Weekly "If We Were Having Coffee" Link-Up

#WeekendCoffeeShare: In which I am writing

If we were having coffee, I’d likely be surrounded by books and notes again today, on at least my second cup of coffee. I’m spending today doing some work for the photography business, building up our presence on the web and working on the site design; working on some new tutoring possibilities; commenting on and sharing coffee posts; and writing some guest posts and the week’s posts for the Monster. I’m knee-deep in those books, paper, and coffee mugs, actually.

I’m a wee sleepy this morning, as Sam and I stayed awake into the late hours of the night eating ice cream and watching Twin Peaks on Netflix. Sometimes being a grown-up is actually quite fun. And speaking of—it’s nice to have a three day weekend as an adult, too. Tonight we’re seeing a play with friends, then Sam and I have plans to see What We Do in the Shadows at The Prytania Theater Sunday night. I get to spend the days working on my extracurricular projects and the nights playing, and that makes for a nice weekend.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week has been awash in stories that have made me angry and conversations that have left me exhausted. I started the week with the Game of Thrones “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” debacle, and I’ve ended it with learning about the Duggar story. I’ve been appalled by so many things this week, heartened by some others, and certainly reminded that it’s almost time to start our Feminist Friday project again.

I won’t say much more about it in the coffee post, but I will point you to the piece Natacha wrote and published here yesterday on sexual violence in TV, which is a great place to join that conversation if you’re interested.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you about the swell blogging schedule that’s coming up this week and a few places you can find me, too. On Monster Monday this week, we’ll have Urszula from Confessions of a Broccoli Addict contributing her first monthly post. On Wednesday, look for contributor Lyn’s monthly series I Heart It.

Meanwhile, I’ll have the regular features here. On Tuesday, you can find me reviewing Penny Dreadful at Sourcerer, and later in the week I’ll be at Comparative Geeks for the first of my Thursday 13s in the Summer of Sandman series.

And speaking of—I’m off to visit some coffee posts and then to work on some posts for the coming weeks!

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Link up your coffee posts below, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #weekendcoffeeshare on Twitter and Facebook!

Sexual Violence in TV Series: Fostering Discussion or Gratuitous Violence?

In light of the latest step of sexual violence galore in Game of Thrones, with Sansa’s rape, I am among the many who are disgusted by the writers’ decision to go down this path. Since the third season, it has felt as if the writers must always bring sexual violence to the forefront, especially when it is against women.

I am by no mean saying that rape can’t be included in story lines, but the problem is that Game of Thrones uses it as a cheap trope.

I haven’t read the books but have talked with people who did and have educated myself in how certain scenes and story lines happened in the novels. I have been left shaking my head at how the writers turned scenes into rape since the first season when there was no need to. The two worst things have been Cersei’s rape by her brother in season 4 and Sansa’s in season 5. I can’t get why the writers went this way when they already had plenty other opportunities to talk about sexual violence.

Much has been said about these developments in Game of Thrones and it made me reflect on how other TV shows brought up the topic of sexual assault, which is a grave issue in our society.

24

In the first season, Jack Bauer’s wife, Teri is kept captive with their daughter Kim. When one of the men looks into raping Kim, Teri offers herself instead. She does this to protect her teenage daughter. The rape scene isn’t shown but Kim hears what happens.

Once Teri and Kim are rescued and go to get a medical check-up, Teri asks the doctor not to tell a word about her rape to her husband.

Battlestar Galactica

The second season arc with the Pegasus‘s crew, led by Admiral Cain brings rape to the forefront. Both victims are Cylon women, who are considered less than humans by the female Admiral.

The first victim, Gina, is shown shackled and beaten up after having been assaulted multiple times, with Cain’s blessing. The other victim is Sharon Athena who is kept aboard the Galactica in decent conditions. Cain’s men accidentally alert Helo – who fathered the child Athena’s carrying – and Tyrol about how others are going to “have fun” with Sharon. The two men are able to stop the rapists as they’re assaulting Sharon.

Both Gina and Sharon must deal with the scars these assaults have left on them and Gina eventually kills Cain at the end of the Pegasus arc.

Gina Inviere. Source: Battlestar Galactica Wiki.

Gina Inviere.
Source: Battlestar Galactica Wiki.

Dollhouse / Stargate Universe

These two shows make little case of the notion of consent. In Dollhouse, the way men and women (mostly female characters are focused on) are blank slates to become whoever a client pays, including in terms of sexual activities, tosses consent out of the window. Regardless of how the “Dolls” don’t remember what happened to them, it doesn’t make it any more acceptable.

In a similar way, Stargate Universe presents body swaps as a regular plot device. Due to communication stones, two persons can switch bodies. Several times, characters get intimate while one of them is in someone else’s body. It isn’t a business like in Dollhouse and people don’t know what happened to their bodies while they were in another one. Yet, it is the same kind of abuse. Using someone’s body for sexual activities they didn’t agree to partake in tramples consent.

Farscape

In the fourth season, high ranked Peacekeeper Grayza captures John Crichton and sexually abuses him. Grayza’s pregnancy in the final miniseries, Peacekeeper Wards, never confirmed or denied whether John was the father of her child. Yet, it is a common theory given the timeline. Crichton gets tortured several times in the course of the series, but Grayza is the one who brings sexual assault to the table.

Once Upon A Time

This show isn’t graphic at all but still deals with psychological violence and abuse topics. Coercing someone into having sex like the Evil Queen did with the Huntsman or Zelena with Robin Hood is abuse. The same way, Hook admitting that alcohol helped with several of his female conquest, shows that consent didn’t always mean much to him.

Regina and Hook have been working on putting their dark ways behind them. It doesn’t change what they did but them addressing their dark past is a significant aspect of their story lines. As for Zelena, she has shown no remorse about masquerading as Robin’s wife. She did this so he would agree to have sex with her, which resulted in her getting pregnant with his child.

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This list isn’t exhaustive but it shows other options to depict and denounce sexual violence. It is important to talk about this problem. Depicting sexual violence must have meaning and not just become a pattern for writers who don’t know what else to do with their female characters.

What TV shows do you think have done a good job at fostering discussion about sexual assault issues?

Part-Time Monster weekly list

The Thursday Thirteen: 13 Posts I Think Give You the Best Glimpse of Me

Since I just started participating in Top Ten Tuesday about a year ago, I’ve missed a lot of the topics; the link-up started in 2010. I went through some of the old topics, and they’re fantastic!

I decided to choose one of those–10 posts I think give you the best glimpse of me–and use it as inspiration for a Thursday 13 post. So here are 13 posts that I’ve written on the Monster that I think give you the best idea of me in the blogosphere and the world outside of the computer. Enjoy—and feel free to drop links on the thread that you feel are particularly indicative of your blog or your writing style, too!

1. My post for 1000 Speak, which focuses on body image and self-compassion.

2. A Thursday Thirteen of bookish confessions.

3. My 2014 Recap.

4. The One Where I Decide to Leave Grad School.

5. A post about Wild Things and reading with the Little Jedi.

6. A list of things that make me irrationally happy.

7. And a list of things that I irrationally hate.

8. My about page.

9. On not changing my name after marriage.

10. The Monster’s first post.

11. A post about the American Girls series and being a Molly.

12. My zombie girl post.

13. My original 13 Things List.