Friday, August 18, 2006

Actually, It's Not Interesting

From Jim Beard's review of 52 #15 at Silver Bullet Comics:
Renee comes too-close-for-comfort to being raped. I truly hate to say that impending sexual assault could be interesting, even if it is fiction, but like all the other moments in this series that have caused me to ponder, this moment was excrutiatingly thought-provoking. Would she have been able to resist? Would she then have been killed outright? Is rape by a male even “worse” (if such horrid acts can be quantified) to a lesbian as it would be to a straight female? How far could DC have pushed this scene if they had chosen too? It’s a tense moment. You know what’s coming, and when the guard grabs her shirt, even before she thinks about rape, you say “oh, hell…,” and you are concerned for a fictional character. Hard to do in a comic but it worked.

My thoughts:

Mr. Beard, why speculate about something that didn't happen? Nothing is gained. It's prurient. It's not constructive. Follow your instincts, man: it can't be quantified. You say so yourself: we shouldn't even try to quantify in this way. You should have stopped there. But you didn't.

rape is a grave assault upon the victim's humanity and dignity: this doesn't happen by degrees. No victim's dignity is ever going to be "lightly" assaulted; so how can we speculate that one "type" of rape might be worse than another? If we follow your reasoning, we arrive at the distinctly repulsive conclusion that some rapists are worse, or better, than others. This is so stunningly idiotic that I could barely bring myself to even type it.

My thoughts on this scene:

(1) Montoya's thoroughly kicking the guy's ass barely dispelled my discomfort.
(2) I look forward to Black Adam and Isis instituting sweeping prison reforms, soon.

Hey, I'm no pollyanna. I'm aware that men and women are being forced to endure prison conditions such as those depicted in the comic as I type this. However, I prefer that the heroes in my comics eventually do something to put a stop to it.

And I expect to see it, on panel.

I wasn't really bothered by the scene, oddly enough.

Mostly because I figured they're going to end up running into Adam and Isis soon enough and as soon as Isis gets a look at Question or Montoya in that condition, Changes Will Be Made.

But yeah, Beard really should have dropped that train of thought earlier. Sexual orientation doesn't play a role in rape. Rape is rape and it's bad regardless of who the victim would sleep with consentually. Sheesh.
Hey, Kalinara!

Yeah, I had the same Isis-related thoughts about Changes Being Made to Khandaq's penal system: my hope is that since we were shown in detail how bad it is, that the 52 team won't drop the ball in letting us see how it gets fixed.
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