Friday, May 21, 2010

I have officially mastered Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

I'm going to spoil the season finale of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit that came this past Wednesday. Tread carefully.

After watching this show since it started I've finally reached the point there I can now predict who the perpetrator is going to be about 95% of the time. Its all in one simple formula. Stay with me here:

No matter what misdirection you use during the episode and lead the viewer into thinking there might be a female perpetrator, throw in a sudden twist in the last few minutes (and the season finale that came on Wednesday night literally didn't twist until like the last 3-5 min.) that reveals it was really some male after all.

Despite my liking the characters of the show I've come to the conclusion that the writers of the show simply do not like writing stories with female perpetrators and on the rare occasion they do they will almost always throw in some sort of past in an attempt to "justify" their crime.

I've told myself before that I'm going to stop watching that show since the line of thought seems to be that only men can act out of pure malice but I think after about 10 years of watching it I'm hooked and only watch it out of habit now. But I think I may have some extra motivation this time. Dr. Melinda Warner (played by Tamara Tunie) was shot in the lung late in the episode and was carried off to safety. Her last line was, "Don't pick over me yet you vultures. I ain't dead yet." I'm kinda worried that this is a cliffhanger put in place because her return next season is still in the air. If she comes back they can say she lived, if not they can just say she died and bring in a new medical examiner. I will not be happy if she leaves the show. I really like her and she doesn't get enough camera time. I would be a shame to lose her.

14 comments:

womanistmusings said...

Is this really the only problem you see with the show? How about the continual line up of women being beaten abused and raped? How about the fact that the victims are mostly White and when they do decide to throw in a Black woman she is usually some side character to be used as evidence. Her violation never really matters it is the fact that a White woman got violated that we are meant to concentrate on. What about the fact that many times Black women are prostitutes and bad mothers? If all you can see is that men are mostly guilty then you have not been watching closely enough.

Danny said...

I assure you I have noticed those other things and on the race of the women violated I find it to be especially bad since there have been multiple episodes in which Ice-T's character Finn schools everyone on what its like to be black. Almost like they are applying for anti-racist street cred. Oh I see it.

I get the feeling that I spoke on this first because being a man myself it hits a little closer to home with me like the things you list here in regards to you being a black woman.


How about the continual line up of women being beaten abused and raped?
As if there is not such thing as male victims of abuse/rape? Oh yeah I noticed that ages ago. Interesting tidbit: In all the years of that show there has been exactly one case (the episode called Ridicule) of a woman raping a man and being a stripper he was slut shamed just like women raped victims are.

Trust me when I say that the "man = perp/woman= victim" dynamic is not the only problem with that show.

Toysoldier said...

The reason why women, particularly white women, are portrayed as victims on the show is because male victims do not bring in ratings because people do not care whether boys and men get raped or abused. That is why most news reports and reality shows about crimes usually only feature female victims, despite that the majority of crime victims are young men. The audience has less simply for non-white women and virtually no sympathy for male victims, even boys.

As for the show itself, I do not watch it because I have a low toleration for its based nature. My tipping point was "Ridicule" and another show in which a man wrongfully imprisoned for rape decided to kill the victims of all of cases where Olivia got it wrong. Even the shows about sexual violence against boys typically dance around what the boys experience in order to portray males, including abused boys, as monsters and perverts.

Danny said...

True. The bias toward white girls/women on tv shows like that is a mirror image of the bias in the media. What is the race/gender of the vast majority of kidnap victims that get played on the news.

I recall that episode of SVU where the wrongfully imprisoned man went after Olivia. Compare that to the episode where there was a guy intentionally spreading HIV to women and one of the women, who found out it was him after the statute of limitations had passed, poured acid in his face. All of a sudden there was sympathy all over the place. On that show (and in society as well I think) sympathy is definitely dependent on gender rather than circumstance.

Abdias the Blind said...

Danny said:

"The bias toward white girls/women on tv shows like that is a mirror image of the bias in the media."

Yes, and places like Shakesville will only ever admit half of that. They're fain to concede that being white accentuates the compassion/attention one as a victim will receive (which I agree with), but will never admit that being a white FEMALE accentuates that exponentially. Gender seemingly disappears from the picture. I realize this has been expounded upon before, but it's quite braying to see white female feminists try to implicitly exculpate themselves from the extreme victim-visibility privilege they are bequeathed in western society by masquerading around as if race were the only factor, and simply hushing up about gender.

Btw, nice blog you have here ;)

Danny said...

Thanks for dropping by Abdias.

Yeah that is definitely one of the failings of many white female feminists. Its not uncommon for them to selectively excuse themselves when it comes to privilege. I think its a matter of them having convinced themselves that any advantage that girls/women have over men is not a privilege but actually something is very destructive but seems like a positive on the surface (Check out this post over at Feminist Critics about how feminists vehemently deny the idea of female privilege: http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2008/06/08/female-privilege/).

For some reason they seem to think that the reason the vast majority of those missing person reports that make it to the mainstream media are white and female is a combination of privileging white people and being overly protective of females (which is how that have to twist the way male victims are disregarded in order maintain "girl/woman = victim").

Abdias the Blind said...

"(Check out this post over at Feminist Critics..."

Read it all the time ;)


"Its not uncommon for them to selectively excuse themselves when it comes to privilege."

Oh, of course. I mean, when one looks at workplace deaths, injuries, homelessness, prisons, etc. It starts to look like white women are seemingly systematically privileged by their complete lack of presence at the bottom of society. This starts to make white women feel bad... aww!

So there emanates a malignant notion! Let's prevaricate this by only drawing our attention only to the racial bias (which again, I agree with), but let's purposefully ignore the misandric biases. That way we can mendaciously be perceived as progressive, but still be guilt-free!

And it works precisely _because_ of female privilege. With presumptions of female purity.

I'm not saying all white feminists do such things consciously, but with some of them...

I think Daran calls this 'feminist refocusing', or something like that.

Again, sorry for reiterating stuff you know, but sometimes one must vent.

"I think its a matter of them having convinced themselves that any advantage that girls/women have over men is not a privilege but actually something is very destructive but seems like a positive on the surface"

Ha, I know about it; this is called 'benevolent sexism', right?

Danny said...

"Ha, I know about it; this is called 'benevolent sexism', right?
"
Yes that is precisely what they call it.

Oh thankfully all white feminists aren't like that. I think its a matter of the most vocal ones thinking like that.

Abdias the Blind said...

"Oh thankfully all white feminists aren't like that. I think its a matter of the most vocal ones thinking like that."

Frankly, I think all of them implicitly must adduce that. Here's my reasoning:

Many times they'll espouse things like; "We as a society must accept the fact that privilege exists. White privilege. Straight privilege. Male privilege.

By juxtaposing male privilege to those others, and incessantly denying female privilege, essentially they're implicitly saying that there are no systematic advantages to being a woman.

So they are claiming that systematic prejudice in things like the prison system is only embedded on a racial level. It must be so, because of their theoretical framing of privilege, and hence they are doing what I accused them of in my previous comment.

So I don't think this a case of a few of them doing such; maybe only a few of them vocally vituperate on this _particular_ instance, but they all _abstractly and fundamentally_ do it at least implicitly.

I guess the only exception would be if said feminist did accept the notion of female privilege. But I fear most accepted feminists would not accept them as a feminist because of that...

Paul said...

Quoting Abdias.

"Oh, of course. I mean, when one looks at workplace deaths, injuries, homelessness, prisons, etc. It starts to look like white women are seemingly systematically privileged by their complete lack of presence at the bottom of society. This starts to make white women feel bad... aww! "

This. I hadn't thought about it in those terms, but this.

Anonymous said...

"The bias toward white girls/women on tv shows like that is a mirror image of the bias in the media. What is the race/gender of the vast majority of kidnap victims that get played on the news."

That is one of the reasons why I do not watch the show. I am fairly certain that more than a handful of non-white females are victims of crimes. Maybe those stories would not titillate the audience as much, but those types of crimes do happen. Shows like SVU and other police dramas and documentaries make me wonder whether feminists base their theories on those shows. If one watched nothing but the news and police dramas one might conclude that only women are victims of crime.

Danny said...

Hey there guest and thanks for dropping by. I can understand your sentiment for not watching the show. I myself have to admit that I'm kinda watching the show more out of habit (I can honestly say I have seen every single episode of that show).

Quick reminder. If you are going to be posting here please try to use a specific handle. Don't want to cause confusion with too many comments by "Guest".

Toysoldier said...

I meant to, but I forgot to type my name.

Danny said...

Cool.

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