When Rape Shocks. And When It Doesn’t.

Deliverance was on tv over the weekend. I hadn’t seen it for a long time and forgot how well it was filmed and cast for a movie of that era.

But then we came to that scene. Yep. With Ned Beatty. the “squeal like a pig” scene. And I had to turn the movie off. Not just mute it. Not just look away. Switch channels. I found it that disturbing.

And I should. We all should. The scene was meant to be disturbing. Same thing for that scene near the end of the first season of Outlander when Black Jack rapes Jamie. Had to turn away.

Tell me then, why don’t I, why don’t more of us turn away from the portrayal of female rape on tv and in movies? Like the ritualized rape in Handmaid’s Tale? Or all the rapes in Game of Thrones? 

Has female rape become so common place, such a trope that it’s background? And if so, it’s so sad.

One thought on “When Rape Shocks. And When It Doesn’t.

  1. larrylootsteen says:

    There are times when a scene like that is an integral part of the story. The bizarrely clinical and institutional rape scenes in The Handmaid’s Tale say something and are offered up to show us the sickness. When you see those scenes and they are used just for simple shock value but do not belong in the story or are unnecessary to the story, then you have to question it. Gratuitous sex, gratuitous violence. When the two combine they are almost always against women in their portrayal. Meaning and place matter in storytelling matter.


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