does melky rape wendy?

luvtheEmcee
Broadway Legend
joined:12/9/03
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 01:03pm
That's the root of it. You can't. She does, but only because he convinces her to; she consents, to a degree, but at bottom, she has no idea what it is, exactly, that she's doing. He does. And while he doesn't ostensibly force her into the act, he does somewhat force her to agree. He pushes her and nudges her to that point of telling him it's okay to do. And then it looks like perceived love and romance, and that's how the writers blur the lines.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
luvtheEmcee
Broadway Legend
joined:12/9/03
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 01:09pm
Not angry. Irritated by your tone. You come marching in here and proclaim the case "closed," meaning that it is over and done with because obviously snl cannot be argued with. How does such antagonism promote discussion? You said you thought it was a compelling case and that if nobody could refute it, then the case was closed; i.e., if nobody could refute it, then she was right, point-blank, the end. That's simply ridiculous. And no, that is not the same as simply saying you agree with her compelling case. What you posted is right there in plain view; why try to pretend that's not what you said?

Capitalization = me being too lazy to type in the html codes. They may be small, but knocking the caps button is always faster. All caps = yelling. A few scattered words = emphasis.

I commented that you obviously didn't read because I had addressed the point, and yet you asked me why I didn't. What was I supposed to think? Perhaps you read and just didn't understand. Excuse me.

I don't think that it's fair to put Melchior into the same category as, say, a rapist hiding in a dark alley who jumps out at women

And yes, exactly. I don't think it's a matter of him being an evil person or having malicious intentions, but he is still violating actual, legitimate consent.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
Updated On: 2/3/08 at 01:09 PM
george95
Broadway Legend
joined:1/1/08
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 01:17pm
MaronaDavies, I see where you're coming from with it being possible date rape. But she does put his hand back on her bare breast.
I think the better question is if she is able to consent or not. This is the same girl who just finished begging Melchoir to forgive her after she talked him into getting into some S & M. True, she didnt know what she was doing there either, but I dont think that Melchoir completely knew, even with all his sex books. In the musical at least, Melchi does not rape or daterape Wendla.
ashbash1990
Broadway Star
joined:10/15/06
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 02:03pm
I think that there is no question that Wendla wanted it (putting his hand back on her breast), however, her lack of knowledge and Melchior's lack of explanation to her, constitute the act as rape...
What a night! I was in more laps than a napkin!
george95
Broadway Legend
joined:1/1/08
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 02:08pm
perhaps her lack of knowledge would make it a statutory rape? As in, even though she clearly consents by putting his hand back on her, she still cannot consent in terms of understanding what she's consenting to? Remember when she makes the connection between pregnancy and intercourse--the look on her face is priceless.
snl89
Broadway Legend
joined:10/4/05
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 02:13pm
I think the better question is if she is able to consent or not. This is the same girl who just finished begging Melchoir to forgive her after she talked him into getting into some S & M. True, she didnt know what she was doing there either, but I dont think that Melchoir completely knew, even with all his sex books. In the musical at least, Melchi does not rape or daterape Wendla.

EXACTLY. I think it's very fair to question whether or not Wendla can truly consent to it if she has no clue what it is, but it does go both ways to an extent, doesn't it? Again, Melchior knows the physicality of sex, but that doesn't mean he's that much less confused about it over all than she is. They're BOTH experiencing this for the first time, so I just don't think it's fair to treat it as though Melchior should have known right away to leave it be when Wendla said no. Again- he only knows as much as he's read in books, which means he probably hasn't a clue that rape exists in the first place. So if Wendla can't consent without knowing what she's consenting to, isn't it fair to say that Melchior can't really know what he's doing wrong without having some idea of what rape is in the first place?


snl89: What makes a rape a rape is when a person initiates or continues a sex act when the other party has objected, or does not have the ability to consent in the first place.

See, I agree with that in a general sense, for sure, but I just think that this is one of those instances where you have to look at it on a deeper level. Like I said, I view the difference between rape and sex as more of an emotional difference that a physical, or literal, one. I just have a hard time calling a sexual act rape when niether of the people involved have been emotionally hurt by it in any way. I suppose this just comes down to how a person views "rape" though. Because sure, if you do consider it rape if a person is not hurt by it but they don't know what it is, then yeah, he raped her. I just have trouble calling that rape. I think of that as seduction.. encouraging a person to engage in a sexual act, and taking advantage of their innocence, but having their consent.

Now in a lot of cases that can be just as bad as rape. I mean, if an adult man goes to a young, naive girl and convinces her to have sex with him, and she agrees but naively so, I think he's a filthy person who deserves to be punished for his actions. But in Melchior's case, I'm more inclined to let him off the hook for the aforementioned reasons. Yeah, he got caught up in his emotions. Yeah, he probably shouldn't have gone that far. But it doesn't make him a violent, cruel, or perverted person (not that I'm assuming everyone who views it as rape THINKS of him that way). It just makes him... a teenager! haha
I don't need a life that's normal. That's way too far away. But something next to normal would be okay. Something next to normal is what I'd like to try. Close enough to normal to get by.
Updated On: 2/3/08 at 02:13 PM
East Village
Featured Actor
joined:9/23/07
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 02:22pm
My reading is that they are both innocents who are completely overcome and confused by what intimacy brings. Its one of the most disturbing, compelling and beautiful moments I've ever experienced in the theater -- or in front of any work of art.
MaronaDavies
Featured Actor
joined:3/17/06
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 02:34pm
george95--I agree that in the musical, that particular stage action has been added to make the scene resemble a rape less, but it's still not really consensual in the best sense of the word.

(quote)Because sure, if you do consider it rape if a person is not hurt by it but they don't know what it is, then yeah, he raped her. I just have trouble calling that rape.(end quote)

But emotional hurt is not something that can be easily measured, and it doesn't mitigate the act. If someone robs your house but they only take items you don't care about, they've still committed a robbery, right? Rape isn't about the victim's reaction, it's about the perpetrator's actions.

For instance, there have been several cases in hospitals where patients who have been in comas have been sexually assaulted by members of the staff. Under your argument, it wouldn't be considered rape because the person wasn't awake and didn't know, and therefore couldn't be upset by it. The problem is that they were still subjected to a sexual act against their explicit consent.

(quote) I think of that as seduction.. encouraging a person to engage in a sexual act, and taking advantage of their innocence, but having their consent. (endquote)

But if you're taking advantage of someone's innocence, you're not really getting their informed consent, right? And if you get that consent only after wearing someone down and coercing them, it's not quite the same either.
Updated On: 2/3/08 at 02:34 PM
SporkGoddess
Broadway Legend
joined:7/27/05
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 02:39pm
snl89: What you are describing is called coercion, and it is viewed as a component of sexual abuse. Being coerced into having sex is not the same as consenting.

It depends, really, on Wendla's mental age. I haven't read the original play, but I've heard that she's supposed to be a little mentally slow. If mentally she was basically a child, it was rape no matter how you look at it.
Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
snl89
Broadway Legend
joined:10/4/05
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 03:15pm
ahh k, sorry, I wasn't sure of the actual term for what I was trying to describe haha.


But emotional hurt is not something that can be easily measured, and it doesn't mitigate the act. If someone robs your house but they only take items you don't care about, they've still committed a robbery, right? Rape isn't about the victim's reaction, it's about the perpetrator's actions.

For instance, there have been several cases in hospitals where patients who have been in comas have been sexually assaulted by members of the staff. Under your argument, it wouldn't be considered rape because the person wasn't awake and didn't know, and therefore couldn't be upset by it. The problem is that they were still subjected to a sexual act against their explicit consent.



I understand what you're getting at, I really do, but I just think that's SUCH a different circumstance. It's kind of like the argument of "then if someone were to have sex with a baby, would it be okay?". It's a fair thing to question, but it's very very extreme. Wendla may not have known what was going on, but she wasn't THAT helpless or innocent. Her body wasn't being completely victimized without her having any control whatsoever over the situation.

And actually, even in those situations with people in a comma and stuff, if you really think about it, why do we consider that so wrong? It's because the person had no control over what was happening to them, and therefore if they were to wake up and find out that this had happened, they would feel violated. In the end, it still DOES come back to the emotional aspect of it. If sex were purely a physical act with no emotional attachment to it at all, there would BE no such thing as rape. Because all "not consenting" means in the first place is that the person doesn't WANT it. and wanting vs. not wanting is an emotional thing.

I think I'm doing a really lousy job of trying to explain myself here haha. But yeah, I DO understand all the arguments. And again I'd just like to reiterate that I don't think it was a responsible or unselfish thing of Melchior to do. I just think it's also unfair to see Wendla as a complete victim and Melchior as a complete perpetrator. The way I see, they're BOTH pretty much victims of their own raging hormones and emotions.



I don't need a life that's normal. That's way too far away. But something next to normal would be okay. Something next to normal is what I'd like to try. Close enough to normal to get by.
luvtheEmcee
Broadway Legend
joined:12/9/03
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 03:23pm
I think you're looking at rape through a very, very narrow lens. I agree with you that it's unfair to see Melchior entirely as the perpetrator and Wendla entirely as the victim, but that's not the only way to have a violation of consent. You're only seeing it as one specific thing rather than looking the entire spectrum of non-consensual sex. To me, Wendla is powerless to resist something within her emotions and hormones, but Melchior is absolutely taking advantage of that. She's uncomfortable and once he gets started and she realizes that she likes how it feels and that it seems a little bit romantic, she gives in. There's still violation in that, because he kept pushing against her initial wishes. Coercing someone to give in is not the same as being given consent. To say that doesn't mean I think he's an evil perpetrator. At the end of the day, this is about what happens when children are kept in the dark. A young girl gives in to something that puts her in danger because she hasn't been taught to understand the reality. It's framed to look like romance so that we think it's slightly more permissible on Melchior's behalf. Just like she's convinced that this what you do when you have feelings for someone. That's not to say that Melchior is setting out to destroy this girl and has malicious intentions. It's just to say that he, by virtue of his power over her, is in control. And because she doesn't know enough not to give in, that is a bad thing. He is knowingly putting her at risk, and yet still coerces her into letting him do so.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
Updated On: 2/3/08 at 03:23 PM
MaronaDavies
Featured Actor
joined:3/17/06
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 03:24pm
And actually, even in those situations with people in a comma and stuff, if you really think about it, why do we consider that so wrong? It's because the person had no control over what was happening to them, and therefore if they were to wake up and find out that this had happened, they would feel violated.

No, again, it's considered wrong because of the perpetrator's actions, not because of the victim's reactions. Rape's more about power and control than it is about sex, even when it is not a violent act. You basically hit the nail on the head when you said it's because the person had no control. That's what it's about--nobody is allowed to control someone else's body. The emotional impact of rape can be huge, but it doesn't define rape.

For instance, there have also been cases where adults with limited cognitive ability have been sexually abused by other adults. The victims have no idea what has really happened, they don't feel violated and they might even think the perpetrator was being "nice" to them. It's still rape, because it's an act committed without the explicit informed consent of the victim.

We're getting off on a tangent here, so I'm going to stop responding. I do agree with luvtheEmcee, in that M. did not have malicious or violent intent, and that the entire point of the show is to depict adolescents wrestling with various aspects of sexuality, including control and consent. All the same, the scene shows a rape, as much as they tried to sugarcoat that.
Updated On: 2/3/08 at 03:24 PM
BigFatBlonde
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/07
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 04:27pm
Yes, he rapes her.
What great ones do the less will prattle of
snl89
Broadway Legend
joined:10/4/05
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 04:30pm
Well I don't have a whole lot more to add that wouldn't just be repeating myself, but I'd just like to say that I do fully understand what you guys are saying. I just personally can't bring myself to view it as rape because I feel like it's too strong a word to use in this situation. But I DO understand what you guys are saying about the control aspect of rape in general, and I do fully agree with that. Like I said, I was kind of trying to explain something that I wasn't sure how to go about explaining, and so I ended up skewing it a little bit haha. And you guys put it in a much better way- it's a control thing.


So I guess, really, what it comes down to is that I don't feel like Melchior DID have that much power over Wendla. Which brings me to one last idea: before they ever start kissing, Melchior asks Wendla to leave multiple times, does he not? I'm not saying this forgives his pushing her, but I do think that it IS worth remembering that he realizes that when he's with her he has urges and power struggles he can't control, and he DOES try to prevent himself from going to far again. And Wendla is in fact the one who insists on staying. Granted she doesn't even know what sex is so it's not like she could be intending to stay for that reason, but without realizing it she puts herself in the position that leads Melchior to push her into it. So it's not her fault, but that doesn't mean Melchior didn't try to stop it himself. Because, imo, he DID try, but it was just a difficult situation because Wendla pushed herself on him, not realizing that doing so would lead to anything more than them just being friends again.
I don't need a life that's normal. That's way too far away. But something next to normal would be okay. Something next to normal is what I'd like to try. Close enough to normal to get by.
BigFatBlonde
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/07
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 04:37pm
Wow.

Someone is going to make a very good battered housewife.
What great ones do the less will prattle of
snl89
Broadway Legend
joined:10/4/05
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 04:55pm
^oh, hardly, I promise :)

like I said, I GET where everyone is coming from, and I don't disagree entirely- I don't think it was completely right of him to have done what he did- it's just I also tend to understand where Melchior is coming from as well, and I wouldn't be able to do that (at least I'd HOPE I wouldn't) if I felt it was a real rape.


and I'd just like to reiterate so that it's totally clear: when I said Wendla pushed herself on him, I did NOT MEAN that she was "asking for it" or anything like that. I would never mean to imply that. I just meant that she did push in the sense that she wanted to make up with him. That's all. But unfortunately, she had no way of knowing that by pushing in that way, she was also making it more and more difficult for him to control his own raging hormones. And that lead to him persuading her to sleep with him.
I don't need a life that's normal. That's way too far away. But something next to normal would be okay. Something next to normal is what I'd like to try. Close enough to normal to get by.
Updated On: 2/3/08 at 04:55 PM
steven22
Broadway Legend
joined:5/19/06
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 05:01pm
i dont think it was rape..but i also think that wendla did not expect something like what happened (sex)
luvtheEmcee
Broadway Legend
joined:12/9/03
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 05:12pm
You don't feel like he has that much power over her? I don't even know how to reply to that. He's completely in control over that situation. Maybe you're saying that because you think of the idea that he has power as a negative thing and don't want it to be spun negative, but I'm sorry, that's just the situation. She trusts him, does she not? Think about where that puts him. Besides just being physically bigger, and stronger than her. That's certainly an issue of power, but it's more than that. And yes, there may be other instances in the show where Wendla leads him on, but I'm talking very specifically about what's going on in that scene. In the finale to Act 1. And really, it all just goes right back to the fact that while Wendla may be teasing Melchior to some degree and drawing him in at other points throughout the show, she really does not know the ultimate consequences of these actions.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
East Village
Featured Actor
joined:9/23/07
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 05:13pm
I don't know if I'm giving this way too much consideration but I asked my friend Abbie today when we were walking the dogs

What if Melchior and Wendla were Chuck and Blair...or even Serena and Dan (from Gossip Girl), do you think there'd be rape charges?

She said faster then you could .... er.... shake a stick.
snl89
Broadway Legend
joined:10/4/05
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 05:20pm
You don't feel like he has that much power over her? I don't even know how to reply to that. He's completely in control over that situation. Maybe you're saying that because you think of the idea that he has power as a negative thing and don't want it to be spun negative, but I'm sorry, that's just the situation. She trusts him, does she not? Think about where that puts him. Besides just being physically bigger, and stronger than her. That's certainly an issue of power, but it's more than that. And yes, there may be other instances in the show where Wendla leads him on, but I'm talking very specifically about what's going on in that scene. In the finale to Act 1. And really, it all just goes right back to the fact that while Wendla may be teasing Melchior to some degree and drawing him in at other points throughout the show, she really does not know the ultimate consequences of these actions.


Okay, fair enough. He did have power over her. I guess what I was getting at was that he was naive too. Again, people have no problem agreeing that Wendla couldn't have truly consented because she didn't know what sex was, and I agree with that. But then shouldn't you also think about how Melchior had never once known of the idea of rape? He's as clueless about the idea of rape as Wendla is about the idea of sex. So they're BOTH naive, therefore they BOTH make uninformed, poor decisions while their wrapped up in everything they're feeling toward each other.

So yeah, he does have the power. You're absolutely right. I just forgive him for abusing that power the same way it's easy to forgive Wendla for "agreeing" to have sex without actually knowing what the consequences might be.
I don't need a life that's normal. That's way too far away. But something next to normal would be okay. Something next to normal is what I'd like to try. Close enough to normal to get by.
luvtheEmcee
Broadway Legend
joined:12/9/03
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 05:25pm
Because you want to believe it's as romantic as they want you to believe. You're essentially forgiving him for knowingly putting this girl he supposedly cares for in danger for what? An orgasm? Great.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
sweetestsiren
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/05
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 05:27pm
It sort of frightens me that anyone thinks that rape is determined by how someone "feels" after a sexual act. Any sex where someone doesn't or isn't able to consent is rape, period. It doesn't mean that one party was hiding out somewhere in a predatory way to jump the other person, or whatever -- you've heard of date rape or statutory rape, haven't you?
george95
Broadway Legend
joined:1/1/08
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 05:31pm
You can't make a comparison between Spring Awakening and the characters in Gossip Girl. The characters in the TV show grew up knowing about condoms, STDs, date rape, endless Lifetime movies about women being raped and avenging it later, No Means No campaigns, sex education........and Wendla grew up up with "When a woman loves her husband as she can love no one else---a baby comes!"
No comparison
snl89
Broadway Legend
joined:10/4/05
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 05:57pm
You're essentially forgiving him for knowingly putting this girl he supposedly cares for in danger for what? An orgasm? Great.

No, it's just I'm more forgiving him because in a lot of ways he's just as confused and naive as Wendla is. Again, remember, this is a young boy who has only ever READ about sex from books. He's more than likely NEVER even come across the word "rape" let alone understand what it actually means. This isn't like today, where a boy that age BETTER know what rape is, and better be well aware of the consequences if he commits it. Melchior has never, ever been introduced the the idea that pushing sex on someone, or abusing that power is a bad thing. So is it really fair to expect that he would know to stop if he doesn't even realize that what he's doing is wrong? I just don't quite understand how so many people are SO quick to come to Wendla's defense and say she was completely helpless in the matter, but yet don't seem to bear in mind that there's a lot Melchior doesn't realize either, due to their upbringing.



It sort of frightens me that anyone thinks that rape is determined by how someone "feels" after a sexual act. Any sex where someone doesn't or isn't able to consent is rape, period. It doesn't mean that one party was hiding out somewhere in a predatory way to jump the other person, or whatever -- you've heard of date rape or statutory rape, haven't you?

sorry, I've been repeating myself SO much in this thread haha. But, as I said before, most of the time I DO consider coercion (which I think is pretty much the same thing as statutory rape? I'm not positive on that, but I think so. Correct me if I'm wrong) just as bad as rape. WHEN the person doing the coercing is fully aware of the impact of what they are doing and purposely takes advantage of someone because they are young and naive. In today's society, this is pretty much always going to be the case, because we've grown up in a world where the damage of sexual abuse has been pounded into our heads. But we can't forget that this was a very, very different time and place, and Melchior, though he knew what he was doing in a physical sense, was NOT completely aware of the full impact of what he was doing.
I don't need a life that's normal. That's way too far away. But something next to normal would be okay. Something next to normal is what I'd like to try. Close enough to normal to get by.
Updated On: 2/3/08 at 05:57 PM
East Village
Featured Actor
joined:9/23/07
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 05:58pm
Well for that matter, she also grew up in a time when 14 year olds were married off -- sometimes to much older men -- and may or may not have had any idea what sex was. So if we're not legal scholars of early 19th century german law, I don't think any of us knows what the legal implications would be. Suffice to say, there's all indications from that period it would be a terribly corrupt trial.

As for today, I don't think there is any indication that Wendla would bring charges against Melchior. Without her testimony, there'd be no case. If it did happen, and she was coerced into testifying against him, I'm pretty sure you could get the case before a judge. And I'm also pretty sure, it'd be on the next season of Law & Order.

luvtheEmcee
Broadway Legend
joined:12/9/03
does melky rape wendy?
Posted: 2/3/08 at 06:18pm
Spoilers in this post...

(Although I don't know why you'd be reading it if you hadn't seen the show...)


It's kind of surprising to me that this thread has gone on for so long with so little mention of the fact that Wendla dies. It seems people, including yourself, are so in love with this show that they don't want to accept that it portrays anything negative, completely disregarding the fact that the negativity would actually make its message far more powerful. And, you know, that Wendla DIES.

Let me break this down for you.

Wendla dies. She dies BECAUSE SHE GETS PREGNANT. She gets pregnant because she has sex. Sex that she doesn't even understand. Sex that she has because Melchior coerced her into doing it, because he believes it's love, he wants to get off, whatever it is that Melchior believes. But really? He knew what he was doing, and his decision to get her to go through with this act, in essence, killed her. That's the tragedy of it all, really isn't it? That this young, innocent girl ends up dying because of what her mother never told her? For the sake of his d*ck. Do we forgive him? That may be reckless and careless and ultimately an accident -- I'm not saying he SET OUT to kill her, that would be absurd -- but his knowledge was much greater than hers. Certainly adult society is much to blame, that's the point of the play, but where, in the story of those two children, does the downfall begin? Look at the tragedy his carelessness wrought. All because she didn't know. You don't have to intend to hold power over someone to have it. Sometimes it just is.

And he's just as naive as she is? I completely disagree. He knows what he's doing. She does not. He knows more about sex than she does. Please don't turn this into a debate of semantics, because it's not. I don't care if he never heard the word rape. It's not important. This is not about being able to put a term to it; there's still an issue of consent whether or not he's been told, "rape is when you..." With as much as he knows about the consequences of sexual intercourse, he should not have been doing it without her consent. He willingly. put. her. at. risk. Perhaps his intentions were not malicious, as I've already said I believe to be true, but he still did it. He was reckless. He doesn't have to see it as sexual abuse to know that when you're going to do something like that, you don't do it unless both parties are willing, especially given that he's aware that she doesn't know the risks, and doesn't know what's going on.

Why do you think this is a show set in 19th century Germany, staged with modern rock music? This is not a show about 19th century German society. It was created to be applicable to this society, in favor of self-exploration and expression, in opposition to repression. To say "this is what happens when we repress our children." So I'm sorry, going on about how in today's society, he would know, but back then, he didn't, doesn't fit the bill. You are trying way, way too hard to make a hero out of him. Just like the writers of that show.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
Updated On: 2/3/08 at 06:18 PM