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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex in Media: Books, Magazines, Films, TV & More » Sexual Abuse in Films and TV

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Author Topic: Sexual Abuse in Films and TV
Member # 41683

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About six months ago I watched Rob Zombie's version of "The Devils Rejects". In the movie there was a very graphic rape scene that I personally felt was very drawn out. Another movie that I had similar issues with was The Last House on the Left (2009).

Like many other survivors of sexual abuse this kind of material is something that I am very sensitive to. I do however wonder how other people that may or may not have endured sexual and/or other types of abuse feel about this kind of material.

How do you feel about these types of scenes being shown in films and on television? Are there certain circumstances that make your opinion on this topic fluctuate? Do you feel viewers should be better warned about the content of these programs?

- Kaydee

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. - Albert Einstein

Posts: 55 | From: NY | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 37952

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I personally am pretty picky about what I watch because I'm super sensitive to graphic scenes of any sort. (My sensitivity is largely due to a previous sexual assault.) My biggest problem with things like rape scenes on television, or scenes involving abuse is that too frequently there are no real consequences for both the offender and victim.

I have a really good example of this. WWE wrestling is basically a soap opera aimed at teenage boys. On this show you can literally watch one of the female characters be verbally and emotionally assaulted, and forced to strip while the crowd laughs and cheers the male character on. Now, obviously these are actors who must have a significant amount of trust in each other but really... I actually saw this in one of my university classes, I don't watch wrestling at home, and the camera crew spoke to people after the show. Every single person that was shown speaking said something along the lines of her deserving it.

Anyways, I definitely think there should be ample amounts of warnings. I also think that society should be on our side so if we feel we need to remove ourselves from a situation we get looked upon with respect and admiration rather than being called "whiny" or "frigid." I left a movie once with my boyfriend because of how graphic it was and we went to get our money back (it's guaranteed within the first 30 minutes) and the cashier asked why we were leaving. When I told him it was too graphic he laughed at me, looked at my boyfriend and said "that movie's awesome! Are you really that whipped?" I left the theater in tears. How does a violent rape scene make a movie "awesome?" And how does my boyfriend being understanding make him "whipped?"

I think that censoring things like that on tv or in movies is walking too fine a line. But I certainly feel that there should be specific warnings everywhere. Or even something that signals when a scene involving a certain amount of violence is coming up.

There is an upside to everything, sometimes you just have to turn it upside down to find it.

:-) Vikki (-:

Posts: 153 | From: British Columbia | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 44405

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I personally have always been very good at isolating fact from fiction and distancing myself from characters who are not real. Movie scenes rarely do anything for me, because I look at it from my educational point of view, seeing as I'm a Media Art major and will grasp what I'm seeing based on what I've learned. (Sometimes I get so distracted by camera angles and lighting that I completely ignore the movie itself!)
But I can relate in one sense, because sometimes, there simply are things we cannot bear to see and have every right not to be submitted to. I have emetophobia, the fear of vomit, and I go on a full blown panic attack should it invade my senses. It's a little more under control now, as before I would get shaky and distressed should I as much as hear someone say the word. Thus, seeing anything related to it on screen is deeply disturbing for me.
So I understand how a sexual abuse victim would feel about seeing the abuse on screen, it must be worse by tenfold.

I definitely think people should be warned about the contents of what they're going to see. Over here, there are warnings that first tell you it contains scenes that may upset you, and usually elaborate on the nature of these scenes (ie. violence, sexual themes, etc)

And I am not a frigid person who lacks emotional feeling. When I watch documentaries and hear of the hardship and trials of /real/ people, I can get very emotional about it. A case in point is a documentary about child trafficking in China. I cried so bad.

Posts: 239 | From: Europe | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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