Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female
"It's probably worth mentioning that basically every one of those characters is out there to molest the titular Miyuki because that's the entire plot of this cartoon. And because it's girl-on-girl, that means these rape attempts are hilarious instead of deeply disturbing."
The Double Standard
about female-on-female rape is in large part based on the idea that women and female sexuality do not contribute to "legitimate" sexual intercourse, and therefore lesbian sex doesn't count. Men, penises, and penile penetration are required to cause harm; without a penis involved, there can be no sex, and without sex, there can be no rape. Therefore, anything a woman does to another woman is "not a big deal"
It should be noted that, at least in the United States, this viewpoint was legally supported until the 1970s. The definition of "rape", historically, was defined as the act of forcing sexual intercourse on a woman
by a man
. Currently, all states define rape without referencing the sex of the victim or the perpetrator, acknowledging that women and men can both rape and be raped, but many people still believe that the presence or absence of the penis determines whether any given sex act is actually sex or not. In other locations, the presence of the penis is still required for an act to be legally considered "rape" rather than "unwanted sexual touching" or other such descriptions.
This trope is invoked where women raping other women is seen as harmless or even sexy, and therefore not worth fretting over. After all, Girl-on-Girl Is Hot
, no matter what the victim may think of it. In cases where male-on-female and female-and-female rape are both depicted in different incidents, expect the male rapist to be treated like a Complete Monster
who has inflicted unimaginably horrid
pain on his victim, but the female rapist to be "overwhelmed by her emotions" and thus not responsible for rape, especially if the victim liked it
. She's just a girl, after all, she can't help it when her feelings get the better of her!
The emotional impact of the rape is largely dismissed or ignored completely, usually because it would be less appealing to the audience
for the victim to be legitimately traumatized (or sexually assaulted by a man
), and ideas of consent and personal violation aren't often brought up at all: since a female rapist lacks a penis and therefore has no sexual potency, she is Easily Forgiven
. Don't expect victims to think about it too hard, or at all, after the fact.
Obviously this trope describes a Double Standard
, and an extremely insulting one, in that it supports not one, nor two, but four Unfortunate Implications
- Women are so weak and ineffectual they just can't harm anyone physically, not even other women, even less by sex.
- Lesbian sex is beautiful and harmless and/or hilarious, but most of all 'not real sex' (especially if it's non-penetrative).
- All rapists are men.
- Female-on-female rape isn't traumatic or horrible at all, or maybe only 'a tiny bit'.
A relative of Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male
and the Distaff Counterpart
of Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male
. See also Skinship Grope
. Related to Queer People Are Funny
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Anime & Manga
- A Kiss, Love, and a Prince involves a girl tying another girl to a chair for a forced kiss scene.
- In Love Hina, male characters generally get pummeled for touching female characters whether they mean to or not, yet intentional female on female assault gets brushed aside or completely overlooked (like what Kanako does to Motoko). See similar examples in other harem comedies.
- In Ikki Tousen during Ryofu's first TV episode she immobilizes and rapes one of the show's most popular characters, Ryoumou, after defeating her. (In the manga she only groped her, but didn't cross straightforwardly into rape). This is never brought up again (not even by Ryoumou) and she even becomes an Ensemble Darkhorse herself.
- In Dragon Destiny it was revealed that Shrinking Violet Ten'i was gang raped at her former school by a sadistic Alpha Bitch and her Girl Posse, and they pretty much used this trope to justify their actions. This is only an in-universe case: the show itself makes it clear that the girls are Complete Monsters.
- Haruhi Suzumiya: Though not quite rape, Haruhi's sexual harassment of Mikuru is Played for Laughs.
- Strawberry Panic! pulls this off with Kaname (and to a lesser extent Momomi) on Hikari. The solution to many troubles Kaname had throughout the series was, "Rape Hikari!" She never succeeds, and while it's clear other people disapprove, she faces no consequences for her obviously creepy intentions.
- In the one-shot manga 08.04 AM Daydream, most of the patrons of the girls-only train seem to believe this.
- A bit of a Zig-Zagging Trope in Kannazuki no Miko. Chikane does rape Himeko, yes, and makes a rather dramatic Face-Heel Turn in the process, but the circumstances were more than a little contrived, making for ample debate on whether or not she should still be held accountable. However, there is a notable lack of repercussions, or even disapproval of her acts in-universe. Less of a Double Standard than most examples since a male villain (Miyako's brother Girochi) tries to rape Himeko at one point but is treated no less sympathetically in the end when everything gets set straight again and everyone is given their happy ending. For whatever that's worth... and yet it's zigzagged again when Chikane herself is molested and almost raped by Miyako, but the viewer is NOT supposed to be on Miyako's side, contrasting by how the audience's supposed to root for Chikane despite being a rapist.
- Mylene Jenius from Macross7 in the second Dynamite OVA almost became a victim of this trope. Possibly taken further in the companion Manga Mylene Beat.
- Violent, Psycho Lesbian Ume from Ben-To seems to be present to cater to an number of feitishes, including; forced yuri to kidnap
- Girls Bravo narrowly skirts this twice by having Kosame all but actually rape Kirie.
- When she happens across Kirie in the 4th episode, she coerces her into the bedroom at gunpoint and shoves her onto the bed. Then strips down to her panties and straddles her. But she's foiled before it goes any further, when one of the spirits Lisa realeased charges into the room and tramples her. Which allowed Kirie to escape.
- In episode 13, they faced each other during the semi-finals of the "Girls Fight!" competition, where they had to wear g-string bikinis. Once Kosame pinned her to the mat, she laid atop Kirie, while slipping her hands under her bra so she could fondle her directly. Despite this, he tournament concludes with a tender moment between themnote where Kosame steals Kirie's First Kiss.
- Boys Empire: Umeko rapes Hitomi's mother right in front of her, to convince her to let Hitomi stay with her family (since Hitomi didn't want to leave her boyfriend, Makoto, who's also Umeko's son). Not only does it work, but days later, after her mother has moved, she calls Hitomi on the phone saying she'll visit during summer and winter breaks and asks to "borrow" Umeko and Makoto when she does.
- In Shitsurakuen, Sora chooses to molest Reiko rather than beating her. Given the situation, though, it was probably the lesser of two evils.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! illustrates the double standard extremely well one character. Namely, Paio Zi, the breast-obsessed bounty hunter. When first encountered, Paio makes no attempt to hide what will follow if Nodoka is captured, and the scene is played out every bit as seriously as you would expect Attempted Rape to be played out. Then in a later chapter Paio makes a return, except in this case it is revealed that she is a girl as well, and her subsequent groping of all the girls in the bathhouse is played up for pure comedy value.
- Mawaru-Penguindrum sends some mixed signals with regards to this. On one hand, Yuri's attempted rape of Ringo isn't exactly portrayed as okay, and it's made clear that the would-be rapist is an extremely messed-up person. On the other hand, the scene applies an extremely uncomfortable amount of Male Gaze to the victim, it's used to develop the would-be rapist while the victim is essentially reduced to a prop, the way Shouma stops it from happening is presented in a very narmy fashion, and the scene has no repercussions to speak of; Ringo is unaffected by the ordeal, Yuri gets away with it entirely and even thwarts Masako's attempt to steal her half of Ringo's diary, and the incident is never brought up again except as the subject of a brief joke two episodes later.
- Queen's Blade Rebellion Luna Luna makes a lot of advances on Annelotte, and she does it with her Combat Tentacles, saying she is her destined soul mate.
- In Heaven's Lost Property, Tomoko generally gets away with a lot of what could be considered sexual harassment. Inverted though. When she turns back into Tomoki after a day of harassing women at a female spa? Cue signature Karate chop.
- El Hazard: The Alternative World: The final episode has the group return to Arlaman so Qwaool could partake in the purification ritual. While they're there, Princess Fatora comes up with a plan to seduce Shayla and the others, by disguising herself and her girlfriend Alliel as bath attendants. It works for the most part, allowing them to completely feel up Shayla and Nanami, while pretending to bathe them.
- A Certain Scientific Railgun: Kuroko repeatedly tries to drug, grope, and rape Misaka. It is all played for laughs, and she is still treated as a completely heroic character.
- Averted in Kill la Kill, as Ragyo's sexual abuse of her daughter Satsuki is played for rather unsettling Fan Disservice.
- Saikin Imouto No Yousu Ga Chotto Okashiinda Ga: Hiyori rapes Mitsuki within minutes of her first appearance; this is played for fanservice and humor. Mitsuki is only slightly upset afterward, and is outright stated to have secretly enjoyed it.
- Happens a lot in Freezing. While in the omakes, girls groping Satellizer is played for fanservice and humor, when it happens in the series proper, it's treated a lot more seriously.
- Nyu in Elfen Lied will go after pretty much anything that moves, so long as it has breasts. In the anime, it's mostly restricted to groping Yuka, much to the latter's annoyance. The manga takes it much farther, particularly with poor Nozomi. Despite this, Nyu never receives anything more than a mild scolding from the other characters for her actions (partially justified, or as much as it can be at any rate, by Nyu having the intellectual capacity of a two-year-old).
- It's Played for Laughs mostly (including a Lamp Shading by Lucy, wondering why she has the sudden urge to grope women's breasts when her personality surfaces), but the manga does at least treat it semi-seriously once. When Nyu tries to get close to Mayu during a Furo Scene, Mayu (who fled a home with a sexually abusive stepfather) reacts quite badly and manages to get Nyu to leave her alone.
- In the last episode of Sabagebu!, the other girls tie up Momoka and give her as a "birthday present" to Clingy Jealous Girl Urara, even going so far as to tell Urara that she can do what she pleases with Momoka. The show ends with a Bound and Gagged Furo Scene that is entirely Played for Laughs, despite the implication that Urara plans to rape or molest Momoka.
- In Lost Girls, Alice forces Wendy to have sex with her, though Wendy ends up getting into it. Presumably Wendy's protests were meant to be seen as symbolic of her repressed middle-class lifestyle, which Alice's sex broke her out of. Erm...
- In Empowered, when the girl who will later take up the identity of Ocelotina and her brother kidnap Emp, she gets into the boot of the car with a near-naked Emp and proceeds to grope her, with the dialogue suggesting full-blown forcible digital penetration. This is played totally for laughs at the time and retrospectively in later stories. Similarly the backstory references to Ninjette successfully impersonating the husband of a rival ninja on their wedding night.
- In the Revolutionary Girl Utena fanfic, Will of the Rose, Anthy rapes Utena because she is frustrated that they haven't had sex yet (since they are engaged). Anthy's character is completely altered and Utena becomes an Extreme Doormat who stays in an abusive relationship after Wakaba loses interest in their friendship. It should be noted that in this fanfic, Utena agrees to keep fighting off the abusive system (which is mostly male dominated) that Anthy is trapped in.
- Ambiguously played in another Degrassi fanfic Bias seems headed toward Manny/Ellie femslash. The chapter started off with some boys coercing Manny into raping Ellie (it was either rape Ellie herself or they rape Ellie). What happened to Ellie is treated like a random drunken encounter and not much else. Neither the male nor female characters involved are given much blame (so far).
- This trope was invoked by the audience in the Total Drama Island fanfic Cheer Up Emo Girl. Bridgette is raped by a female OC named Brittney, and it was intended to be taken as seriously as male-on-female rape. However, every single review that referenced to that scene called it hot, and suggested a threesome take place between Bridgette, Brittney, and Bridgette's then-boyfriend. This resulted in a rather scathing author's note at the beginning of the next chapter, lashing out at the people who wrote this.
- Full House fanfiction "The girls get it on" features a bizarre scene where Kimmy Gibbler drugs and rapes Rebecca Donaldson.
- One (softcore) example from The Stewardesses 3-D: The chief stewardess aggressively puts the moves on one of the junior ones, to which she yields. Later, a male character reveals that his (also male) boss extracted sexual favors from him in return for promotion, leaving him permanently embittered. Moral: Lesbian sexual harassment is fun and sexy; gay male sexual harassment is a soul-blighting trauma.
- In Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet, Alyssa cracks a long joke about being beaten, gangraped and branded in the girl's shower room in high school.
- It's hard to tell if the crazed teenage dominatrix trying to rape another girl in Blood Mask: The Possession of Nicole Lameroux is being Played for Laughs or not.
- Same goes for the similar sequence in The Cook.
- The main character raping another woman with a crowbar (don't worry, she put a condom on it) in Johnny Sunshine Maximum Violence is played for dark laughs.
- Vince, the Depraved Bisexual of Where The Truth Lies, drugs the film's heroine, reporter Karen O'Connor (Alison Lohman) and then arranges for Alice, an aspiring young singer he's training (and who, yes, dresses like Alice from Alice In Wonderland), to have sex with Karen while Karen is stoned out of her mind and unable to think clearly. When Karen wakes up in the morning, completely naked and humiliated, even more so when Vince shows off the pictures of her drug induced tryst (which he intends to use to blackmail her), Vince has the nerve to insinuate that it was no big deal - he even jokes about how Alice couldn't get her pregnant! The film doesn't really focus on it much in the final half but Karen is clearly not happy about what happened.
- Averting this trope is pretty much the whole point behind the movie Jaded. The female lead is raped by two women, but legally, same-gender rape is not rape, it's "sodomy." She replies that she doesn't feel sodomized, she feels raped. Oh, sodomy charges also carry a dramatically reduced sentence compared to rape. Plus there's the whole "not if she liked it" justification, because the main character was skinny-dipping and and making out with the two women, before deciding that being penetrated by a wine bottle and repeatedly slapped across the face was not her idea of a good time. In a crowning moment of awesome, the main character's boyfriend helps demonstrate to her that an enjoyable kiss is not consent, and that rape starts as soon as you stop enjoying it.
- Mugglenet.com, a Harry Potter fansite, has a section for editorials about shipping. The submission rules indicate that essays about particularly squicky pairings would be turned away, including those containing incest, bestiality, and underage characters with adults. Fair enough. Except that one essay made a case for Luna x Trelawney. Apparently that doesn't count under the very clear "no underage characters with adult characters" rule, somehow?
- Invoked in Aimee.
- In The Big U by Neal Stephenson, when the male college students drug Sara and try to engage in sexual activity it's rape, but when her female friend rescues her from them and then engages in sexual activity with the same drugged individual, it's for the best.
- In the anthology Blood Sisters: Lesbian Vampire Tales a female character is raped and "turned" by a female vampire. The rape experiences gives her the newfound confidence to pursue her mortal love interest and lead a happier life. Possibly also an example of Sex as Rite-of-Passage, except substitute "rape" for "sex".
- Kushiels Legacy has a complicated version: Phedre informs the reader that rape is an unforgivable act of treason in her culture. Yet when Melisande drugs her and commits sex acts that could arguably be rape before selling her into slavery this act is never considered rape despite a cultural understanding that both men and women can be sexually dominant and powerful. It becomes gray since Phedre is a professional submissive, and was under contract to Melisande. Melisande did honor the letter of the contract, including the safe word, and knew damn well Phedre was a trained spy, working for her enemy, and Phedre does obviously views what happened as a violation despite no using her safeword, but she also doesn't brush it off because of Melisande's gender.
- In the book The Queen's Gambit, the preteen protagonist is nearly raped by her large black roommate who had been working to gain her trust for weeks. Later she calls on this person to help her get her life back in order after becoming a drug-addicted mess thanks to her horrific childhood, with zero mention made of the rape.
- John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces (which was written in the early 1960s but not published until 1980, after Toole's death) has as one of its secondary characters Lana Lee, an ill-tempered female burlesque house owner in New Orleans. A Politically Incorrect Villain, she is (among other things) intensely homophobic and is constantly complaining about "fairies and dykes" showing up in the news. At the climax of the novel, Lee is arrested after trying to bribe an undercover cop with a pornographic picture and thrown into a holding cell with three "butch" lesbians. Although the scene cuts away just before anything truly nasty can happen, it is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that Lee is gang-raped by the trio, thus in effect becoming a lesbian herself.
Live Action TV
- In The L Word, after Tina discovers Bette's infidelity, Bette rapes her. This never becomes an issue; the problem is still that Bette cheated.
- Complicated case. It started with Bette trying to initiate sex while begging Tina to forgive her, this turned to Bette at top of Tina trying to force her fingers into / onto Tina, begging that she loved her while Bette moaned "No". At this point clearly attempted rape. But then something happened: Tina got / took control, ended up at top, screamed "Fuck you!" at her while trying to strike her, kissed her roughly a few time and ended up grabbing Bette's hand and forcing it into her while she was still at top, her cursing and hating Bette and her completely dismissing Bette while she climaxed, still holding Bette's hand in a vice grip. So going from a pure "who forced who's what into whom what in order to achieve orgasm"-perspective, Tina raped Bette. But from a "Who instigated sex"-perspective it wasn't rape at all. So the end result was "It's complicated. And not very pretty." They were probably going for break-up sex / hate sex.
- In an episode of What Would You Do?, bystanders react much less strongly to women putting other women through a sexually humiliating hazing ritual than to men putting other men through a sexually humiliating hazing ritual.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Willow makes her girlfriend Tara forget about them having an argument and then proceeds to have sex with her. It's rape after Mind Rape, specially given that Tara's previous Mind Rape by villain Glory had left her pretty scarred. Tara comments on this in a few lines during One More With Feeling, but other than that, gets not mention at all, and the fact why she leaves Willow remains 'because she's abusing magic'. A few episodes later she promptly forgives her everything and gets back with her, have lots of sex and gets killed, which is a whole other kind of Unfortunate Implications. In the same show that has EVERYONE treat Spike like a complete monster for attempting to rape Buffy, something Buffy DID ON HIM and was totally played for laughs.
- In Hex, the lesbian ghost Thelma is seen on-screen to impose a dream of making out with her on her best friend Cassie, and implied to have gone much further with the Alpha Bitch Roxanne. This is played entirely for laughs. (Although it's left vague how much the living girls could have resisted if they'd wanted to.)
- One of the few areas where bookers generally seem ahead of the fan base, usually. For example, Eric Bischoff was treated as a horrible person for trying to arrange this situation on Stephanie McMahon. Dawn Marie was also portrayed as a horrible person for trying to force a Scarpia Ultimatum on Torrie Wilson but while the crowd gave Dawn plenty of boos they also booed when denied footage of how far she got by Torrie's father.
- The original version of The Vagina Monologues contained an extremely controversial piece about a young girl who was seduced by an older woman, who, regardless of the girl's mental state (some productions say she was already drunk, others change it so she wasn't) and the issue of her consent (she's positive about the experience for the entirety of the piece) is still statutory rape, even when the girl is aged up from 13 to 16 in some productions. The original included the line "if it was rape, it was a good rape", and while later versions removed that line the piece itself is still highly controversial.
- Embric of Wulfhammer's Castle , which is especially jarring as the Duchess reacts to all the other sexual assaults and Abhorrent Admirers inflicted on her with horror, but describes this assault in erotic, titillating terms as she recounts it to her maid, who is openly aroused by the tale. The game tries to present some mitigating factors (it took place in a dream where desires are more magnified, the rapist is explicitly Neutral Evil), which are rather negated by the fact that said rapist has full control over the dreamscape anyway, but the end result is that the Duchess is raped and still has no hesitation to enter a relationship with her.
- Going hand-in-hand with this trope is Greyghast, who is treated as a Complete Monster whose sexual inclinations toward her were so abhorrent as to be cut away from and implied, rather than made explicit like all of her encounters with women, consensual or otherwise.
- In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Strangelove performs unwanted, dubiously sexual acts on both Paz (a young teenager) and CÚcile (her captive) - she forced Paz to let her give her a massage, and gave CÚcile daily sponge baths. Both seem to enjoy it, CÚcile even teasing Big Boss for getting aroused by the mental image, and the event with Paz being played for pure fanservice.
- Played with in Tales of Graces. Pascal constantly tries to "touch" Sophie, even attempting to strike a deal with her along the lines of "You can touch me as much as you want if I can do the same to you"; she usually winds up on the receiving end of a Megaton Punch afterwards. However, despite the almost assuredly intentional innuendo, Pascal usually doesn't do much more than grab Sophie's shoulders (or, at worst, hug her) whenever she does follow through on her whims.