27/07/2014

Aspects of rape culture | Danaƫ: well-played, Gustav, and the other boys

'[...] DanaĆ«'s rape scene is also a popular theme: imprisoned in a tower of bronze (strong) by her mortal father she gets raped by Zeus, this time turned into golden (stronger!) rain. Nothing here condemns, or even suggests rape. Even in theory, one would find it hard to conceive any representation of rape that would so eye-popping-ly erase rape compared to turning the rapist into a beautiful golden stream that runs between the legs of a naked, beauteous, young woman who is clearly 'aroused'i. Apart from a woman locked inside by one man, and invaded by another, she might also be the archetypical, quintessential 'not-if-she-enjoyed-it' go-to reference, and she is joined there by descendant filmic variations like Gone With The Wind's (Victor Fleming, USA, 1939) Scarlett (Vivien Leigh), Lust, Caution's (Se, jie) (Ang Lee, USA, Chine, Taiwan, 2007) Wong Chia Chi (Wei Tang); most controversially met in Straw Dogs (Sam Peckinpah, USA, UK, 1971); most un-noticeably in Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, USA, Hong Kong, UK, 1982), and Secretary (Steven Shainberg, USA, 2002), and even appears as a trope twice in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, UK, USA, 1975). Arguably the most sensual painterly version of this theme, Gustav Klimt's 1907 symbolist painting, is sold in gigantic prints by the hundreds in IKEA, purchased by unsuspecting admirers—maybe paid for in two euro coins (that feature Europa, another intensely spectacularised rape story)! 
This is truly extraordinary; well-played, Gustav, and the other boysii.[...]'



--Eliza Goroya, (part of my research for UCL)



iWord found in popular culture digester par excellence, wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dana%C3%AB_(Klimt_painting)

iiCorreggio, Rembrandt and Titian are a few examples.   

19/07/2014

Aspects of rape culture | Dogville: We were to meet in freedom

'I've chosen, Grace. I've chosen you...Tonight we free ourselves of Dogville!'i he says, as he begins to thrust his body on top of her. Grace (Nicole Kidman) seems motherly, comforting, but quietly undeterred in her position; she speaks quietly, but her words are sonorous when she womansplains[sic]ii that '[…]it would be so beautiful, but, from the point of view of our love, so completely wrong'. Being consent-illiterate, and having ignored her non-verbal cues thus far (she doesn't kiss back, does not react to his touch), he is now forced to see what she is saying. It cannot be ignored:
'We were to meet in freedom', she concludes. And he, reluctantly, stops.
So, hey, freedom is somewhere and is not there. It is a place where people meet, and somewhere her in particular and Tom 'were to meet'. Lovers do not meet in unfree places: rapists and victims do. Not only does she theorise freedom as a place that is not there, and that is un-Dogville-like, but she also suggests an incompatibility of being able to give consent within unequal power dynamics—within places that anatomise 'intimidation, force, and predetermined gender roles—the tools of rape'iii as 'established by societal norms before rape happensiv'.
[...]

iiAlluding to, and playfully reversing, the term 'mansplaining' coined by Anna Robinson to describe what San Francisco author Rebecca Solnit was describing in a blog post titled "Men Explain Things to Me." http://www.nationinstitute.org/blog/nationbooks/3059/the_art_of_mansplaining.
iiiFeldman, The Subject of Rape, p. 18.

ivIbid.