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Friday, July 11, 2008

Lifetime Proves That Real Women Like Damsel in Distress Scenes


Candid bondage photography from the Lifetime TV movie, "A Friend of the Family."


I've written about the online prudo-feminist furor over nudity and skimpy clothing in comic books before, as well as their dismay over Wonder Woman appearing in Playboy, and when I've written about it I've insisted that prudo-feminists are a small minority of feminists and an even smaller (say, microscopic) minority of women in general.

In fact, in a recent post I stated that most women love damsel in distress scenes.

"But noble sir*," you may inquire, "where is your evidence? Why should we believe that women love damsel in distress scenes?"

My evidence is all over the mass media. My evidence lies in the taste women have for bodice ripper romance novels. Popular authors like Johanna LIndsay and Beatrice Small turn out novels like "A Pirate's Captive" and "Love Slave" for large, appreciative female audiences who for the most part would never own up for their taste for them, but they sure buy them.

(This phenomenon reminds me a lot of all the guys who buy porn and go to strip clubs, despite the fact that you'd never get most of them to make any kind of public expression of support for the sex industry products and services they clearly love.)

There's also the Lifetime Channel, and to an ever-increasing degree, Oxygen and Women's Entertainment. The Lifetime long ago got the nickname, "The Victim Channel" for all its stories involving men doing terrible things to women. (Sometimes it's women doing terrible things to women, and on rare occasions it's women doing terrible things to men, but mostly it's men doing terrible things to women, which sadly enough, mirrors real life all too accurately.) A lot of those terrible things involve binding and gagging women, which is why it has also been frequently described as a "bondage stalwart." (Well, by me, anyway.)


A powerful image of a mascara-dripping, ballgagged woman with a male face lurking in the background in a distinctively creepy manner.


Here's a great example, the Lifetime movie A Friend of the Family. A Friend of the Family is the story of a woman who moves to a new town due to a mysterious and probably tragic past. In her new home, little signs that Our Heroine is being stalked begin to show up ... a bondage porn magazine on the roof, a collection of bondage porn candid photos in an alcove, glimpses of a stalker, and a there's friend of the family who hangs around and is creepy.

Eventually something happens in the movie, but it takes a very long time what with all the creepy stuff building the suspense, but that's not the point here. Our Heroine is never captured and tied up and/or gagged, which is bad drama, but that's not the point here either.

The point is that A Friend of the Family is chock full of bondage imagery. In addition to the magazine and the photos there are random flashbacks of a woman with smeared mascara wearing a red ball gag.

That's an awful lot of bondage imagery for one mainstream film. But it's in this Lifetime film, and many other Lifetime films contain generous amounts of bondage imagery. Why? Because women like to see it, that's why. Like most of us, they like seeing the damsel survive her ordeal and escape, but they like the ordeal for it's dramatic value and its kinky frisson, just like guys do.

Images from a porno maggazine add a kinky frisson to the story. The page on the left features an image of a bound woman with the face cut out. I wonder whose face that might be?


That's why Lifetime shows movies with strong bondage imagery, because their audience likes it. Nobody's putting a gun to the Lifetime Channel's collective head and forcing them to show all these films with all that good bondage imagery. Nothing could MAKE them show such films if they took ratings down. In fact, considering the fact that some feminists object to them so powerfully, you have to figure they improve ratings considerably, to overcome that problem.

And Oxygen and Women's Entertainment, both of which made all kinds of noise about not showing all those movies about victimized women (i.e., damsels in distress, among other things) are slowly showing more and more films with damsels in distress.

Why? Because women like them.



*Sex god and king of the universe is also an acceptable form of address.

4 comments:

kdnpr said...

"The Lifetime long ago got the nickname, "The Victim Channel" for all its stories involving men doing terrible things"

Has there been a movie with the lead badguy holding doors and being courteous?
Has there been a criminal who decided not to rob someone because the person needed the money more?

What "channel" is making films like this that makes Lifetime look so bad?

kdnpr said...

Wow! There's more!

"dismay over Wonder Woman appearing in Playboy"

Of course, she'd always appeared in her proper Victorian dress...

You hang around with some interesting characters Pat

Pat Powers said...

Has there been a movie with the lead badguy holding doors and being courteous?
Has there been a criminal who decided not to rob someone because the person needed the money more?


I guess I should have been more specific. Lifetime got the 'Victim Channel' name because it was always showing films about men doing terrible things to women. Terribly innocent women, generally, while the men are terribly, terribly guilty. My suspicion is that this mirrors real life with depressing accuracy, but it gets tiresome in a dramatic presentation. Basically, the beef is that Lifetime presents women as victims. A lot.

What "channel" is making films like this that makes Lifetime look so bad?

All of the others are at least balanced in their approach to the topic.

Pat Powers said...

Of course, she'd always appeared in her proper Victorian dress...

You have a point there. She was always a naughty hottie, and a bondage babe to boot. But try telling the prudo-feminists that.

You hang around with some interesting characters Pat

I don't hang around with them. I read their blogs. I doubt if they even know I exist. Which I'm completely cool with. But reading their blogs helps keep the outrage going. You know, when all's right with the world and you can't think of a thing to get you exercised, reading a few prudo-feminist blogs will get you right back in the groove.