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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

September 10th, 2005 (10:54 pm)

Why is rape funny when it happens to men?

λ and I went to see The Wedding Crashers tonight.Collapse )

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Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 12th, 2005 06:40 pm (UTC)

So. Much. Word.

One of the most shocking things I ever read was a response to a letter in an advice column (guy claimed a woman had effectively forced him into sex) where the agony aunt in question snappily told the guy "women don't force themselves on men."

Now, whatever she may have thought of the man's letter, that is the most astonishingly ridiculous thing i've ever read. Because they certainly can and do.

I lost every scrap of respect I ever had for that agony aunt. The whole thing reminded of an episode of Special Victims Unit that dealt with this very issue and sadly showed that it'll be a long time before anyone can accept women as being capable of rape against a man.

Posted by: Narcissa Black (narcissusblack)
Posted at: September 12th, 2005 06:40 pm (UTC)
Signing in would be good.

Sorry, that was me up there.

Posted by: marie (nevergobck)
Posted at: September 12th, 2005 09:27 pm (UTC)
On a similar note...

Have you seen the movie The Notebook? There's a scene where the girl is literally beating up the guy. If he were beating her, it would be abuse, but he's not, so of course it's a beautiful, healthy relationship. That made me so mad.

Posted by: Ryan (sweetsouldier)
Posted at: September 12th, 2005 09:40 pm (UTC)

Sorry if I'm intruding or anything. I received a link for your entry from two different people. One being thecoldroom and the other electronickiss. I agree that rape is a serious issue, but I also say that it is a movie. It's entertainment. If it was advertised as a drama and they made a joke out of it, then you should be outraged. But it was advertised as a comedy. You have to look at rape from a comical view. Yes, rape can be funny. Death can be funny. ANYTHING can be funny given the proper context. I'm not sure how to do links, but thecoldroom made a lot of very good points in his entry today that I believe you should read.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 12th, 2005 09:52 pm (UTC)

I tried to address some of your points in the post that immediately follows this one - a lot of people have been saying stuff like this, yes. You can read it if you like, and if it convinces you it convinces you, and if it doesn't that's fine too. My point of view is that when a comedy reflects attitudes that truly exist in society and are truly troubling, then the comedy deserves to be addressed as seriously as you would address the same issues when brought up in any other forum. I do believe that the portrayal of rape in The Wedding Crashers is indicative of - indeed, is a result of - some very disturbing attitudes towards male rape that are prevalent in our society. If those attitudes weren't prevalent I wouldn't have seen any reason to get mad. Anyway, that's where I'm coming from, and it's not likely to change, but thanks for your input (really).

Posted by: Ryan (sweetsouldier)
Posted at: September 12th, 2005 10:04 pm (UTC)

Posted by: red (hippydippymama)
Posted at: September 12th, 2005 11:52 pm (UTC)

Can I link to this in my survivor comm, whathappens_now?

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 13th, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC)

Of course. Actually that's probably a good place for it, especially if you have any male survivors in the group. I hate to think of how triggering that movie would be for a survivor who went into it unawares.

Posted by: 永遠のdreamer (chocolate_chip)
Posted at: September 13th, 2005 01:28 am (UTC)
taking names

I had no desire to see the movie before, but now I'm tempted to go so I can scream at people in the theater. This is seriously messed up. Some things can be played for laughs in an "it's so wrong it's right" kind of way. Rape is NEVER one of them.

May I link to this in my journal?

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 13th, 2005 01:19 pm (UTC)

Go ahead and link if you'd like. Thanks for the comment, I really appreciate the support that balances off the flames. :)

Posted by: Matt1969 (matt1969)
Posted at: September 13th, 2005 01:36 am (UTC)

lornyloo posted a link to this in her LJ and that's why I'm here.

I have to admit, I've not seen the movie and never had a desire to. Most comedies don't actually appeal to me. I'm odd like that. However, judging from your review I'm glad I haven't.

Rape is rape, no matter who's the perp and who's the victim. That people laughed shows how much our society as a whole is declining. I would say that not just was Vaughn's character abused, but was so was Wilson's - by his girl's mother.

Budweiser did a lot of promotional work with this movie. I don't think I'll be drinking any Bud's any time soon.

You've a right to be angry, and I'll be angry with you.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 13th, 2005 01:23 pm (UTC)

I didn't focus much on the scene with Owen Wilson's character because it didn't fit into the arc I was describing (Vince Vaughn and the redhead) but yes, it absolutely was assault and that's why I threw it in there. That scene could actually spark an interesting dialogue about why I consider it assault when he could theoretically have just shoved her aside and walked out of the room - between Owen Wilson and Jane Seymour I don't see much contest about who's physically stronger. There's a lot of social conditioning around that sort of thing, though, and you could get into a rather in-depth discussion about the ways in which the Owen Wilson character may have been conditioned not to respond to women in any manner with any overtones of violence, why he may have felt trapped despite the disparity in their physical size, etc.

I am positive the producers of The Wedding Crashers did not mean to inspire one tenth that much thought. But I like to think. :)

Posted by: Matt1969 (matt1969)
Posted at: September 13th, 2005 01:28 pm (UTC)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 13th, 2005 01:35 pm (UTC)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 13th, 2005 05:20 am (UTC)
Linking this on my page

Hey there,

I'm completely with you on that things which are serious issues should never be handled carelessly, let alone be joked about in the repulsively insensitive manner that it was in the movie. I'd like more people to read your post, so that they may note that there is a great difference between good-humoured banter and unjust, immature comments or actions attempting to be passed off under the veil of humour. So I've linked this post on one of my posts.

My address is http://almostsirisha.blogspot.com/

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 13th, 2005 01:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Linking this on my page

Wow, I think that's the first time this has made its way off LJ. You can certainly go ahead and link if you'd like.

Posted by: loveable by design; geek by choice (apoetneedspain)
Posted at: September 13th, 2005 12:53 pm (UTC)

*raises hand* Here from metaquotes and I have to say...

All the guys in my college class have come in, saying how funny this movie is. Now, it's A Guy's Movie. I've been known to go see guys' movies.

I most certainly won't be going to see this one.

I wonder what the people laughing in the audience would do if it was them that it happened to. I wonder if the guys in my class realise that it is possible to rape a man - and not just a man raping another man, but a woman raping a man - and that it could happen to them.

Just wish they had the brains to realise it's not funny. If I'd been there with you, I'd have walked out alongside.

Posted by: The Real Jessie But Secretly Kat. (kiwikat)
Posted at: September 13th, 2005 03:14 pm (UTC)

that is absolutely horrid. i had wanted to see that movie, but now i won't, because that is utterly unacceptable.

Posted by: A journal of creative outlet. (cinediva)
Posted at: September 13th, 2005 11:48 pm (UTC)

I haven't seen the film. (And now I won't, at least not until it's on Netflix and I can see it without financially supporting it.)

And I agree that rape is horrible - that it involves those feelings of powerlessness (In all the situations except for the tied-up scene, he COULD physically have left. But he didn't, because he didn't feel like he could have.) and it is never OK for one person to do that to another, male or female. And it is never funny.

But now I'm going to play devil's advocate for a short while. There is something independently vile about what these two characters do - crashing weddings in an attempt to shack up with chicks, under the pretense that they are somehow connected to their lives through the bridal party.

From what I hear from people who did see it, the guys "got what was coming to them." And I think the sort of hive-mind behaviour that comes with being in a film audience can't be overlooked in this case.

Now, I don't believe that wedding-crashing to meet women stacks up against rape on the scale of vile behaviours. But it sounds to me like the movie was set up so that this scene would represent a deliverance of karma, or something. And an audience reacting to this is not like one person watching it alone in their house, where they have room to be horrified. I suspect there are mixed emotions, and some of the laughter comes from the audience finally seeing their shenanigans served back to Vince Vaughn (and more mildly to Owen Wilson.) And part of it comes from nervous laughter, when you don't know how to react.

The other thing, which I don't know if anyone has pointed out, is rape fantasy. I know women who have rape fantasies, and I can only imagine that men have it too. Which could well account for the fact that I've never heard a man complain about the scene, except for as a response to your thread.

That said, I'm still not going to spend a penny to go see the movie. I personally think it crossed the line, no matter what expanations I or anyone else can pull out of my butt. Thank you for posting this.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 14th, 2005 03:45 am (UTC)

Interesting points. Really interesting. Thank you for commenting.

I shy away from the "they had it coming" argument, though I've heard it a lot, just because it seems to me to smack of victim-blaming. And if it were inverted I would be horrified, and I think most people would too. Imagining a situation in which a girl who slept around got raped as payback for her behavior is fairly clear-cut unacceptable. And I know it doesn't invert that easily, because the "do 'em and dump 'em" mentality and behavior *is* more prevalent among men (I don't know by how much, nor do I have any studies to back up my claim, but it seems to be a fairly well-established phenomenon - and even if it's not true, the *perception* that it is true heavily tints both guys' and girls' behavior and thinking.) Still, though, I personally veer on two wheels away from anything that sounds like victim-blaming.

The point about rape fantasies is interesting, and brings up a point I have only heard addressed one time before in all these 170 comments, and obliquely at that. I have been treating the movie as an exaggerated reflection of reality, in that I believe the treatment of rape in the movie is an offshoot of our current social mores and perceptions. I should remember that treating it as an example of/outlet for fantasies that would feel very different in real life is equally valid. I'm not sure where the line gets drawn there, considering what I've said about taking things seriously when they reflect serious problems in our society - I suspect it's a matter of awareness. I think a great deal of the people in that movie were laughing because they weren't consciously aware of how very, very different that would feel to them in real life. There are people, though, for whom it is a consciously developed fantasy, and for whom the distinction between real life and fantasy doesn't need to be drawn because they already understand it. I do think that a great deal of the laughter at that movie came from the fact that people just didn't get that male rape *exists*. (I just discussed the movie with my brothers, whom I hadn't seen in awhile, and they cemented this: both of them said that male rape "couldn't happen like that". Because the guy had an erection. Even when I explained why an erection doesn't equal consent, even after they accepted my explanation, they still didn't believe it happens. Because, you know. It just doesn't.) But there must be people who are aware that it exists and who make the conscious choice to regard a movie like that as fantasy, without denigrating the seriousness of the issue. That one is going to require more thinking on my part. Thanks a lot for bringing it up.

And sorry about the lengthy comment. This is what happens when you make me think. I babble. :)

Posted by: Jen (boro_girl)
Posted at: September 14th, 2005 12:55 am (UTC)
Doc Who - WTF?

I found this through a link on my f-list. I had wanted to see this movie, but now I don't think I'll bother. It's sick and stupid; no means no, doesn't matter who says it.

I'd join in your complaining, but as I won't watch it it's a bit hypocrital. So I'm just going to spam my journal with this link if that's OK...

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 14th, 2005 03:46 am (UTC)

Perfectly fine, spam as you choose. :)

Posted by: Fickle (fickle_goddess)
Posted at: September 14th, 2005 05:18 am (UTC)
alone we stand together

...I'm linking to this in my journal if you don't mind because quite frankly, I never saw any warnings for that content either and had actually considered going to see the show.

*incredibly glad she didn't*

Thank you so much for saying all of that.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 14th, 2005 12:59 pm (UTC)

I don't mind links at all, go ahead. And, you know, despite the fact that a good portion of the reception for this has been negative, it's really important to me when I hear that someone who could have been triggered or upset by the movie isn't going to see it because they read this. So thanks for telling me. :)

Posted by: Lindsay (babylil)
Posted at: September 14th, 2005 11:10 am (UTC)

I was linked here by a friend, and I just wanted to say a big fat WORD to everything you've said here. I haven't seen the movie, I missed it in theaters, but until I read this I planned to probably see it on DVD someday. Now I will absolutely not be watching it. Rape isn't funny.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 14th, 2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it happens

When I ended a relationship with a lady i dated in college she really went overboard. Started drinking heavily, wouldn't leave me alone. The works. One day she shows up at my dorm about noon time (not drunk) and really started coming on to me. I wanted to force her out but I also didn't want to hurt her feelings anymore than I already had. She starts this heavy kissing thing and I kept waiting for her to notice I wasn't kissing back. No effect. She kept on and I told her I had to leave for classes but she wouldn't let up. I won't go into any more details than that, but I still get this deep, sick feeling in my stomach when I think about it - and it was 20 years ago! Fortunatly she started dating some troll I nicknamed Thundar the Barbarian. After he threatened to kick my @$$ a couple of times, for sheer offence of my existence, she finally got over it. For the record, at the time I was 5'7", 125 pounds and wore glasses. She was actually about an inch taller and 5 pounds heavier, so it's not like I was some sort of love 'em and leave 'em jerk. I really wasn't.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 14th, 2005 08:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Yeah, it happens

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 14th, 2005 08:16 pm (UTC)

Every single person in the theatre is laughing hysterically and you don't think its funny, and the crowd is the one with the problem? Do you think that the people who were laughing at the movie don't take rape seriously? Or do you think they know the difference between what is important and what is clearly meant to be a joke?

Not everything needs to be taken with such grave seriousness.

And you don't sound like a liberal lunatic, just a lunatic.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 14th, 2005 08:19 pm (UTC)

It's quite possible, yes, that they are the ones with the problem. If you think the majority is invariably right, we may need to shift the designation of lunacy here in your direction.

I've explained why I believe that, yes, people don't understand the concept of male rape and why I believe that it needs to be taken more seriously in general. If you want to disagree that's fine, but if you yourself want to be taken seriously you may want to be a little more respectful. And thoughtful.

By the way, congratulations on being one more in the 95% of flamers who don't have the balls to do it except anonymously.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 14th, 2005 09:52 pm (UTC)
Yeesh.

I understand your criticism, and you make valid points in regard to rape being a gender-neutral crime. I agree that a man can be raped, and both men and women can be rapists (and let's not limit it there. Organizations and nations can be rapists, too!), but by your impossible standards, there is virtually no material that can be used as the subject of comedy.

Physical comedy often involves simulated acts that would result in serious harm or even death if it were to occur in the real world. No person in his/her right mind would laugh at someone falling down the stairs -- but on film, that can be funny as hell if executed properly!

The heroes and heroines of romantic comedies would be in prison for stalking if they tried pulling their stunts in real life.

Comedy is about challenging audience expectations. It's about breaking social taboos.

You have arbitrarily drawn the line at rape, and declared that it is off limits. No jokes may be made and no fun poked. Rape, however portrayed, may never draw laughter. It is too serious a subject. But why stop there? Ted Rall pokes fun at war, mass murder, suicide, and imperialism in his amazing political cartoons. Those subjects are certainly bad; at least as bad as rape. Should we not laugh at those?

Your point would have at least some traction if the movie in question actually suggested that men cannot be raped. It does not. Vaughn's character is tied to a bed a forced into having intercourse with a (hot) redhead. He himself compares his situation to rape. If anything, the film actually suggests that men CAN be raped; albeit in a less-than-serious manner. At worst, the viewer is left to draw his/her own conclusions.

Personally, I think you're just trying to hammer this square movie into your round worldview. You have very strong views on the subject of rape (much like Pat Robertson's views on abortion or Hugo Chavez), and you feel righteous indignation that anyone could make light of the subject.

I laughed at the film, I make no apologies, and my leftist street cred is still intact.

-Craig
http://www.twolegsbad.org/
(shameless plug)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 14th, 2005 10:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Yeesh.

Sorry about the "anonymous" posting. I'm not hiding or anything. It's just that I don't have a LiveJournal account and I'm too lazy to figure out what the OpenID thing is all about.

And, by the way, I hope that you don't consider my message to be a flame; I'm just engaging in spirited conversation.

-Craig (mailto:hacksawh22@yahoo.com)
TwoLegsBadDotOrg (http://www.twolegsbad.org/)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: September 15th, 2005 01:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Yeesh.

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