So I saw The Wolf of Wall Street last night. And it was a pretty good movie! The rest of this post is going to be full of spoilers, so if that bothers you, stop reading.
Can we talk about the rape scene for a second?
By the end of the movie, things are not going well for Jordan Belfort. He's pretty unambiguously the worst. He's greedy and mean and reckless and selfish and addicted to drugs. He's arrogant. He has basically no sense of human decency. It's not hard to hate this guy.
And then he rapes his wife.
He's standing there in the bedroom talking to his wife about the ongoing criminal investigation against him, and then he decides he'd like to have sex with her. And she says no, she'd rather not. And he forces himself on her. She pretty clearly tells him to stop. She tells him no. And he keeps going.
Eventually, she decides to take a little control of the situation and says, "Okay, you want to fuck me? Cum for me baby, fuck me like it's the last time," so he does, and she tells him she wants a divorce. (And then he does a bunch of drugs, punches his wife, and nearly kills his daughter. Because, in case it wasn't clear, this guy is a huge asshole.)
I'm not surprised that he raped his wife, honestly. Belfort has literally no respect for women whatsoever, and he's used to getting everything he wants all the time. He isn't above rape. It's totally the kind of thing he would do.
What surprises me is that no one is talking about it. I mean, when I google "wolf of wall street rape," this is what comes up:
At first I thought perhaps the first article was actually going to talk about the rape scene, but the sentence actually goes on to say "Wolf of Wall Street could've shown Jordan Belfort raping his own mother and some people would still think he's a hero because he had a yacht." Is it ironic that even the writers of this article don't seem to have noticed Belfort actually raping his own wife?
The rest of the search results are just incidentally related to sex somehow. Whatever, google.
So why isn't anyone talking about the time Jordan Belfort raped his wife?
Is it because she's his wife? Because marital rape has been illegal in the United States since the sixties.
Is it because eventually she kind of agrees to it? Because that's not what consent is. Consent is not saying "Well, your penis is already inside me, so I guess this is just going to happen, so… fine."
The fact that there was a rape in this movie doesn't really bother me. Really. It bothers me that there are people who watched this movie and didn't see it as rape. It bothers me that so many people still don't understand what rape is. It bothers me that anyone could have sympathy for this guy after watching all of this (and some people definitely did).
But I guess nothing can change unless we talk about it.
(Originally published at my blog, That Girl Magazine — thought Groupthink would have some opinions over here)