Friday, August 3, 2012

When did violence start resonating with soap fans?

While I believe that the writing on ‘General Hospital’ has gotten markedly better – one thing that hasn’t changed is the amount of violence rendered upon Port Charles’ leading ladies.

The most recent victim is poor Robin, a character that had forced electroshock therapy this week because she kept trying to escape her captors.

Sure, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen electroshock therapy on soaps. In fact, this exact writer did the same thing to Jessica on ‘One Life to Live’ several years ago. (Side note: If Robin starts wandering around town looking for Jason I will literally puke).

Still, though, I’m not 100 percent sure why it was necessary. As a character, Robin has already survived contracting HIV, the “death” of her parents, being kidnapped (three times), several mob shootouts, a train accident, a psycho doctor trying to kill her, a sociopathic madman shooting her and a lab explosion – among a bevy of other hardships that include a visit from an alien. I think she deserves a break.

If this were a one-time thing, I might let it slide. The violence towards women on ‘General Hospital’ seems to be never ending, though.

It started – at least for me – with Luke’s rape of Laura. The pairing prove so widely popular that the writers changed it to a “seduction” for decades before dusting off the rape to tie into another storyline.

What was that storyline you might ask? Yes, another rape. This time, it was the offspring of Luke and Laura – Lucky – that had to deal with it. No, he wasn’t raped. He did help a young girl in town that that was raped, though, and that storyline led to the reveal about Luke raping Laura.

Still, the Liz rape storyline was one of the best in GH’s history. The performances were stellar and the revelation of Luke’s violent attack on Laura was poignant and timely.

Of course, it should be noted that soap writers weren’t just hurting women to hurt them back then. When they did do it, it was for a higher purpose. That can’t be said anymore.

Through the years, we’ve seen Emily (Liz’s best friend) raped by a man that looked exactly like the love of her life (I know, only on a soap).

A few months ago, Sam was “raped” on her honeymoon. I’d like to point out that I don’t actually think that Sam was raped. However, at this point in time, we’re supposed to believe that she was so it’s just as bad in my book.

Then we have Kate/Connie, a character that developed multiple personalities because she was shot on her wedding day. Oh, wait, no she wasn’t. Apparently she was raped as a teenager and gave birth to a bad reality show producer that she left in a dresser drawer.

The truth is, the vast majority of rapes are done by people you know. They’re also not throw you on the floor, toss you in the bushes violent rapes – but date rapes. Soaps can’t be that subtle, though.
The sheer amount of women in this small little town that have been violently raped is staggering.

That’s totally aside from the normal stalkers and serial killers that frequent the streets of Port Charles. Poor Sam has been knocked around by just about every guy on the canvas. She’s even married to a guy that threatened to kill her.

I think the worst example of violence to women on GH, though, would be the Kristina story from a few years back.

Kristina, for those that don’t know (although I doubt you’re reading this if you don’t know), is the daughter of local mob boss and frequent hair gel abuser Sonny Corinthos. Kristina was beaten up by her high school boyfriend – a couple of times.

The story was supposed to be an in depth look at violence and how it affects young girls.

Instead, Kristina blamed the beating on local lothario Ethan – before finally coming clean about her actual abuser.

The story actually had promise. Although, I should point out, Sam attacking Ethan is just as bad as Kristina being attacked by her boyfriend. I would also like to point out that Sam never apologized to Ethan for what she did to him. It’s just as bad when a woman does it to a man, folks.

Anyway, like I said, the story had promise but instead of letting Kristina be the center of the story it became all about her wayward mom boss father and all his issues.

Just a few months ago, the soap built an entire story on local strippers being beat up by a dirty cop.

The examples I’ve listed are hardly all of the transgressions this soap has perpetrated on women.

The thing is, as a female soap viewer, I’d prefer my heroines to be involved in adventure storylines that don’t have them ending up getting sexually abused.

In other words, how about some strong heroines that aren’t portrayed as victims. Just a thought.

What do you think? Are you okay with the amount of violence against women on ‘General Hospital’?


Blogger Jerron said...

First of all, it's kinda hard for me to get past your first paragraph, the writing on GH has gotta better? Really? I think not. To tie into your blog I would like to ask why did they so called better writers introduce two new rapist on the canvas? Todd and Joe Jr. are two rapist the writers imported to Port Charles. Most definitely not needed.

As far as the violence is concerned, I don't mind it too much as long as it in context of the story. If they are going to use violence to tell their story then we need to see both sides of the violence. Not just women being victims but the work they do to overcome. GH does a poor job of showing the fallout. They always have.

August 5, 2012 at 4:59 PM 

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