Tag Archives: feminism

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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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.