True Blood
I Hate You, I Love You

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 1 USERS: B-
YOU GRADE IT
Asymmetry In Wartime

Jason: "That's like saying that murder and manslaughter are the same thing because somebody ends up dead either way. Look, I would hate to accuse you of speaking from the privilege of somebody who's never been raped by a man. That would imply that I'm not overjoyed that you get to retain that ignorance -- that you get to say you can't tell the difference between getting raped by a woman and getting raped by a man -- when in fact I hope you continue to be this sheltered forever. I hope you never learn the difference. But male rape, of both men and women, is a cultural fact. We are raised in a society that both condemns and subtly condones it, and are raised -- boys and girls -- to fear and protect ourselves against the possibility. We have created entire social systems to safeguard against it, in every culture since humanity began; we've created our own systems of support and comfort for those who have lived through this trauma. All of which is trivialized when you try to equate a single imaginary man's fantastical rape by panther women with the actual rape by men -- of both men and women -- that happens every day in this country."

THE IRONIC THINGS

The first ironic thing is that Hoyt actually has been raped by a woman, recently, and doesn't remember it, so the whole comparing-scars thing they do is not actually funny at all, beyond Jason's funny voices. The second ironic thing is that Jason is processing his ambivalence about this trauma in precisely the way he's processed every bad thing that's ever happened to them: Trying to locate in the shifting puritanism of his cultural values the thing he did that meant he was asking for it. (And as usual, he can only conclude that his healthy sexual appetite is to blame, just like every other time he's had this conversation with himself.)

The most ironic thing to me, though, is that by shifting to this silly, lazy conversation about what kind of imaginary fiction rape is worse than the other kinds takes the spotlight off the story itself, which is about Hotshot and about weres. About an entire kind of supernatural character on this show that is part man and part animal. Just as Sookie is half-faerie, and Eric is half-monster, and Sam has a shadow shifter that fires the gun, weres have a duality in them just like you and I do, and it would be bad genre to leave that unexplored.

Specifically, you have the werewolves, for example, who roam in role-oriented pyramidal "packs" and adhere to a strictly two-partner mating scheme. (Which is in itself interesting because our conception of the wolfpack is actually a cultural misunderstanding born of forced captivity conditions, and the actual natural form of the wolfpack is much closer to the nuclear family, with an Alpha Pair attended by their children, who enforce non-incestuous behavior in the younger ones and eventually leave the pack to form a new family in undefended territory that's just far enough away from the parent pack that they won't accidentally interbreed, and all of this space and territory is described and defended by wolfsong. Isn't that cool?)

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True Blood

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