The Hathor Legacy

Recently I watch “˜Hathor’, a season one episode of Stargate which, the more I watched it, the more it shits me. Basically, Daniel gets drugged and raped by a Goa’uld Queen, Hathor, and no-one is the least bit concerned. Because, you know, men don’t get raped by women.

At one point after she’s drugged him once and he cottons onto what she’s got planned – namely, to get him to impregnate her and create a whole new species of Goa’uld – she drugs him again to get him to have sex with her. If the sexes were reversed, pretty much everyone (except our favourite right-wing loonies) would consider this rape. But hey, when it’s woman-on-man, the guy should consider himself lucky to get laid.

At the end of the episode, when they’re scraping the DNA of Hathor’s Goa’uld larvae off the floor, Daniel popes up “˜most of that is mine’ and Jack goes “˜Ewww!’. Dude, your best friend just got raped and the best you can do is “˜ewww’. Never mind that Daniel might be deeply traumatised, because I’d be pretty traumatised if someone had just drugged me and raped me to create a new parasitical species.

And Daniel never appears the least bit traumatised. Hathor seems to be nothing more then a bad, manipulative lay – someone we’ve all known. But there’s a difference between being manipulative and a bad lay and being a rapist, something SG1 (never a beacon of light in gender affairs) has never been able to distinguish between. In season two’s Need, a woman manipulates Daniel into a relationship by getting him addicted to the sarcophagus. When it’s over and he’s recovered he’s all “˜I understand why you did it’ and goes on his merry way. Because men aren’t the least bit traumatised by being used for sex, apparently.

And the thing is, Daniel hates the Goa’uld. His wife and brother-in-law were made into Goa’uld hosts. In future episodes, he shows no hesitation or remorse in killing a tank full of larvae Goa’uld who couldn’t fend for themselves; basically, he wants them wiped off the face of the universe, and any other universe they might be inhabiting. If anyone should feel deeply violated after impregnating a Goa’uld queen, it would be him. But no, just most of that would be mine.

The Hathor storyline continues in a season two/three cliffhanger, Out of Mind/Into the Fire. When the team meet up with Hathor again, Daniel’s reaction to her is one of contempt, of a scorned lover who was manipulative and a bad lay – but not a rapist. Hell, I have exes who were manipulative and bad lays; but they didn’t rape me. If I were to meet these men again, I would treat them with contempt; if I were to meet a man who rape me again I would (I hope, at least) unleash on them every bit of feminist fury I have. Hathor conveniently dies at the end of the episode, and they never bother to address with the fact of her raping Daniel.

Now, Stargate is notorious for it’s inability to address issues of gender and sexuality; you just have to have a quick check both on this site and the web to see how many people hate Carter (and, to a lesser extent, Anise and Vala) to know that. But it also seems to me to be the most obvious of symptoms of the media industry’s inability to address male rape. Apart from Law and Order: SVU, movies like Sleepers and a single All Saints storyline – which, interestingly, primarily deal with male-on-male rape; SVU is the only source I’ve known to do a female-on-male rape storyline – the media is absent of male storylines.

What is it about the mainly male writers that they cannot deal with male rape? Is being violated ultimately a male-only thing? Is masculinity so intrinsically tied up with this idea of being the violator and the conqueror that to be the violated, the conquered, has them shitting in their pants and writing rape scenes as nothing more then violent sex?

Comments

  1. daaargh says

    i dont think commercial tv is willing to take big risks. you also have to look towards the owners of the networks who tend to have a say even though they may deny it. then theres issues with censorship boards that might take offence to difficult topics as they tell us what we can and cannot watch like the good little children they seem to think we should be. theres religious groups where there are always individuals who take unbrage at silly things that rally their people around them to winge very loudly (dont get me started on religious groups). theres a whole array of other factors outside of the show itself (and im trying to defend the show) that lead it to the way it its. all in all its the whole rotten system that we live in that is consiring to turn a blind eye to issues that should be discussed and viewed widely

  2. Gategrrl says

    I’ve asked my husband about the Daniel/Hathor scene, and if HE thought it was rape. And he said “No.” When I pressed him further about it, he declared that if there wasn’t penetration, it wasn’t rape.

    Huh?

    But, Daniel was being *used* partly for sex, but also for creating life that he didn’t want to take part in – and you’d think that would be at least a topic that men would connect to, what with those women who “fake” having birth control to get pregnant (see previous article relating to this by BetaCandy). I KNOW guys would have issues with that. Or maybe not – maybe it just reinforces their machoness to be able to father kids/offspring (in this case, symbiotic Goa’ulds) at the drop of a ha- er, sperm?

  3. firebird says

    And there’s something else with the Daniel/Hathor storyline that puzzles me. In the later cliffhanger, Hathor says something to Daniel like “Don’t you remember the joys we once shared in one another’s arms?” and he replies with a grimace, “I really try not to.”

    For women who’ve been victims of rape, especially the type that is nonconsensual but in some way physically pleasurable, such a dichotomy can be very emotionally traumatising. Lots of people think if you got anything off of it it wasn’t rape, but of course we know better than that.

    So for Daniel, being a guy, having been in this rape situation, then to obviously have been pleasured against his will, and in the process used for goals that are diametrically opposed to his own worldview and morals…

    Yeah, can’t get much worse. And it couldn’t have been played off anymore lightly.

    But if we saw a guy that was freaked out by a rape situation, most people would cry “gay” because guys aren’t allowed to not enjoy any type of sexual encounter that comes their way.

    Firebird

  4. says

    I recall one episode of a show where a woman had her boyfriend, a teacher, arrested for hitting her with an iron after sex, and under police interrogation/torture, he admitted that he had been raped. The jury refused to convict her, and he was fired for being involved with the whole thing. The show was something of a police/court sit-com/drama in a small town or suburb, but I only saw a couple episodes many years ago and don’t remember the name.

    While at university, I remember a couple posters on rape, and that one of them could have been completely gender-neutral, had one instance of women been changed to person.

  5. Gategrrl says

    No, HE wasn’t penetrated. As in, he wasn’t forcibly penetrated with a dick, or other object: he was the one that did the penetrating.

  6. scarlett says

    Yeah, that’s what I meant, that there WAS penetration, even though obviously, he was doing the penetrating, just against his will. I guess that’s what makes female-on-male rape so contentious, that the rape victim is not being penetrated.

  7. scarlett says

    What i hated was the way they chopped and changed the story when it suited them. They started out with daniel not remembering, something about none of the men remembering anything while they were under Hathor’s control, which I assume was a lazy was of dealing with his trauma – he doesn’t remember, so he’s not traumatised. Then at the end of the ep they have him saying ‘most of that is mine’ so he must remember SOMETHING. Then at the season 2/3 cliffhanger he treats her with scorn, as if she were a manipulative ex. So he clearly remembers, be apparantly just remembers her as a manipulative ex. I realise prime time can only do so much, but SVU does a lot more (and I remember one storyline where three women restrained a male stripper and had sex with him at a hen’s night). I would have thought it would have been highly traumatic for Daniel, particularly if he was aware while it was happening/remembered, and I would have liked to see it address far more realistically then it was, even if it was only discreetly alluded to.

    And it really annoys me the way they keep writing Daniel storylines where he has sex under some kind of deceptive circumstances – Hathor, Need, Past and Present – like they wanted to get him laid without actually having him cheat on Sha’re. (Notice those plots ended the ep after she dies? Guess it’s not as titilating when he’s not married.) Hmmm, I might just go write a piece on that, too.

  8. Glaivester says

    Prosfilaes:

    I believe that this was an episode of the David Kelley series Picket Fences. I haven’t seen it (well, I think I saw a few seconds of it), but I have read a little about it.

    Scarlett:

    If you are interested, I am actually the only fanfiction author I know of who has written stories dealing with the SVU episode “Ridicule” (the rape of the male stripper). [Someone else may be writing another one]. Most of the writers seem to be more interested in getting Olivia and Elliot in the sack.

    Ridiculous
    Casey’s Twin
    Closurecule

  9. scarlett says

    I’ll get to it… actually the whole ‘female-on-male rape dpesn’t count’ thing shitted me that I wrote a SG1 piece of fanfic which dealt with it (original plot) that seems to be my most popular story on ff.net

  10. Glaivester says

    Three other thoughts:

    As I had mentioned on a previous thread, Jack is raped in the episode “Brief Candle,” albeit by accident. (One of the women on the planet assumes that he wants to marry her, and per their ceremony, he eats a drugged cake and has sex with her in an inebriated state). What bothers me about that epsiode isn’t so much that he was raped, or his reaction to it (as it was a misunderstanding, and the perpetrator was totally without malice, it could be seen as forgiveable), but that when it was happening, his SG-1 teammates didn’t try very hard to stop it. They got up, some other people stood in front of them to prevent them from interfering, and they shrugged and sat back down without a struggle. If it had been a man drugging Sam, I would have a hard time seeing them behave that way.

    Second thought: If the writers were going to have Samantha Carter have this great unrequited crush on Jack, then it seems to me that it would have made an interesting episode to have had Replicarter try to rape him.

    Third thought: If it makes anyone feel any better, a lot of fanfiction writers have written stories where Daniel Jackson was heavily traumatized by his encounter with Hathor.

  11. Glaivester says

    Could I have a link to it (or your ff.net penname)? I tried to look up “scarlett” on ff.net, but there are a lot of authors with scarlett in their pennames, even if I restrict myself to those who wrote SG-1 stories.

  12. aizjanika says

    his SG-1 teammates didn’t try very hard to stop it. They got up, some other people stood in front of them to prevent them from interfering, and they shrugged and sat back down without a struggle.

    In that instance, though, they didn’t realize that Jack was being drugged or led off against his will. It was also early in the series, and Jack was their CO. For all they knew, maybe Jack was going to go off and get laid on every mission. I always thought that the rest of SG-1 just really didn’t realize what was happening until much later. They assumed Jack wanted to go.

    About Hathor: Daniel was catatonic just after his encounter with Hathor–when Sam came into the room. I think it was obvious that he was traumatized there, but then later, they did play it down–first by having him not remember it, and then by his casual reference to the DNA in the baby symbiotes: “Most of that is mine.” That always bothered me, too.

    In Out of Mind/Into the Fire, thought that Daniel was visibly afraid of Hathor, but I agree with you that it wasn’t much and was very much downplayed.

    I also agree with you about Need being a similar situation to Hathor. Daniel was drugged and manipulated. It’s never expressly stated in the show whether or not they had any form of intercourse, though, as it was in Hathor. I recently read a fanfic story from the point of view that they did, but it also acknowledged the drugging and manipulation and Daniel’s trauma afterward.

  13. scarlett says

    Yeah, that would be because I’m known on ff.net as paulacole. I’ve only written SG stuff, I write from another account for my random bits and pieces

  14. Jennifer Kesler says

    Yeah, but these very same people sit around and watch simulated scenes of women being brutally raped, and that’s okay. I guess God designed women to be raped. /rolleyes

  15. Jennifer Kesler says

    I suspect men are just so uncomfortable at the idea of sex being used against them as a weapon, that they go into denial unless it’s such an obvious violation that denial fails them.

    When I think about it, this seems a good answer for why women are in denial about certain forms of rape, too. Such as marital rape, date rape, etc. No one wants to believe rape is out there waiting to happen to them.

  16. Jennifer Kesler says

    So if I see a cute guy who turns me down for sex, and I slip him a date rape drug and am able to arouse him and get my jollies while he’s unable to move or resist, that’s cool with men? Awesome! /sarcasm

    Because that’s exactly what Hathor did.

  17. Jennifer Kesler says

    It seems to me that Daniel didn’t exactly process that it was rape. Considering how many women can fail to grasp that sometimes, it’s hardly surprising a man would be confused, too.

    Where the show failed was in not addressing the issue either way. If it wasn’t rape, then he cheated on his wife. If it wasn’t cheating, then it was rape. They just try to ignore both sides of that and move right along.

    If you can’t handle the responsibilities of writing adult storylines, stick to writing cartoons.

  18. Jennifer Kesler says

    That’s pretty interesting. If you think about it, date rape drugs really opens the door wide to women raping men. Either it’s not happening much yet because women aren’t interested in committing that crime, or it’s happening and men aren’t reporting it for fear they’ll be ridiculed for complaining about “getting laid”. Which is sick, but would happen.

  19. scarlett says

    I’ve addressed this issue in a timestamped story. Basically, they’re happy to write Daniel storylines where he cheats on Sha’re, but since he can’t actually CHEAT, they’d better make it rape… except men can’t be RAPED so they’d better sit in some nonexistant noman’sland

  20. Glaivester says

    I don’t know. It seems to me that lots of men’s rights groups would love to have a show where the female was the perpetrator, where they could say “Look, see? Women rape, too!”

    I suppose it is possible that most people just are not very interested in female-raping-male storylines. Certainly I would have thought that there would have been storylines involving this topic in SVU fanfiction.

    (By the way, in case it is not obvious, the topic of female-as-a-sexual-predator fascinates me).

  21. scarlett says

    Reaklly? I would have thought the opposite, that men DON’T want to see more storylines about male rape in the same vien as female rape, especially when the perpetrator is a woman. Ir rape realy is about power, then such stories would be thoroughly emasculating.

  22. Jennifer Kesler says

    There’s a big difference between blaming women for stuff and actually acknowledging women can have power over grown men. Male Rights Activists tend to focus on female behavior they consider selfish or unfair. I don’t think they want to acknowledge that women can actually victimize men.

    And I can’t blame them. Personally, I turn the channel when I see the story’s going to be about a woman being raped. Seeing my gender victimized on screen does not appeal. Seeing men get kicked in the nuts or raped… that doesn’t bother me. ;)

  23. Gategrrl says

    I automatically turn the channel off or to a different channel when it’s a story that involves the graphic rape of a woman, OR an adult taking advantage of a child. It literally makes me feel sick.

    In fact, and you may have read my LJ entry about it, but I was watching a Canadian show (mindwiping on the title now) in which a woman was kidnapped by a couple who both (male AND female) raped their victims and then murdered them. I shook so badly and it hit me so hard, I refused to watch that show again (and it was an excellent procedural, too).

    Having it happen to the other gender (as adults) doesn’t affect me nearly so much, or at all, because it IS unusual, they’re supposed to be the ones able to protect themselves (though that’s not necessarily true) and that they can’t be “hurt” by that kind of violation. I don’t think it’s used very often on television because many executives/writers/producers can’t envision a man being victimized like that. They can’t put themselves in that place. But it’s easy enough to put a woman in that place because most likely, they KNOW a woman who’s been put in that place.

  24. Gategrrl says

    By my husband’s definition, if Daniel was not penetrated *himself* then he wasn’t raped. I suspect that means that only male-on-male rape is then a valid form of male rape. But at the same time (although it’s a slightly different issue) if, for example, our son was raped by an older woman, like a teacher, when he was underage, that’s a different story. He gets outraged (as do I) when these women get slaps on the wrist while their male counterparts get relatively heavier jail time.

  25. Jennifer Kesler says

    That’s an interesting take. Personally, I see it as an extreme lack of empathy toward women when male executives are happy to show women being raped, but aren’t comfortable with the topic of men being raped (even though it’s not nearly as rare as people think).

    I was sort of joking above when I said it didn’t bother me to see men raped in stories: on those very rare occasions there’s been anything like a graphic portrayal of it, it has actually bothered me, because I do NOT suffer from a pathological lack of empathy for my opposite gender.

  26. Gategrrl says

    >
    I didn’t mean to come across as a total unfeeling bitch when it comes to shows that portray male rape – it’s more or less that it IS so unusual. It’s not that I *can’t* relate, but that…well, it’s probably the response that a genuine real life male rape victim gets in response to reporting it – more or less disbelief and “holy shit” and “are you KIDDING?” I’m not expressing this very well. But I guess it’s the reaction any situation gets when it’s not the preconceived gender going through something when it’s usually the *other* gender that’s usually affected.

    Um…like a male subordinate being sexually harassed by his female superior in the office. I remember there was a movie about that. I think it had Demi Moore as the woman harassing XXX Douglas (an actor I can’t stand for his mysogynist films).

    Argh! I wish I could express it better.

  27. Jennifer Kesler says

    I never thought you sounded unfeeling. And I think I get what you’re saying. You learn a standard reaction to certain tragedies by hearing about them and imagining how awful they must have been to experience. The next time you meet someone who’s been through X, you’re already predisposed to empathy.

    But, for example, when 9/11 happened, very few people had anything to compare it to, so for a couple of days we didn’t even know how to react. It wasn’t that we didn’t care; it was just mind-boggling. Once we had time to imagine how people died, how people lost loved ones, it sunk in and we empathized.

    Male rape isn’t quite that hard to fathom, but neither is it something you come across – in real life or onscreen – everyday. It’s really up to the story to put it across in a way that makes us empathize or dismiss. In the case of the SG-1 writers, they wanted us to empathize but THEN dismiss, so they could have their drama, but never deal with any consequences.

  28. Glaivester says

    I am not really interested in watching graphic rapes. I prefer all things of this sort to occur off-screen. The psychology of the thing is what interests me, so I really don’t need to see it. For example, in the L&O:SVU episode “Ridicule,” we do not ever see the rape or the murder, and I find it a very compelling story.

    In any case, how people feel about graphic portrayals of rape does not necessarily have anything to do with why there are not more males as rape victims on television, as such issues can be dealt with without actually portraying the rape.

  29. Big Bill says

    We are very conflicted and, in many cases stupid, about ape. We also hold men to a much higher standard than women, always have. Women are weak andd must be protected andd men re big tough and evil.

    Case in point: a babysitter raped one of the boys she was babysitting, got pregnant had a baby and sued the boy (now 12, 13 or so) for child support. The juddge ruled that the boy must pay.

    Imagine an 18 year old male babysitter raping an 11-12 year old girl ,getting her pregnant, taking the baby and demanding in court that the girl, now 13 or so, pay him child support. Different, right?

    Anybody who expects equality between men and women, who expects equal treatment on TV or real life, is kidding themselves. Welcome to the real world … and watch that babysitter like a hawk.

  30. scarlett says

    Was the woman in that scenario actually charged and found guilty of rape? I find it incredibly unbelievable that the boy should be made to pay child support in that situation. (And, incidentally, with what? His newspaper round money?) I would have thought that, at a stretch, a good lawyer could make a point about those ‘non-profit’ laws.
    Secondly, and we brought this up in another post, as far as issues such as sex crimes go, men are largely ignored because it is predominantly a women’s issue. I mean, even if you look at the fact that (I think) 3/4 of rape victims are women, which in itself is a pretty glaring statistic, once you get down to how many MEN are victims of female-on-male rape to how many WOMEN are victims of male-on-female rape, without belittling anyone’s experience, it’s almost neglibile.
    As I said, I’m not belittling anyone’s experience. I’m sure rape is incredibly traumatising, regardless of the gender of either rapee or rapist. But female-on-male rape is so uncommon (not to mention the social conditioning that if a man got an erection, he must have wanted it)that it’s largely overlooked as a crime.
    But fair being fair, if, after being charged and found guilt of rape, the babysitter could still extract child support money by the boy she raped, then I’m even more disgusted with the American law system then i was five minutes ago.

  31. Kateydidnt says

    Which is why I love fanfic. There are a few goof stories addressing Daniel’s rape. But Stargate (though I love it) has a history of leaving deeper issues hanging.

  32. cat says

    I could count SG-1, but since the writers don’t like deep subjects I won’t.

    Two show dealing with a man raped by a woman-the only ones I can clearly recall- Farscape (Grayza raped John) and SVU, Ridicule. That’s it.

    In Farscape, 4th season What was Lost, John was visibly traumatized and hated Grayza- he outright said “raped” to her.

  33. says

    I absolutely agree with this article. I’m late to Stargate, and I’m watching through the show on DVD. This article says everything I was thinking.

    Also, no one in the comments mentions “The Broca Divide”, a season one episode in which Carter tries to rape O’Neill. She gets Touched (i.e. gets a virus that transforms her to a primal state), and then assaults O’Neill in the locker room. He fights her off, straps her to a bed in the infirmary, and then tells Daniel she tried to seduce him.

  34. says

    Good point, Dragonclaws. I always took that phrase as *Jack* struggling for the words to describe what happened rather than the writers classifying it as “seduction”, and felt that Daniel’s sarcastic “You poor man” meant that Jack hadn’t found the right word after all. But knowing what we know of the writers from future seasons, um… yeah.

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