I am probably one of the few fans that was looking forward to the end of Season One of Outlander. For the past two years my world has been consumed with Outlander, The Heughligans, Premieres, Book signings, New on set photos, Sam, Catriona and Tobias. So as Saturday approached I was breathing a sigh of relief that my real life would come back into focus and my fangirling could go on vacation. What happened was something I was not expecting. I was pushed further into my comfort box but the feeling was more than uncomfortable it became……well have you ever had a claustrophobic experience? And you go to take a breath but it isn’t there and there is that nano second of stillness. Your ears aren’t open to the sounds around, your eyes have lost focus and your sense of balance is skewed. But then a sonic boom of anxiety hits you and you panic. The feeling in my comfort box has been filled with that nano second experience I have not felt the relief of anxiety just yet.
What was it about this episode that has me in a world of appreciation of the dark side? I’ve seen rape before on many shows and read it in many books. In fact it has become media’s go to entertainment…”ah well things are a bit dry in this scene…let’s rape a girl to liven things back up” For many years I have accepted that is just the way things are and I also move past the event. Never pausing to think about what just happened.
To Ransom a Man’s Soul was not a frivolous, Luke and Laura, General Hospital moment where she was raped but ‘I think not only could I love this man I will marry him, after all he was drunk and didn’t really mean it’ (#eyeroll). Outlander the book and the show presents what it is truly like to be sexually abused. The confusion, the shame, the betrayal of your body, the lasting effects that are not resolved quickly. As we book readers know this moment follows Jamie and Claire throughout their lives and spills over to future events.
The stillness that I have felt is beginning to vibrate with the word FINALLY someone gets it. Rape is not an event that should be taken lightly, it isn’t a quick moment, it isn’t a go to when a director needs to add some action. And just maybe if our media entertainers would stop with the “simplicity” of a rape experience and show the psychological long term effects that maybe a potential abuser would think twice.
No, it isn’t a great feeling to see the truth behind abusive moments but looking the other way to shows or books that minimize pain is no longer an option. Because the sound of my stillness rings loud and clear to survivors. I am not acknowledging their story with my viewing trivialization of an awful event.
I was not expecting to become more of a fan after the visual rape of our dear Jamie but I have become more of a fan. A fan because a book and show that I hold near to my heart has remained authentic to humanity.