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  • Media portrayals of rape
    I watched an episode of the sitcom Benidorm last night. It was partly about a couple of swingers who take revenge on a womanising Spanish barman. I won't go into the details of their plan, but it ends with them tying him to a bed and gagging him against his will. Another character, for convoluted reasons of his own, bursts into the room and finds the couple standing over the barman, the woman holding a giant phallic cucumber and the man lubing up his hands. Despite the barman being clearly distressed and about to be broken into, the guy just exchanges some awkward dialogue with the couple then calmly leaves.
    Not to take a silly sitcom too seriously, but I found this unsettling. I'm convinced that if the barman was replaced by a young woman there would have been an outcry from audiences. How dare this prime time sitcom laugh at a poor girl in distress etc. There seems to be a double standard going on here. Female rape is serious and horrific, male rape can be poked gentle fun at. I don't have anything against rape jokes, but the way that scene set itself up was just wrong. There were no actual jokes in the dialogue, or any slapstick. I think we were just supposed to laugh at the prospect of this horny cad being horribly violated.
    So what's your opinion? Do you think this double standard exists, and if so what do you make of it?
    See http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Ma...maleOnMale for plenty more examples in "comedy".

    There is a double standard, and I think it's horrifying.
    I think language use has something to do with this, and how we perceive the crime itself. I'll use an example so you know what i mean. A while back, a 19 year old lad was bundled into a van and brutally gangraped only a few miles from where i live. This was obviously horrifying to even comprehend, and because it's so shocking everyone i know was talking about it, with a big difference between males and females use of words. Women would typically say something like 'My god, did you hear about that poor lad who got gangraped?...', whereas men tended to quip 'Hear about that guy who got bummed?' I hear the same sort of thing with prison/dropping soap in the showers talk, something nasty and horrific becomes light-hearted and something to joke about. My male friends tell me they do this because they can't bear to think about male rape in the first place, and changing the language is a sort of coping or defence mechanism that helps prevent any terrifying rape imagery from entering their head.
    I've never seen 'Benidorm' so i can't comment on that, but heslopian is right, there is a double standard about rape portrayal on tv, and it's immoral. The only time male rape is dealt with seriously on tv is when a show includes a storyline about the subject and deals with it as a token gesture, eg male rape this week, self harm the next, whatever's a hot topic the week after that.
    What i can't understand is why there isn't public uproar on these double standards.
    i agree with heslopian... they should joke about raping women on television.

    "Yeah. I understand the mechanics of it, shithead. I just don't understand how this is any less retarded than what I'm suggesting." - Kiley; Housebound.

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