Jun-11 19:52:09

I haven't seen This is England.

All the rape scenes I ahve ever seen in films (and I can't actually remember any specific ones right now) have been shown either from the rapist's POV or from the audience's - never from that of the victim. That's wht I think is prob wrong with them on the whole.

sparky246 Sun 12-Jun-11 19:56:04

i dont know the film youre talking about Darlene but i think a lot of films glamourises rape.
i also think that they can "normilise "it.
i saw "this is england"Millie-or rather i didnt-
but for me the interesting[and alarming]thing was-
i felt sick at the rape scene and so did many women i know.
it went above a lot of men i know!!!!!

PonceyMcPonce Sun 12-Jun-11 20:00:27

Do you remember the old Jodie foster film with a rape in it, well the whole focus really. I remember it being q good, showing a non typical good girl as the victim but a good boy lead astray as a perpetrator.

Pretty old by now, but two strong female leads iirc, plus a sexually active and confident woman shown as devastated by a relatively non violent attack.

Saw it years ago, so possible it would seem very dated now we have a better understanding of what rape means.

SardineQueen Sun 12-Jun-11 20:01:19

No idea TBH because I go out of my way to avoid films with this content.

I do watch a lot of glossy US crime dramas though grin and can certainly confirm that:

- Rape is seen as a great way of getting a bit of naked female flesh onto the screen
- Even to the point of really bizarrely loving lingering over the dead body on the slab as it is washed down prior to post mortem etc
- That more storylines feature rape than other kinds of crime, and the majority of victims seem to be women

I definitely feel that rape is becoming interchangable with sex in terms of getting some "sexy" content onto the screens and that is unbelievably worrying

MillyR Sun 12-Jun-11 20:01:52

Yes, they did show the rape. I can't remember what happened during the rape, but it was definitely shown to be about power and it was utterly horrific.

I think it was seen from the victim's perspective, because prior to the rape she is becoming increasingly uncomfortable with his behaviour, but he isn't actually doing anything 'wrong' at that point. There is just something not right about the situation. I think that is the kind of context that many women find themselves in and are encouraged not to be rude in, or make a fuss about.

The whole thing, from what I remember, is also set within a wider context of the man having already been accused of rape by a family member, and not believed. She is also criticised for being rude to him, and making a fuss, despite her allegations.

I don't think it glamourises it at all - it is a story about the women it happens to, not the men who do it. I agree about the Accused though.

SardineQueen Sun 12-Jun-11 20:03:10

The majority of all victims seem to be women I mean, the rape victims are almost exclusively women. Sometimes children. Very very very occasionally men. But actually I can't think of an episode with a scary man going around raping men, off the top of my head.

And I watch a lot of this shite.

<hangs head>

MillyR Sun 12-Jun-11 20:06:44

I don't really watch any crime based TV programmes, so I might have a naive perspective on the issue, because I don't watch the right kind of programmes to notice the ubiquity of it.

SybilBeddows Sun 12-Jun-11 20:07:05

that's another one for the MRAs to campaign for then - rather than go around grumbling that feminists always ignore male rape victims, they can put their efforts into picketing Hollywood & the tv companies to show some more men as victims....

AyeRobot Sun 12-Jun-11 20:07:38

The depiction in the second This is England is realistic, I think. (Struggled to find a word to describe it). Shocking, chilling, oh so believable.

Oh, just read what MillyR said about it. Yes, spot on description there. Phenomenal acting from Vicky McLure too.

PonceyMcPonce Sun 12-Jun-11 20:08:40

Male rape always seems to be set in prison, ( and of course is so much worse than a woman's experience).

Actually there was an article in the economist recently about male rape in prison and how it is virtually ignored by authorities despite how frequent it is.

So maybe women who are free are as vulnerable as men who are locked up.

PonceyMcPonce Sun 12-Jun-11 20:10:11

I have just remembered pulp fiction though - male rape is so awful that you would save your sworn enemy.

Women seem to be shown as broken shells of a person. Maybe that is accurate. I'm lucky enough not to know.

SheCutOffTheirTails Sun 12-Jun-11 20:14:27

I agree Milly, the rape scene in This is England '86 was really well done. It was sickening though, I'm haunted by it still.

SardineQueen Sun 12-Jun-11 20:14:57

Oh just thought of one.

I haven't seen it for ages but the rape scene in saturday night fever isn't very glamorous. It is seen from the male perspective, the male perspective in this case being utterly callous. That's an acquaintance rape scene, as well, with the added complication that she has agreed and then changes her mind, and it's horrible.

PonceyMcPonce Sun 12-Jun-11 20:17:44

Is snf from the male perspective? Perhaps as a girly, I just identified with her.

SheCutOffTheirTails Sun 12-Jun-11 20:18:45

Have any of you ever heard The Boiler by the Specials?

It's a song about rape, and it is really scary, but I think it doesn't glamourise it in any way - it's the woman telling the story from her own perspective, and ends with a blood-curdling scream. Apparently it's well known that people rarely listen to the song twice. A male friend thinks it is a bit dodgy and salacious, but I thought it was good.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 12-Jun-11 20:49:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

darleneoconnor Sun 12-Jun-11 21:11:31

trying to think of films with rapes in them...

Thelma and Louise
The Magdalene Sisters
The Accused (the Jodie Foster one)
Monster
Boys dont Cry
Braveheart (I think?)
Rosemary's Baby

neepsntatties Sun 12-Jun-11 21:29:40

I had a problem with The Accused. I didn't like that they felt they had to show the rape at the end during the trial - could we not have just believed her? Also Ken - the witness to the rape - got to tell it and we saw it from his point of view so the victim never got to tell her story.

The worst I have seen is Straw Dogs, there is a double rape in that with the first one being an ex and it is often interpreted as being consensual. I think a lot of films are like that - Basic Instinct and 91/2 weeks for example. I also think rape is often used as a narrative device and a lot of the time what you see is the impact that rape has on the male characters not the female.

More to say on this but baby screaming.

PonceyMcPonce Sun 12-Jun-11 21:31:55

Oh yes the generals daughter. Showed rape as violence rather than sex

bemybebe Sun 12-Jun-11 21:38:38

Rape scene in Irreversible www.imdb.com/title/tt0290673/
is extremely powerful and showed from the victim's pov imho. I found it upsetting in the extreme.

allegrageller Sun 12-Jun-11 21:42:49

bemybebe- what worried me about Irreversible was this bizarre linkage of the rapist with a 's&m' gay bar. As if to be a rapist he also had to be a 'pervert'- whereas we know that most rapists are not likely to display 'abnormal' sexual behaviour- or indeed be gay or bisexual, if their primary victims are female.

bemybebe Sun 12-Jun-11 21:44:15

Powerful male rape is in Deliverance www.imdb.com/title/tt0068473/
I did not find it any more or less shocking as in Irreversible.

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