Rape in Rocky Horror

Some people call me weird.  This could be for many reasons, but one of the reasons I’ve heard multiple times is that I get up on stage, dance in a corset, and do the infamous Time Warp in my Rocky Horror Picture Show Shadowcast.  While many people call me weird for this, I don’t care one bit.  It’s one of the highlights of my current life.  I have met, and continue to meet some truly amazing people through this, it got me far out of the comfort zone I used to hide in, and on top of all that, it’s just a lot of fun!

Other than the weirdness factor, though, there is another issue that has come up occasionally when I discuss this with people, and that’s the subject of rape in the film.  If you haven’t seen the movie, let me give a slight summary of the scenes I am referring to.  There are 2 scenes that go basically the same way.  The man enters the bedroom of the girl or guy, dressed as their fiancée.  Things start getting heated up, girl/guy pulls the wig off, realizes who it is, freaks out, and the man then coerces them each into having sex with him anyway.  I have heard people talk about how they didn’t like the movie or they didn’t like that I participate in it because of that.

Let me first say that I am in no way trying to justify it or say that this is ok, but I do not think that it ruins the movie or the experience of going to see the show.  The man in these scenes is a sick, twisted, demented man who experimented with people’s brains, killed a man because of petty jealousy, and then later fed that murdered man to the rest of the people.  This is obviously not someone of sane mind.

There are a million reasons to love this movie and the show: the music, the costumes, the chance to get up and dance, or shout things out, or throw things in a movie theater, and the overall frivolity and sexiness of it all.  This show has everything!

In case you have never been to a live shadowcast of this movie, let me tell you a little bit about it, so that I don’t just sound like a raving lunatic.  A shadowcast is where the movie plays on the big screen at the theater, and a group of performers act it out along with the movie, and basically shadow it.  One of the other things that happens at one of these shows is audience participation.  The audience can dance along with the Time Warp, which is probably the most well-known song from the movie and has a specific dance that goes with it, the audience can also shout things out whenever they want, whether it’s something that’s a traditional “callback” or just whatever they feel like shouting, there are opportunities to throw different props or use different noisemakers during the show.  The audience can dress up in costumes if they so choose, or they can just come as they are.  It’s a great chance to get out with your friends and let loose for the night.

Now, I’d like to take a minute to dip into the sappy reason to love this movie.  One of the songs, and one of the main themes of the movie is “Don’t dream it, be it.”  No matter how old you are or what stage of your life you’re in, this is a great motto to live by.  You don’t have to settle for whatever you might think you’re stuck in.  If there’s something you have a dream of doing, just do it.  If there’s somebody you want to be, just be it.  Many people get into this phenomenon as a teenager or young adult, and this is the perfect time for them to hear and remember something like this.  But it doesn’t have to just be for teenagers.  From children to seniors, everybody can hear this message and take something valuable away from it.

So, while there may be a few points in this movie that I don’t agree with and that I have struggled with, there are also plenty of good aspects of the movie and the live show, and I highly recommend not letting the bad ruin the entire experience for you.

I would like to see what other people have to say about this subject, and if you haven’t already seen the show, I definitely recommend doing so.


One thought on “Rape in Rocky Horror

  1. 4jacqui27 says:

    As a victim of sexual coercion, I have to say that I found this movie flat-out TRIGGERING and nobody warned me because it was “so fun and edgy and progressive lol” despite the fact that there are TWO FUCKING RAPE SCENES IN IT.
    Not to mention all of the ace/prude shaming that goes on in the movie and the fandom. It’s really all disgusting. I hate how it’s associated with the LGBT+ community, because cishets will see that and think all us queers are rapey and perverted. As somebody panromantic, I will NEVER associate with this movie again, and most definitely not encourage people associating it with the queer community.

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