Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: OUTLANDER ISSUES ****SPOILER ALERT****

#3489
janschurr
Participant

[quote quote=3373]This discussion brings up a point my therapist* made to me years ago. I grew up with an alcoholic father who got very touchy and kissy when he was drunk (which was often). The touching and kissing never went “all the way” so I swallowed my anger and told myself that I wasn’t really molested. My therapist reminded me that my father’s role in my life was to be a protector not a predator. Such a seemingly simple concept … but it helped change my life.

So who are the protectors in our lives? The Outlander books really stand that question on its head and they don’t give us any easy answers. Kudos to everyone working on the series for carrying on that tradition. These blogs are all the evidence you guys need to know that your work is relevant and appreciated!

You hit a nerve with me. My father abused me, also, although it “stopped short” of physical assault…but the trust was destroyed. From the age of 13 on, I went to great pains to ensure I was never alone with him. I never told anyone until I told my husband after we were married, and it took me many years of building myself before I could truly trust a man. When my very successful daughter fell apart in vet school 2 years ago, and ultimately revealed she had been raped at age 12, I struggled with not protecting her, although it was not something I could have prevented. (stranger). I know of three of her close friends who have been assaulted and escaped, or been raped. To people who say “there are too many rapes in Outlander” I want to say – open your eyes. Even women who have not been physically raped have had their spirit raped. My daughter is working through her pain, and has the help of therapists and friends, because at least the subject can be discussed today.

But I find that the scene of Loaghaire being brought to be strapped in Hall just a disturbing from a feminist viewpoint, and wonder why I don’t see people complaining about it as much as they do Jamie strapping Claire. Why is she being punished? For “untoward behavior with men”. Why is this so bad? Because it diminishes her value to the family (i.e., her father) in that it lowers her value as a virgin bride (so that paternity of children can be assured.) She is chattel, as were most women in that time period. Her physical punishment would not be worse than Claire’s – and the argument could be made that what Claire’s actions endangered so many more people. I do not know if it is because she is not a well-liked character and Jamie/Claire are (and isn’t that a sad commentary on punishment!) or what. I do know I am looking forward (odd to write that!) to see how this is handled, as we have not seen the development of Jamie as much as we do in the books. It will be interesting to see how many non-book fans scream/don’t scream about this.

Wentworth will be even worse. This is not “just” a physical rape, but a deliberate, total destruction of another’s soul. Perhaps men watching it will squirm and there can be discussions of casual rape of women in shows like GoT? As much as we teach our daughters to “be safe”, even more time needs to be spent teaching our sons that they do not have any “rights” to access to a woman sexually. Rape culture, which i am learning much more about now that my daughter is talking about her rape and bringing this to discussions, can only be ended when we teach our children respect for other humans.
Speaking of how women are shown in cable series, here’s my two big pet peeves: powerful man, having sex with a unimportant woman. He is clothed, she is naked, and he dismisses her when something more important happens – a message arrives, etc. She rarely has a name or a “face”. BUT SHE’S NAKED, and he appears to not even have his flies open. She is servicing him. But the same often happens with characters that are supposed to have a relationship. We see the woman disrobe, and if it is a period drama, she has pubic hair (although not leg/armpit hair). She mounts the man, who is still fully dressed, no sign his flies are open. This reduces her from lover to a woman servicing a man in a purely sexual manner. What is it with cable costume dramas? We have to show female public hair (even if we all know it’s a merkin) just because it is cable and we can? I tell you, this is why my husband and I found the wedding night to be so sensual. I do not need to see genitalia, I know it’s there. This episode was extremely powerful in that it showed the evolution of a relationship from forced by circumstance to together by choice and the acting/directing was spot on.
Sorry to ramble so much. Just my thoughts.