Three things in life are certain: Death, taxes, and the anonymity of the Internet imbuing people with the courage to post terrible comments they'd never dream of saying out loud because they'd get punched or arrested. The third certainty in life is now so rampant and expected that humans who retain their decency filter just glance over such monstrous statements unfazed, certainly to the consternation of any time-travelers from the past who have just gotten up to speed on how this magic box works and have found it full of vile revenants.
Knowing such, I went forth yesterday and wrote an article about Sunday's 'Game of Thrones' episode and how – in mine and many other's opinion – the writers and director completely missed the mark on Jaime and Cersei's disturbing sexual healing and turned it into an even more disturbing sexual assault. Before a single word made its way onto my draft, I knew the wagons would circle and the naysayers would lob their chestnuts at me, much like Dany lobbed slave collars at the city of Meereen. 'It's just fiction,' 'It doesn't matter,' and of course old-faithful 'If you don't like it, just stop watching.' I was ready. But then, a completely
crazy insane sadly expected thing happened. The rape apologists woke from their slumber deep within the subconsciousness of men and women who masquerade as your friends and acquaintances.
Normally writers ignore this, content to allow these knuckle draggers to lumber into the comments, excrete their troll droppings, and recede back into the sludge of the Internet unscathed. Why bother? It's not like they care and quite frankly acknowledging them is like feeding geese at the park. Sure it starts out fun, but soon THIS is happening.
But the tenor of the HitFix comments about Jaime's attack on Cersei quickly took on a disturbing cadence. Not only were some unable to discern the nuance that committing one kind of terrible act doesn't mean you'd committed EVERY kind of terrible act, many of them were confused as to what rape and/or sexual assault is. Which is 800% not okay. Everyone should know what consent looks like. So we're gonna kill two birds with one stone. Using information from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) I'm going to clarify exactly why what happened in that Sept was sexual assault and at the same time call out some rape apologists because man y'all are some arrogant and/or ignorant shits.
AP OZ says, '[…] the second passionate kiss is to me what prevents this from being a straightforward rape– which it would have been otherwise given her clear cries of “Stop it!” After that second kiss, her saying “It's not right” (which I think even in a modern-day legal context is not quite the same as saying “No” or “Stop it”) could I think be interpreted by Jaime as no different than the “not rightness” of their being brother and sister.'
Is AP OZ a rape apologist? Yes! According to RAINN, sexual assault can occur even if both parties initially agreed to take part. 'It doesn”t matter if you think your partner means yes, or if you”ve already started having sex – “No” also means “Stop.” If you proceed despite your partner”s expressed instruction to stop, you have not only violated basic codes of morality and decency, you may have also committed a crime…' Sexual partners of AP OZ be wary as he/she will not take kindly to you changing your mind mid-coitus and may turn a sexy fun time into a trip to the police station.
DarkDoug says, 'I'm sorry. Was your opinion of a traitor and child murderer sullied? The man broke a solemn oath and murdered a crazy old man because the guy insulted him from time to time. […] And NOW, because he has nonconsensual intercourse with one of the most despicable characters in the series, it is “character assassination”?'
Is DarkDoug a rape apologist? Yes! Sorry but Cersei's personality does not negate her ability to refuse sex. Being a despicable person does not make sexual assault okay. No one ever 'deserves to be raped.' DarkDoug's potential sexual partners beware: if he thinks you're a bad person, he may help himself to some non-consensual intercourse.
But DarkDoug has another embarrassing problem. He was born without the ability to discern nuance in a person. Oh to live in a world so black and white, where a bad person is just bad. Jaime did do terrible things. He did murder King Aerys II…because he was about to burn down the entire city and everyone in it because he was insane. His lackey was about do to his bidding so Jaime stopped him. Was it right? Eh, morally grey. And yes, he did try to murder Bran…because Bran saw something that would get Cersei and her children (also Jaime's children) killed. Was it right? Nope. On so many levels nope. But murdering a child to protect a lover is a far cry from raping said lover. Being in an incestuous relationship is gross but having an off-center moral compass is different than not having one at all. I believe you were thinking of Ser Gregor Clegane, yes?
YoungJT80 says, 'Maybe I've just gotten too used to the violence on the show but I didn't even realize he raped her until I read all the outrage this morning.'
Is YoungJT80 a rape apologist? Yes! Really JT80, you didn't know it was sexual assault? What part was confusing to you? The part where she said no or the part where she tried to keep his hands off her thighs or the part where she was struggling and crying? Was it the lack of weapon used to force her participation? Because statistically 'in about 8 out of 10 rapes, no weapon is used other than physical force.' The idea that rape cannot occur outside of the 'stranger in the bushes with a knife' scenario is dangerous and wrong. Potential sexual partners of YoungJT80 beware, clearly they lack any kind of societal conditioning that keeps consensual sex consensual.
KennyJ20099 says, 'Cersei would have been able to get away from Jaimie if she really wanted to idiot. Its Cersei. She wanted it just as much as Jaimie did. […] hey've been boning their whole lives, I think he knows when hes fine, and when he needs to stop.'
Is KennyJ20099 a rape apologist? Yes! Wow. Where do I even begin unpacking the bullshit in this comment? First of all, no Cersei could not have just gotten away and her lack of struggle is not the same as consent. From RAINN, 'People respond to an assault in different ways. Just because you didn”t resist physically doesn”t mean it wasn”t rape – in fact, many victims make the good judgment that physical resistance would cause the attacker to become more violent. Lack of consent can be express (saying “no”) or it can be implied from the circumstances (for example,[…] if you were afraid to object because the perpetrator threatened you with serious physical injury).'
On top of your troubling declaration that just because a woman doesn't gouge her attacker's eyes out equals consent, is the idea that sexual assault cannot happen between lovers. Again from RAINN, 'Rape can occur when the offender and the victim have a pre-existing relationship (sometimes called “date rape” or “acquaintance rape”), or even when the offender is the victim”s spouse. It does not matter whether the other person is an ex-boyfriend or a complete stranger, and it doesn”t matter if you”ve had sex in the past. If it is nonconsensual this time, it is rape.' Being in a relationship is not a 'get out of jail free' card for sex. KennyJ20099 potential sexual partners and significant others beware, he sees dating as an contractual obligation to put out whether you want to your not.
Jeff says, 'Rape happens. Cry some more.'
Is Jeff a rape apologist? Yes! And potentially more based on such a callous response to one of the most traumatizing violations that can happen to a person. Potential sexual partners of Jeff beware, he's probably on a watch list somewhere. Bring mace.