Guest Post: Misfits and rape culture

by Guest Blogger // 13 November 2009, 11:59

Longtime commenter JenniferRuth on rape culture in a new E4 superhero show

On Thursday evening the pilot episode of Misfits was broadcast on E4. It seems that E4 has decided to jump on board the current superhero revival and make it's own programme about kids with superpowers. Being a comics book and superhero fan for most of my life I was intrigued enough to watch.

The show is a world away from Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Mutants. It's about five young offenders who gain superpowers whilst completing their community service. But I don't really want to talk about the plot (which although seems like it was written in the E4 canteen was rather entertaining) - I want to talk about the superpowers the characters obtain and why I was so angry once the programme finished.

Of the three male characters one can turn invisible, one can turn back time and the last has not yet had his power revealed. Of the two female characters one has a psychic ability and the other...well, she's developed the power to make men so attracted to her they try to rape her when she touches them. No, really. The character, Alisha, is someone who is not afraid to use her sexuality to try and get her own way. By giving her power to make any many attracted to her to the point of rape is obviously the writer's attempt to juxtapose a "consequence" to her actions. She's a tease! Look what men are like if you tease them! They can't stop themselves! She's getting the superpower she "deserves".

More than that, I have read many female superheroes becoming depowered or killed or raped...but I have never seen a female superhero be given a power from the start that actually DISEMPOWERS her. Everyone else gets something cool - Alisha gets to be an example to all sexual women in the UK. And here also lies the myth of female empowerment via sexuality...patriarchy always tells us how we have "power" over men due to our sexuality, but punishes women viciously if they try to use it (think about the word slut, think about Katie Price, think about how people bring up previous partners of the victim in rape cases...). Alisha is basically the avatar for this misogyny.

This is one of the most blatant examples of rape culture I have ever seen. A woman punished for using her sexuality. A woman who can be raped without consequence because it isn't the man's fault as her powers literally "make them" rape her. A male-gaze fantasy who was "asking for it" and was given powers to fit! A woman who has the worst damn superpower I have seen in my 15 years of reading comic books (and I have read some damned sexist stuff!).

By watching the trailer for the next episode it does indeed seem that Misfits will include an attempted-rape or rape scene with Alisha. This is a programme that I really could have enjoyed, but instead I felt a bit sick after watching it.

You can watch the first episode of Misfits on 4OD

Comments From You

saranga // Posted 13 November 2009 at 12:28

FFS. There is so much potential in the superhero genre, so much good stuff you can do. Given the big online presence of feminist and female comic book fans there is absolutely no need for something like this. There is plenty of information out there covering how to do superheroes right, so there's no excuse for including crap like this.

I won't be watching.

Victoria // Posted 13 November 2009 at 13:24

I know I shouldn't have, but I found what was written here so hard to believe I had to check it out for myself. Just looked at the e4 website - you're right, it really is astounding! The character is described as "having a superpower that could seriously damage her social life" and as discovering it's "much more of a curse than a blessing [...] forcing her to reassess her relationships with the opposite sex". Oh, but careful, they don't use the term "rape" - it's just that "when people touch Alisha's skin, they're going to be so filled with lust, they can't think straight, they have to have her". So that's alright then. I'm tempted to leave a comment on the e4 website but at the moment am just lost for words.

sianmarie // Posted 13 November 2009 at 13:55

thanks for articulating all the reasons i felt so uncomfortable with this aspect of the show last night. it was so disturbing, and really horrible to watch. i quite enjoyed the rest of the show, i thought it presented the teen characters well, but when that kicked off it was just so distressing and so weird, i didn't know what to think.
very much underlining the "men can't control themselves" cultural narrative as well as the "women ask for it" one, horrible.

Reid // Posted 13 November 2009 at 14:02

I was quite disappointed by her power too. I think they're going to have to use it very responsibly to avoid a two-dimensional, misogynist caricature, and I'm pretty sure that isn't going to happen.

At least the mindreading character was more positive, she wasn't letting anyone objectify her for her sex or her appearance. Still, one doesn't pay for the other, but I'll give it another week at least.

Butterflywings // Posted 13 November 2009 at 14:23

You nailed it here:
'And here also lies the myth of female empowerment via sexuality…patriarchy always tells us how we have “power” over men due to our sexuality, but punishes women viciously if they try to use it...'
EXACTLY. Well said!

frombosa // Posted 13 November 2009 at 15:20

I agree with Butterfly wings,that sums it up fantastically!

Jennifer Drew // Posted 13 November 2009 at 15:20

Ah so now we know why males rape women and girls it is because men can't help themselves! Once again it is women's and girls' fault for supposedly having this sexual power over males.

Male violence is never about male control and male domination over women and girls - no we are back once again to claims 'men can't help it because they are biologically programmed to commit rape and other forms of violence against women and girls.'

Rape apologism in other words which neatly excuses and justifies male sexual violence against women and girls.

Not surprising then that less than 6% males accused of raping a woman/girl are convicted, when we have series such as this one promoting misogynistic and women-blaming myths concerning male sexual violence against women and girls.

Well done E4 for promoting and justifying male violence against women. Ironic when we are so close to the annual International 16 days action concerning male violence against women and girls.

Legible Susan // Posted 13 November 2009 at 16:55

I recorded this last night, but I'm not going to watch it. After reading JenniferRuth's article I went to look at the show's website, www.e4.com/misfits and checked the character profiles. Sure enough, Alisha is the Black woman. So you can add racism to that list of criticisms. When I saw the lineup I originally thought having two Black characters out of 5, including a Black woman (the demographic that's nearly always missing), was pretty good representation. But hell no.

Will_full // Posted 13 November 2009 at 17:02

I'm going to say right off the bat that I haven't watched the episode yet so I might be way off the mark but I suspect that a) the show will begin to address these issues and that b) it's not her sexuality that makes men want to rape her but rather the 'power' she's had foisted on her that is a curse and forces her to not live the way she wants to. So she is a positive sexually empowered woman who has that power taken away from her - the 'power' simply being a plot device to deprive her of something she holds dear. I think there's a way of playing this without it being a metaphor for 'teenage females and their dangerous sexuality'.

But like I said, I haven't seen it yet so I could well be off the mark.

Anne Onne // Posted 13 November 2009 at 18:47

Oh wow. Thanks for this, JenniferRuth!

I first read about this series being about marginalised teens and thought it could be really interesting. I rolled my eyes when I saw the promotional image contained four teenage boys and one teenage girl. Because even following the normal 2:1 or 3:2 boy:girl split (you just HAVE to have more men! In nearly every series!) would have been too many girls! There's no reason why the group can't have been more balanced in representation.

Then I read that one character had 'the power to put people in a sexual frenzy', which sounded awful at the time (and also a rather useless superpower, really. I think most people would take hurling lightning or manipulating time any day!), but I hoped it wasn't going to be about rape. It's just typical that it would be the female character whose superpower is making men attracted to her. Bonus points: she makes men want to rape her!

You've summarised really well why this idea is wrong and harmful: it contributes to a society that blames women for rape by implying that women bring it on themselves and seduce hapless men into perpetrating rape against their will.

I think it would be hard for a female character whose power is sexual to be presented in a feminist way. Not because sexuality isn't important to women or feminism, but because of how that sexuality is presented and interpreted 99% of the time. I don't think many people could play such a premise (female character whose superpower is making men lose control of their sexual impulses or whatever) in a way where it doesn't feed into many dangerous misogynistic slut-shaming stereotypes. Althugh it's theoretically possible, given the context how much female characters are sexualised and how they are generally treated, I really don't think such characterisation is a wise move. And I'm of the opinon that if one can't address something contentious and personal (rape, racism etc) seriously (or won't), it's better to not attempt it than mess it up badly.

And because a character played as 'the girl' becomes a stand in for all womankind, rather than a unique character with their own flaws, this goes further than merely being about one character.

polly // Posted 14 November 2009 at 10:18

If anyone can't seen the problem with middle aged male writers writing a young female black character whose only notable chararcteristic is her animalisitic sexual allure, they're obviously not thinking at all.

And the woman is presented as completely sexually passive. She does not have the power of making people (sorry men - can we add heteornormativity to the list of things E4 need consciousness raising on) she is attracted to attracted to her, but is merely a passive object. Sexuality does not equal being a sexual object E4!

Mary // Posted 14 November 2009 at 12:20

Oh good Lord, WHAT?

Hey women! You're the sex category, don't forget!

E4 is really, really shit at new programmes, isn't it? I'm still astonished that anyone thought commissioning School of Comedy was a good idea.

Jennifer-Anne Hill // Posted 14 November 2009 at 15:47

ARGH.

Also - just men? What about women who touch her? Yet again, men are presented as cavemen who are at the mercy of what's in their pants. They just can't help wanting to rape someone.

(See numbers 12 and 13 on this checklist... http://blog.shrub.com/archives/tekanji/2005-11-22_72)

ARGH. D:

Sam Rico // Posted 15 November 2009 at 14:23

Hmmm most of what I would say seems to have already been said. But I will add one thing- the program also reinforces heterosexuality as the only 'natural' sexuality, as it seems to be the case that she never sends women into an 'uncontrollable lust'. Maybe because it would raise some difficult questions about the fact that women are simply much less likely to rape, whether heterosexual or homosexual.

earwicga // Posted 15 November 2009 at 15:00

I did watch this programme, somehow it was on after something else and it did hook me in and I was quite enjoying it until the part Jennifer describes above. It did make me uncomfortable and was quite surprising, as in an earlier scene there was a male character talking of the women as meat really, and the other male character didn't go along with it. I am going to watch again, if I remember, as I'm interested to see where they go with this and I can't see any point to this 'superpower' and agree totally with Jennifer's post. It would be awesome if rape culture was given an intellegent discussion and showed to a wide audience for what it is and how it damages us all. Fingers crossed, but not holding my breath.

Claire // Posted 15 November 2009 at 23:20

Victoria - there's no point commenting on the E4 website. I did. It was removed without notice.

Deya // Posted 16 November 2009 at 01:11

Thanks for the heads up. I will not be watching this. Forget insidious rape culture, this is spelling it out. It sounds vile! Why did the creators think this storyline would engage women? What would young boys learn from watching it? How the hell is this deemed to be ok?

Semi-relatedly I have begun to notice, as Anne Onne says, that there seems nearly always to be a higher ratio of males to females in TV - in dramas and sitcoms, yes; but in 'factual' programmes more so. I cannot recall a single episode of QI or Never Mind the Buzzcocks or Newsnight Review where there was an equal, never mind accurate M:F ratio.

Lenneth // Posted 16 November 2009 at 01:47

I don't think my mind even wanted to comprehend the problems with this, so much so that my first thought was "My god she has a more useless power than Alejandro from Heroes".

I just don't get why anyone would think this is a good idea. In the hands of a very skilled writer it could be explored, but there are so many ways it could go wrong and become a case of pure misogynist implication that just by its inclusion it becomes a burden that will more than likely just anger and alienate people, particularly ladies, who might otherwise have watched more of the show.

I mean, was there a problem with just giving the girl flight or something?

JenniferRuth // Posted 16 November 2009 at 09:01

@ Lenneth

"I mean, was there a problem with just giving the girl flight or something?"

Well, that isn't as seeeeaaaxay as rape I suppose. Although they could have put her in a skirt and made sure we are always getting a glimpse at her knickers. Somehow, a way to sexually objectify the female body is always found - no matter how superpowered they are!

@ Polly and Legible Susan

You are both completely right - the racism of the hyper-sexual black woman trope did occur to me when I watched it. I should have brought it up in my post. I'm really glad that you brought it up here in the comments!

@ Claire

I can't believe that they removed your comment on the E4 website! Did they not imagine that people would find this offensive? Probably not...

If anyone wants to read it there is another article on the Misfits and sexism over at Uplift magazine:
http://www.upliftmagazine.com/uplift/2009/11/misfits-super-powers-are-a-turn-on/

Kit // Posted 16 November 2009 at 09:52

I was pretty gutted watching the show when they revealed that, 'cause I was kind of enjoying it up to then. It was bad enough pretty much every thought the mindreader heard was guys *thinking* they wanted to have sex with her.

I don't remember any female characters touching her so are we sure they won't do anything with that? Although I can just imagine how badly they'd handle it if they did :/

earwicga // Posted 16 November 2009 at 11:27

I too wondered if they would show this character touching a woman - but the first episode only showed her 'affecting' two men.

On a seperate note - did anybody see Miranda last night - totally heteronormative to a ridiculous extent, and also took the piss out of trans people. I really wanted to enjoy it, but it really pissed me off!

Elmo // Posted 16 November 2009 at 13:39

Deya-the white male-anyone else ratio on panel shows drives me mad. Whenever there is anyone female, or gay, or black, its painfully obvious that they are "tokens"-its the producers going "oooh, look at us, we've got variety!"-despite the fact that 5 out of 6 of the panelists are still white middle class males. sometimes they go the whole hog and get a black women on the show-not (i strongly suspect) because they think she's good, but because she's a two-in-one token-"hey now we don't have to bother getting a women AND a black guy!". And on the rare occasion there are (god forbid!) two minority people on the show, everyone declares it to be political correction gone mad.

I haven't seen Misfits yet (though i thought it looked better than skins) but honestly, what a bizarre plot line-who on earth thought of it? It all seems a bit 1960's blacksplotation to me, not to mention creepy, weird and a perfect example of how victim blaming is a normal part of society.

Laurel Dearing // Posted 16 November 2009 at 15:23

with the ratio, youll get that with any show or film not aimed specifically at women. shows with more women are for women, shows with more men for men, but of course as men cant possibly sit through anything womanish, anything neutral must also have mostly men, or at a compromise, make the male characters the most predominant. even then im only pulling up cartoons with equal numbers. weekenders, arthur, hey arnold, lol. pretty sad really, but i dont watch much television any more for good reason. i always think id rather see a show without women than with poorly written women or love interests, but having a lot of women that therefore need diversity of characters is the best way to push writers to think about the characters better

Northern Jess // Posted 16 November 2009 at 16:23

Complain to ofcom and complain now, this is glamorising rape and assault by portraying it as a 'superpower', this on e4, a channel whose entire marketing concept focuses on young people aged 16+.
According to OfCom's broadcasting code...
"2.4 Programmes must not include material (whether in individual programmes or in programmes taken together) which, taking into account the context, condones or glamorises violent, dangerous or seriously antisocial behaviour and is likely to encourage others to copy such behaviour. (See Rules 1.11 to 1.13 in Section One: Protecting the Under-Eighteens.)"
You can complain here https://www.ofcom.org.uk/complain/progs/specific/?itemid=286480

wriggles // Posted 17 November 2009 at 10:58

And here also lies the myth of female empowerment via sexuality…

Well it's a myth if you're talking about the type of 'sexuality' assigned to us. If our own wasn't intrinsically empowered or empowering, they'd let it go free.

Claire // Posted 17 November 2009 at 18:29

Ha, another turn, my original comment is now back up, and my other comment asking why the original was removed is now missing! It also asked if it was "comments" or "positive only comments, all others will be deleted" and if so why that wasn't stated. Also, someone else has now replied agreeing with me.

I'm glad the original comment is back up and shall certainly be complaining to ofcom and urge others to do the same. Thanks for the link and information, Jess.

-C- // Posted 17 November 2009 at 20:33

At no point in this episode of Misfits did anyone say Alishsa's was a good power. One point of the show is that they are reluctant and don't want the powers or to be involved in this. I can understand why all of you are angry but do you really think that Alisha wants that power or anyone in the show thinks it as a good point? That is not how it has so far been portrayed. Their powers are supposed to to be part of their personalities and insecrurities. Does Alisha look happy when her power is accidentilly used on Simon and Curtis? No, of course not. In fact after it is used on Simon, Nathan calls him a "sick, bastard". I know there is a lot wrong with television but please do your research and try to understand the programme before judging it.

From the Misfits E4 website: "Alisha soon discovers it’s much more of a curse than a blessing as she has to adapt to life with her new power".

Guest Blogger // Posted 18 November 2009 at 15:02

...Alisha soon discovers being raped is "more of a curse than a blessing"???

Guest Blogger // Posted 18 November 2009 at 15:03

...sorry, that last comment was from me (Lynne Miles, modding Guest Blogger comments) not JenniferRuth (Guest Blogging author of the post). Must remember which account I'm signed in on....!

Bea // Posted 18 November 2009 at 16:00

I know this is rather off-topic but not sure where else to put it and it is connected to the topic of Rape Culture. I'd like to know everyone's views on this piece of grafitti:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/68708/page/1

I think the problem is that it is somewhat ambiguous and could be taken as a victim-blaming statement, though I don't think it was intended to be at all. Thoughts?

JenniferRuth // Posted 18 November 2009 at 17:09

-C-

I sat through the entire first episode of Misfits when it was broadcast. I had no idea what the programme was going to be like before I watched it (apart from seeing trailers) so my reaction to the show is entirely genuine. This information was in the post so I don't know why you are suggesting I do my "research" unless you yourself did not read my post properly.

I also think that you have missed the point of my post. I don't think (and never did) that Alisha is meant to be happy about her powers. I think that the powers she developed, combined with how the show portrayed her character is representative and supportive of a large number of rape myths and sexist values.

I understood that the "Their powers are supposed to to be part of their personalities and insecrurities." and this is EXACTLY why I am upset about the show. Alisha is shown to be in control of her sexuality and the best thing they could do with that is to take that control AWAY from her? She could have developed the power of persuasion. That would have been nice.

I won't be watching any further episodes of Misfits anyway. I try to avoid things that I know will make me angry, but television sure does make that hard sometimes.

-C- // Posted 18 November 2009 at 17:52

No, not being raped, having the power is a curse. I totally understand why a lot of people feel angry but remember it's not a perfect picture of reality, it's a show on television. Maybe there is a problem with it, I've only watched the one episode that has been broadcast so far as has everyone else, so we can't judge the series yet.
I was replying to the many people who seemed to think the programme was showing Alisha's "power" in a good way, which of course it is not and hasn't been depicted as that so far.

russell // Posted 19 November 2009 at 00:21

just watched episode 1 thought it was quite good itl be intresting to see what happens to alisha with tbh the most original power ive seen maybe she will be able to control her power to make people do things for her (manipulation)

earwicga // Posted 19 November 2009 at 22:08

7 minutes in and sexual assualt jokes abounding.

Jooty // Posted 20 November 2009 at 12:47

She has the power to instantly ruin any mans life. She could overthrow governments or cause a judge in a court room to be placed in prison for rape.

Its not a traditional superpower, its an equally devastating one.

Nicola // Posted 20 November 2009 at 18:41

"Their powers are supposed to to be part of their personalities and insecrurities. Does Alisha look happy when her power is accidentilly used on Simon and Curtis? No, of course not."

Thank you -C-, i was about to say the same thing.

I have also looked around the E4/Misfits site and it would seem she only gets that reaction from men because she doesn't know the full extent of her power. So far she has only discovered it has that effect on men, but in clips of future shows it shows her controlling it more and shows her power is possibly of persuation, perhaps she only wanted to feel lusted after and that is how that first reaction came about.

Remember that at this point in the series no one knows how to control their power.

With that being said the writers could have portrayed this differently, maybe they were going for a shock value, who knows.

Elmo // Posted 20 November 2009 at 21:11

With regards to people defending the show because its a reflection of peoples real lives, i dont think this is the point.
Her sexual confidence was part of her personality (not an insecurity), and now its being turned against her- ie "slutty women deserve rape"- "confident, were you? Well, see how you like this! You'll think twice about flirting with men again!" Thats the vibe I get from it. If the guy who felt ignored goes invisible, how is a women who has no problem with displaying her sexuality suddenly facing rape on an equal par to him? His power reflects an insecurity, hers doesn't. It just comes across as a women being punished for her sexuality. And if she does become confident, and start to use her power to control men, then isn't that also incredibly sexist-once again the female part is reduced to sex object. Whether she is a confident sex object or not, its beside the point. Imagine if a guy had been given the power to seduce women, control them etc-wouldn't that come across as creepy and manipulative? The only reflection of real life i see hear is this attitude that confident women are sluts who deserve to be punished.

I still think it looks better than skins, though.

-C- // Posted 20 November 2009 at 22:29

Hi JenniferRuth,
I meant that comment at the people who said they hadn't watched the first episode of Misfits, I didn't mean to offend you. I'm not saying you're wrong, in fact I think you're right to make a stand for this if you believe this is wrong. I agree that it is possibly inappropriate of the writers to give her this power, but I am not completely either way in this discussion, as I've only seen 1 episode. All I mean in my first post was that it wasn't being shown in a good way and I didn't get the vibe that the writers were using this as an example or punishment for her at all. I do find it shocking of the writers that she would have this power that would lead to rape but I am going to wait and see if and how her power develops because as Nicola said, part of the show is not knowing how to control or use their powers wisely. This is just my opinion, though and thanks for taking the time to reply.

polly // Posted 21 November 2009 at 09:04

"""She has the power to instantly ruin any mans life. She could overthrow governments or cause a judge in a court room to be placed in prison for rape.

Its not a traditional superpower, its an equally devastating one."""

What? A) most rapists never get convicted and B)Evil women 'cry rape to ruin men'd lives do they'?

WTF? Seriously?

Clare // Posted 22 November 2009 at 18:05

I completely agree with Jennifer Ruth. A lot of times when writers have the chance to impress everyone, leave out the misogyny and do something amazing for the female characters, they'd rather just fall back to meaninglessly plastering everything with misogyny.

I can't stand sexism saved by the storyline. Where we have to wait for the positive context. It's just sexism, that leaves viewers confused as opposed to satisfied.

I'm not impressed that sexual assault jokes or rape can be used in this 'positive context'. Or that we need to wait, you'll see, it's all about making a point about society in the bigger picture. Why is it always better to offend with edgy sexism all the time, than get a fuller lasting viewing audience?

This happens where the offence is meant to be saved by twisting the audience's empathy last minute. It's basically so 50 minutes of the show can offend everyone, but can be got away with as everyone got a pointless pat on the back later.

Cass // Posted 27 November 2009 at 12:40

I made a complaint to Ofcom and received a reply yesterday. They claimed that it didn't contravene any of their rules (including the one I quoted as suggested by Northern Jess above). It said that the programme was meant to be "edgy" and as it was on at 10pm was for adults which is a lie because it is blatantly marketed at the Skins audience of late teenagers.
It said that the programme in no way glamorises sexual assault and that they were sorry their dismissal of my complaint wouldn't alleviate my "distaste". It made me angry.

If anything this has made me more deterimined to complain about this kind of programme. Even if they don't accept it they have to spend time processing it. One day they will realise they are getting hundreds and hundreds of complaints about misogynist "entertainment" and things will have to change. One day...

Helen S // Posted 04 December 2009 at 11:18

Just a quick update on this - I've watched all four episodes so far for several reasons - 1) before I knew what Alisha's 'power' was going to be, I was looking forward to the series and 2) I wanted to see for myself if the series is as bad as we all feared.

The answer, four eps in? YES it is EXACTLY as bad as we feared. In every episode so far, at least one man has tried to rape her (her power doesn't seem to have any effect on women). The episode last week focused on Alisha more deeply, if only to show that she likes to 'use' her new power to sleep around whenever she can but 'starts to see it as a curse more than a blessing' when the guys involved can't remember it happening and the one guy she does want (another of the main characters) won't touch her after she 'manipulates' him into sleeping with her. By the end of that episode, just after this particular guy and another one try to gang rape her in a car, he announces that he likes her too so they become a 'couple'. This is on the basis that they can't ever have sex - ripped off from Rogue from X-Men, anyone? However, there is lots of time for her to striptease for him. *yawn*

Very dull, very sexist, very ordinary. And the almost-rape scenes turn my stomach every time.

To make matters worse, the only other female character who has powers aside from the main two has the 'ability' to make peoples' hair fall out. This is because she has Alopecia and wants others to know how it feels. I'm not even going to BEGIN to say how rubbish that is for a 'superpower', especially when you compare it to the powers the men have.

I'm also just complained to Ofcom, so we'll see what response I get!

polly // Posted 04 December 2009 at 11:25

""In every episode so far, at least one man has tried to rape her (her power doesn't seem to have any effect on women). ""

Funny that. But not very.

earwicga // Posted 04 December 2009 at 12:50

Agreed Helen S.

You lasted longer than me - I only watched 3 episodes, and the third one turned my stomach so much I didn't bother last night.

Amx // Posted 04 December 2009 at 13:46

Please please please can eveyone who posted here also post on the e4 website, write to points of view, post anywhere else you can think of. This series is going to run and run with this 'woops I made them rape me' storyline until we stop them!

JenniferRuth // Posted 04 December 2009 at 14:09

@ Helen S

Thanks for watching so we don't have to! I have to admit that I was so turned off by the first episode that I have not watched the subsequent ones. From what you have said, I'm glad that I switched off.

"her power doesn't seem to have any effect on women"

Unsurprising. But I can't imagine how bad it would be if they had made the power effect women too - any lesbian act would have been drenched with the male-gaze.

Dee // Posted 02 December 2010 at 01:53

I googled this and found this post- and while her power does make me uncomfortable, the last comment is wrong. In the club, the women she touches are shown vying for her too.

Big Murray // Posted 28 July 2014 at 15:41

It's fascinating to read this now, given that Alisha's story became much more a moral story about treating physical love respectfully and that the power was more about getting Alisha to let her guard down and make an emotional connection with someone. Whether that's retroactive writing or not, it's hard to say ... but it definitely makes the criticism of her as a character less valid.

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