itsnotmymind (itsnotmymind) wrote,

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Opinion on rape in Watchmen:

I have never been raped - nor, to the best of my knowledge, has anyone close to me. So I am probably not the best person to judge this, but: Sally Jupiter choosing to have consensual sex with the man who tried to rape her did not bother me in the slightest. Some years after realizing this, I came to the uncomfortable realization that I have a general fascination with fictional stories where survivors of rape or attempted rape end up establishing some kind of bond with the person who assaulted them. But for me: I believed Sally's decisions, I believed her reasons for choosing to have sex with the Comedian. It worked for me in the story. It was not portrayed as her forgiving the Comedian (she still didn't want him talking to Laurie), nor was it in any way a reward for him - or, really, much important to his story. That plot decision in and of itself didn't bother me personally.

What did bother me was the part where both the would-be rapist, the victim, and the rescuer put some level on of blame on the victim - and the only one who offers a countering point of view is Sally's briefly mentioned therapist.

The Comedian, when assaulting Silk Specter, claims that it’s because she flirts with him and wears revealing clothes. After rescuing her, the Hooded Justice orders her to put some clothes on. Bear in mind that she’s on the ground and bleeding at this particular point in time. Later, we see an interview where Sally says that she feels bears some responsibility for almost being raped. Because she flirted with the perpetrator. Sally says in passing that her therapist would probably disagree with this - but no one, NO ONE mentions that actually a woman can flirt with whoever she wants, and to say that this encourages men to force her to have sex or break her bones is rape culture.

And I find it weird that for all the intense discussion, criticism about Sally choosing to have sex with the Comedian, the message given by the story that she shares some responsibility for the rape is rarely commented on.
Tags: watchmen

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