This Is a Blog: My BSG Addiction: Rape

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My BSG Addiction: Rape

In order to get over my addiction to "Battlestar Galactica," I'm going to talk the show to death until it's out of my system. What originally started as a one-off essay is too big for just one post. This is Part 7.
The Rape of Pegasus Six

I have a real problem with any storyline about rape. Midway through the movie "Blindness," there is a gang rape resulting in the beating death of an old woman. It may be the most horrific thing I've ever seen in a movie (the image still pops in my head and it makes me cringe), and I spent the entire rest of the film wondering how the filmmakers would pay it off. The movie was so stylistic and so artistically strong, my only hope for the rest of the movie is that they'd somehow justify it. I couldn't focus on anything else. To have to sit through something so awful, it would have to mean something or else why just casually drop it into the movie? It never paid off, and "Blindness" still ranks as one of the worst movies I've ever seen.

That's how I felt when the Pegasus crew starts talking so openly about raping their Six. Upon hearing this, Helo and Tyrol run to the brig to stop the same from happening to their Sharon, but until they get there, we have to watch every part of a gang rape scene that thankfully stops right before the act. This whole thing made me very uncomfortable, but not in the way it's supposed to. It made me sick to my stomach that the Pegasus supported such a culture of rape, but more so it really bothered me that the show would use rape in such a way.
I get it, it's a show about humanity at their most desperate. I'm sure rapes were happening all over the fleet, but with the exception of this storyline, we're spared having to hear about it. For all its high-mindedness, this show is a piece of entertainment, and I think rape has no place in entertainment. I get that every aspect of this show is inflated to the point of high drama. For all intents and purposes, it's a soap opera in space. It's a lot of edgy and emotional people reacting intensely to heavy circumstances. I get that the Pegasus is supposed to represent the worst possible reaction to the Cylon invasion, but the rape of this Six never sits well with me.

The show does take some steps to justify it. The mini-movie "Razor" puts out there that this Six was Admiral Cain's lover, and the rape was her punishment for betrayal. Perhaps in order to justify this Six blowing up Cloud Nine, the torture she had to endure to get to that point needed to be that intense. Perhaps in order to keep the specter of menace over the acquired Pegasus crew, we need to feel that they're just a bunch of rapists and thugs. Perhaps Galactica's crew needs something this extreme as a cautionary tale of what they could become if they give into the darkness.

I wonder if the show could have accomplished all that without going so far. It's not just that they raped her, it's that the entire crew of nearly 2,000 people raped her multiple times each. The story we get from the crew members in that first scene where they mention it is that raping this Six is almost part of their routine. Everyone gets off a duty shift, goes down to the brig, and waits in line to brutalize this woman. Even in an extreme world, that is so off-the-charts evil that it's too much even for this world. That makes the crew of the Pegasus even more evil than the Number Ones, who orchestrated mass genocide but honestly thought they were doing the right thing.

That sounds extreme, but I really think the show should have gone just that far to justify something so awful or not done it at all.

Continue to Part 8

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts