27/07/2014

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

'[...] Danaë'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.   

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