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?