Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Days of Our Lives, Rape and Sexual Ignorance

Days of Our Lives, Rape and Ignorance
By
Theresa Chaze

After the long and rabid debate on a storyline from Days of Our Lives, I realized that many people still don't understand what constitutes rape. Instead of seeing it as an act of violence and control, many people it as the male giving into his passion, seducing the woman--just because she says no, it doesn‘t mean she doesn‘t want it. This belief is archaic and destructive to both genders.

There are still those who not only believe, but also treat woman as second-class people without the right to determine their own destinies. To them, women don’t have rights only the responsibility to fulfill the needs of a man. It’s the wife’s duty. The husband’s right. It’s the woman’s fault, she was a tease. She’s easy. She said no, but meant yes. She wanted it. I wanted to prove I that loved her. The way she dressed made me. All excuses used to exonerate the men and blame the women. It is the same boys will be boy mentality that has been the basis of the harm done to women for eons. Women aren’t equal to men so it doesn’t matter what they want or need as long as the man is satisfied.

The old 50’s belief that woman aren’t suppose like sex still filters through society. Women who are comfortable with their sexuality are called “ball breakers” and bitches; a controlling man is congratulated for putting the little woman in her place. Back then, mothers told there daughters to close their eyes and pretend you like it. After all good girls don’t like sex, but it‘s the only way to have children. Those that enjoyed their sexually were publicly demeaned, while privately men sought them out because they were “easy.” While men who get lucky are congratulated; women who lost their virginity are discounted and considered damaged goods.

Old romance novels espoused the same theme as they told tales of women being carried away and falling love with their captor. Whether pirate, alien or the many other incarnations of villains, the plot theme said that women are incapable of knowing what they want or making decisions for themselves. In the novels, the women are kidnapped and raped, only to fall in love with their attacker by the end of the book. If the woman is force than she isn’t responsible for her actions, so she can enjoy her sexual nature without shame. The mentality also implies that women are so out of touch with their feelings that they need a third person to forcibly show them.

In the Days Our Lives story line, what started as a triangle became a rape scene as one character, forced his will on another. A quick synopsis is that Sami and Lucas were going on a weekend vacation not only for a good time. On a deserted snowy road, their car died and they sought shelter in a deserted cabin. The roof fell in and Lucas was trapped. EJ shot John. Sami went to get help. EJ was in the car that stopped. She asked him to help Lucas. He agreed if she had sex with him. Sami could either let Lucas die or have sex with EJ. She had no choice if she wanted the man she loved to live.











The definitions of rape are:

1. criminology forcing of somebody into sex: the crime of forcing somebody to have sex
2. criminology instance of rape: an instance of the crime of rape
3. violent destructive treatment: violent, destructive, or abusive treatment of something
the rape of a beautiful stretch of countryside

4. abduction: an act of seizing somebody and carrying him or her away by force



First Degree Rape:

(1) A person is guilty of rape in the first degree when such person engages in sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion where the perpetrator or an accessory:

(a) Uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon or what appears to be a deadly weapon; or

(b) Kidnaps the victim; or

(c) Inflicts serious physical injury, including but not limited to physical injury which renders the victim unconscious; or

(d) Feloniously enters into the building or vehicle where the victim is situated.

(2) Rape in the first degree is a class A felony.



Second Degree Rape:
) A person is guilty of rape in the second degree when, under circumstances not constituting rape in the first degree, the person engages in sexual intercourse with another person:

(a) By forcible compulsion;

(b) When the victim is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated;

(c) When the victim is a person with a developmental disability and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and who:

(i) Has supervisory authority over the victim; or

(ii) Was providing transportation, within the course of his or her employment, to the victim at the time of the offense;

(d) When the perpetrator is a health care provider, the victim is a client or patient, and the sexual intercourse occurs during a treatment session, consultation, interview, or examination. It is an affirmative defense that the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the client or patient consented to the sexual intercourse with the knowledge that the sexual intercourse was not for the purpose of treatment;

(e) When the victim is a resident of a facility for persons with a mental disorder or chemical dependency and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and has supervisory authority over the victim; or

(f) When the victim is a frail elder or vulnerable adult and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and who:

(i) Has a significant relationship with the victim; or

(ii) Was providing transportation, within the course of his or her employment, to the victim at the time of the offense.

(2) Rape in the second degree is a class A felony.


Third Degree Rape:
1) A person is guilty of rape in the third degree when, under circumstances not constituting rape in the first or second degrees, such person engages in sexual intercourse with another person, not married to the perpetrator:

(a) Where the victim did not consent as defined in RCW 9A.44.010(7), to sexual intercourse with the perpetrator and such lack of consent was clearly expressed by the victim's words or conduct, or

(b) Where there is threat of substantial unlawful harm to property rights of the victim.

(2) Rape in the third degree is a class C felony.




From the beginning, Sami told EJ she was not interested; EJ didn’t care. EJ proudly stated that he didn’t care what she wanted as long as he was satisfied. Sami had no choice if she wanted Lucas to; therefore, it was rape. He had a gun and threatened to harm her and her family, making it first degree rape. Those who call it a seduction or a bargan need to rethink their moral compass and their life values. Woman are equals the right to control their minds, their bodies and their destinies. They know what they want and have the right to demand respect on all levels. Those who think otherwise are ignorant and bigoted when it comes to the rights of women.


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4 comments:

Fern Green said...

Yes, there are a lot of misconceptions about rape. Many rapes inflicted by intimate partners are not reported, because women fear that they will not be taken seriously (which is all too often the case) or are themselves confused about whether or not they were raped.

Thanks for this post to help raise consciousness about this difficult subject.

Theresa Chaze, Wiccan Writer said...

You're welcome. It's the very reason I wrote the piece. Every person has the right to their own body. Until attitudes change in both women and men, there will be those who believe that they can have what they want, when they want and the rest of the world be damned.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post. I have been a fan of Days for more than 20 years and I find this storyline to be extremely offensive and irresponsible. It portrays a dangerous and degrading message.

Zev said...

Agree completely with your interpretation of this Days storyline. Thanks for posting.

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