Lost Imaginations

Read. Write. Rest.

Dear Susan (She-Hulk Episiode 4 Sexual Abuse)

Hey Susan,
            It’s been busy. Like, too busy, but not overwhelmingly busy. Actually, I take that back. Most definitely overwhelmingly busy, but that’s life, you know. If I don’t get it all done the world won’t end. I’ve seen when the world ends, multiple times, and the world still doesn’t end, you know. Even if the world ends the universe continues to expand. And if it all retracts into the Big Crunch, or it all comes to a screeching halt in the Big Freeze, then – well, who cares? Life will find a way.
            Anyway, have you been watching She-Hulk: Attorney at Law? I know you haven’t but it’s rude not to ask. I know you’re more of a Batman kind of girl. The reason I ask is because the fourth episode was really interesting. Well, Jennifer Walters, is trying to get a date. She creates an on-line dating profile and goes on one date with a guy who is completely narcistic. He looks at his phone she talks about her job as a lawyer, doesn’t acknowledge her when she states that she is She-Hulk, and makes her foot the bill. Finally, when she realizes she is not going to get any attention on her dating profile, she creates a profile as She-Hulk and suddenly is getting a lot of attention. The only problem is, all the guys she dates as She-Hulk are the same as the guy she went on a date with as Jennifer Walters. They are not as narcissistic, but they don’t care about having an honest conversation let alone an honest relationship. One wants to know how much she can bench press, another just wants to know about her powers. None of them want to get to know her, except one, Arthur.
            Arthur is a doctor who is attractive, attentive, kind, super buff, and honest. Everything she is looking for in a man. They hit it off so much they head back to Jen’s place to get more “comfortable.” While they are talking, Arthur accidentally spills some wine on his shirt, gets up to clean off the couch, and She-Hulk hides his shirt, making him continue the conversation in his tank-top. Unfortunately, she is called to go handle a demon problem with Wong (it’s better if you just watch the episode if you’re looking to understand the plot) and has to leave. When she returns, Arthur is reading a book about feminism on her couch. She drops down on top of him and without asking picks him up and carries him into the bedroom like a baby.
            The real kicker is when he wakes up the next morning, She-Hulk is gone. There is only Jen Walters, a person he has never met before that moment telling him that they had sex the previous night. She asks if he wants to stay and Arthur immediately leaves.
            What I found interesting about the episode is that Jenn treats Arthur the same way the narcissistic men treat her. She lies about who she is in order to get him into bed. She does not portray her true self, or let him know that she is also another person before having an intimate relationship with him. And when she reveals her true self after lying to get him into bed, he leaves and she is surprised and disappointed. I hesitate to say that this is an example of sexual abuse, but it’s damn near close. And it’s only Disney+! If this is the way sexual abuse is portrayed throughout society then we have a long way to go. And if we have this long of a way to go then what impact am I going to have on the conversation?
            Maybe this was intentional. Maybe the writers intentionally wanted to portray this scene in this way so that other would have this conversation. Maybe…right…. Maybe?