Rape Culture on TV (including daytime TV)(1 Post)
I know there is another thread about graphic sexual violence on TV but I think the point I'm trying to make is a bit different - sorry if you think it ought to have been made on that thread.
There are two TV programmes that have disturbed me recently. I haven't been active on feminism recently so I apologise if I have missed threads about them. TRIGGER WARNING.
The Politicians Husband (Episode 2)
Woman appears to be subject to anal rape by her husband. Certainly he hurts her without her consent. Though she is visibly upset and distressed, the only acknowledgement we get is:
wife: "You hurt me."
husband: "We all do things we aren't proud of."
Now, I'm not saying that when rape occurs in a marriage that it is always reported immediately, causes them to be divorced and the rapist prosecuted. Maybe this depiction is realistic. But it strikes me as highly irresponsible for it not to be clear that even though they were married and she had began sex consentially that what occured was a crime of rape. The dialogue I quoted seems like it ought to have followed an argument where he called her a name or otherwise insulted her, not following a rape. What message does it send people watching? That rape is a normal part of falling out with your spouse?
He also attempted to sabotage her contraception when they had sex subsequently.
Doctors (Daytime TV Soap)
Now I might have missed the finer points of this one because I don't watch it everyday. I also think the storyline hasn't been completed yet (because the preview of the next episode seems to show further developments) but it gave the impression previously that the matter was finished with.
Basically a female police officer reported that she had been raped by a collegue (I don't know whether this was shown to be true in an episode I missed or whether it was left ambiguous). A female doctor/police doctor(surgeon?) had a previous relationship with the accused and believed he hadn't done it. She goes round to his house and he attempts to rape her but she gets away. She is unsure whether to report it or not, but eventually she and the other woman talk it through with their female boss.
The boss says there's no point going through the prosecution route because it will wreck their careers/there isn't enough evidence/he'll get away with it anyway. So they leave it with her to quietly sabotage his career. During this discussion they did sign post 'what does this say to victims of rape, if even police officers think its pointless to report and prosecute rape?'
The next couple of episodes showed no change in this position.
Well quite, what does it say? Again, I'm not saying that this doesn't happen, but, surely it shouldn't be something that bbc daytime tv should be supporting and adding to the view that the police won't take rape seriously? I realise that something may yet come of this (especially as the preview of the next episode appeared to show the original police woman who had reportedly been raped, in hospital after an assault).
I just feel so depressed, that this is the message being given to women and men. That rape is just envitable and nothing can be done about it. It may be art immitating life, but doesn't it have a responsibility to try and prevent life immitating this too?
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