RAPE OR NOT? || THE 100; 3X10 - REVIEW

Gooooooood Monday!!!

I know I've been writing a lot about tv shows and stuff like that lately - my apologies - and this week I, once again, bring you a post about something that happened on a TV show.

The truth is that I've had this entry written for ages, and I had no time to write a proper one this week (too busy watching brooklyn 99), so I thought it'd be a good idea to finally post this one. As I just said, it's about a show - The 100 - but mainly about a certain scene that I found quite disturbing and I'd love to know what you think.

Let's start!

'The 100' is an American action/drama tv show based on a book of the same name, the first of a trilogy by Kass Morgan and it's about the life of a group of teenagers (and later on, their olders) as they become the first humans to return to Earth after a nuclear apocalypse.

Now that you have a brief summary, let's get down to business!
I want to mention that even if you've never seen it, you can still read this review and create an opinion about the topic I'm going to be exposing here. There will be some SPOILERS, though.

Season 3 wrapped up a few months ago, but it's still being discussed because it was one hell of a ride. I wish I could say that in a positive way, but given the ratings and the questions that are being raised...I can't.

A lot of bad things happened this season, and tons of them in episode 10, but I wanted to “review” a certain scene of that episode and maybe, just maybe, leave what I consider to be an important question out in the open.

So, here's the situation: John Murphy, a 17 year old boy, finds himself held captive by a powerful and dangerous (dangerous as in, she killed a bunch of children to become the leader) woman. She keeps him chained in her room with a collar around his neck because she doesn't trust him one bit, which hey, seems fair, who hasn't had trust issues at some point of their lives?

But then things take a turn when she starts taking off her clothes and clearly states that she wants to sleep with him. He says “wait” and looks away before she strips completely, but she does it anyway. Then he politely declines her telling her that “there's someone else”, which leads to this conversation:

Is she a commander too?”


Would she kill you if you ever lied to her, did anything to break her trust or upset her in the slightest way?”

That exchange happens while she uses the chain to pull him closer, no matter how much he tries to resist. After that last question, he nods his head and says “the things I do to survive”, and...boop, new scene! But as you can imagine, he does have sex with her.

Those two minutes created a lot of discussions within the fandom – controversial but important discussions – about a topic we don't often see people talking about; rape and the lingering ambiguities surrounding rape culture.

In my opinion, - and here comes the “review” part of this post – there is no question that Murphy was raped. It's pretty clear, Ontari (the girl's name) put him in chains, that's already a shameless removal of his free will. But then she used that advantage position to get what she wants, threatening to kill him if he doesn't do as she pleases. He says “no” a few times but she forces him and he gives in because he doesn't want to die (duh), isn't that transparent enough? Seems like it isn't because I wouldn't be writing this if it was.

Some people are convinced of the fact that it wasn't rape, stating that the scene was ambiguous, that he wanted it or he would have said something (he said no...what else do they want him to say?), that the tone of his voice said otherwise.

It is true that Ontari forcing Murphy into having sex with her was never explicitly labelled as rape by the people who make the show. None of the writers or the director have said anything, leaving it up for interpretation.

I'm not going to deny it, I like it. It challenges its viewers to think for themselves about such an important and complex issue; creating this convo where they can share their thoughts and maybe even learn from others. I think that's really positive, having this kind of topics brought up.

I enjoy reading people's opinions, rants and justifications. I truly do, but in this case I feel like some viewers watched that scene half blinded, or ignoring the big picture.

They interpret it that way (not rape involved) because of the following reasons: Murphy smiled (sarcastically) for 5 seconds, he didn't struggle too much (physically speaking), it wasn't violent, it wasn't spelled out, and my favourite one...he's a straight man, he can't be raped!!!!

That reason alone sadly leads a certain amount of people to assume that somehow, there's no way he can be raped. Those are not valid arguments, but those people find them quite convincing.

It makes me very angry-sad to think about how as obvious as the action is, there are still so many viewers who don't see it as rape. Even some of my friends told me that “it was rape...but not really”; “he said yes in the end” when I asked them about it.

(He didn't say “yes”, by the way)

Because of the way it was presented – not violent, not explicit, with a man as the victim – my friends and a lot of other people won't see it as what it is. And the truth is that the world is afraid of saying the word “rape” out loud.

If you said “no”, it is rape. You don't have to say it a million times, you said it once and the other person still pushed you? Rape. It doesn't matter if the rapist is a murderer like the one in the show, or a drunk stranger...it could be your partner when you don't want to have sex but they insist until you give in just so they can stop bothering you. That is definitely not consent, and we should be able to speak more openly about it. We must.

Murphy didn't comply with the myths about how rape victims should behave – he did not cry, nor scream – he simply acted like Murphy. He did it because it was the only way he could survive and he knew it, another day on the ground. But rape by coercion is still rape.

Unfortunately, what society as a whole considers 'rape' is blurred and in cases like this, a large amount of people don't know what to think. And I wonder...do we acknowledge rape as much as we say we do?

I'm going to finish this entry with that question and I'd love to read what you guys think.

Have a nice week!!



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