Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Poldark argument

There is a lot of discussion at the moment on the so called “Rape scene” in the tv drama Poldark. There seems to be a split in the perception of the scene by viewers, with one segment of the comments disliking it and panning the BBC for showing it and others who thought it a fair depiction of the way in which long thwarted love between two people will suddenly erupt – especially when the woman is going to marry the man who has beggared you and is your greatest enemy.

The book, written in the sixties/seventies, has not been given the same treatment. Nor has the previous tv adaption which featured Robin Ellis. I feel sure there have been other rapes, some more violent – the Forsyth Saga, The Onedin Line, Daniel Deronda to name but a few. Watching historical drama with the mindset of modern times is never going to work. The lowly position of women in the 1790s has to be considered and understood. Men ruled, and that cannot be changed without changing history.

So many things are not pc now that it is difficult to say what we think without alienating somebody, somewhere. It strikes me as rather odd that the recent 50 Shades Books and films can be so popular when the subject matter is so close to rape (even if she did sign a consent form!) and that women now drool over pictures of half-naked men – exactly the behaviour they so hated when men drooled over pictures of half-naked women. Do as you would be done by seems a better maxim to follow.

The book was written in the era of the bodice ripper, which was once so popular and is now spoken of as trash. One of the themes of romance writing back then was that what began as rape could and often did transform into something better when the heroine realised that she could give in and enjoy what followed. Now it seems we are told that subjection, obedience and pain add to the delight of sex. The world is a weird place, but fortunately, most things pass away and are but as smoke on the wind.

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