American Horror Story: Coven – Episode One and Rape Culture

American-Horror-Story-Coven-Season-3-Poster-3American Horror Story: Coven premiered last night. It was, mostly, fantastic. I was so excited that they decided to go the witchcraft route. And when I found out that Angela Basset was playing Marie Laveau, I nearly died. And Kathy Bates as Madame LaLaurie? Two historical figures? SHUT UP. So awesome.

Obviously, they’re going to take some liberties with the Craft. Obviously they’re going to upset some people. Obviously. But I like to watch in the same frame of mind as when I watch a movie that was a book. They’re going to mess stuff up, so let it go and try to enjoy the story they’re telling.

But I was so disappointed last night. If you haven’t watched it yet, this is a small spoiler. It happens in the first half of the show, so I’m not ruining everything for you.

I was disappointed because, yet again, a girl was raped in order to progress her story. WHY? GODDAMMIT WHY? Writers, we can do better. A girl does not need to be violated in order to further her plot. This character is a strong-willed female who doesn’t take shit from men in the first place, so what do they do? They degrade her. They show her in a gang rape scene, drugged and unable to defend herself.

And possibly worse than that? There was no fucking warning before the show started. It was done predictably enough, which in of itself is horrible that the buildup to a rape scene can be predictable, so when it’s coming, you could look away or fast forward. But the show opens with a TV-MA rating and warns of L for Language, V for Violence and S for Sexual Situations. I say we need another warning: SV for Sexual Violence.

The episode contained sexual scenes between consenting characters and violence outside of the sex scenes. So there is no reason why we should anticipate a sexual violent scene, except for the fact that it is becoming so damn predictable. Has it come to that? Where we should turn on a show just expecting that a woman is going to be sexually assaulted? I don’t want to do that and I think it’s disgusting that anyone would expect us to.

People say they’re tired of hearing about “Rape Culture.” Well guess what? Shit like this just proves we live in it, every damn day. I’m tired of talking about our Rape Culture too. Too bad it won’t go away so we can actually stop.

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