Free rape and sexual assault prevention mobile phone app: www.smart-safe.org
DISCUSS! My take on the rape-question and info about the context of the scene, story and characters below. I would love to hear what you think.
When this scene aired in 2012 it caused quiet a bit of controversy over the question of whether this could be considered rape or not. The initial gut feeling reaction on twitter and co. looked quite overwhelmingly like "WTF, he raped him!". There were so many reactions the writers of the series felt the need to issue a statement, saying it was consensual and the fans of Brendan got very vocal because they didn't like their favourite character being called a rapist.
But first a quick introduction to the characters and situation:
Brendan Brady (yellow shirt) is a night club owner/mopster who had a crappy childhood (abuse and stuff), occasionally beats up his boyfriend, killed some people. Simon Walker is an undercover cop trying to blow Brendan's cover but he is also on a personal vendetta against him as he blames Brandon for the death of his little brother. He's already sort of jumped the shark when it comes to what he is willing to do to get his revenge.
Shortly before this scene his boss (called "mum") told Walker she wants him off the case. At this point he is desperate to gain Brandon's trust so he would tell him where he hid a dead body.
Personally I think rape is a very complex issue that can't be reduced to someone being forced to have sex while struggling and screaming "no!". What I found most disturbing were some of things women (mostly, of all people) wrote to argue that it was not rape and 100% not Brendan's fault. Some of what I read made me physically ill.
And regardless of whether you personally regard this as rape or not, the fact remains that while Walker initiated the kiss, during everything that followed he looked paralized, scared and was completely unreceptive. That's what Brendan sees and feels and he doesn't give a f**k. If someone reacts like that, you probably shouldn't have sex with them?!
Now my "favourite" excuses I read from some fans:
1) It's not rape because Walker initiated the kiss.
So a kiss now equals consent to sex? Wtf?
2) It's not rape because he doesn't say "no" and doesn't struggle.
So if a victim is paralized with fear or just behaves in a way that would suggest they don't want this, but doesn't say 'no' or doesn't properly struggle, it's all fine?
3) It's not rape because Brendan thought Walker is gay
How exactely whould Walker being gay (which he isn't) make it okay to f**k a guy who is clearly terrified? Besides, at the latest when Brendan gets down to business he should have felt that Walker was inexperienced in that matter.
4) Well, Brendan was shaken and freaked out and he had a traumatizing childhood so he didn't care about how Walker felt in the situation
Since when is that an excuse? It is an explanation but never an excuse and doesn't reduce the suffering of the victim.
5) Warning, this one may cause vomiting: But Brendan probably didn't have sex for a while and with all this stress his testosterone was raging
Blerch. I'd like to see the defense telling the judge that his client couldn't control his dick because of those raging hormones.
6) This one is the worst: It was self-rape! Walker did this to himself and used poor shaken Brendan to rape him. Brendan is the victim here!
There are actually no words to comment on this
7) The writers of the show said it was consensual
I don't give a shit. The writers are not the ultimate authority on the question of what can be considered rape. Not to mention that the show has a tendency to make everything Brendan does kind of acceptable, including battering his boyfriend, because hey, that's our crazy, messed up Brendan for you. Come on, he luuurves his boyfriend!