does melky rape wendy?

Jyn326
Broadway Star
joined:12/7/05
I think a lot of how you view this show has a lot to do with your own first experiences with sex.

I liken that scene to many teenage girls these days. Say she wants to remain a virgin until she's married, or at least until she's older. But her boyfriend constantly makes comments about how it's difficult for him to wait. Because he "loves" her and wants to "be closer to her" and all those lines boys tell girls to get them in bed. Maybe the guy really does love her, but he clearly doesn't care enough about her to see that she's not ready. So the girl ends up giving in and getting it over with because she's scared to lose the guy. She gives permission, so they have consensual sex. It isn't rape, really. But it also isn't really wanted by the girl.

Granted nowadays most teenagers know all the risks involved with having sex, but I don't know if that point alone decides whether or not Wendla was raped. I do think that the fact that Melchior knew he was more knowledgable and ready for the act than she was makes it even worse than if he had only pressured her (like in the above teen scenario)

So in short- my vote is that it was not rape in the musical. But Wendla was not ready and most likely would have preferred to wait. Melchior was wrong to go through with it, but I don't think he raped her. That's my opinion anyhow.
Becoz_i_knew_you21
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/06
This is one of the reasons I love this show. People can get into so much detail about things and have such discussions as the one we are having now.
Updated On: 3/24/07 at 02:15 PM
dramaqueen2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/23/05
in the original play by wedekind, it is implied if not said that melchior does in fact rape wendla; however, in the broadway production, it is not rape. he does bring it upon her, but it is consentual.
hear my song; it was made for the time when you don't know where to go, listen to the song that i sing, you'll be fine..
teka21
Leading Actor
joined:12/19/06
"Saying all the songs in SA are inner monos is ridiculous,
when all the character are singing together are they having the same inner monologue?
No, they are stating their feelings about what is going on around them."

Not ridiculous at all. The concept in SA is very different. When Wendla and Melchior sing The Word Of Your Body it's not a conventional love duet; their lyrics are what they are thinking inside at that moment- they are never singing to each other. When they both sing the same line, it is because they are both having the same thought, they are not communicating with each other. The boys in the Bitch of Living are each singing about their own issues and fantasies, they are not in conversation. None of the songs involve a dialogue, no characters sing to each other. This is unique.
The_Jackal2
Stand-by
joined:11/25/06
I haven't seen the show yet but from what I've heard on the cast recording, it never seemed like rape to me. She may not have totally known what she was getting into, but the song "The Guilty Ones" always made it sound like she did want it.
BroadwayGirl107
Broadway Legend
joined:8/26/03
I think the ambiguity in this case is more frightening than intriguing. To think that they'd "tone down" this aspect of the show and blur a particular message is ridiculous to me, and it's just plain scary that people buy that this more or less forced sex act is twisted into an incredibly shallow version of what people like to call "love."
"This country, this experiment, America, this hubris: what a lament if no one saw it go. Here today, gone tomorrow. Dissipation is actually much worse than cataclysm."--August: Osage County
Weez
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/05
It's definitely rape, for all the reasons stated before. Wendla may later sing "I let him love me", but has anyone thought that may be the victim blaming herself for not being successful in fighting him off? Some victims sadly do blame themselves for things other people do to them.

Although having seen the show, I think it much better fits the idea that Melchior and Wendla had relations multiple times and those times were definitely much more on the consensual side of things.
siamese dream
Broadway Legend
joined:11/28/05
Agreed 100%, BroadwayGirl. As others have mentioned in the past, I think they were attempting to make Melchoir more of a romantic hero rather than a tragic one (if you can even call him that), but (perhaps unintentionally) took the easy way out rather than making him definitively one or the other. In doing so, the show left me with even perhaps a worse taste in my mouth over the entire Wendla/Melchoir subplot than if they would have left the original storyline intact.
bella cantato
Broadway Star
joined:3/16/04
In the quote that Wendla sings that keeps getting brought up, I always took the line "So let that be my story" to be what she wants OTHERS to say about her... so it doesn't necessarily mean that she believes it herself.
"You know, a little orphan girl once told me that the sun would come out tomorrow. Her adopted father was a powerful billionaire, so I supressed the urge to laugh in her face. But now, by gum, I think she might have been on to something!" --Reefer Madness
Jyn326
Broadway Star
joined:12/7/05
hmm, that's an interesting point, Bella. I hadn't thought about that line in that way before.

Do you think that that scene is supposed to be definately rape or definately consentual? Or do you think that it's meant to be a little ambiguous so that each audience member can take from the show something different? And perhaps to inspire lengthy discussions like this one...

Or is it SOLEY to make Melchior a little less jerkish than if he was a beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt rapist?
MossiDivo
Understudy
joined:4/20/05
She does say in Act II when the doctor is with them that "I just wanted to be with him... how could that..." indiciating that she did do what she did becuase she wanted to, even though she didnt know that the act of sex led to pregnancy. I really dont think it is rape at all.
BroadwayGirl107
Broadway Legend
joined:8/26/03
"Or is it SOLEY to make Melchior a little less jerkish than if he was a beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt rapist?"

That, and, even more so, in order to make the show more commercially viable, they wanted to get rid of the straight-up rape deal in order to make it less scandalous, I suppose. Of course, by doing so, they've made the water murkier, and they're sending out some lousy messages about sex and pressure.

It's silly that there's anything consensual about the sex scene because Wendla is CLEARLY pressured into doing it, and "I just wanted to be with him," sounds like a common way a young girl would justify her failure to resist.
"This country, this experiment, America, this hubris: what a lament if no one saw it go. Here today, gone tomorrow. Dissipation is actually much worse than cataclysm."--August: Osage County
Becoz_i_knew_you21
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/06
I think if it was no doubt rape, it would upset some people and turn some people away from the show. I think it was turned ambiguous partly to not make Melchoir seem like a jerk in the end. Like I said before,Mayer didn't want the only representation of sex to be rape.
shesamarshmallow
Broadway Legend
joined:3/23/06
Ok, but part of what we're saying is that it's rape even if she "just wanted to be with him" because of her lack of knowledge about the act. It being consensual at that moment is kind of irrelevant.
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BroadwayGirl107
Broadway Legend
joined:8/26/03
Becoz, going back to what I said was "frightening" earlier...he pressures her into having sex anyway and then they actually try to pass it off as love. It's not technically rape, but it's a pretty lousy message to be giving out about love and sex if you ask me...

Of course it doesn't upset most people because people take these sorts of things at surface value. God only knows why...
"This country, this experiment, America, this hubris: what a lament if no one saw it go. Here today, gone tomorrow. Dissipation is actually much worse than cataclysm."--August: Osage County
teka21
Leading Actor
joined:12/19/06
******Contains Spoilers*****

These pressures about sex are very much issues for today's teens as they were for Wedekind's teens. Surely date rape is as troubling as "friends with privileges." As for portraying Melchior solely as a hero, it's grayer than that. After Moritz' suicide, Melchior's parents discuss what to do about him. His mother - the most "open-minded" of the adults in SA, stops defending him once she learns he had impregnated Wendla despite his knowledge of the consequences of sex, and allows him to be sent away to the reformatory. Perhaps his actions or inactions may have contributed to a friend's death. I don't believe that SA has romanticized teen sex, but is raising the issues of our society's mixed messages and double standards on the subject.
Becoz_i_knew_you21
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/06
I don't think the show is trying to romanticize that scene or sex at all.
BroadwayGirl107
Broadway Legend
joined:8/26/03
I think you're missing my point. I don't think the creators of the musical are consciously TRYING to romanticize boys pressuring girls into having sex, but the fact that there are people who have posted here and concluded that it wasn't rape at all, that it's actually love, that she wanted it, or that because she says she wanted to be with him means she DID is obviously showing that there's a mixed message. It's not facing the problem, it's avoiding it and creating a whole nother one by doing so. The original play deals with the issue with much more clarity, but I think commercialism took priority over art with this particular detail of the musical.
"This country, this experiment, America, this hubris: what a lament if no one saw it go. Here today, gone tomorrow. Dissipation is actually much worse than cataclysm."--August: Osage County
Updated On: 3/25/07 at 05:58 PM
NickHyper
Understudy
joined:7/20/05
The answer is a very simple NO.

I haven't read the other posts on here except for the main one. I think anyone who thinks it was rape should look up the definition of rape. In fact, here is one of the main definitions from dictionary.com

Rape - any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.

Did she give consent to what was happening? Yes. Did she not know what it was? Yes. Not knowing what it was doesn't make it rape. That just makes her ignorant of the situation.
BroadwayGirl107
Broadway Legend
joined:8/26/03
According to the dictionary I have in front of me:

"sexual intercourse by a man with a woman without her consent and chiefly by force or deception."

Hmm. Or deception.
"This country, this experiment, America, this hubris: what a lament if no one saw it go. Here today, gone tomorrow. Dissipation is actually much worse than cataclysm."--August: Osage County
Updated On: 3/25/07 at 06:08 PM
shesamarshmallow
Broadway Legend
joined:3/23/06
While I agree with BroadwayGirl, I'm a little disturbed that that definition defines rape only as an act perpetrated by men on women... it should go both ways. And within gender, too.
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Becoz_i_knew_you21
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/06
BroadwayGirl, I totally get you.
BroadwayGirl107
Broadway Legend
joined:8/26/03
I was a bit disturbed by that as well. It's like a sexist definition of rape.
"This country, this experiment, America, this hubris: what a lament if no one saw it go. Here today, gone tomorrow. Dissipation is actually much worse than cataclysm."--August: Osage County
C is for Company
Broadway Legend
joined:7/16/05
That is a good one. "Deception! Deception!"

She had far less understanding of the situation than him and he got the ball rolling on something she wasn't quite clear about. I'd take that moment as rape, but as far as the relationship, I believe it is consensual.
Updated On: 3/25/07 at 06:20 PM
papalovesmambo
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/03
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 3/25/07 at 06:38pm
oh yeah, totally rapes her. doesn't wear a condom. it's actually happening onstage as well, full bareback cream pie every night.
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overthemoon419
Broadway Star
joined:6/4/04
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 3/25/07 at 07:29pm
I think that Melchior does rape Wendla, and her "consent" is more giving up the fight than actually agreeing it's what she wants. I would imagine that she was torn between her mind telling her that being touched in that way was wrong, but her body felt that it was "right," and then there was the part of her mind that just wanted to be with him, and therefore decides to give him what he wants, in a sense, so that he'll be with her.
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