Slight spoilers not only from TV-series but also from comic.
By the advice of a video by Neil McNeil, I decided to finally delve into the world of superheroes once more, after the huge disappointment that followed after I saw the first season of Arrow. Within the first three episodes, my hope was restored on the Marvel Universe. Why you ask? Because Jessica Jones taps into the social issues that need discussion of now more than ever, rape.
Yes! A TV-show that is unapologetically making its first season about rape and the effect on its victims, particularly PTSD. Jessica Jones was violated by a man named Purple Man aka Kilgrave, who has the ability to make anyone do anything by simply speaking to them (as long as they are near him). It all begins with people believing they are making their own choices, until their desires start to melt with Kilgrave’s, and free-will is completely eradicated.
Here is the dialogue from a scene in which he touches her after he promised he would not unless she allowed it:
Kilgrave: “We used to do a lot more than just touch hands.”
Jessica: “Yeah, it’s called rape.”
Kilgrave: “What? Which part of staying in five-star hotels, eating at all the best places, doing whatever the hell you wanted, is rape?”
Jessica: “The part where I didn’t want to do any of it! Not only did you physically rape me, but you violated every cell in my body and every thought in my goddamn head.”
– Episode: AKA WWJD.
Here we get a basic understanding of Kilgrave’s mind, as the rapist himself does not realize that what he did was wrong, no matter how many times any of his victims tell him, because the scary thing about him is that he believes himself to be a good guy nonetheless. But he is not a good guy, he is insane, a psychopath. Kilgrave raped her physically and mentally, although in the show it seems to be diminished a bit so as to not throw so much triggering material into our faces. In the comics he forced her to beg him to have sex with her, and even watch when he had sex with other women, plus the detail that he also made her kill innocent people since she has super-strength. Now some people have claimed that since he made her beg him to do it with her it is not actually rape since she somehow desired it, my answer, no, you are wrong, she was not of sound mind when she conceited, therefore it was rape. Kilgrave spends the series denying his actions, and trying to show everyone that Jessica is the one in the wrong. As if to bring about the same old thing “she did not say no” and “I didn’t know she didn’t want it.” Again, those are not excuses, and it is clear in the show that the only person delusional enough to believe that is himself.
Now some people are claiming that Jessica belongs with Kilgrave, since he now, coming back from the past with a hope to get her to love him like he does her, but without manipulation is a valid enough reasons for them to be together, as if her struggles were something temporary that can be ignored because he loves her right? No. That is only perpetrating this rape culture that exist around the world. Ever heard of bride kidnapping? It is a tradition is some cultures where the woman (usually a very young-adult) gets kidnapped by a man that wants to marry her, she is the raped, and then her rapist must negotiate with her family to have them married, since she is now spoiled goods and will be blamed by her village. We cannot do such a disservice to women and men that encounter this in the world. We cannot let such traditions become the new norm.
I do not know how to end this, except with saying that everyone should watch it, because it is finally giving a voice to the victims.
Here are some links to other posts relating to the same or similar topic:
- ‘Jessica Jones,’ ‘Game Of Thrones’ And Why TV’s ‘Charming Rapist’ Trope Must Change.
- On Jessica Jones, rape doesn’t need to be seen to be devastating.
- What Rape Apologists Need to Learn From Jessica Jones.
- Jessica Jones: shattering exploration of rape, addiction and control.