**Dude, spoilers already. Spoilers.**
On March 11, 2014, the Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode Yes Men aired on ABC. In it, a male character, Agent Grant Ward, was mind controlled by an Asgardian named Lorelei. While under her control, they had sex.
Quite a few writers have been quick to point out that though it was filmed as hawt sex, it was actually exactly rape. Ward was mystically roofied. He could not consent to sex because he was not in control of his consent.
For folks who may argue that he sorta wanted it (ick, to start with) there’s a scene earlier where a man named Jimmy makes it very clear that he loves his wife and has no desire to go with Lorelei. Lorelei then puts the whammy on him and, his free will removed, he does the opposite of what he has just declared he intends to do. The same holds true for Ward.
Despite the music and the angles and the body mashing, despite the fact that it was filmed as a sex scene, it was a rape. Afterward, when Ward’s sexual partner Melinda May finds out about the assault, she punches him.
So what do we have? A man raped and assaulted in the same episode.
Which brings me to the missing scene.
Ward’s character (SPOILERS, SERIOUSLY) turns out to be a bad guy. Ooh. Aah. He’s locked up in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s basement, where he’s been visited by Skye. And Coulson. And Fitz. Maybe the cleaning guy. Who knows.
What’s missing? A scene with May. They banter back and forth, it gets heated and she lays into him for all of the lies and misuse. He’s been suicidal. He’s been torn down. This is the moment where Ward calls her out. Not only did she attack him right after he’d been raped, essentially punishing him for being assaulted, but she showed no compassion toward someone who had their will subverted and their body violated. Ward may have betrayed his team, but then, his team clearly didn’t see him as a person to begin with. Even with Ward freed from the basement, this scene could still happen.
But do I think this it will? Nope. The current social narrative says men can’t be raped by beautiful women. It says that men who are raped won’t feel violated like women do. It says that men are so sexual that on some level, they always want it. Honestly, I hope Whedon and his team introduced this story line so they can turn it on its head, but I’m not optimistic. It was treated so lackadaisically when it first occurred, that I doubt it’s building to something more.
What do you think? Will Ward show any after effects of the assault? Will May ever be called out on her abuse of her lover? Will it ever be called rape on the show? Share your thoughts below, while, of course, being respectful.