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01:09:55 PM Aug 16th 2013
edited by
Was It Rape/Sexual Assault?
(Starting a new topic, because this is about whether it was or not, not whether to include it)
(Edit: This discussion and "Should it be Mentioned" have gotten completely mixed together. Just ignore the division.)

We're talking about this scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=PqGxI7QIYu4&t=242
Where Squints drowns himself to need CPR from Wendy, the lifeguard, and then when he has recovered but is still getting CPR, grabs her head, holds it down and kisses her.

He forced her to kiss him. That is assault, and something that definitely should be vilified.
01:43:15 PM Aug 16th 2013
That's... honestly borderline offensive. Calling that sexual assault honestly dilutes the definition of it and trivializes actual sexual assault.
02:39:30 PM Aug 16th 2013
I really don't see it like that. I see it as yes, a thankfully less-traumatic incident on the scale of sexual assault, but nevertheless — a forceful, invasive sexually-charged action, where one person held another down in order to have that sexual action with her.

It would be trivializing sexual assault if I called it that, and said it wasn't that bad. It would be trivializing if I said "on the one hand it's definitely sexual assault, but she also admired it and then eventually married him, so it's okay."

It would be trivializing it, if I said about it exactly what the movie said about it.

What I'm saying, though, is that it is assault, it's very wrong, and that needs to get pointed out.
04:41:47 PM Aug 16th 2013
edited by
It's sexual assault in the same way a ten year old shoving another ten year old on the playground is assault. Calling it sexual assault is just diluting the term. It is, in the strictest sense of the phrase, legally sexual assault. However, putting it on the page as such is painting a comically inaccurate picture of what happened.

And the fact you defaulted to calling it rape was just... nonsensical.
06:27:09 PM Aug 16th 2013
The thing I'm concerned about is that it shows a kid acting as if getting a kiss from the lifeguard he's attracted to is some sort of god-given right, that he totally deserves if he can take it and who cares what she thinks. I'm concerned because the movie is saying that treating someone else's body as something you can just take from is a good thing, a thing that deserves respect and awe. Additionally, it is culturally significant that the movie is saying that treating someone else's body as something you can just take from is a good thing.

Now, given that this "treating someone else's body as something you can just take from" happened in a sexual context (kissing), in my opinion it fit the definition — in a meaningful way, not just technically — of sexual assault. Apparently, as befits the page we are arguing over, your mileage varied.

So if you have some way that you'd rather talk about this "treating someone else's body as something you can just take from (in a sexual context)" that doesn't use the phrase "sexual assault", I'd (most likely) totally agree to put that up instead. If you can't think of any way yourself, I'd suggest leaving it as up "sexual assault", as well as a post here about the tone you'd like to get across, and someone else can fix it for you later.

I used "rape" because I was under the (apparently false) assumption that "rape" and "sexual assault" were, at least as much as needed here, roughly synonymous, and "rape" better fit my personal emotional reaction when I saw the scene.
06:56:53 PM Aug 16th 2013
You are seriously reading far too much into this. He kissed her. You're making it sound like he viciously attacked her.
09:06:56 PM Aug 16th 2013
I'm not opposed to calling the kid out on it, either as Values Dissonance or something, but calling it "sexual assault" is way too harsh.

And yeah, you're reading way, way, way, way too much into it.
05:56:35 AM Aug 17th 2013
I don't think it's even Values Dissonance. I still see videos and gifs of kids of similar ages tricking older girls into a kiss, and I've never seen it treated as a bad thing.
02:05:59 AM Aug 18th 2013
So how 'bout this:
Values Dissonance: Tricking and grabbing someone who doesn't want it to kiss them is a respectable and brave right of passage.

I personally, though, think it's more Family-Unfriendly Aesop, if just because (a) the "this is a good think" is more the point of it, and (b) yes, even though it's definitely a bad thing, it still is sort of accepted in modern society, a bit.

I think I'm reacting too much, more than reading into it too much — the kinda disturbing action is there, I'm just kinda freaking out about it. But that doesn't mean that nothing is there.
07:51:34 AM Aug 19th 2013
Like I said, I don't think it's even that. Just because you had a strong, personal reaction to something doesn't mean it's a trope or even something as wrong as you think it is.
03:44:50 PM Aug 19th 2013
edited by
I used strong language because I had a strong personal reaction to the trope that was there. My reaction doesn't make it any more or less there.

Whether there was "treating someone else's body as something you can just take from (in a sexual context)" is not up for debate. That's what that scene is. What up for debate is what/how strong language we should use to describe it.

Additionally, "treating someone else's body as something you can just take from (in a sexual context)" is a trope, and more to the point, audience reactions, even if they're not a trope, still belong on the YMMV page.
04:00:19 PM Aug 19th 2013
I'd say it is up for debate, because what the rest of us see is a kid stealing a kiss. It's nowhere near the degree that you're describing it as. It's like calling a light punch on the shoulder an assault.
09:35:59 PM Aug 19th 2013
If the light punch on the shoulder involved grabbing someone and holding them still so you could punch them... yeah.

But regardless, I've already compromised down to:

Values Dissonance: Tricking and grabbing someone to kiss them against their will is a respectable and brave right of passage.
((Edited slightly from last time, for better grammer-ness.))

Which doesn't mention assault, and is, as you have requested, nowhere near the degree I'm describing it as.
Do you have any objections to it?
07:10:03 AM Aug 20th 2013
As I said, I think that's still overstating it, and not Values Dissonance at all since people today still rarely see anything wrong with a kid stealing a kiss from a girl.
12:27:55 PM Aug 20th 2013
I'm confused. Are you saying that tricking and grabbing someone to kiss them against their will actually is a respectable and brave right of passage?

Regardless of your answer to that question, though (although I am curious), for a significant part of humanity, that sort of thing is really wrong. Values Dissonance doesn't have to be over a period of time — it can be over cultures, too.
01:04:56 PM Aug 20th 2013
I'm saying what happens in the movie is not nearly so big a deal as you're making it out to be. That happens in the movie amounts to, "Oh well, kids will be kids and do stuff like that." It's very much not the forceful assault on someone's personal sovereignty that you're trying to describe it as.

I am not making a generalized statement of any kind—I am saying this instance in this movie is something harmless and not worth noting on the page.
01:15:42 PM Aug 20th 2013
edited by
I question whether it would be considered sexual assault - kissing like that I've seen in TV frequently and it was never shown as assault.
02:49:04 PM Aug 20th 2013
Klic, sexual assault would imply he grabbed her ass as she did it. Which he didn't. It's wasting a lifeguard's time.
11:42:40 PM Aug 20th 2013
edited by
Septimus: I'm not saying it was shown as assault, I'm saying it was, despite not being handled that way. That said, what I propose putting on the page says nothing about that.

EKonoMai: Have you watched the video? There still is (non-rear) grabbing in it. If grabbing her rear is sexual assault, then so much more is grabbing her head and forcibly kissing her.

Both Septimus and EKonoMai: While I believe it to be sexual assault, what I propose putting up is:

Values Dissonance: Tricking and grabbing someone to kiss them against their will is a respectable and brave right of passage.

Which doesn't say anything about sexual assault. I know I started this thread as "Was it Rape/Sexual Assault", so I should probably try and keep to that topic, but the discussion keeps on going back and forth. (I'll edit the first-posts to say that.)

MrDeath: Is there a good reason not to mention it on the page? This is a YMMV page — by definition, people won't agree with everything. What I'm saying is that it a significant enough part of the people seeing this work will believe this trope applies. Not even necessarily a majority — just a significant amount, which (unless I'm mistaken about how YMMV works) enough to make it worth noting on a YMMV page.
05:12:33 AM Aug 21st 2013
Mainly because I'm generally against edits whose genesis was along the lines of, "I had a strong negative reaction to this, therefore the whole world needs to know this movie did a terrible thing." And that's what this seemed to be—not wanting to catalog the trope so much as you wanting to say something negative about the movie and trying to find a trope that you could justify it under.

And I'm not sure there is a significant amount—thus far, it's you and one other troper who had any sort of problem with it. A big problem with the YMMV sections as a whole is that some tropers do seem to think "I feel this way" means "everyone feels this way."

I'm not saying that's your thinking, but that's how this whole thing looked to me.
05:41:21 AM Aug 21st 2013
Going by the definition of sexual assault as "any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient," I agree with Klic that this qualifies as such and could be regarded as Values Dissonance. I'd be furious if anyone pulled this stunt on me - don't care whether the guy was just beginning puberty or 65 years old. I'd put it just above "slap on the butt" on the "unwanted sexual advances" scale. BTW, Klic, it's "rite of passage," not "right."
07:14:00 AM Aug 21st 2013
That definition is almost uselessly broad—damn near anything could qualify. Technically, a husband surprising his wife with a kiss would count, because he didn't ask for and she didn't give direct and explicit consent that particular time.
03:33:48 PM Aug 21st 2013
You are, of course, free to disagree, but that's the definition used by the U. S. Department of Justice.
03:54:36 PM Aug 21st 2013
Don't be so pedantic. We're not trying to be a clinically accurate wiki, we're trying to accurately portray what is shown to someone reading the page. If they see "sexual assault" on the page it will grossly misrepresent the work.

It's like posting someone committed assault for one kid giving another a tap on the arm.
11:34:05 PM Aug 21st 2013
The definition that was given might be overbroad, but is anyone here arguing that what happened was less "unwanted sexual advances" than a slap on the butt?

Thanks for correcting me, Tarlonniel.
03:26:48 AM Aug 22nd 2013
edited by
"E Kono Mai: Have you watched the video? There still is (non-rear) grabbing in it. If grabbing her rear is sexual assault, then so much more is grabbing her head and forcibly kissing her."

You're implying any sort of grabbing is the same as molesting her, which is a whole 'nother can of worms.

Either way, I agree with it being Values Dissonance. This isn't anything like a tap on the arm, but he sure as hell didn't rape her. It's childish ignorance and it's still bad. I am speaking as someone who was sexually harassed/touched, but I doubt it has little bearing.
06:39:43 AM Aug 22nd 2013
I want to point out that the movie did not treat this as a "boys will be boys, no harm done" situation. For sexual behaviour of an unwanted nature, this qualifies today as sexual harassment at least, and could be considered sexual assault.

He was banned "for life" from that pool. He was punished for that. Now, clearly, the boys felt the kiss was worth the punishment, and she soon reciprocated the feelings. That's especially Values Dissonance, of a Best Her to Bed Her nature.
12:38:31 PM Aug 22nd 2013
As I've said elsewhere (too many discussions about this one example), I don't see the Values Dissonance part. Would she have reacted differently if it happened today? Possibly, but also quite possible no. And the narration seemed to think worse of it than she did, as there was talk about how she was justified in doing more than she did and that they were lucky she didn't. There's however no part that says it was somehow okay. Any trope that uses that as a basis is wrong.

It doesn't touch Best Her to Bed Her, as there's no custom or rule she has about it, or even, from what I've read here, no indication that's specifically why she started to like him.

I'd also say that as a forced kiss it's one of the least forced I've seen between people who're not a couple already. If you really want to be technical, she kissed him first. If there's a trope at play, it's some kind of deception.
12:57:16 PM Aug 22nd 2013
I don't think the movie did very much at all to show the punishment. This scene is the only time we see or hear about the pool — we as an audience have no emotional connection to the pool, or them going to it, and never feel the loss. And, furthermore, the full narration after the scene is:

"Michael 'Squints' Palledorous walked a little taller that day, and we had to tip our hats to him. He was lucky she hadn't beat the crap out of him. We wouldn't have blamed her. What he'd done was sneaky, rotten and low... and cool. Not another one among us would have ever in a million years even for a million dollars ever had the guts to put the move on the lifeguard. He did. He had kissed a woman, and he had kissed her long, and good. We had gotten banned from the pool forever that day, but every time we walked by after that the lifeguard looked down from her tower, right over at Squints, and smiled."

While you could take just the beginning out of context and say it says it was a bad thing, I think that's more than overshadowed by the him talking about how cool it was in the entire second half. Except, yes, the part where it says "We had gotten banned from the pool forever that day", but that is followed immediately by "but..." and another cool thing.

That said, do enough people feel that's it's Values Dissonance to put that up?
02:01:27 PM Aug 22nd 2013
It's portrayed about as brave and respectable as, say, a heist in a crook film. Other crooks would respect them and think it's brave. Doesn't exactly make it okay.

But where does the Values Dissonance fit in? At all? If it was about a bunch of school rule benders today it would probably have played out similarly. What's done there that was okay at the time but isn't okay today?

You've also got to remember that the guy narrating isn't exactly a moral pillar. His values are his values, not necessarily meant to reflect society's values.
08:11:23 PM Aug 22nd 2013
And Squints married her, in the epilogue, don't forget that. Before the kiss, the lifeguard didn't notice any of them. After the kiss, she was smiling at Squints. So the kiss was clearly a factor in making her interested.

I said that the characters felt the kiss was worth the punishment. The punishment happened, but was overshadowed by the values the boys had.

We might not have a trope for this situation yet.
08:17:54 PM Aug 22nd 2013
On second thought, it's not Values Dissonance. Even in the 90s, kids pulling that stuff off wasn't cool.
02:15:45 AM Aug 23rd 2013
While I would like to agree with you, AnotherDuck I feel like the gang is spending the movie pretty much being "All-American" kids — making friends, playing baseball, getting into trouble, and facing their nightmares together. It's one of the classic Coming of Age Stories of the '90s — what they do is exactly meant to be a good way of being raised, and the story is meant to be the childhood of the "average American Joe".

EKono — as much as I wish that even in the '90s it was universally thought that pulling that stuff wasn't cool, the movie definitely portrays it as a "cool thing".
And, even now there are still situations where some people aren't willing to say "that was bad." That said, there are luckily large amounts of people who do react on the scale of "that was bad" to utter disgust.
02:47:24 AM Aug 23rd 2013
edited by
And "making friends, playing baseball, getting into trouble, and facing their nightmares together" isn't part of today's Coming of Age Stories?

Also, cool in "wasn't cool" and "a cool thing" are different animals. Don't use them interchangeably. The first is about what's okay or acceptable. The second is what's awesome or neat, which are often attributed to stupid, dangerous, and/or illegal stuff.
11:42:07 AM Aug 23rd 2013
It is — the reason I said '90s was because that's when it was from.

Oh. Sorry — I'm not that well versed in the different used of "cool". Still == even if it was used as cool-in-an-awesome-neat-stupid-way, it's still portrayed as a positive, do-this-sort-of-thing (the consequences are worth it) action. They have literally three sentences total of negative reaction, and a only two full sentences that aren't followed by a tone flip, within the sentence.
06:48:31 AM Aug 24th 2013
Right. So whether it's today or the '90s, "making friends, playing baseball, getting into trouble, and facing their nightmares together" is a part of Coming of Age Stories. No dissonance there.

I also don't see how it wouldn't have been portrayed in a "cool-in-an-awesome-neat-stupid-way" today. Again, this is from the kids' point of view (which the film has), not a Parental Guardians point of view. No dissonance there.

The only thing I can see is that back in the '90s it was more acceptable to do unacceptable things in a Coming of Age Story, from an adult perspective. And that's the important part. It's a generic dissonance, not one that specifically and solely applies to this scene.

However, that doesn't mean this particular example was more acceptable in itself than it is today. They said it was unacceptable, and plain out ignoring that is rewriting what happened just so it fits the trope you want to shove it into. It's not an after-school special detailing the rights and wrongs of society. That it's not prominent has more to do with the overall tone of the storytelling than this event. I doubt it would've been different if it had been about trespassing and playing a mean prank. It would still be portrayed as a "positive, do-this-sort-of-thing" action.

I think the self-contrary monologue points this out rather explicitly: It was a vile thing to do, but it was impressive because it took guts to do it.
02:15:06 AM Aug 25th 2013
I'm not getting everything you're saying, but I'll try to respond to as much as I can, and could you perhaps rephrase the stuff I miss or misunderstand?

While there is a lot of difference between the values of the 90s and today, this scene comes from more than just being more accepting of larger pranks — it comes from viewing that sort of thing as a relatively harmless prank, as opposed to a terribly invasive near-assault. It's that value that I'm saying has changed.

The monologue, though, doesn't portray it as a vile thing — the sort of things it says and the tone it has are something I'd expect in response to, say, stealing the answer key to a test. Not something on the higher end of the sexual harassment scale.
03:07:00 AM Aug 25th 2013
Of course it's not portrayed as something on the higher end of the sexual harassment scale, because it isn't. That's a gross exaggeration and an insult to people who have been subjected to harassment of that level. And no, it's not equatable to stealing an answer key to a test in how it was portrayed.

The more this discussion goes on the more I just see you pulling interpretations of what happened to whichever side benefits you just so you can fit the example. You're exaggerating how acceptable the situation was back then; you're exaggerating how not acceptable it is today; and you're exaggerating how horrible it actually was. It was portrayed as more than "a relatively harmless prank", and it wasn't "a terrible invasive near-assault". The majority of the people in this discussion describe it as less vile than it was described in the film itself, so the dissonance if anything seems reversed to me. Values Dissonance isn't "I, personally, think it's completely horrible, but they didn't think that then." It's about society in general. And so far, this discussion points towards that society today doesn't see it as compltely horrible. Bad, but not that bad.

You're ignoring what they actually said about it, the actual consequences, and what they thought the consequences would be. What you're saying isn't really far off from, "Hey, she didn't say no very clearly, so I don't think she really meant it." If you have to ignore parts of the film for the example to make sense, you're shoehorning. The portrayal was essentially that it's cool to break the law from a kid's point of view. It wasn't it's cool to break the law from the Moral Guardians point of view, which is how you're trying to bend it. They're kids. They don't care about the Moral Guardians. And they were still very clear about the "breaking the law" bit.
05:41:40 AM Aug 25th 2013
There is no way that was a "terribly invasive near-assault". He kissed her. You're using language that makes it sound like what he did was a hundred times worse than what he actually did.

He kissed her. That's it. As has been pointed out, this was essentially a harmless prank.

It's like they lit a bag full of poo on someone's doorstep, and you wanted to call that arson. Or if they'd done a prank call, and you want to call it criminal harassment.

As I said before, just because you, personally, had a strong reaction to a scene does not make it any of the tropes you've listed.
02:52:21 PM Aug 25th 2013
If you all feel that way, then I suppose there's no point arguing any farther. Thanks for a good argument.

[[Caution: This next part is mostly me winding down and getting all my irritable out. If the consequences I was bringing up before were "imaginary free-association" or the like, there'll be more of that. Feel free to ignore it -- or, if you want, read it, and maybe laugh at the stupid person who thought they could win an argument against the status quo online. Probably don't respond if you're going to argue against it -- I'm sure the arguments have been brought up before. If you want to skip it, skip down to the "Thanks, though." at the bottom. Either way...]]

Obviously, I was mistaken.

I had assumed that there actually was enough Values Dissonance — that we as a society had gotten far enough past treating women as objects that we could look at a kid "stealing a kiss" and see the actual human being that they're stealing it from, who will have to live for the rest of her life not being able to give CPR without wondering "will this person try to take advantage of me?". I had assumed we had gotten past looking at hot lifeguards as kiss dispensers, giving them to those worthy enough to deserve them, or wily enough to take them.

I suppose I shouldn't have assumed that, because we still have kids who grow up having seen women used as kiss dispensers, and when they get older that only changes to sex dispensers. And so they feel it their right to get, by worth or wiliness, the sex they are owed.
And we still have people who, when they see something like that, just see the kids "stealing some sex" and talk about how bad the consequences will be for these poor kids.
Of course this is still seen as a harmless prank.

So I guess you're right. We have a long way to go before there will be Values Dissonance here. And we'll be fighting the whole way.

Thanks, though. It was a pretty good argument — there were actual valid points brought up on both sides, and people actually responded to arguments and didn't read from a list or cherry-pick the easiest ones (I did miss a few I should have responded to. Sorry). There aren't all that many places on the internet where this wouldn't have devolved into name-calling. So, thanks.
08:57:58 AM Aug 29th 2013
Okay, that is a really backhanded way to concede the argument. It reads a lot like you're saying, "Okay, it's not Values Dissonance because it's still that bad, and so are you by association."

Secondly, that is a huge logical leap to jump from what happened in the movie and all of those things you link to.

Please don't try and shame us for "treating women as objects" and "kiss dispensers" just because we didn't have the same extreme reaction to a harmless, boyish prank that you did. It is, frankly, insulting. All of these traumatic consequences you're thinking up are just that—thought up by you. Some kid tricking her into a kiss is not going to give her some kind of doubt complex for the rest of her life.
11:35:54 AM Aug 16th 2013
edited by
Whether to Mention the Rape on the YMMV page
(Edit: This discussion and "Was it Rape" have gotten completely mixed together. Just ignore the division.)

So, I added "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization, and Woodwardiocom added "Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Committing sexual assault is an important rite of passage.", and MrDeath removed both of them, say "This is a rape trope. He kissed her. I mean, I know, but isn't this blowing things a bit out of proportion?"

I, personally, feel that rape is a serious enough thing that it would always deserve mentioning, particularly when it's used in such a Gratuitous Rape way. I know that I personally felt really disturbed and disgusted when I saw the rape scene, and I think that the carefree way that they put it in is both important to any discussion of the movie, and even more important to the position of this movie as part of a larger culture context.

Additionally, I think it would be really helpful to people to have at least one thing saying "by the way, there's a rape scene in this movie".

(By the way, since all three people currently involved agree that yes, this was a rape, could people commenting on this not try to challenge that? If you want me to explain why this was a rape, please start add a new topic asking me to, as opposed to derailing this conversation. Thanks.)

Okay, currently the proposed inclusion is:

Values Dissonance: Tricking and grabbing someone to kiss them against their will is a respectable and brave rite of passage.

Are there any arguments against including that or rewrites to it?
11:49:53 AM Aug 16th 2013
Because there isn't a rape scene in the movie. He kissed her. A kiss, though unwanted, is not rape. Every definition of rape that I've ever heard is about sexual intercourse. Rape is serious, but what happens in this movie is not rape, it's a kiss.
12:53:02 PM Aug 16th 2013
edited by
Should we change the phrasing to "sexual assault" then?
I used "rape" because the movie does not even close to portray it in an emotionally responsible way, and I felt like saying "rape" was the best way to make people realize.
If you feel that "sexual assault" is a better term to use, then I'd be fine with that.
01:00:22 PM Aug 16th 2013
I think that's still seriously overstating it. The kid stole a kiss; describing it like that makes it sound like some kind of violent action he should be vilified for.
01:22:36 PM Aug 16th 2013
Started a new topic for discussing whether it was sexual assault. Let's leave this for discussing whether, assuming it was sexual assault, it should be included.
11:24:43 PM Aug 21st 2013
((After a good bit of discussion above...)) See the starting post for the proposed inclusion.

Could we have this discussion be about whether to include that?
back to YMMV/TheSandlot

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