Donna. on ''She's Gotta Have WHAT, exactly?''
To: Mike Arst
Subject: Re: She's Gotta Have WHAT, exactly?
> > I very much noticed that scene in "She's Gotta Have It." It made me
> > wonder why it had gotten so much praise.
> Wow. Knock me over with an electron. I have never talked to anyone who
> remembers that scene, except as follows: "Oh, yeah ... there was that
> one scene - didn't they get it on at her apartment?" "No. He raped
> her." "Oh, wow ... yeah, I guess he sort of did, didn't he? I forgot
> all about that." Go figure.
This conversation prompted me to look the movie up in Maltin's movie guide.
He doesn't even mention any rape. Then I tried to think of a movie that I
knew included a rape, and the only one I could come up with was "The
Accused". The only thing he says about that scene was: "Only quibble: was
the climactic reenactment really necessary?" (All the ones listed with the
word "rape" at the beginning of the title mentions the word as part of the
Maltin tends to mention it if sex and/or violence are, in his opinion,
wholly gratuitous -- kinda like the way he mentioned it in "The Accused".
Question: does this then suggest that (at least) Maltin considered the rape
in "She's Gotta Have it" to mesh so well in with the storyline that he
didn't feel compelled to mention it? Or do you think *he* didn't notice
that scene, either?
> So do that scene and the one after it say:
> 5) Women who "gotta have it" usually get it, but not in the way they
Based on how you described those scenes, this is the one I would pick.
There's a very strong undercurrent of opinion that seems to think "if a
woman enjoys sex, and is willing to have a one-nighter (or a fling) with
one or several men, she is willing to have a one-nighter (or a fling) with
anybody who wants it, anytime". And therein the rape is "justified" by
anyone who hears/knows of the rape before, during or after.
This whole thing reminds me of a paragraph I found in a magazine a few
months ago, that I'd intended to bring to this echo for a reality check.
In discussing a certain entertainer's treatment of women it asks, "Was he
making fun or women or only bimbos? Laughing at women or the illusion that
women can enjoy impersonal sex-for-its-own-sake without self-reproach or
feelings of shame on the morning after? Putting down women or only those
who want to have it both ways: the freedom to be sexual "bad girls" and the
respect due a woman who is not a "sex object"? The very language of these
questions suggests that women canNOT have sex-for-sex's-sake without
enjoying it, and that a woman who enjoys sex with more than 1-man-per-
lifetime doesn't deserve respect. I could just envision this entire
magazine's readership nodding their heads in unison over this paragraph!
Men have often complained to me about a general trend when it comes to the
first few dates with a woman: if you make a pass, she thinks you're an
animal with nothing but sex on the brain -- but if you don't make a pass,
she thinks you don't find her attractive or mebbe she "wasted the evening"
with a gay man. Well, we kinda got the same double standard: I can still
hear my then-fiance (praise Deity we broke up before the wedding) hitting
me in an argument with "well, you slut, you slept with me on the first
date".... I just looked at him with astonishment and said, "You slut, you
slept with me on the first date, too -- what's your point?" The point, of
course, was that it was an acceptable thing for him to do, but not for me.
And despite the fact that that first date was very much a mutual thing, no
doubt I'd been branded forever (in his brain) with a scarlet letter!
Flirting is an incredibly acceptable social activity -- to the point where,
if one of the parties is interested in becoming sexually involved with the
other, that party will take even platonically-friendship attitudes to
*mean* flirtatious behavior. Even the so-called "experts" in this area
can't tell us when being friendly crosses the line into flirting. And the
implication is that someone caught flirting (even if s/he's just being
friendly, and is only *perceived* to be flirting) "wants" to "get laid".
I've heard this "justification" for so many date rapes (and yes, I include
emotional manipulation in this category) that I wanna gag.