Bounding from obsession to obsession.
Yes, women are raped in real life. And the reason I read comic books is to escape from real life.
Precisely. I bailed on comics because I'd used them to escape and as an empowerment fantasy, and instead of giving me a world where women were strong and able to fight off rapists they gave me a world where someone like Ms. Marvel still got raped. I also think rape is peculiar in that it simply does not fit in your average empowerment fantasy. If the hero (or heroine) gets beat up, bashed and battered, then it's empowering for them to get up and go back into the fight and deal with the bad guy, either by beating back or by defeating him without being reduced to his level; either works, depending on the hero.But rape? Our heroine cannot go out and rape the guy who raped her, and if she somehow did it would be horrible. Hauling the rapist in for justice is all very well - but she's still raped. Rape changes a person in way being beaten does not - while there are cultural reasons for this, over the years I've come to believe there are also biological differences between rape and being beaten as well.While both situations kick in some of the same autonomic reactions, there's a whole different brain chemistry going on with rape. While any form of trauma can change the brain, rape changes it in a unique way. I think comic authors are correct in recognizing that rape changes a person (and incorrect when they DON'T treat it that way with male victims), but incorrect in introducing it to a power fantasy in the first place.Still, even when male characters are raped, either it isn't named rape or it's a more minor character rather than the star player. And it's rape with less threat than most women in comics face - those I've seen the guy is either muzzy with drugs and/or the woman views it as seduction and he's not too sure himself. (I know some version of Hulk was straight-forward raped but I haven't seen it.)Frankly, I think the way it's handled with a lot of male characters is the only possible way to use it in that sort of fantasy - where the rape has roughly the of a serious physical assault, as with Batman and Talia IIRC - but this treatment isn't very realistic.Female rape is portrayed more realistically, but then it can't be part of a power fantasy.I truly believe American comics would appeal to girls as well as guys if it weren't for the fact that the producers refuse to view female characters as someone the reader should identify with as a powerful character. For all the sexism in the late sixties and early seventies, it was easier for me as a fan to find female characters I could identify with then than it is now - mostly because I am too wary to let myself love a character anymore, for fear what they'll drag her through.Female characters are disposable now in a way they weren't then.
where the rape has roughly the of a serious physical assaultThat should be, "where the rape has roughly the impact of a serious physical assault." *sigh*
"Yes, women are raped in real life. And the reason I read comic books is to escape from real life."Or, at the very least, if one must for some insane reason, have rape in a comic book, we read it in order to read about how she managed to beat her rapist to a bloody pulp immediately afterwards. Although beating him to a bloody pulp while he's still a would-be rapists would be preferred.Most of all, we don't read comics to read about some guy agonizing over our hero's rape. We read comics to read about our fantasies, not someone else's.
Srsly!Superhero stories are power fantasies and they're our escape from a real world of bullies and helplessness. :\
Reading this, I couldn't help but think of the climax of the first J.D. Robb Eve Dallas novel, NAKED IN DEATH. The surprise villain tells Eve (a 21st Century female police lieutenant) that he's going to rape and kill her, while her lover and her mentor are both trying to get there in time to save her...and she kicks the living CRAP out the motherfucking Right-Wing Rapist Asswipe! Roarke (her richer-than-God, stunning- handsome, rougish Black Irish lover/later husband) and Feeney (her Irish-American mentor and former partner) have to save Senator Fucknuts from her beating him to death with her fists, which she is perfectly capable of doing .... :) :) :)Re-reading the Eve Dallas books every time a new one comes out gives me a happy. I really wish that somebody would do a comic based on this series, rather than the Anita Blake novels,Best,Tim LiebeYes, I strongly recommend this series :)
I'm somwhere in the 'it's real' camp, albeit a little better articulated, I like to think.Part of the broader point that responds specifically to the quote in this thread would be -- every comic isn't for everyone.Yes, it could be a despicable cop-out, but it's not without it's validity.In an industry built on fighting crime and art imitating life, it is remiss to expect any intelligent creative influence (or even reader) to expect rape to be avoided or censored any more than it has been over sixty years of comics.It doesn't have to be EVERYWHERE, and it isn't. It just comes with the territory, particularly where superhero comics are concerned."Superhero stories are power fantasies and they're our escape from a real world of bullies and helplessness. :\"You cannot have great triumph, without great evil.It's the perpetrators of these vile crimes that provide us with our 'escapist power fantasies.'And honestly, I'm not sure I can think of anything more satisfying than a sexual predator getting what's coming to them.
It's the perpetrators of these vile crimes that provide us with our 'escapist power fantasies.'No, it's seeing them brought to justice.And honestly, I'm not sure I can think of anything more satisfying than a sexual predator getting what's coming to them.This is precisely why some women like "rape romances" - the guy ends up spending the rest of his life paying her back for the rape and trying to make amends. A good rape romance is satisfying in that way; rape in comics? Not so much. Maybe the hero of the comic beats him up but with the characters I've cared about who were raped, not one of them got to beat up the rapist and, so far as I can see, most of them didn't get any justice at all.Beating the guy up may make the hero happier, but it doesn't help the heroine and what she has to deal with much.
"No, it's seeing them brought to justice."And without the perpetrators perpetrating crimes we see them brought... coffee...Moot point.They provide the entertainment. They are the catalysts."Maybe the hero of the comic beats him up but with the characters I've cared about who were raped, not one of them got to beat up the rapist and, so far as I can see, most of them didn't get any justice at all."Well, I'm not citing examples.I'm defending rape on the basis of it's creative relevance in a medium built on crime and reactionary crime fighting."Beating the guy up may make the hero happier, but it doesn't help the heroine and what she has to deal with much."That's called pathos.