OLTL — Rape is not just a word,

it’s an action. (Click the Rainn logo and find out where to go to get help or how you can help victims of sexual assault).  It’s just not clear if the OLTL writers understand sexual assault in a meaningful way.  For as much as I’ve talked about BnB being my favorite soap, OLTL has been the only show that’s even come close to knocking the BnB out of the number one spot for me, until now.  I’m more than a little disgusted by the current storyline featuring Todd and Marty, I’m horrified.

Todd RAPED Marty.  Todd assisted and encouraged a GANG RAPE of Marty Saybrooke.

At what point in a woman’s head does a brutal gang rape become just some ‘past incident’?  What are the writers thinking?  I held out hope that John finding that picture of Todd wheeling Marty out of the building would finally put an end to this farce of a storyline.  Those hopes were dashed this week, of course.

The writers are reverting back to 70s/80s type, when rape victims not only forgave their attackers, but in forgiving them they set aside their own pain and began feeling sympathetic toward the ‘tortured souls’ who brutalized them.  From there, the next step was to fall in love with rapist-turned-romantic-lead.  Theirs would become an epic love story, one to stand the test of time.

The only problem with that is that it DOESN’T work that way!  Victims don’t just ‘forget’.  Many learn to live with the pain and the scars.  Victims don’t put the ‘pain’ of the apologetic rapist ahead of their own.  That he feels remorse?  GREAT, maybe he won’t victimize another woman, but that he feels remorse AND a romantic/sexual attraction toward his victim?  What utter garbage!

The OLTL writers appear to be testing the possibility of getting the audience past the traumatic history between Todd and Marty. Good luck with that, because it’s not happening.  They’re bringing back 70s-80s romance between a victim and victimizer on the cheap.  That Marty doesn’t remember Todd or the rape?  It does not move me.  That Todd, a rape victim courtesy of Margaret Cochran, is seeking redemption?  It does not move me.  That the writers didn’t have them rush into a romantic relationship?  It does not move me.  That Marty and Todd are growing physically closer, DOES move me, and not in a positive way, either.

Todd did not experience a brutal, physical rape, but given the fact that he remembers what he did to Marty, he DOES know what that looks like, and how terrified a victim can be.  Not only has he violated her trust, stolen her ability to be a mother to her son – a son who desperately needs her, while trying to make her a surrogate mother to the grandchild he hopes to raise.. .not only has Todd managed to become the most unlikable villain in daytime, but he’s lost what’s left of his humanity in the process.  A villian without SOME humanity left is little more than a cartoon character.  Unless the writers are planning to kill off this character, what further use can he be?

What’s supposed to happen now?  Are we supposed to cheer on Blair and John in their destruction of Todd?  Are we supposed to cheer on Starr and applaud her in warning Cole not to trust her father?  Are supposed to realize that Todd in still just a hurt puppy?  What’s most likely to happen is that this storyline is yet another that will hasten the death of daytime and OLTL in particular.  Daytime writers are writing for an audience that no longer exists.   Viewers forgave that sort of behavior before.  They know better, now.

Guidning Light has Olivia Spencer pay the man who nearly raped her daughter to sleep with her.

Days of Our Lives has Samantha Brady carry EJ’s child and later ‘fall’ for him, sleeping with him.

The BnB has Brooke Logan forgive the man who violated her at her husband’s gravesite while she was suicidal and hallucinating.

The list goes on.  These are NOT the sort of storyline that move the daytime audience.  It’s NOT the sort of storyline you’d use educate your viewers.  They’re the sort of storylines, ones that defy our current understanding of rape, that make it easy to tune out a genre that is both locked in the past, and disrespectful of the primary female audience that’s kept this industry afloat for more than 50 years.

It’s small and beneath us all.  Just in case the writers have forgotten what happened, and the history they’re disregarding, here it is:

She’s screaming, crying, she’s bound, and gagged – and has to leave the moment of her near destruction just to survive it… do the writers REALLY believe we want to see Marty play ‘grandma’ to her new friend’s grandchild?  NO MORE, writers.

Posted on September 11, 2008, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I’m glad that you have commented on this storyline. I find it so disturbing on so many levels. It takes a seminal moment in OLTL’s history-much like what McTravish did with the unabortion storyline on AMC and erases it. I don’t know where Ron is going with this story-actually I do and I guess that’s why I’m so disturbed by it. It is not like watching a car wreck for me, it is something that I have decided not to watch at all. The Marty storyline was one of the few storylines on soaps that dealt with the horror of rape. We watched Marty get raped. Those of us who watched saw her reactions, her helplessness. I’ve never seen anything like it and it had a tremondous impact on me. Now, for the writer to say “it was not so or that was then but she’s an amnesiac now”, doesn’t wash with me. I don’t know if this storyline will help OLTL’s ratings. Afterall, isn’t this why it’s on the screen, the old shock and awe bait? I think in the end like B&B uncle/niece love affair it will shock a good portion of the viewers away. But I will say this it has helped to tarnish one of best storylines not onyl in the show’s history but on soaps period.

  2. Every time there’s an add for this storyline, it just gets worse. I haven’t had the stomach for OLTL, most especially for Todd and Marty.

  3. Hi norrthpier!

    My name is Chelsea and I am on the Development team at RAINN. I came across your blog because you’ve mentioned RAINN in some of your writing. I wanted to contact you to thank you for your support and commitment to ending sexual assault.

    I wanted to share with you an exciting opportunity to help victims of sexual assault. I’m not sure if you’re familiar, but on July 25, there will be a National Day of Blogs. Participants will agree to blog for up to 24 hours to benefit their favorite charity. The objective of the event is to raise both funds and awareness for a cause that is important to you.

    If you’re interested, please visit http://www.blogathon.org/ for more information or feel free to email me with questions. If you chose to participate, I will be available to help you secure sponsors.

    Thank you so much, norrthpier, for your support! I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

    Best,

    Chelsea

  4. I condamn rape like everybody. Said it. But it is soap with characters who murders their best-friends,who come back from the death, who sleep with their relatives..i mean these storylines are totally crazy so the rape is not very surprising. When two actors have chemistry it’s the most important it’s maybe not moral and healthy but it’s the deal. Like it’s total fantazy, it’s entertain viewers. That’s all, not big deal, it’s fiction like horror movies.

  1. Pingback: HELP SUPPORT RAINN!!!!!!!!!! (Daytime spoiler content) « Sound and Fury

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