Welcome to a new bite-size version of Outrage Watch, HitFix's daily rundown of all the things folks are peeved about in entertainment. Not anxious enough already? Get your fix of indignation below, and stay posted for outrage updates throughout the day.
Are you an avid watcher of “Game of Thrones,” “True Detective” and/or “Law & Order: SVU”? Do you breathlessly anticipate each new episode of said TV shows? Then you may be complicit in the culture of violence against women.
At least that's according to author and The Rumpus contributor Anna March, who in a thoughtful new piece for Salon takes aim at shows that regularly feature women being raped, murdered and otherwise brutalized under the guise of entertainment.
“I wonder how the entertainment value of narratives driven by violence against women undermines the message that that violence against women is real, it is serious, and it is pervasive,” writes March. “I wonder how the abundance of films and TV shows with these narratives desensitizes all of us to the global epidemic of violence against women. I wonder what the prevalence of young, thin, white women in television says about violence against women that do not fit in those categories.”
March goes on to suggest that perhaps it's time we came up with a version of the “Bechdel Test” (informally titled the “Dead Disposable Women Test”) that would examine depictions of violence against women in media. Her proposed criteria: 1) “Is the violence necessary?” 2) “Do we know more about the woman than the violence?” and 3) “Is there a storyline about the woman…or does her victimization occur only to further other character”s stories?”
I predict backlash against March for being “overly sensitive” — if you read the comments, it's already begun — but if you're open to the message being conveyed it may well make you think twice about your entertainment choices.