Rape, True Blood and the fandom. (possible triggers, be aware)
So there are a couple posts I’ve seen about Alcide and how he ‘Took advantage of Sookie because she was drinking.” and instead of clogging up those posts. I figure I’ll just write my thoughts here.
I do agree that rape is serious, and shouldn’t be trivialized for something as ludicrous as shipping preferences. But I respectfully disagree that those who are calling it rape are trivializing rape, have a shipping problem, or are ignoring the other rapes on the show.
I am one of the people who believes that what happened on Sunday was not okay, and that it falls under the spectrum of rape (should it actually progress further). However, I have never trivialized rape, nor ignored the other incidents of rape on the show. I went absolutely ballistic last year when one of the director’s laughed about Jason’s gang-rape and said that it was karma, or something like that. And the majority of people I encountered were just as disgusted with that as I was. And anyone who follows me knows all too well how I won’t ever shut the hell up about Bill Compton, Rapist.
I do tend to focus a little more on what happens to Sookie, if only because it gets so grossly overlooked. Tara and Jason stared down their monsters, and the show did not try to obfuscate what happened to them as it was happening. However, the show takes a different approach to Sookie, because Sookie learned in childhood that the way to deal with these things is repression repression repression. Sookie, although the female lead, is still something of a mystery. If they are doing what I think they are doing with her (showing what someone who represses abuse goes through by manipulating the audience’s perception of events) then I find it fascinating and tragic.
You also said “Yet the E/S B/S fanatics call slut or rape every time someone who isn’t Eric/Bill touches Sookie?” I really don’t think it’s fair to characterize those who objected to the scene as just being pissed-off shippers. Yes, there are those who do call Sookie a slut, but I don’t think any of those people are calling what happened on Sunday rape. And as far as Tara goes, I’ve always been her champion. You seem to be lumping a lot of fucked-up stuff under one banner, as though all those who think that what happened on Sunday was rape (or rather, would be rape if it continues) think all the other fucked-up shit, too. I’ve never ignored the other rapes, called Sookie a slut, praised the molesting teacher, focused only on the Eric ‘shippy stuff, or any of your other accusations. Nor do I think your characterization of ‘shippers was exactly fair, or your assertion that because you don’t ‘ship you can see things more clearly or that ‘shippers don’t pay attention to the political undertones/metaphors/lambasting of rape culture bullshit that exists within the storyline.
My issue with Sunday’s episode is not a shipping issue. It’s not like I want this, I don’t want Sookie to be raped or taken advantage of just so my ‘ship won’t take beating. If she was not so very drunk, if the situation was different, well, I wouldn’t like it but I wouldn’t be calling it rape. But this was another in a long line of Sookie’s agency being compromised, Sookie’s decision-making ability being addled by a drug, and a man reaping the benefit of that compromised ability. Because Sober Sookie has rejected all of Alcide’s overtures.
From my perspective, Alcide was sober and Sookie was obviously not. I know he says “I’m not drunk enough for that”, but we only saw him take one drink, whereas Sookie was constantly drinking. All we saw him drink onscreen was one glass of whiskey/bourbon. He poured the last out of a bottle that half-full or so when he walked in, but the glass was only one small drink that he drank in one gulp. Sookie could have drank the rest of it for all we know. Saying “I’m drunk” doesn’t make one drunk. The only things shown onscreen were one drink, and a lack of drunk behavior from Alcide. And that’s why I think he was sober.
Another reason is that he is apparently sober enough to drive everyone to Russell’s lair next week. Months ago, there was a spoiler about shooting a scene outside that abandoned hospital in LA, the one they’re using for Russell’s convalescence, for a scene in 5x05. Bill and Eric are in the back of the van, Sookie and Alcide in the front. So he’s sober enough to drive, apparently. Or he’s a drunk driver, and Bill and Eric thought it would be a terrific idea to let the drunk werewolf chauffeur them about town along with Sookie.
He was sober when he walked into that house, and Sookie so was not. She was surrounded with liquor bottles like it was a bad after-school special. She smelled like ‘mint and peaches’, and peach schnapps was one of the things she was drinking. Alcide saw this, smelled this, and his reaction was to smirk and say he’s gonna need a few drinks. That, to me, is where it starts getting Not Okay. That’s creepy douche at the bare minimum.
Because what the hell kind of person sees their ‘friend’ in a bad place, drunk and emotionally vulnerable, while there is a murderous vampire after them, and decides that instead of helping them, instead of being perhaps the sober voice of sympathy and making sure they are not murdered while they are impaired, he’s gonna get his drink on, too? I mean, there are times when you get drunk with your friends, and times when you need to be the sober one. And, at the very least, when a murderous vampire who’s shitlist you’re on is running free about the countryside, at least one person in your little Scooby Gang needs to be able to think for one fucking second. He seems remarkably unconcerned about that. Especially considering that just a couple days earlier he was so worried he demanded Sookie come live with him and almost started a fight with Lala over it.
A man does not have to DELIBERATELY get a girl drunk in order for it to be rape. He can find an already drunk girl and take advantage of the opportunity. Maybe she’ll even climb on his lap, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t prey on her all the same. And hey, might as well have a drink or two and try to blame my behavior on the alcohol, we were both drunk and stupid, right? Not if he made the premeditated decision to be a dick.
Rape is not always violent, or aggressive, and sometimes it doesn’t look like how you think it should. A prime example is the graveyard sex scene from the first Sookie Stackhouse book, where, once you really consider what happened, it becomes clear that it was rape. Sookie felt that her only options were to either have sex or die, and Bill made her feel that way. She made the first move. She had an orgasm. Doesn’t make it any less rape. Because it’s not consent if you make the girl afraid to say no. I’m not implying that’s what happened with Sookie and Alcide, I’m just saying rape does not always present itself openly.
I fully admit that I think Alcide is a shady douche, I don’t think he is a Good Guy, or a decent person, or really anything other than Bill with a fluffy tail. I’ve thought he was shady from the day he decided that tackling Sookie is a super cool way to introduce himself, and I think he’s been Russell’s agent from the start (at the very least, I don’t think he was really working for Eric). I find his feelings for Sookie suspect, since he only knew her for a matter of days. I can’t recall where Sookie has expressed genuine interest/feelings for him that go beyond the platonic and her normal sweet polite friendliness. And I find this all especially troubling in light of what Alexander Woo (the guy who wrote this episode) once said about Alcide, that he and Bill are parallels.
And how did Bill ‘seduce’ Sookie? He knew she was filled with a mind-altering substance, so he just waited around until she threw herself at him. Literally. In a nightgown. And does that remind you of anything that happened recently?
And how did Bill get rid of his annoying ex? Got Sookie to kill her.
And who is about to became WEREWULF KAHNG OF LUWEESEEANNA after killing the old monarch he used to work for in a fight over, amongst other things, a girl? Alcide is.
And how did both the Singing Drunk Sookie and the Bill’s Blood Induced Threesome Dream scenes start? With a panning shot from behind Bartlett’s Molestation Chair, while Sookie is sprawled out like a wanton odalisque on the couch. They’re nearly identical.
(Gifs courtesy of nwalmn, the Malakhim Gifael)
Sookie is injured by a malevolent supernatural force, then gets heavily drugged by some mind-altering Billphrodisiacs/ALL THE ALCOHOL. She sprawls on the couch in matching panning shots while ridiculous music plays, and starts acting all like a silly billy (booze) or vacant and doped up, a pantomime of a sex kitten (threesome). She thought one person was coming over (Eric/Lala), but then another showed up out of the blue (Bill/Alcide). Bill’s blood made her feel things she did not want (she opened the door for Eric, but Bill just shows up uninvited, “I dunno what he’s doing here.” “It’s not my fault, he gave me his blood!”). So what does that say about it’s parallel scene?
This post is too awesome for me. Exit, I bow down. Rock on with your bad self.