All Saints: The Hard Yards

In the season one episode of All Saints, The Hard Yards, nurse Jarad’s football hero Gazza is admitted, having been stabbed by his girlfriend. Gazza is claiming an unprovoked attack by a jealous, insecure girlfriend; the girlfriend is claiming rape. Devoted fan that he is, Jarad wants to believe Gazza. But in a drug-induced haze, Gazza admits to it, still maintaining that she wanted it. See, to his logic, when he comes home pumped after a hard day’s training and wants sex, he won’t be easily discouraged. Even if that means a little “˜persuasion’. Because (in his opinion) she was just playing silly games and really wanted it, even if she said no.

Jarad sees straight through this, and realises that Gazza raped her. And he can find no excuses for his hero’s behaviour. Next day, he tells Gazza he’s calling the police. Gazza first tried to justify his actions, for which Jarad’s response is to laugh at him. He then tried to intimidate Jarad, who responds with confidence that he’s doing the right thing. Then he pleads for the sake of his career and – most audaciously – the sick children with cancer who look up to him, Jarad coolly tells Gazza they’ll have to find another hero. There is nothing Gazza can say that can redeem him, having raped a woman.

I know a lot of men who have absolutely no tolerance for men committing rape – no matter what the circumstances. Once “˜no’ has been said, that’s the end of it. But you rarely see that kind of man-turning-against-man attitude towards rape on television. How many episodes of SVU and CSI have we seen where men offered each other alibis in rape cases, even when they knew the person they were alibying was guilty as sin? As if the man’s victim was nothing more then an inconvenience? It’s my honest belief that far more men empathise with women who are raped then the men who rape them then the media would lead us to believe.

Perhaps if writers and producers went into this more, they’d have to face up to the fact that many men find rape reprehensible – and then maybe they’d have to rethink their own attitudes on it.

We can only hope.

Comments

  1. mrs.g. says

    I think my favorite thing about what you describe about that episode is the fact that what the football star did to his girlfriends was actually called “rape.” To me, it’s a step in the right direction that non-consensual sex, even if the two individuals have previously had consensual sex, (and even on more than one occasion), that that non-consensual sex is still called “rape.” I’ve never actually seen the episode, so I don’t know if the football player and his girlfriend were actually sexually active or not, but I do know that to many people, it is considered impossible to “rape” someone if you happen to have had consensual sex with them recently. It is not “persuading” someone who needs to be “put in the mood,” it is rape. I remember an occasion with my husband: I was not in the mood, he very much was, I said “no,” and he said “ok.” That was it. Yet, I hear from some other women that this is not what happens with their boyfriends or husband. They called it “encouragement,” and I called it “abuse,” even if the man didn’t physically harm them or use a lot of force. It’s nice to see that at least some people get that girlfriends and wives can be raped by their boyfriends and husbands, and see those actions as such. I just wish I could make those other women see thst.

  2. Jennifer Kesler says

    Yet, I hear from some other women that this is not what happens with their boyfriends or husband. They called it “encouragement,” and I called it “abuse,” even if the man didn’t physically harm them or use a lot of force.

    I hear that, too, and it’s really scary to think how many women out there are living with these assumptions. Many of them are educated and sophisticated and generally not shy about standing up for themselves. But they’ve been given to believe that men are entitled to push to the point of insisting.

    It’s one thing to consent because while you’re not particularly in the mood, you’re not horribly out of the mood, and when the positions are reversed he does the same for you. But no one is entitled to sex on demand, ever.

  3. scarlett says

    mrs g, are you Australian (or Belgium, or from somewhere else that airs the show?) – I ask because the first few seasons were fantastic and I recomend hunting them down but there’s only a few countries it’s available.

    A friend of mine is too young to have gotten into AS from the begining and doesn’t understand why I follow the tripe it’s become, but having read this article, he was intrigued. (I may make him a follower yet!) What I really loved about this show was that it wasn’t afraid to portray tough, grey storylines.

    In the last few years, I’ve come to believe that rape is sex where at least one party isn’t in a position to consent (bit of a grey areas, if neither is, like they’re both drunk) and part of what I loved about this episode was taht they weren’t afriad to call it rape when a lot of other shows would have called it the guy letting off steam and getting carried away.

    And while they never said so outright, I took from a few references that they lived together that they’d had consensual sex before, but that doesn’t make it any less rape.

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