Hubs and I, along with a good portion of the rest of the country, have been finishing up season three of Orange is the New Black. Without giving too much away for those who still haven’t seen it, one of the characters is victimized and raped TWICE in the same episode and it becomes a recurring topic of discussion in the following episodes. It was pretty difficult to watch honestly, and it made me wonder exactly why all of the sudden after Mad Men pulled it off, every popular TV show has included a rape event for one of their characters.
In a whole different category, we have Game of Thrones (which I’ve never watched) with it’s infamous reputation for consistently using rape as a plot point for nearly all of the female characters. Now Orange, and who knows what other shows might have an impending plot twist on the horizon. It’s not so much that I’m offended by the topic, but I can’t really see the line between raising awareness and taking advantage of a horrible event for ratings and entertainments sake.
Where is the line? I mean it happens to far too many women, and it needs to be discussed frequently and ferociously until the tides change, but I honestly don’t think writing it into scripts for television shows is the way to go about brining forth the needed change. Especially when it’s something that becomes accepted as fiction and something to drive the story forward.
I mean looking at it from a completely rational no emotional viewpoint yes. I am aware that in the Middle Ages when Game of Thrones is set, and in the U.S. Prison system, where Orange is set, rape is/was a common occurrence. That’s not really what I have an issue with. The issue I have is with the fact that the doors are opened for discussion but no direction is given.
What happened to the days of the PSA after a particularly difficult topic was discussed on TV? Has the element of surprise become so important to ratings and producers that no warning is given before hand, putting thousands of people at risk for flashbacks, and intrusive thoughts which often lead to self harm or suicidal thoughts? Is it just supposed to be understood that eventually some female character will be raped in a popular show, because eventually one in three women in real life are victimized this way?
I mean to me that isn’t even close to raising awareness, although I do have to give Orange much more credit than Game of Thrones, or Mad Men for actually addressing the topic instead of simply writing it off like nothing happened, it still doesn’t sit well with me. I have two more episodes to finish before the end of the season so hopefully something good will come from it.