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Feminism and TVD: "I Fought Back Tonight"


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#361

zizou

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 11:52 AM

I think they already screwed Rebekah's character over: she had sided with Klaus against her whole family, but when it's Klaus against someone she has known for a couple of weeks, well, of course she chooses Stefan.

So now we have 400 years old, badass, ruthless, cynical Katherine who falls madly in love with a teenager, so much that she follows him around even when he's with Klaus; the spunky, opinionated and sometimes badass Elena of S1 and part of S2 whose life, which her father literally sacrificed himself for, suddenly has no meaning whatsoever without her boyfriend of 6 months; and the aforementioned Rebekah, who abandons the only family she has left for the crush of the month.

Apparently, women are all about the love and they're defined by their relationships. Bah. That, or Stefan has very, very powerful pheromones.

#362

tip and fall

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

That, or Stefan has very, very powerful pheromones.

Maybe he has a magic dick and is that amazing in the sack.

#363

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 12:05 PM

Maybe he has a magic dick and is that amazing in the sack.


I don't know, Katherine fell for him before they slept together... nah, it must be his pheromones.

BTW, talking about women in TVD: is Bonnie dead?

#364

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 12:07 PM

So did you like it or did you not like it? I couldn't quite read that.
IMO it felt just right (though I do want another casual mention - or showcase, yes! - of said homosexuality. Yes, the fact that KW is homosexual himself does influence my opinion on that he'll treat that subject right. And I love that he therefore didn't shy away from making the one gay character not pitch-perfectly squeaky clean.
As part of a group that is being shunned by society transferring some self-hate onto another "group", especially his daughter - it makes perfect sense to me.


Ok so it was intentional so that makes it better. However, I never thought the metaphor works gays do not have power over straight people nor do they hold any threat towards straight people. There is no rason for people to want to "fix" other than simple prejudice. That is not the case with vampires who can and often do kill on a whim and often do, use humans as a food source, and with complusion make humans do whatever they want. Those are really good reasons to hate vampries and want to fix vampries. Even the most innocent vampire on this show, Caroline, has killed three people. The prejudices are valid with vampires. Now that I know he was aware of what he was doing and meant for those arrows to be connected, I just disagree with his point.

BTW, talking about women in TVD: is Bonnie dead?


She's coming back next episode.

#365

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 12:10 PM

She's coming back next episode.

I guess the show must be in need of a deus ex machina next week!

#366

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 12:19 PM

I guess the show must be in need of a deus ex machina next week!


Nope probably some relationship angst from Jeremy about seeing his dead girlfriends and missing them, and not telling Bonnie, so a different more Elena kind of prop.

#367

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 12:40 PM

BTW, talking about women in TVD: is Bonnie dead?

Her boyfriend is a medium, so I'm sure he would've known if that was the case.

Edited by zomb, Sep 30, 2011 @ 1:06 PM.


#368

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Posted Oct 2, 2011 @ 11:04 AM

Let's not even get into how unrealistic it is for a powerful witch to be killed with no consequences from the rest of her coven to her killer.

Do witches on this show even have covens? I think we've mostly seen them by themselves, or hanging with their also magical family.

Nope probably some relationship angst from Jeremy about seeing his dead girlfriends and missing them, and not telling Bonnie, so a different more Elena kind of prop.

True. I for one haven't really missed Bonnie but I love the ghost story so I'm down for it.

Apparently, women are all about the love and they're defined by their relationships.

Honestly, though, most of this show is about relationship angst, for the guys and the gals, when it isn't about magical bad guys. I mean, we started the show with two brothers moping or obsessed with their ex-gf. I think there could be more balance with the girls friendship, which they were better about in the first season or two, but I don't think relationship stuff is only an obsession with the girls. Jeremy has had a succession of girlfriend storylines as well.

#369

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Posted Oct 3, 2011 @ 4:08 PM

Do witches on this show even have covens? I think we've mostly seen them by themselves, or hanging with their also magical family.


I wondered that myself. However, since on this show you're never quite sure where another witches allegiance will lie, going outside the magical family unit is dangerous.


Apparently, women are all about the love and they're defined by their relationships.


I agree with you but I don't think that holds true for every female character on the show. With Elena, that is very much the case, at least that's how I feel, but I don't think that for Caroline and Bonnie. They were very much individuals last season. Sure Caroline pined for that bastard Matt but she was more defined by having to re-establish herself in the vampire pool she was tossed into by Katherine. I think she came out of that a stronger, more-self reliant character. As for Bonnie, she was/is all about becoming the better Bennet witch, her being a powerful witch and being able to help with previous dire situations was the catalyst for her and Jeremy getting together, not the other way around.

#370

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Posted Oct 16, 2011 @ 4:22 PM

Here's an interesting article on the portrayal of female superheroes in comics. It is predominantly about the characterisation and realisation of female roles and stereotypes in comics, but I think a lot of it can be applied to writing women in almost any medium, including television.

This part, especially, got me thinking about TVD because, amongst other things, I was reminded about what Kevin Williamson said about writing for Jenna and why she was killed off. It's also particularly interesting considering the previous discussion on this thread concerning the relationships between Elena, Caroline, and Bonnie.

Rachel Edidin writes:

Understand that "female" is not a defining trait. Or, rather, it is, in that it mediates someone's experience of and relationship to the world around them, but it's not the be-all, end-all of character development. If you ask most women -- or men -- to describe themselves, most of the words they use won't have anything to do with gender; instead, they'll tell you where they come from, what they want, what they believe in, what they like to do. This goes back to the whole "doing things" conversation: your characters, male and female, should be defined by and significant for what they do, not just what you would like to do to them.

By the same token, women are not a homogenous demographic group. Like men's, women's interests and personalities vary tremendously. If you think you can't identify with a female character well enough to write her, maybe take a look at the aspects of female experience you think you can't click with and question whether they're gender-mediated at all. There's a lot of the stereotypical "female character" package that a lot of women can't relate to, either, and falling back on traits or habits because they're "woman things" rather than because they fit the character is just unforgivably lazy writing.

Women have significant relationships with other women. The Bechdel Test is a good shortcut for dialogue, but you can apply it on a larger scale, too. Are there two women in your comic who have a relationship based on something other than a) shopping, or b) mutual relationship to a man? ...Chris Claremont gets held up a lot in superhero circles as a guy who writes good female characters, and a BIG part of that comes from the fact that those characters have real and independent friendships with each other. In fact, just go ahead and write women who aren't defined primarily by their relationships with men. If they're supporting characters, their roles in stories might be defined by their relationships to the protagonist, but give them lives and stories outside of that, even if they never make their way to the page. Like a lot of these, this one is really just Storytelling 101.


Source.

#371

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Posted Oct 17, 2011 @ 12:28 AM

I kind of liked how every female in this show is inexplicably attracted to Stephan because, to me, it feels like a reliable joke, like Aunt Jenna being a crappy guardian or the town having an event every week. The fact that women as completely different as Elena, Katherine and Rebekah all love Stephan beyond their own family (after a few months' time in Kat's and Elena's case, and like a week for Rebekah) is so ridiculous that it cracks me up more than bothering me. Of course mileage varies, and since most female characters in this show subsume themselves after falling in love makes it seem less intentional and much less funny...I guess I'm actually conflicted on second thought.

I really wish that Jeremy's storyline was from Bonnie's point-of-view. What I mean is, I think it's great that Jeremy's getting something to do, and that it relates to who he's been so far. But this storyline should at least equally be Bonnie's. Bonnie caused the conflict by saving Jeremy's life. Bonnie lost the connection to all the witches. What with Matt now seeing ghosts, Bonnie should be worried that she's violated that balance of nature the show hints at occasionally, since all it takes now is non-magical cpr for ghosts to be appearing. Et cetera. Instead Bonnie is MIA for three episodes, and now that she's here it seems like, if she has a role to play beyond witch ex machina, it will be concerned about competing with Jeremy's dead girlfriends (I hope they don't go this way because that's gross for twenty plus reasons, but...).

Bonnie knows that she lost access to the witches in the woods. She says this with slight bitterness that she's "cut off," but she doesn't seem to have much feeling beyond that. No self-reflection as to the why of it. No introspection in the role she's played and why it might be bad for a witch to do what she did...this is compared to season one when Grams died and the loss of a mentor devastated her enough to make her question friendships, work to grow more powerful, challenge her previous moral relativism and change her worldview (which is impressive considering it all happened offscreen--ugh--but we got to see those changes after she came back). Now she's lost hundreds of possible mentors, and this seems to have affected her in no way other than slight bitterness.

Bonnie's not my favorite character, and I didn't miss her while she was gone, but still I was so happy when she said that she was spending the summer with her family. I really trusted that she spent that time with them learning more about her powers (not the mechanics of them, but rather the spiritual balance, moral nature, place in the universe and so on) and that she would return having matured. I was so excited that magic might possibly no longer be a plot device, but rather a fulcrum for growth and reflection. But after two episodes back I guess it really was just a family vacation. Which is not just disappointing based on my hopes, but downright nonsensical that she'd immediately go away for the summer leaving Elena (who she was repeatedly willing to die for) and Jeremy (who she loves so much she upset the balance of nature to save) just so she could hang. Or something.

So to my original point, I really wish that Jeremy's storyline was from Bonnie's point-of-view. It would make more sense, and be more interesting for her character, and be more interesting for the storyline (which isn't nearly as exciting/fun as I hoped it would be last spring). Jeremy could have just as much time as he does now, but it would have an added layer to see it also through Bonnie's eyes.

as an extra wtf, I know that Jeremy hasn't told many people (I don't remember who knows) but it seems really weird that the only people even a little invested in his very urgent circumstances are Matt (the most boring useless character on the show who has never been Jeremy's friend before) and Katherine. I guess that's not really a gender issue though so I'll drop it.

#372

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Posted Dec 10, 2011 @ 4:18 PM

According to casting news, the final Original vampires have been cast - all guys.

And I must say, I really have a problem with the discourse surrounding Rebekkah: "She's the evil slut", "she's a spoiled brat", etc.
There are so few women left and they love to slut-shame. If Caroline hadn't come dangerously close to being called hysterical, I wouldn't think it's far off from what they're going to call Rebekkah next.
I don't even know what to do with this show anymore. It shouldn't shock me, but I guess I'm a masochist and keep forgetting its antics.

#373

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Posted Dec 15, 2011 @ 9:42 AM

I only remember Caroline calling Rebekkah because she was flirting with Tyler so I understand her motivation there. I don't remember anyone else calling her that? Do you have examples? I don't remember any "slutty" behavior on Rebekkah's part, especially when compared with someone like Damon, so yeah, that would be a problem.

Rebekkah is a spoiled brat, at least she was in the first few episodes we saw her. But Klaus is an even more spoiled brat than she is. I've been sorely disappointed with the Klaus and Rebekkah storylines, and I hope they up their game or just move on. Katherine and Elijah were much better and more enjoyable villains.

#374

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Posted Sep 19, 2012 @ 4:51 PM

It's a waste a time to even TRY to name all the different ways this show fails at writing women, so I won't even start.

I will, however, point out this amusing (if you choose to look at it that way) incident: in "The Departed", Vamparic attacks Damon and Rebekah in the storage facility... and then Damon, the 160-year-old vamp, tells Rebekah, the 1000-year-old Original, to run, so he can fight off Vamparic in all of his heroic manliness. AND SHE DOES.

*facepalm*

Okay, I get that Rebekah was freaking out because Vamparic had just (supposedly) killed Klaus, so she wasn't in the best shape to be fighting. But still.

#375

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Posted Sep 23, 2012 @ 9:10 AM

I was always frustrated at how often the show played fast and loose with the older = faster, stronger, etc. continuity, especially when it applies to the female vampires. I disliked how Rose would constantly remind Damon that she was older and stronger...and then she constantly needed saving. Heck, didn't Isobel even physically threaten Damon one time? Damon, who was the one who actually turned her?

I still fondly remember Pearl driving her nails into Damon's eyes.

#376

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Posted Oct 10, 2012 @ 3:50 AM

I still fondly remember Pearl driving her nails into Damon's eyes.


I love Pearl, I wish she were around for longer on the show.

Okay, I get that Rebekah was freaking out because Vamparic had just (supposedly) killed Klaus, so she wasn't in the best shape to be fighting. But still.


I also took it that okay, if Vamparic kills Rebekah so many other vampires will also die (including possibly Damon because at this point he doesn't know which original sired his line) but if Vamparic kills Damon then just Damon dies.

more instances of rape seem to be coming up in season 4: Klaus in Tyler's body having sex with Caroline who thinks she is sleeping with Tyler. I'm not looking forward to that.

#377

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Posted Oct 10, 2012 @ 1:35 PM

Why would Rebekah be the one to fight Alaric, if she's his next target? Damon was mostly a distraction to provide an exit strategy to Rebekah, because none of them could defeat him. Alaric had been hunting vampires since before he was a vampire himself, so it makes sense that the Originals would be wary of him.

Or what LaraHazel said.

Do we know that Kyler is going to go there with Caroline?

I have to say, the only situation that really gave me pause wrt this thread was Sage's entire character. I mean, mentoring someone into the grand noble pursuit of taking what he wants whenever he wants it? Yecch.

Edited by DigiKing, Oct 10, 2012 @ 1:38 PM.


#378

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Posted Oct 10, 2012 @ 4:19 PM

Do we know that Kyler is going to go there with Caroline?


You're right, we don't know if they'll actually have sex, but he did kiss her in the finale and I watched a preview for Season 4 on the CW that showed them taking off some clothes and kissing, which even if that's all they do that's still not okay. Seems rapey towards Tyler, also, having sex/being physical in his body without his consent (I mean, yeah he'd be with Caroline even if Klaus weren't possessing him but still). It isn't really clear yet how Klaus's possession of Tyler works, if Tyler can break through and be in control at times.

#379

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Posted Dec 7, 2012 @ 3:12 AM

Anyway it's silly to seperate Caroline sleeping with Damon with all the other stuff he did. She went to bed with him, founnd out he injuries her, uses her for navarious purposes, calls her names but she can't remember all that stuff and is none the wiser as she continues her relationship with him. Caroline didn't regularly attack and injure Matt before compelling him to forget and continue ther relationship. Stefan hid the fact that he was a vampire from Elena, he didn't hide the truth of what he had been doing to her during sex while having more casual sex with her. And anyway, Caroline was 16 years old when she first slept with Damon. How is none of this rape?


Rape, as it is legally (and socially) defined is that a person was stripped of their will (usually spoken of in terms of consent). What Damon did was not rape. Damon compelled Caroline to forget about things, that would presumably have stopped her from sleeping with him. That's not the same thing as stripping her of consent. She still chose to sleep with Damon. He didn't compel her into having sex with him; she decided that on her own, before any compulsion began. Damon compelled her so that she forget acts that would influence her decision to sleep with him; he never stripped her of her consent. That is, even with Damon compelling her to forget all his actions against her, she still chose to sleep with him. That choice may not have been done with full knowledge of what he had done, but that doesn't automatically mean she was deprived of her consent. Some women might have sex with serial killers, without knowing what they do, but does that mean they raped the women? Of course not, because the women still had the ability to give or not give consent. Some might argue that lack of that knowledge meant she couldn't give full consent, but that's not what the consent doctrine requires. It only requires that a woman agree to sexual intercourse, whether or not she knows all of the personal violations done by the man. Requiring full consent, so defined, would be an impossible standard.
Plus, common law rape requires a level of force that intimidated the woman into sexual intercourse (whether express or implied), which we were never shown Damon doing. Some might argue that Carolina knowing he was a vampire that could easily overpower him constituted implied force, but she was compelled to forget that, so she couldn't have sex with him because of implied/express force. I actually just read a somewhat analogous case(Boro v. Superior Court, for those interested). In that case, a man told a woman she had a disease and the only cure available was through a donor which she had to have sexual intercourse with. The court concluded, despite the false representations, there was no rape, because the women still consented to have sex, even though she consented under false circumstances. Obviously, there are differences here since we are dealing with a supernatural show, but the case is still fairly analogous. Is what Damon did despicable and morally blameworthy? Absolutely. But it seems like an exaggeration to call it rape. Just because Carolina and Stefan didn't do these acts with their respective others doesn't mean Damon is automatically guilty of rape. I'm not condoning what Damon did and Caroline's hatred of Damon is completely justified, but just because Damon did a despicable act that deserves Caroline's hatred doesn't make him guilty of rape.

Edited by Inquiry, Dec 7, 2012 @ 6:11 AM.


#380

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Posted Dec 7, 2012 @ 6:29 AM

Some women might have sex with serial killers, without knowing what they do, but does that mean they raped the women? Of course not, because the women still had the ability to give or not give consent. Some might argue that lack of that knowledge meant she couldn't give full consent, but that's not what the consent doctrine requires. It only requires that a woman agree to sexual intercourse, whether or not she knows all of the personal violations done by the man. Requiring full consent, so defined, would be an impossible standard.

We are not talking about Damon's serial killing on the side, tho that is also a thing. He is attacking and injuring her DURING sex, she wants to get away, she fails, she is compelled, they do it all over again. She had already probably made the decision to stop seeing him several times over, but it was taken away from. She is taken away the ability to recognise the bodily harm done to her over and over again. That's different from hiding the truth from someone. They TALK about him being a vampire, she just CAN'T care. She was a mindslave. Caroline was not capable of giving full consent anymore.

Edited by TWoP Howard, Jan 6, 2013 @ 10:45 PM.
Added quotes


#381

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Posted Dec 7, 2012 @ 9:08 AM

Did we ever see Damon compel Caroline to forget about him being a vampire? And if so, were we ever shown them having sex after that? I don't recall. Beginning of season 1 seems like a long time ago. I do remember a scene where Bonnie and Elena confront Caroline about her bit wound, and she couldn't remember where she got, presumably because Damon made her forget, not because he compelled her not to care about it. She consented to the sex, then Damon bit her (and she screamed? I can't remember), which would indicate withdrawal of consent, but sex had already been completed. Then Damon compels her to forget, and she goes back to her default state, where she consents to the sex. Yes, Damon took away memories that would influence consent, but he never stripped her of her consent entirely. Presumably, she still retained the ability to say no, even though Damon compelled her to forget about what had transpired. From what was shown on screen, he never compelled her to have sex with him (which would constitute rape, because he is stripping her of her ability to say no). Obviously, there are not going to be any completely analogous cases, since there isn't compulsion in real life. But, I listed that case because it shows that fraud in the inducement (which Damon was doing by making Caroline forget about the events that would influence consent) is different than fraud in factum. The distinction being, Caroline said yes to intercourse. Was she deprived of information that would change her mind about that? Yes. But Damon never divested Caroline of her ability to say no to intercourse. It is a fine distinction; some might say an arbitrary one, but it is a distinction adhered to by the U.S. judicial system.

I just want to clarify that I'm not trying to condone or excuse Damon's behavior. I think what he did was despicable; I just don't believe it was rape.

Edited by Inquiry, Dec 7, 2012 @ 9:16 AM.


#382

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Posted Dec 7, 2012 @ 11:52 AM

Did we ever see Damon compel Caroline to forget about him being a vampire? And if so, were we ever shown them having sex after that? I don't recall. Beginning of season 1 seems like a long time ago.


The episode where Caroline and Damon hook up, they are making out in her bed and Damon starts to vamp out. Caroline screams just before he lunges to bite her. Fade to black.

The next episode she wakes up, visibly shaken. He is still sleeping, shirtless on the bed. She tries to see her neck in the mirror, freaks out quietly. Tiptoes around the bed, jittering badly. She is wearing a white nightie that stops above her knees and she is walking barefoot in her room scared out of her mind. Makes it to the door and tries to turn the handle. It creaks. She shakes, peeps into the mirror to see if Damon is still sleeping. He's not. He's right behind her. She screams. He tells her to calm down. She runs away from him, grabs a lamp and tries to throw it at him. He tells her not to do it. She does it anyway. He picks her up and throws her on the bed. She is sitting on her butt, her legs drawn up and she's crying and begging him to please just go and not harm her. Something happened in the struggle with the lamp and there's blood. Damon starts vamping out. He tells her "This was supposed to go differently." And he lunges at her as she screams again.


The next time we see Caroline, she's being driven to Mystic Falls by Damon. She's wearing a scarf around her neck big enough to wrap newborn triplets. She is all perky and smiley as she gives Damon a long bye-bye kiss before she bounces out of the car and takes over cheer-leading practise.


In another scene some episodes down the line, Damon and Caroline are talking about Twilight and how whipped Edmund is. They fool around and cuddle. Caroline asks him very sweetly if he's going to kill her. He tells her yes, but not right away. She smiles, happily and they make out.


No, it wasn't rape. It was something far worse than rape and the only reason why people call it rape because that is the closest crime in reality that can be used to describe what Damon did to Caroline. I'm not surprised that the show has chosen to conveniently forget/ ignore this: they wrote themselves into a corner with this and there's really no way of dealing with and keeping Damon as one of the heroes of the show. However, when this discussion comes up and I read people's post trying to explain/justify away/excuse/sanction what Damon did to Caroline as anything less than rape... well, I don't know. I just don't know.

Edited by doram, Dec 7, 2012 @ 11:56 AM.


#383

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Posted Dec 7, 2012 @ 1:36 PM

No, it wasn't rape. It was something far worse than rape and the only reason why people call it rape because that is the closest crime in reality that can be used to describe what Damon did to Caroline. I'm not surprised that the show has chosen to conveniently forget/ ignore this: they wrote themselves into a corner with this and there's really no way of dealing with and keeping Damon as one of the heroes of the show.


I already upvoted this and I wish I could do it another 100 times. You are absolutely right, and I wish this was common knowledge! What Damon did is unforgivable forever, and because of it I will never see Damon as anything close to a hero. He can never be reprimanded enough, he can never be insulted enough, shamed enough, or kicked enough for what he did. Caroline regained a small part of her agency when she became a vampire and gained the ability to fight back against that rapist bastard. Elena is not only horrible in my eyes, but what a horrible woman that you can't understand where your female friend is coming from and immediately demand that she approves of your new boyfriend- the one that raped her and tried to kill her several times when she was defenseless. Shame on Elena.

#384

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Posted Dec 7, 2012 @ 2:21 PM

I am generally uncomfortable with, what I feel is, the over use of the term rape for anything that involves free will. Not because it is entirely out of place but because the word rape has taken on a charge meaning that invokes semantics arguments that I find exhausting and frequently off the point.

In my opinion what makes rape and sexual assault generally so insidious isn't the sex itself but rather the complete violation of the person's self. Rape is an invasion of everything that indisputably makes you, your body and your choices. It reduces the victim to a thing, or at least less than human. It strips the victim of power and sense of self and often their feelings of safety and trust.

In that sense, I find what Damon did to Caroline sufficiently analogous (from her perspective) to rape in that it took from Caroline her choices and her agency. * Their "are you going to kill me" conversation was sort of horrifying. And she is left (now that the compelling has been undone) with memories of everything and has every right to hate him until the end of time - which for them may be literal. However, this leads me to two problems this show raises.

1) I hated the conversation/slut-shaming both Caro and Elena engaged in because it was not only mean on both sides (Caro was attacking Elena not Damon) but because it completely missed the mark. Caro didn't address any of the things that are actually wrong with Damon's behavior, particularly in S1, but rather on his man-whoring - which, who the fuck cares if a man who isn't in a relationship sleeps with a lot of women? Elena in response accurately pointed out that Caroline voluntarily participated in the man-whoring making her attack on that particular front ridiculous.

I enjoy the character of Damon (don't care too much either way about Delena, but I don't mind it), but this show cannot undue S1 and pretend that Caro and Damon just hooked up and he was merely a dick. He essentially enslaved her. I don't think an apology is sufficient, but it needs to happen and Caroline needs to get to say how she feels about what actually happened for me to even not be wholly squicked out by it. Not just kicking his ass once an calling him an asshole, but actually address the fact that treated her like a thing.

2) Stefan as his Ripper self, doesn't seem sufficiently different. Sure he apparently didn't keep any one girl bound for too long, you know because he killed them, but based on the 1920's ep, he clearly toyed with them and menaced them. He also treated humans like things apparently both before and after violently murdering them. But the show sweeps that aside as much as S1 (and 2ish) Damon. And Caroline's inability to express empathy for other victims while she cheers on Stefan is just weird to me. I get that things that happen to you are always more likely to create an emotional response than things that happen to others, but actually saying Ripper Stefan isn't that bad was sort of gross and I wish the writing hadn't done that to Caro because it undermines all of her completely valid Damon hate.

* While agree from the person compelled's perspective that enslavement through compulsion can be rape analogous, that does not mean that I believe the vampire end is completely analogous to the psychology of a rapist. There are reasons for a vamp to view it differently - not that it make it ok, I just don't think the analogy works as well in the reverse direction.

#385

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Posted Dec 7, 2012 @ 3:17 PM

I'm uncomfortable because I really don't understand how compulsion works. Damon compelled Andie and Caroline to not be afraid of him and to be okay with him chewing on them but I don't know what that means for their overall reactions to him. Both Andie and Caroline told him no on different occasions, and at least with Caroline he compelled her to change her mind, so does that mean that they retain the power to say no but how much does that no matter when he can just compel their answers to something else.

And then Caroline was attempting to hook up with Damon after s1ep4, was she still under some type of compulsion and was that what was controlling her actions or was she just a desperate teenager. Is there a time limit on compulsion or is it something that lasts forever. Because a couple eps after that she had no problem with telling him that she hated him, so did the compulsion wear off or was she just wising up to the fact that she didn't have to take his shit.

The show didn't explain any of this clearly and I don't think they thought things through. Considering they don't focus on things that happened in the current season I can see why they think they can handwave something that happened in S1 and lasted two episodes. They're wrong and considering the debates it has spawned since the beginning it goes to show how ridiculous these writers are.

#386

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Posted Dec 7, 2012 @ 4:45 PM

The lines with compulsion are incredibly fuzzy. On one hand, Damon's apparently compelled Caroline to be his chew-toy, but then he also has to compel her to invite him to a dance. But she also remembers enough to think he'll eventually kill her. So it must be selective orders, like "you won't be scared of me being a vampire or being bitten anymore, and you won't tell anyone about it", which is the baseline compulsion, then additional compulsions on top like "go help Elena in the kitchen" and "invite me to this party". I think that's a compulsion we've seen from both brothers: don't be afraid. So it's negating an emotion in the compelled.

The Andie situation kind of pairs up with that idea that she's been baseline-compelled not to be afraid, then has temporary or immediate compulsions layered on top. And Andie sometimes either contradicted Damon or defended him from Stefan in a way that made me think that she's having an actual relationship with Damon. She's got the whole timeline of their relationship, but after the first compulsion, she just wasn't afraid of the scary bits anymore. (Unfortunately, Evil Stefan didn't bother to do the same bout of no-fear compulsion on her before making her jump.)

I don't know what this says about the rape comparison. Damon's capable of trying to compel sexual behavior - he certainly tried to make Elena kiss him in the first season, not knowing she was vervainy - but I don't think we've seen him do it since. Elena felt no personal desire towards him at that point, unlike both Caroline and Andie, who pursued him. Taking fear away from Elena would've gotten him nowhere, because she still wouldn't want to kiss him. Taking the fear away from Caroline and Andie removed a hurdle on the way to an objective they already had in mind.

Though I suspect Gavin deBecker would say removing a woman's sense of fear before a sexual encounter would qualify as taking away her will.

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TWoP Howard

TWoP Howard

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Posted Dec 11, 2012 @ 1:10 AM

Attempting to label actions of fictional vampires in a fictional universe with real-life terms like rape and then going on to argue about those labels is silly and only causing friction instead of furthering discussion. Some of you are not discussing the show; you're trying to force other people to agree with how your interpretation of real-life legal terms applies to this fictional and paranormal universe, and shaming those who don't agree with you as if their opinion about a fictional TV show was equivalent to approving of rape. If I wasn't three days behind on this, I would have issued warnings.

Also not appropriate here: explaining other people's opinions to them, pretending you can speak for anyone but yourself, or that you can decide what common opinion is or isn't. There's a big difference between saying "I couldn't disagree with you more" and criticizing someone for having an opinion different from yours. That's what our rules about treating each other with manners and respect are all about. If you can't express your opinion without being disrespectful to someone else, take a break until you can, please.

Edited by TWoP Howard, Jan 6, 2013 @ 10:46 PM.