drunklander: I had planned to do a stand-alone post about this after I watched the episode, but I…



I had planned to do a stand-alone post about this after I watched the episode, but I just saw this tweet and I guess this is happening now. [Might update this or add to it later once I’ve seen the episode.]

Ok, a few things right from the start:

  1. It’s a rape. Call it that.
  2. The fact that they’re tweeting this and they haven’t tweeted stuff like this before the other rapes on the show means they’ve seen fan reactions to the scene. Just like they’ve probably seen fan reactions to the eleventy billion other instances of rape and sexual assault in the show. So tweeting it for this one comes off more as a mea culpa than just a content warning. “We know y’all are *really* sick of watching people get raped in this show, but at least we’re giving you a heads up this time.”
  3. I know the people who run the twitter account are completely separate from the people who make the show. But the fact that the producers did an interview before the season even started airing where they tried to justify including this rape means they too are very aware of public sentiment toward seeing yet *another* scene like this. And they chose to include it anyway, because “historical accuracy” (which is bullshit) and “the book.”
  4. This show is an adaptation. There are ways to do the story that don’t involve this rape. They shouldn’t have included it.
  5. Art doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Shows, movies, plays, etc., are all partly reflections of the time in which they are made, maybe even moreso than the time in which they are supposed to be portraying. Art is inherently political. The inclusion of this rape tells me that the showrunner and producers took a look at the current state of society and feelings about this kind of subject matter and thought it was a good idea to include it anyway. Which tells me that these are people who I would never truly feel safe around.
  6. Other prestige drama’s have gotten a lot of heat for doing something similar to what this episode does even before the #MeToo movement had the national spotlight. But why listen to and learn from what audiences are willing to tolerate in their media consumption? ಠ_ಠ

So now let’s get down to the actual problem: Bree’s rape was never about her. Or a ring. She was raped to set up a dilemma for Roger. Will he stay and accept the chance it’s not his kid? Or will he leave and risk that it is?

This plot line is unnecessary on every conceivable level. Rape is already overused in the story. They’ve already done multiple story lines with children being raised by people who aren’t their biological parents and/or the truth about the child’s parentage was hidden.

Unplanned pregnancy, and the decisions to be made in response to one, is a big deal on its own. Making the choice to stay in the past and raise a child is a massive decision, for both Bree and Roger. The child maybe not being Roger’s as some sort of character test is unnecessary when the “love vs. obligation” question can still be played out when it definitely is his child.

This is the part when I put on my same old broken record and maintain that Jamie’s rape at Wentworth was the only one that should have been included in the show. Jamie’s rape by Geneva could have been avoided by having him sleep with her voluntarily (honestly the way they shot it was gross given it was a rape, but would have worked well if he had been there by choice), as it’d been years since he’d slept with anyone and she’s smokin’ hot and he could sympathize with her wanting to have sex on her own terms. Willie would still be conceived. You don’t need rape to get Willie. Young Ian’s rape was completely pointless, he’d been through enough trauma to change him as a person and leave him with some PTSD with the kidnap and captivity in Jamaica. Mary and Fergus could also have been easily omitted. Jamie would have understandably snapped and challenged Black Jack to a duel at even the hint of a threat toward Fergus. The rape itself didn’t need to happen to get from point A to point B. Mary’s rape is literally just to get her out of the arranged marriage so she can be with Alex Randall. That is the dumbest possible reason to rape a child. Claire has been through more sexual assault and attempted rape than anyone else on the show yet is not given the same space as Jamie or Young Ian to process her trauma

There is absolutely no reason to include Bree’s rape.

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