‘Drop the Soap’ Jokes are SO Weird

While the YouTube video is being reinstated (read more here), here’s the Archive.org version.

I may as well just post every single time Pop Culture Detective puts out a video, because I’m right there with them shouting my support every time a new one is posted.

This time, the subject is the treatment of males who are sexually assaulted, and their portrayal in pop culture. It is truly unbelievable how pervasive this ‘joke’ trope is, and to me it is equally bizarre how this trope persists even today.

It seems like today for the most part, sexual assault of women is a pretty clear taboo, especially to be played for laughs. However, the same cannot be said of men who are subjected to the same kinds of assaults. The range of types of media where this is pervasive is truly one of the most shocking parts, ranging from children’s shows all the way to adult police dramas.

I think what is happening here is that the ‘joke’ is so played out at this point, that (surely male) writers don’t really think through the implications of what they’re implying is occurring. At least, that’s my hope, because if they are thinking it through, that’s even more horrifying. The idea that if you’ve done something wrong in your life, that you deserve physical punishment is something that I find abhorrent, and it’s a central tenet of this trope.

Nobody ‘deserves’ abuse of any kind, especially in the context of somebody already serving a prison sentence, and anybody could become a victim of this kind of assault. This type of situation is certainly not deserving of a laugh in TV or movies, and it should certainly be something we continue to see less of until it hopefully disappears completely.

Abduction As Romance is Just Weird

I’ve posted about this channel before, as they make a lot of great videos shedding light on some weird, regressive tropes in media, and this one is no exception. Portraying kidnapping situations as ones where two people are equals, and are therefore might lead to romance, has always struck me as a little weird.

There are lots of things you can do in movies or TV where characters can partner up in creative ways, and many don’t require a character to threaten or hold somebody against their will. Enabling female characters to be more than just victims or valuable objects isn’t difficult, but it typically requires a more diverse writing team. With more voices at the table, these kinds of problematic storylines can usually be avoided, and audiences will usually be more interested and invested in what happens if the stories they see make more sense than a victim immediately developing feeling for their captors.