Posts Tagged ‘Mills and Boon’

I read that in the guardian the other day. The bit about how sometimes you might not want it at first, but then you do…it is so much like all those bloody film scenes where the woman fights the hero off, and then goes limp and moony eyed. It is this whole romanticism of she didn’t think she wanted it, but then his sheer manliness overpowered her. It’s bullshit. but that is what Robertson seems to think about women, and rape. That we all want it really, even when we say we don’t. It makes me feel a bit sick in my mouth to be honest’

This comment was left on a discussion about the Assange case. Another discussion with feminists about something I think is very important that I got hounded off. But fuck it I will bring these discussions here.

The commenter raises a very interesting point, about how she thinks Assange’s lawyer in the extradition case has presented ‘rape’, as if it was a kind of Mills and Boon type story of a dark, manly hero taking the wench and overpowering her. As she secretly wanted all along.

My question is this: if those stories are so common and so much a part of our consciousness, not just in Mills and Boon, but also in classical literature-the picture above is a representation of Wuthering Heights, for example. And also, as the commenter says, in film and popular culture. If this narrative of the strong masculine, dominant man and the weak, submissive woman is so prevalent in our discourse is there some truth in it? Or rather is it embedded deep in our psyches?

I don’t know what to think about the Assange case anymore or even Robertson QC’s remarks, that feminists have found so offensive. But I do know it is a very interesting example of how we portray heterosexual sex /relationships in our culture.

The feminist narrative is not actually any different from the romantic one, except that it always involves the man ‘overpowering’ the woman against her will. Which, if you think about it, makes him out to be even stronger, even more dominant, even more powerful than the versions of the story which say she eventually is overcome by feminine desire for him.