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.