Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer


Terry Dresbach

[quote quote=3273]Have we beaten a dead horse yet? I’ve also been reading this forum top to bottom since it opened – YES, I SQUIRMED, 4NikiKelly, at BJR’s brutality towards Jamie. RE:STARZ I’ve only seen Ep1, sorry! Waiting on friend w/cable! But my first shock in the BOOK wasn’t anything directly violent – it was after Claire gently teased Jaime about being modest regarding his reticence to remove his shirt in front of Alec the horse master (so she could tend his wounds). Jamie reveals a shocking vulnerability (to me) when he tells Claire that he wouldn’t take his shirt off in front of Alec as a kind of reluctance to put ALEC in a place of discomfort for Jamie’s sake. It seemed like a gentlemanly response to another man – thoughtful of another’s feelings with regard to his own body. The violation of Jamie’s body by rape is so much more painful – I cannot fathom that shame. His withdrawal after his rape is not something I would really understand as quite so deeply shameful to him without knowing Jamie in the context of what I’ll call “the Alec shirt incident”. His rape was SO DIFFICULT for me to recover from – and I was so anxious and desperate for Claire to reach him and bring him back from that shame. I wanted them to recover their sweet intimacy.

I remember thinking this book would never go to the big or small screen because there’s too much to tell, who could or would tackle it, and, well, there’s the Jamie rape. Male rape just isn’t on very many any-sized screens. I’ve only ever seen male on male rape a couple times on the big screen – but I also avoid anything that might have sexual violence in it. The 2 incidents I recall are pretty significant to each story: A rape scene in American History X becomes a significant turning point for Ed Norton’s character – it signals a final breakdown of the violent person he has been and allows for something new to happen. The event is treated with horror and respect. That’s a positive outcome to violence. But in I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, **spoiler**, a man (Jon Rhys-Meyers) is raped on–screen by another man (Terrence Stamp), and the rest of the film is spent unpacking the consequences of his shame and why he was attacked in the first place. That rape was so sudden and unexpected that it remains one of the most uncomfortable scenes I’ve ever experienced – SQUIRM! None of us see male rape as much as we see women raped. That’s just a fact. Definitely going to need that crash helmet, Terry.

Because I witnessed intense scenes on BSG, I trust Ron and the Team to treat Jamie’s rape with as much delicacy as it deserves. Yes, violence requires a delicate and mature sense of storytelling to be shared powerfully. One particular BSG event stands out to me, when Helo & Sharon agree to do something pretty radical for the sake of finding Hera. Those actors are heart-breaking. I don’t love the violence or the grief but I respect the commitment of both actors to those roles and to telling the story. This group of storytellers can handle the events marching towards Jamie and Claire – I don’t relish watching them, but I will be glad to see them honored for the sake of our beloved story and characters. Perhaps this story, like Jamie, needs a woman not a girl, as Alec declares to Claire. I shudder to think what ANYONE ELSE might’ve done to this story. I’m feeling more and more confident that Ron is the only person who could tell this story or christen the revolution, perchance? I’m also trusting that Ron can handle being called “woman” for the sake of the metaphor! Maturity, intimacy, and ultimately, love will tell a better story in a better way. Bring it.

I remember being absolutely stunned when Ron did the episode on BSG when Boomer was raped. It was supposed to be okay because she wasn’t human and because she was the enemy. It was so powerful and so raw. But BSG always asked us, does it matter who someone is, is there any situation where one deserves to be stripped of their human dignity, to be abused, tortured, raped, or murdered? The question, “what does it mean to be human?”, was a question not only about the non humans, the Cylons, but of us as viewers. When faced with the reality of the perpetuation human suffering we inflict upon each other, is it ever right? Do we avert our gaze, turn the channel, what do we do? How do WE feel about it? what does being human mean to us?
That is the power of film and television, it can ask those questions of millions of people.