Author Archives: eligabler

Walter White, the rapist.

*Trigger warning: discussion of rape/abuse/rape apology* also -*Spoiler alert*

I know I’m probably a bit late on this topic as it happened a while ago, but my partner and I only recently watched all of Breaking Bad, so it’s still pretty fresh in my mind, unfortunately. I want to discuss the rape scene in Breaking Bad.

Without going into too much detail, the protagonist Walter White forces himself on his wife, Skylar, in the kitchen despite her clearly not being interested in having sex with him, despite her saying that their son will be home soon, despite shouting ‘no’ and despite indicating that he has hurt her. After pushing her face against the kitchen wall and trying to rape her (or actually raping her, we’re not quite sure) he fleas into the backyard. To me, the scene is meant to make us feel sorry for him somehow. We see Skylar’s face, she’s upset, but the focus is on Walt and how bad he feels. We see her follow him into the backyard to tell him that it’s not okay to take his anger and upset (regarding his lung cancer) out on her. He then gets on with some drug business and that’s that.  It made me feel uncomfortable, sick and angry.

I couldn’t get this scene out of my head. He just raped or at least tried to rape his wife. I get that he’s an anti-hero; the audience are meant to like him and sympathise with him despite his criminal activity, we’re meant to understand that he only got into the drug business in the first place to help his family…but for fuck’s sake why are we supposed to overlook this? Why are we supposed to accept that this scene is just a case of Walter being a bit excited by the danger aspect of drug work or that it’s a symbol of him ‘trying to prove his manhood’ or some bullshit like that? Why are we supposed to not see this as rape, but just a manifestation of his love of danger and concern about dying? Rape is rape, not matter who commits it.

I did a quick Google of the scene, hoping to find some articles agreeing with me. Unfortunately, this is the first thing I came across; a bunch of misogynists with the collective message of ‘lol rape, Walter is awesome, Skylar is a bitch’ and ‘it’s not rape she liked it’. Here are a few:

Breaking bad 1

‘lol’ HILARIOUS TIMES, MAN.
breaking bad 2
‘It wasn’t rape she wanted it’; yes, her lack of consent meant she wanted it…

breaking bad 3
‘remember that awesome episode with walt going nuts under the house? Should have raped her brains out then’; I don’t even want to comment on this one.

breaking bad 4
‘He’s physically too frail to rape anyone. She wanted it’; He didn’t look too ‘frail’ when he slammed her against the wall, face first. Also, just because he’s got cancer doesn’t automatically gain her consent to sexual activity.

breaking bad 5

‘Skylar is a freaking behemouth/I hope he murders her’; These speak for themselves.

breaking bad 6
‘It’s not rape if you’re married…boom…’; If you marry a man, you must be available for sex on demand and if you don’t want it, he’s entitled to fuck you anyway. Are you fucking kidding me?! Seriously? Sickening male entitlement to women’s bodies. Whoever wrote this is a real person, that’s what concerns me.

breaking bad 7
‘idk care what people say, it’s not rape’; These people actually exist, they actually think a man is allowed to rape his wife or that consent is a one way street. Seriously, scary.

I know this is fictional, but we should never underestimate the power of patriarchal conditioning and the effect the media has on the attitudes of people. People will watch that scene that think that’s an acceptable way to treat your significant other, or for a man to treat any woman. The comments above already demonstrate that some people think it’s hilarious. They are not seeing it for what it is: rape. They carry on liking the protagonist, because he’s got cancer and he’s trying to ‘provide’ for his family. Even if you see this as some kind of noble act, it does not give him a ‘free rape’ card. We should not excuse it even if we like him. I hate the way the director/writers/producers of Breaking Bad portray Walter as some kind of underground, cult hero and swiftly move past scenes like this.

Vent over.

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My Reaction to Some Guy’s Reaction To Raven-Symone’s Coming Out

 

 

 

I was reading a HuffPost thread about reactions to Raven-Symone’s coming out, and this comment in particular really pissed me off, so I’m going to have a nice old rant.

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‘She could have kept it to herself’-
Yeah, she could have. But do you know what, we need celebrities to come out so we have role models, so we know that it’s okay to be gay, so we know we’re not alone.

‘No one broadcasts that they are straight’-
Yeah, BECAUSE YOU DON’T FUCKING HAVE TO, IT IS ASSUMED. Straight people don’t ever have to come out, and be thankful for that because for some people coming out is so horribly distressing. We don’t just do it once, to our friends and family, we have to do it every time we meet new people. We have to either come out, or let them realise it on their own and dread a change in attitude, a change in the way they talk to you, a change in their body language. 

‘It’s stupid the way homosexuals have to label themselves to garnish attention’ –
Yeah, because naturally LGBTQ+ people LOVE attention, we LOVE having to come out and face the negative reactions and LOVE being oppressed and LOVE being abused in the street and LOVE people like you being assholes to us. Give us some of that sweet, sweet attention and we’re good. We ‘have to label’ ourselves because if we don’t, you do it for us, and it’s usually incorrect. 

‘Not everyone is accepting of that lifestyle’-
It is not a lifestyle. IT IS NOT A LIFESTYLE. Lifestyle implies choice. Your heterosexuality is not considered a lifestyle. We don’t just wake up and think, ‘I think I’m going to try the gay lifestyle today, just to annoy everyone’. Yes, we’re very aware that some people don’t ‘accept’ it. We face that truth everyday.  

‘Keep it in the bedroom and don’t bring everyone in their to watch and this wouldn’t happen’-
So we have victim blaming and poor grammar. First of all, the old ‘keep it in the bedroom’ trope really gets to me. Since when was being LGBTQ+ all about sex. Us queers are capable of having loving relationships, just like you, you know. We don’t just fuck each other and that’s it. Yes, some of us fuck. Yes, we may fuck multiple people. But we also love.  Again, just like you. Not every LGBTQ+ person is sexual. This use of sexual language when referring to us only sets us apart from straight people, and alienates us.
This guy concludes that if Raven had kept her ‘lifestyle’ to herself then she wouldn’t be receiving hate Tweets. So it’s her own fault really. For sharing her ‘lifestyle’ with the world. What did she expect?! It’s not the fault of those tweeting #Childhoodruined and being homophobic, it’s her fault for being openly gay. 

Stop it, just stop it.  


A Quick Note on ‘Playful Tiffs’

I shouldn’t ever have to remind anyone of this, nobody should, but putting your hands around your wife’s throat is not a ‘playful tiff’…it’s assault, it’s domestic violence. It seeks to intimidate and silence. What’s so ‘playful’ about that?

I’m sure you’ve heard about Nigella Lawson; photos were recently released showing her husband, Charles Saatchi, putting his hands around her throat and on her face during an argument outside of a restaurant. According to him it was okay because there was ‘no grip’. Pictures of Nigella looking upset and in tears followed. It’s fine though because apparently, in Saatchi’s words, she was only upset because of the argument and ‘not because she was hurt’. Apparently he only touched her in such a way to ‘get [his] point across’. I’m sorry, but if you need to strangle your wife in order to get your point across you should really go and crawl into a hole away from human society, right now. I’ve read a few different articles about it; some balanced and some just plain ridiculous. I read one where they, for whatever reason, thought it was appropriate to describe what she was wearing (!). Nick Clegg then called it a ‘fleeting thing’. A fleeting thing. A FLEETING THING. When a man who is the deputy prime minister calls an act of domestic violence towards a woman a ‘fleeting thing’ you know we’re all in trouble; because, you know what, it’s not a fleeting thing. It’s enabled by a culture which is so deeply embedded with misogyny, we’re all told we should laugh at jokes about domestic violence and rape, where we’re constantly seeing women being objectified and sexualised in lad’s mags, Page Three, advertising and pretty much every other aspect of the media to the point where women aren’t seen as human beings.

Just because Saatchi handed himself in and then spoke out about it doesn’t make him any less of a cretin. We shouldn’t be awarding him a gold star for ‘doing the right thing’, he should have known that was the wrong thing to do in the first place. Giving him a platform to ‘defend himself’, in my view, is also the wrong thing to do.

While I’m on the subject, why did the photographer not intervene? She was being assaulted. Call the police, shout, anything.

Here’s a link to an article about it: (Trigger warning: it shows one picture of his hand on her face)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/charles-saatchi-accepts-police-caution-for-assault-after-trying-to-dismiss-nigella-lawson-row-as-playful-tiff-8661997.html


This is What Happens When you Set up a Feminist Community.

I’ve never experienced such overt abuse and hatred as I’ve received over the past eighteen months.  For what? For simply setting up a feminist site on Facebook. I know other feminist page admins (and any kind of progressive human rights group) will understand. The constant barrage of mindless abuse, the threats, the harassment, the hate speech…I could go on. Everyday I wake up and in my inbox there is a new message (usually from some dude) telling me something along the lines of how much of a cunt I am. I’m a cunt apparently. A man hating cunt. I’m a cunt because I want to provide a safe space for feminist discussion and mobilisation. I’m a cunt because, above all, I want equality.

By now I’m used to this. My skin is so thick you wouldn’t believe it. They’ve become almost amusing. One of my favourite things to do is to  every so often send some kind of sarcastic reply and post it up for all to see. We get a few chuckles out of it. Better than nothing, I guess. But one thing that still gets me confused and angry is the sheer determination some people (still mainly dudes) have, to take us down, to shut us up. Why? Again, because we simply want equality. These people are so deluded, so brainwashed to think that women gaining equality means that they lose their precious privilege. Whether they want to admit it or not, they deeply hate women. I will always agree with the statement that anti-feminism is the direct expression of misogyny because I’ve found it to be so true. So miserably true.

Here are just a few examples of how vicious these people get about feminism. I found recently that one of the god awful pages we’ve tried to get removed posted about us (and about Women Action and the Media). These are some of the comments on that thread:

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Here is a sample of our general hate mail:

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Let’s play anti-feminist bingo-
[random gendered slut] Check
[Equate us to Nazis] Check
[Mention false rape accusations] Check
[Homophobic slur] Check
[Something that sounds like a death threat] Check

These people are so predictable. The reason I wanted to write this post is because I wanted to convey that although I receive a lot of abuse for what I do, I’m never going to stop. I co-founded a community on Facebook which I am extremely proud of. I love it. I love the people who join. I love the feminists I have encountered. I love the discussion. I love how much I’ve learnt about the world, feminism and myself. I love that I’m still learning. I love the feeling that I’m contributing to such an important movement. These idiots who send us abuse only prove that we need feminism. They prove that what we are doing is important and much needed. They’re being counter-productive to their own fucked up cause. We’ve successfully pissed off the cretins that hide behind the internet, which means we’re doing something right.