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Stephen Moyer: Vampires are real men, which is to say RAPISTS, and women love it!

Stephen Moyer: Vampires are real men, which is to say RAPISTS, and women love it! published on 5 Comments on Stephen Moyer: Vampires are real men, which is to say RAPISTS, and women love it!

In an interview with Nylon, Stephen Moyer, currently playing dead cheeseface vampire Bill in True Blood, expounds upon the appeal of vampire characters to a female audience:

The thing about vampirism is that it taps into a female point of view – you have an old-fashioned gentleman with manners who is a fucking killer… it’s an interesting duality, because in our present society it would be an odd thing for a woman to say, ‘I want my man to be physical with me.’ How, as a modern man, can you fucking work that? It’s one thing to be polite and gentle… But when do you know it’s OK to crawl out of the mud and rape her [as Bill does in one scene]?… It’s difficult stuff for a bloke, but a vampire gets away with it…. I think that’s the attraction of the show – it’s looking back at a romantic time when men were men, but they were still charming.

Let’s look at his claims, shall we? First, Moyer thinks that he knows "a female point of view." He, as a man, now speaks for what women want. He, a white heterosexual male, has authority on what women want! We need no input from actual women to determine what those strange feminine creatures desire. Let the authoritative man tell us. He’s an expert because he’s not a vampire, but he plays one on TV.

Moyer believes that women desire "an old-fashioned gentleman…who is a fucking killer." Yes yes, polite murderers! They’re really sexy! They hearken back, claims Moyer, to a "romantic time when men were men, but they were still charming." Yet what were men doing during this time? Crawling "out of the mud and [raping] their partners," as his character Bill does to Sookie in one scene apparently.

Have you got that? There was a time, in Moyer’s dim, ahistorical, misogynist view of things, when men raped women, and women liked it. It was a "romantic" time, so lovey-dovey. Women didn’t have to do anything so difficult as saying what they wanted. They could just count on men to screw them against their will…politely, though, and with manners.

Moyer may be talking about vampires as vectors of rape fantasies, which have nothing to do with real non-consensual sex and everything to do with the fantasizer forcing herself to let go and experience pleasure, something she may have a hard time doing outside of her head. I acknowledge that these fantasies of masterful, sweep-you-off-your feet sex partners exist. I acknowledge that these fantasies may be framed as non-consensual. I acknowledge that part of the allure of vampires as portrayed in True Blood and other modern media is their masterful, sweeping-off-feet tendencies. I do not dispute the existence of these things.

I do object, however, to Moyer’s characterization of feminine desires. Whether he’s referring to sweep-you-off-your-feet fantasies or not, he’s doing so inaccurately and misogynistically. By calling rape "romantic" and claiming that "men were men," he’s confusing an observation about vampire as sexual fantasy with some stupid essentialist drivel about masculine aggression, not to mention the misogynist bullshit idea about women secretly yearning to be raped. Therefore, instead of providing an insight into the popularity of the vampire figure [as other actors who have played vampires have demonstrated that they can do with intelligence and humor and WITHOUT misogyny], Moyer ends up providing insight into how much he loathes both men and women. I’ve just lost all respect for him. D:


This will be a very unpopular thing to say, but I think the success of things like Twilight says that there ARE women out there who are eager to be dominated by an overbearing, dangerous, man who has no respect for them in any way whatsoever. These inexplicable individuals want to cede all thought, decisions even their very identity, to the man in their life.

I can only pray to God such creatures are a vanishingly small minority and women like the ones I link to below are the future:

Why “Twilight” is hurting America

Twilight, Lolita, and “HE LOVES HER!”

Though I find Mr. Moyer’s comments upsetting, it’s hard to deny that there at least appears to be a sector of the female populace that is attracted to the concept of the “dangerous man”, and he appears to have noticed it. Witness the unusual sexualization of fictional characters like Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Dexter Morgan, etc. I know of a hell of a lot of women and girls who also seriously sexualize and fantasize about “villian” characters in anime and manga–in point of fact, it’s frequently the case that the antagonist characters surpass the protagonist ones in terms of popularity amongst female fans. A lot of these characters are some disturbed motherfuckers, as the scientific terminology goes.

It doesn’t sound to me as if he’s advocating this position, necessarily, but is observing it, and, healthy or not, the situation does appear to exist to some extent.

I thought I would add my opinion to this discussion, as I am one of the women who fantasise about dangerous men as a “sweep you off your feet” sex partner.

Basically I agree about your summary of Moyer’s position. In my fantasies, the male is often dangerous, but not necessarily to me. He’s forceful in making his desires known, but also realises that no means no. It’s much more of an insistent and passionate seduction rather than any rape scenario (and if the man is seriously disturbed, also includes the idea that my affections are helpful and healing for him). Of course, other women’s fantasies are bound to be different, but to me the equation of seduction by a potentially dangerous man as a rape fantasy fails to address the complexity of the emotions and desires of women like me. At worst it is insulting, suggesting that I am masochistic, perverted or self-loathing. To generalise this attitude to include all women is even worse.

It’s likely that Moyer may not have realised the implications of what he was saying, but that doesn’t mean that his statement should continue unchallenged or accepted.

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