In the new video released by Nightpantz (a digital sketch collaborative based in Los Angeles) called ‘Save Our Female Characters‘, the three protagonists — Queen, Spy, and Cowgirl — who are represent typical female characters tropes, ask that female characters be saved from the pointless and repetitive rape scenes they are subjected to on television shows.
“Two weeks ago, I was suspended off a bridge being threatened for my death by my ex-husband’s twin, who was actually my ex-husband pretending to be his twin pretending to have brain injury, but then that was not interesting enough, no!” says Queen, in her monologue. “So then, the greatest intellectual in all the Kingdom, came by and raped me.”
Today, TV shows like Orange is the New Black attempt to understand rape, instead of just using it as masala for a plot line. But, at the end of the day, in both American and Indian television shows, most of the time, women are merely instrumental. If you still don’t believe it, check out these statistics that looked at the biggest Hollywood films of 2016, and found women had an average of 27 percent of dialogue.
Daily Bhaskar has an article with a list of rapes in Indian TV serials. These include Ye Hai Mohabbatein where Mihika gets raped by Ashok when he finds out she tricked him into thinking she was pregnant. And Balika Vadhu where Kundan rapes his wife Nimboli because he doesn’t understand what consent is. And Dil Se Di Dua where Viraj is a possessive man who rapes his wife, Jahnvi. The website India also has a list of TV serials which used rape scenes to boost their television rating points.
But the Nightpantz girls have a helpful list of all the things that they’d like to happen to women characters which aren’t rape: “Fight off a bear, become a vampire slayer, run for president, argue a case against the Supreme Court, cure an obscure disease, rob a casino, start a Communist Revolution, or literally anything else…”