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Assault them till they love you - in films real men don't need consent

(112 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sat 05-Nov-16 11:58:45

A long but fascinating article about how men are groomed by the media from a young age into some very troubling views about women.

M0stlyHet Sat 05-Nov-16 12:14:25

Great, but very scary article. I've had similar conversations with male friends, about how long it's taken them to "deprogramme" the damage done by this sort of all-pervasive culture. (A male Polish friend of mine said in the context of a discussion about love scenes in movies that there's a Polish saying "her lips say no, but her eyes say yes" - he said it took him years to realise what a crock of shit this was). And it affects women too - I'm interested that he begins his article with that iconic kiss from Star Wars. I was 14 at the time and it was one of the formative fantasies of my burgeoning sexuality (as a female colleague of mine put it recently, "you watch that scene as a kid and think 'oh wow, how hot' - then as an adult and think 'my god the guy's a creep'.") So men are groomed into thinking sexual violence is okay so long as she eventually goes limp ("submits") and women are groomed into thinking that female submission should be part of their sexuality. It's depressing.

YonicProbe Sat 05-Nov-16 12:22:37


M0stlyHet Sat 05-Nov-16 13:12:37

I've just been looking at some of the author's other articles, and come across this, which I think is very insightful:

Right now I'm reading a book from mega-selling fantasy author George R. R. Martin. The following is a passage where he is writing from the point of view of a woman -- always a tough thing for men to do. The girl is on her way to a key confrontation, and the narrator describes it thusly:

"When she went to the stables, she wore faded sandsilk pants and woven grass sandals. Her small breasts moved freely beneath a painted Dothraki vest ..."

That's written from the woman's point of view. Yes, when a male writes a female, he assumes that she spends every moment thinking about the size of her breasts and what they are doing. "Janet walked her boobs across the city square. 'I can see them staring at my boobs,' she thought, boobily." He assumes that women are thinking of themselves the same way we think of them


(And don't even get me started on men writing sex scenes about what they think women want in bed...)

Prisencolinensinainciusol Sat 05-Nov-16 13:18:37

I realised George RR Martin didn't have a clue about writing women when in the space of about three chapters very early on in the books (I only read the first two) he described two different female characters as 'brushing her hair until it shone'. Once would have been cliche enough, but twice? And so close together? Women are just boobs and hair to him.

Interesting article. Particularly the recognition that he never acted out those fantasies only because he didn't think he was cool enough to get away with it, and actually hated himself for not living up to that masculine ideal.

noblegiraffe Sat 05-Nov-16 13:19:03

I've just remembered that there was a big fuss about Poldark a couple of weeks ago, where Poldark took to bed a woman who was saying no and physically resisting and people argued it was fine because he knew she wanted it really, and we're shown her submitting in the end.

That's exactly the sort of thing that the blog post is about, and it's still going on in popular media.

Prisencolinensinainciusol Sat 05-Nov-16 13:24:24

The ratatouille clip was particularly depressing.

Lovefromhull Sat 05-Nov-16 13:24:31

That Poledark scene was discussed on the Andrew Marr show last week, and Amanda Patel made some horrible comments about it. Basically wondering what the fuss was about, while Andrew and the other newspaper reviewer looked shocked at her dismissing the idea of consent as debatable. I've not explained it very well.

growapear Sat 05-Nov-16 14:11:57

Interesting indeed. Never thought about it too much, but I know many girls who would never "chase" boys - i.e. the man has to win them over somehow, convince them or persuade them because women aren't supposed to express sexual desire even though they have it.

Trills Sat 05-Nov-16 14:15:37

Cracked often has some insightful articles, I really should stop being surprised about it.

I also like John Cheese's writing on poverty.

Soubriquet Sat 05-Nov-16 14:16:30

It's like the Big Bang theory

Leonard continuously pesters Penny until she gives up and says "may as well give him a go"

midnightanna Sat 05-Nov-16 14:21:13

I was saying this last night while watching ER.

Abbey constantly turns down the advances of her student and then he goes and finds out her address and phone number from her private data at work, basically stands on her doorstep late at night until she gets home and she ends up snogging him.

Surely this is stalking/sexual harassment?

VestalVirgin Sat 05-Nov-16 14:35:47

So men are groomed into thinking sexual violence is okay so long as she eventually goes limp ("submits")

I wonder whether this is where (some of) the resistance against better laws against rape comes from.

After all, the man doesn't know whether he is romantic or a creep until after he kissed the woman and she did NOT go limp. At which point the crime has already been committed.

If that's the dominant narrative... it does not combine well with reasonable punishment of sexual harassment.

I am pretty sure that most men find a way to not be creeps regardless, but there seems to be a widespread belief that other men are incapable of noticing whether consent is present or not. And that it would be oh so unfair towards those men to punish them for kissing women who did not want to be kissed, because it was all so complicated.

MardyBra Sat 05-Nov-16 14:36:21

Frankie and Johnny is another dodgy film. Al Pacino's character is very stalkery.

Fauchelevent Sat 05-Nov-16 14:48:57

Yup. Cracked writes some great stuff - the other one mentioned is '5 ways men are trained to hate women' which I read a few years ago and still refer back to now and then.

What struck me was definitely the shocking idea to men that women do not do things for their benefit (eg bikinis, less clothes in summer, showering)
If i'm showering, i may be even getting a bit whiffy and i'm not oohing and aahing in the shower, i'm slipping, bending over, maybe even farting - so why do men's eyes light up at the idea of a woman in the shower?

MalcolmTuckersEyebrows Sat 05-Nov-16 14:58:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pklme Sat 05-Nov-16 15:17:55

I think it is going to take an awfully long time for the consent agenda to mature and be fully understood. So many people are still hampered by this kind of imagery, both men and women, and genuinely get confused about whether consent is there, or how women should behave, and the line between persistent/romantic and stalker.

I absolutely get it, I really do, but I can see why certain sections of society don't. And it makes me weep.

All I can say is that my boys are turning into respectful young men and may never be pushy enough to get a girlfriend in today's culture....

noblegiraffe Sat 05-Nov-16 15:35:47

What's even more worrying is that many women report that they stop fighting while being raped and simply endure it.

A man could well interpret this lack of fight as submission, like in the movies, and be surprised if it was even suggested that he was a rapist. Because when a woman stops fighting, that's consent.

growapear Sat 05-Nov-16 15:43:47


The idea of a woman in a shower is appealing to men primarily because they are naked. That's it.


I think you make a good point, the narrative is that females should not ordinarily submit to the their sexual desires, the man is required to cause the submission by some means...or by "wooing" her in the common parlance.

SenecaFalls Sat 05-Nov-16 15:44:07

What's even more worrying is that many women report that they stop fighting while being raped and simply endure it.

Every woman I know well enough to have discussed these issues with has an experience like this, or very similar, to report. Every one.

YonicProbe Sat 05-Nov-16 16:16:11

And then, Seneca, sadly, women question their own experience i.e. 'if I'd fought harder or said no for longer then he might have stopped, maybe I'm partly to blame'

LumpySpacedPrincess Sat 05-Nov-16 17:03:15

Just look at Ross and Rachel in friends. he wears her down until she gives in and people think he's a "nice" guy.

YonicProbe Sat 05-Nov-16 17:49:11

Not according to the FWR "Ross is a creep" thread!

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 05-Nov-16 18:38:53

Ross was a whiny creep but I hated all of them.

No one has mentioned Gone With the Wind.

Re Poldark it is necessary for future plot that Elizabeth becomes pregnant by Ross but it could easily have been tweaked to make it a truly concensual, albeit still deeply regretted in the cold light of dawn, encounter.

M0stlyHet Sat 05-Nov-16 19:19:23

Good point about "necessary for the future plot", Lass. I write (albeit badly and in an amateurish way) and having had a go at producing plot lines myself, it's now become an interesting exercise to think "how could the writer have got to this point in the plot without objectifying/brutalising/raping this woman?" And the answer is always "relatively easily with a bit of imagination, but rape as a plot line is just so damned pervasive that lazy writers reach straight for it."

For instance a lot of "starts as rape turns to overwhelming passion" crap actually grows out of the writer's inability to write overwhelming passion in a way that is consensual. I think a lot of writers are so wedded to a false dichotomy of "either she lies back and thinks of England or he forces himself on her and she is then swept away by passion" that they can't come up with anything else. And (sadly) that applies to female writers as well as male (the vast number of dub con/non con flags on Archive of Our Own for example).

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