This is a picture of rapists in media and, if you’ve got an ounce of decency inside of you, you will notice what’s wrong with the image depicted above. Yes, those are all white, cis-het males. From the pixilated buttocks of Colonel Cluster to the furious stare of the King of Gods himself, the portrayal of rapists in popular culture is that of a white, cis-het male. We could almost say that white, cis-het male is the face of rape.
But does art reflect reality? Of course not. It would be ludicrous to even suggest that rapists don’t come in every color of the rainbow and in every gender available. But why, then, are other races and genders so blatantly absent from mass media’s representation of rapists? The answer is simple: Patriarchy.
Yes, Patriarchy. To make sense of this we must understand what’s the meaning of rape, not as an act itself but as a cultural part of media. Rape is a demonstration of power or dominion over someone else’s body. As we know, Patriarchy has used every means possible to spread the idea of men being dominant over other genders, and even between males, of white men having power over other races. We must not confuse this attitude as a desirable attitude; most rapists in media are not presented in a positive light. Yet, they are presented as capable of rape and subjugation of others. This means that, even if they shouldn’t, they can rape. They have that power.
In this narrative, women, trans, other genders and other races are presented as less powerful, due to their inability to rape. The only way to fight back this erroneous stereotype is to push for more representation of rapists of multiple backgrounds. And not token rapists, but full-fledged rapists. By taking back this narrative we could usurp the privilege of the current state of rape culture. Sex as an intimidation tactic to keep non-white cis-hets down would be amplified to all genders and races, destroying the patriarchy’s privilege. We must act now, some countries are so misogynistic that they have declaredimpossible for a woman to rape a man, conflating women with animals rather with human beings.
I would like to end this on a sweeter note, with a giant kudos to DC comics on their non-normative depiction of rape. Yes, it is still something widely done by white cis-het characters, but they are one of the companies with more diversity on the rape demographic. We can count with the presence of charismatic female rapists like Talia Al Ghul, and even addressing the real accurate statistic of female-on-female rape, by having Batwoman be raped by Nocturna. Keep doing a good job, DC!