**SPOILER and TRIGGER WARNING: Rape**
Thank you HBO for portraying what happened to Jason as rape and not making a joke of it. Thank you for having Jason’s best friend not act as if it was ‘cool’ Jason was gang raped by various women. Thank you for allowing Jason to tell hoyt that his comparison of ‘My girlfriend is being weird’ to ‘You just got gang raped’ isn’t even in the same league, and having Hoyt then shut his mouth so Jason can talk about his trauma. Thank you for taking male rape seriously.
There has been discussion regarding if this episode trivializes rape. In a recent post by Feministe Hexy states shes never felt as if the show has been so blatant and so “extremely gendered”. I’m curious to know what she means by the later- but as far as I’ve seen I disagree.
This episode in particular highlights another issue I haven’t yet seen discussed- One I would like to see Hexy speak on and one I think she has ignored directly in this quote:
“I don’t think that the subject would be treated anywhere near this lightly, or even depicted at all, if the story called for a room full of men lining up to rape a woman, say, Sookie Stackhouse. The writers just wouldn’t dare to not show the rapists as menacing characters. ”
Firstly; The writers have shown a rapist as a menacing, terrifying character before. The story line with Tera last season. There is also discussion about the show being racist because they chose to make an African-American character the victim of rape. Considering African-American women statistically are more likely to experience rape and domestic abuse by a HUGE margin: I don’t see how that’s racist. It’s making a point on a very sad and disgusting reality.
This situation is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT to the Tera story arc. Not all cases of rape are the same and I’m glad the show has showcased a different scenario. In many cases of rape the perpotrators are ‘seemingly harmless’ people- often people the victims know, trust and love. I feel this story arch shows that; and rape in a different light than most shows in a very nontrivial way.
The women who rape Jason one after the other are all forced into doing so- pimped out by their own fathers, husbands and brothers to become pregnant. They are VICTIMS themselves. While some of the women seemingly enjoy raping Jason some cry and are horribly upset. One of the young girls who is a virgin can’t do it and cries, eventually helping Jason free. Sexual slavery comes in various packages and forms- and what the women are doing to Jason is sexual slavery. Either they are brainwashed completely into his rape or are forced. It’s not consensual.
I am glad that it was also Jason’s character who was chosen for this arc. Male rape does happen and can happen to anyone- even a macho, womanizing manly-man like Jason. It’s not just little boys, non-hetero-normative or ‘queer’ men that get raped. It also shows that trauma and violence effects even manly men, and that they have feelings and emotions.
I feel as though many people don’t want to see rape in television or movies ever, especially if its glorified, victim blaming, ‘sexy’ or trivializes the topic- and for that I don’t blame them. However, I don’t think any of the rape or implied rape scenes in Trueblood have been this way. I don’t think it disrespects victims. I don’t think the reactions of the victims in the show are inaccurate to what many people do and the trauma they go through. I don’t think that just because the rapists in this scene where non violent, creepy bogey men the story and message are any less valid.
I most certainly don’t think it trivializes the issue of rape. To trivialize is to make trivial; to minimize. To make less of. In both cases of rape in the show so far neither time did I feel the show made rapes meaningless or less meaningful. It showed the rape as violent, violating, terrifying and betraying. More importantly I feel that the show treats the rape of Jason (Female on Male) just as seriously as it did the rape of Tera. (Male on Female.)