The Nightwing rape incident and the depiction of this issue


One of the most interesting comic book debates for me is whether Nightwing was actually raped by Catalina or not.  While I have made my feelings quite clear on this incident in my review of that issue, it has in some ways for me always been like the case with Hank Pym, how one incident comes to define an issue within comics (in Pym's case it was spousal abuse) while mostly ignoring a lot of the other cases when it comes the issue.  In terms of rape however, there have been two notable cases of either rape attempted rape since the reboot of the new 52, and neither of which has factored heavily into any discussions.  Part of the ambiguity of the Nightwing scenario is that it was not exactly a clear case on whether it was rape or not (as for instance I do not believe it was.)   So while it is not necessarily the case that it is of great importance to the story, it is still interesting that no one is discussing this issue, maybe because it is too vague.  The first case is that of the love affair between Zeus and Hippolyta which resulted in the conception of Diana.  Although they shared a consensual interest in one another Zeus was at the time posing as a regular human.  This may not in fact be particularly different from a case of someone misrepresenting themselves in order to for instance have a one night stand, except in that case it is not a lie which betrays the fundamental aspect of one the interested sides.  That is to say that its one thing to say put on some nicer clothes, but another thing altogether to use another body.  this is actually similar in certain ways to the other case where Deadman wants to have physical intimacy with his girlfriend Dawn Granger and does so by possessing another man's body.  In this case though it is the man that would be getting violated, after all he would have had no say in the matter of his sexual relations had Dawn actually allowed it to proceed.  Of course the topic is a fairly heavy one and not one which is always easy to discuss, but only focusing on the on example may be doing it a disservice.  
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Edited by Daveyo520

This just made me think of the movie I saw last night. A strong rape scene occurred.

Deadman possessing someone to have sex is very not cool.

Edited by fodigg

"Sci-fi" forms of rape are always contentious discussions because you have people using the legal definitions on one side arguing one extreme, and people factoring in the fantastical methods of obfuscating consent (e.g., mind control, emotion/inhibition alteration, mental breakdown, fever dream state, shape shifting, elaborate bait-and-switch, hallucinations, love potions, invisibility) arguing the other.

If we can take these fantastical methods of screwing with a sexual partner's consent at face value, then the real-world arguments for what does and does not constitute rape fall apart. We'd have to either laugh off these methods as not a big deal and just a part of fantasy/sci-fi/comics or we have to take a serious approach and consider how horrifying it is. It's a hard line to straddle because the second you take it seriously once, you start wondering why it's accepted elsewhere.

For example, the love potions--apparently fully functional--in the Harry Potter series are treated lightly in the books. If considered seriously, however, if such a thing actually existed and someone used it, it would clearly be a form of date-rape. This type of thing--as well as other serious ailments like broken limbs and slipping people "joke-shop" poisons---are consistently treated as gags in the series however.

---

In the case of Nightwing, we have to choose whether or not we believe the narrator/author's argument that he'd suffered a total mental break and was not in control of his actions, and was therefore taken advantage of. Same with Green Arrow's fever-state in his arguably-rape scene with Shado. Pesonally I see no reason to question the narrative voice like that. If I trust the narrator that a man can fly, I see no reason to draw a hard line that there's no way a man can keep it up while suffering a horrible mental breakdown.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@fodigg: Interesting, I never considered that about love potions.  though to be fair they are love potions not sex potions.  
Moderator
Posted by Daveyo520

@RazzaTazz: Those people did not want to fall in love with you and you are forcing them to with a "drug". That in itself is not ok but then since they love you they will probably have sex with you at some point.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@Daveyo520 said:

@RazzaTazz: Those people did not want to fall in love with you and you are forcing them to with a "drug". That in itself is not ok but then since they love you they will probably have sex with you at some point.

Agreed but it is more like a romantic love which I think the potions are trying to achieve.  
Moderator
Posted by Daveyo520

@RazzaTazz: That is still wrong. Even without the sex. You don't force or trick people to love you.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@Daveyo520: I agree, but it still I think is on a different level than tricking someone into sexual relations.  
Moderator
Posted by Daveyo520

@RazzaTazz: It is still forcing someone to do something they don't want. I guess you could say that being physical is worse but how much worse? Well if it is a violent rape it is a lot worse but I would think them being drugged would not have a need for that. I don't want to think too much about how a rapist would act.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

In Scotland the Law does not recognise female on male rape

Edited by fodigg

@RazzaTazz:

As @Daveyo520: said, it's probably not a good idea to "rank" forms of rape--even fantastical forms of rape--by severity and say that some are less egregious than others. Consider the case of Purple Man and Jewel. Using mental control, he abducted her and forced her to behave as his "wife" for years but we are told explicitly that he never forced her to have a sexual encounter with him. Is this somehow "more acceptable?" Is he "merely" guilty of kidnapping and not of rape? I'd say it was a clear violation of her liberty, both physical and mental, and was equivalent to torture/rape.

By trying to limit the definition of rape to violent means--something I disagree with even in real life situations considering threat of violence and date rape drugs (and I'm aware you agree with me from comments in your review of this Nightwing issue, I'm just being clear)--you leave the door open to "more acceptable" forms of rape in a world with fantastical powers. Telepaths, for example, are perfectly capable of creating a mental dreamscape where they could put a victim through a rape scenario that never physically takes place. This type of thing should certainly be considered a sexual assault.

Posted by Daveyo520

@spiderbat87: That is messed up.

Posted by Daveyo520

@fodigg: Well said.

Posted by The Stegman

man, a lot of men in Dc get raped...

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt

There was a quote, I can't remember by who, but it was someone involved in the production of the comic; 
"It wasn't consensual, but it wasn't rape." 
 
What they clearly meant was far more controversial; men don't get raped by women. 

Posted by Daveyo520

@FadeToBlackBolt: :/

Posted by RazzaTazz
@fodigg: Well there are a difference between rape and other forms of sexual harassment, I think there is a pretty clear line to be drawn in terms of definition.  
Moderator
Posted by Daveyo520

@RazzaTazz: Saying something sexual to a person is not as bad as forcing them to fall in love with you against their will. One is just saying something the other is forcing them to do something.

Edited by fodigg

@RazzaTazz said:

@fodigg: Well there are a difference between rape and other forms of sexual harassment, I think there is a pretty clear line to be drawn in terms of definition.

We're not debating harassment vs assault though, we're debating different forms of assault. And a sexual assault is a sexual assault, even if it involves fantastical methods.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@fodigg: Agreed, I thought someone was trying to incorporate in romance (love potions).  The whole point of the blog was to point out that people dont even consider these things to be rape.  
Moderator
Edited by Daveyo520

@RazzaTazz: It is not romance or romantic if you force someone to feel love for you. Just because it isn't sex, the forced feelings are still bad. So yes love potions are bad. Also it is not just some emotional gilt trip to get someone to be with you like that can happen in real life but a substance that can actually transform the way you think and act.

Edited by fodigg

@RazzaTazz said:

@fodigg: Agreed, I thought someone was trying to incorporate in romance (love potions). The whole point of the blog was to point out that people dont even consider these things to be rape.

You were not mistaken. Love potions, considered in a serious context, are horrifying rape drugs. They don't just render you unable to fight back, they force you to actively pursue the perpetrator. The distinction between "romantic" and "physical" love is irrelevant. Also, poisoning someone is a form of assault, not a form of harassment.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@FadeToBlackBolt said:
There was a quote, I can't remember by who, but it was someone involved in the production of the comic; "It wasn't consensual, but it wasn't rape."  What they clearly meant was far more controversial; men don't get raped by women. 
@RazzaTazz said:
@fodigg: Agreed, I thought someone was trying to incorporate in romance (love potions).  The whole point of the blog was to point out that people dont even consider these things to be rape.  
Well that's how the law in Scotland sees it. Rape is defined as "carnal knowledge of a female by a male without her consent".
Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@spiderbat87: That's sick. Australian Civil Law is horribly misandrist, but our Criminal Law is pretty well even. 
Posted by Daveyo520

@spiderbat87: You guys need to update your laws.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@Daveyo520 said:

@spiderbat87: You guys need to update your laws.

yea I'll get right on that...
Posted by Daveyo520

@spiderbat87: Thank you Spiderbat67 King of Scotland.

Posted by fodigg

@spiderbat87 said:

Well that's how the law in Scotland sees it. Rape is defined as "carnal knowledge of a female by a male without her consent".

That is deeply disturbing. Not only does that seem to not cover female against male rape, but male against male rape. It seems to not cover a male victim of any kind. Do they at least have a separate law against molestation that would protect young male victims of sexual assault? At least that would cover some of it.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@fodigg said:

@spiderbat87 said:

Well that's how the law in Scotland sees it. Rape is defined as "carnal knowledge of a female by a male without her consent".

That is deeply disturbing. Not only does that seem to not cover female against male rape, but male against male rape. It seems to not cover a male victim of any kind. Do they at least have a separate law against molestation that would protect young male victims of sexual assault? At least that would cover some of it.

I think the law was changed in 2010 to include male on male rape. Yea sexual offences involving children come under a separate law. In Scotland it's also classed as rape if the female doesn't actually say out loud "I, (name), am willing to have sexual intercourse with you, (name)" no matter if she instigated the act or not.
Posted by fodigg

@spiderbat87 said:

@fodigg said:

@spiderbat87 said:

Well that's how the law in Scotland sees it. Rape is defined as "carnal knowledge of a female by a male without her consent".

That is deeply disturbing. Not only does that seem to not cover female against male rape, but male against male rape. It seems to not cover a male victim of any kind. Do they at least have a separate law against molestation that would protect young male victims of sexual assault? At least that would cover some of it.

I think the law was changed in 2010 to include male on male rape. Yea sexual offences involving children come under a separate law. In Scotland it's also classed as rape if the female doesn't actually say out loud "I, (name), am willing to have sexual intercourse with you, (name)" no matter if she instigated the act or not.

That's a meaningless provision. How do you prove what was or wasn't said?

Posted by Daveyo520

@spiderbat87: That last things can lead to a lot of problems...

Posted by Billy Batson

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

There was a quote, I can't remember by who, but it was someone involved in the production of the comic; "It wasn't consensual, but it wasn't rape." What they clearly meant was far more controversial; men don't get raped by women.

Was it Gail Simone?
BB

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@Billy Batson said:

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

There was a quote, I can't remember by who, but it was someone involved in the production of the comic; "It wasn't consensual, but it wasn't rape." What they clearly meant was far more controversial; men don't get raped by women.

Was it Gail Simone?
BB

Heh, no. It was either Devin or an editor. 
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@fodigg said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@fodigg said:

@spiderbat87 said:

Well that's how the law in Scotland sees it. Rape is defined as "carnal knowledge of a female by a male without her consent".

That is deeply disturbing. Not only does that seem to not cover female against male rape, but male against male rape. It seems to not cover a male victim of any kind. Do they at least have a separate law against molestation that would protect young male victims of sexual assault? At least that would cover some of it.

I think the law was changed in 2010 to include male on male rape. Yea sexual offences involving children come under a separate law. In Scotland it's also classed as rape if the female doesn't actually say out loud "I, (name), am willing to have sexual intercourse with you, (name)" no matter if she instigated the act or not.

That's a meaningless provision. How do you prove what was or wasn't said?

One's word against the others. It's meant to prevent "passive rape", as in the female is to scared to say no or is out cold at the time but really it's conceivable that a female could "rape" a male and then have that same male charged with raping her.
Edited by fodigg

@spiderbat87 said:

@fodigg said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@fodigg said:

@spiderbat87 said:

Well that's how the law in Scotland sees it. Rape is defined as "carnal knowledge of a female by a male without her consent".

That is deeply disturbing. Not only does that seem to not cover female against male rape, but male against male rape. It seems to not cover a male victim of any kind. Do they at least have a separate law against molestation that would protect young male victims of sexual assault? At least that would cover some of it.

I think the law was changed in 2010 to include male on male rape. Yea sexual offences involving children come under a separate law. In Scotland it's also classed as rape if the female doesn't actually say out loud "I, (name), am willing to have sexual intercourse with you, (name)" no matter if she instigated the act or not.

That's a meaningless provision. How do you prove what was or wasn't said?

One's word against the others. It's meant to prevent "passive rape", as in the female is to scared to say no or is out cold at the time but really it's conceivable that a female could "rape" a male and then have that same male charged with raping her.

If a woman feels threatened to the point where she cannot refuse or her ability to consent is chemically impaired it is rape. If they need extra language to make that legally binding, okay, but that provision seems like an odd way to accomplish that. But then I'm not a lawyer.

But let's get back to Nightwing, who is not Scottish. :)

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@fodigg said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@fodigg said:

@spiderbat87 said:

@fodigg said:

@spiderbat87 said:

Well that's how the law in Scotland sees it. Rape is defined as "carnal knowledge of a female by a male without her consent".

That is deeply disturbing. Not only does that seem to not cover female against male rape, but male against male rape. It seems to not cover a male victim of any kind. Do they at least have a separate law against molestation that would protect young male victims of sexual assault? At least that would cover some of it.

I think the law was changed in 2010 to include male on male rape. Yea sexual offences involving children come under a separate law. In Scotland it's also classed as rape if the female doesn't actually say out loud "I, (name), am willing to have sexual intercourse with you, (name)" no matter if she instigated the act or not.

That's a meaningless provision. How do you prove what was or wasn't said?

One's word against the others. It's meant to prevent "passive rape", as in the female is to scared to say no or is out cold at the time but really it's conceivable that a female could "rape" a male and then have that same male charged with raping her.

If a woman feels threatened to the point where she cannot refuse or her ability to consent is chemically impaired it is rape. If they need extra language to make that legally binding, okay, but that provision seems like an odd way to accomplish that. But then I'm not a lawyer.

But let's get back to Nightwing, who is not Scottish. :)

Lucky for him
Edited by Daveyo520

@lykopis: I agree that you agree. Also that was mostly Fodigg.

Posted by difficlus

@Daveyo520 said:

This just made me think of the movie I saw last night. A strong rape scene occurred.

Deadman possessing someone to have sex is very not cool.

when did this happen?

Posted by Daveyo520

@difficlus: It was mentioned in the blog. I don't know of any instances.

Posted by HolySerpent

WhAts was the name of the movie, it wasn't History x was it?

Posted by Daveyo520

@HolySerpent: No. I don't want to name it and spoil the movie.

Posted by fodigg

@difficlus said:

@Daveyo520 said:

This just made me think of the movie I saw last night. A strong rape scene occurred.

Deadman possessing someone to have sex is very not cool.

when did this happen?

He tried to borrow a guy's body so he could be with Dove physically in issue 2 or 3 of his new series and Dove was horribly offended.

Edited by OmegaHans

Any sort of depiction of rape or a potential 'sort-of' rape make me cringe. I think I'd wonder how the drawers and inkers would think about it, they realize people are going to see it. Can they shrug it off most of the time as another day at the studio, or do they have to put the pencil down for a few moments and contemplate? Yeah...

And I'm Russian by the way. The rape problems there is something you learn about growing in school. You want to talk about light enforced laws? I could write a book.

Posted by difficlus

@fodigg said:

@difficlus said:

@Daveyo520 said:

This just made me think of the movie I saw last night. A strong rape scene occurred.

Deadman possessing someone to have sex is very not cool.

when did this happen?

He tried to borrow a guy's body so he could be with Dove physically in issue 2 or 3 of his new series and Dove was horribly offended.

um why can't he normally do that? sorry noob here

Posted by Daveyo520

@difficlus: Cuz he is a ghost.

Posted by cosmo111687

@fodigg said:

@difficlus said:

@Daveyo520 said:

This just made me think of the movie I saw last night. A strong rape scene occurred.

Deadman possessing someone to have sex is very not cool.

when did this happen?

He tried to borrow a guy's body so he could be with Dove physically in issue 2 or 3 of his new series and Dove was horribly offended.

It was issue 3 of Justice League Dark.

Posted by ReVamp

Anything you guys would like to add?

Posted by ReVamp

Very good Blog. Much like you I think that it wasn't actually a rape. Tarantula used the opportunity of a weakened Dick to have her way with him, but he didn't motion against it in any way.

Posted by difficlus

@cosmo111687 said:

@fodigg said:

@difficlus said:

@Daveyo520 said:

This just made me think of the movie I saw last night. A strong rape scene occurred.

Deadman possessing someone to have sex is very not cool.

when did this happen?

He tried to borrow a guy's body so he could be with Dove physically in issue 2 or 3 of his new series and Dove was horribly offended.

It was issue 3 of Justice League Dark.

pretty creepy stuff...worth dumping a book over IMO

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