In Chris Lynch's 2005 young adult novel Inexcusable (2005 National Book Award Finalist – Young People's Literature, 2005 School Library Journal's Best Books, 2006 YALSA Best Books for Young Adults) is a disturbing tale of the effects of rape culture from the inside. In narrator Keir Sarafian, high school senior and football star, Lynch has created a sickeningly realistic embodiment of a teen rapist.
Pete Campbell is a rapist. On Sunday night's episode, he met a young au pair living in his building and helped her out of a difficult situation with her employers. He propositioned her; she refused. Later that evening, undeterred, he knocked on her door, forced her to let him in to avoid a scene, followed her into her bedroom, closed the door, and kissed her, leading her towards the bed. Apparently, for some people, this wasn't clearly a rape. I'm here to tell them: it was.
Pete Campbell is a rapist. I've heard some people say that Mad Men is a show about nuance, shades of grey, and therefore Pete Campbell Cannot Be A Rapist. (As if there was no such thing as a rapist in serious, well-developed drama.) I think these people are doing a very superficial read of Mad Men. I don't think the writer or director of this episode was the least bit confused. The au pair is slightly afraid of Pete throughout. She doesn't want him in the apartment. She recoils when he kisses her. That she submits, ultimately, is irrelevant to the question of whether Pete rapes her. She didn't want to sleep with him; she made it clear; he didn't care. He wanted to have sex, and she was there, and she owed him, in his mind. So he raped her. End of story.
Pete Campbell is a rapist. What Mad Men is being subtle about, when it shows us an episode in which a character rapes someone for no reason better than boredom, is the fact rape doesn't just happen in alleys. It doesn't just come from total strangers who leap from bushes. It doesn't involve kicking and screaming and clawing his eyeballs out, because that would only get you in even more trouble.
Oh, hey, look at that! It's the weekend! THE WEEKEND, you guys! And, since it is the weekend, I am going to assume that a fair number of you will be drinking. Me, I like drinking; I can mix a decent cocktail, I'm not averse to beer, and I am nowhere near sophisticated enough to tell good wine from just-OK wine, so THAT usually works out pretty well for everyone involved. In fact, I am just going to go on the record, here, and say that I am a fan of drinking. Here's what I'm NOT a fan of, however: this video from Ke$ha.