I have a lot of respect for Bitch Ph.D and read her blog regularly but I think she may be overreacting about the Rapist No.1 action figure from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s new movie Grindhouse.
As well as the Rapist figure (which is the likeness of Tarantino as he portrays said character in the movie in one of his customary cameo appearances) action figures of other characters such as Cherry and Dakota are available to buy.
She seems mostly concerned that it is being marketed by the name Rapist No.1 doll but that is just the name of the character in the movie and to my mind is no different than a Freddy Krueger action figure. It’s not as if the figure is even depicted in an act of rape and can hardly be considered glorifying rape or fostering an attitude that rape is acceptable.
I haven’t seen Grindhouse yet but I would imagine if Tarantino’s previous movies are any indicator that this rapist character meets a gory and well deserved end. I think there is a debate to be had about the depiction of rape in movies and on television and the trend for the sexualisation of female victims of rape in them as opposed to the depiction of male rape victims. Also there is a disturbing trend (in comics it is referred to as the Women in Refrigerators Syndrome) for using violence against women as a plot device and motivating factor for the hero protagonist of the story to whom the victim is connected.
I think that Bitch Ph.D has picked upon the wrong thing for her argument here.
I don’t see the appeal myself for these action figures designed for adults and they are very much a niche product that as opposed to movies have little to no impact on society at large. I believe that had she not written about it then virtually the entire readership of Bitch Ph.D would never have known that such a thing as a Rapist No.1 action figure even existed.