I imagine you’veheard by now that last week’s fifth season premiere of 30 Rock contained a rape joke. The particular scene people are talking about is one in which Pete (Scott Adsit) is telling Liz about how relaxed he’s become since Jenna (Jane Krakowski) became a producer: "This morning I made love to my wife. And she was still asleep, so I didn’t have to be gentle." We are provided with a visual. Quoth Liz: "That is one of the most upsetting things I have ever imagined." Pete: "Oh yeah?" And we get another visual.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: whatever this little moment was, it was certainly about a "rape." I wish this went without saying, but of course if you click on some of the links in this post you will find people (usually male people) in comments sections saying hey, butt out, this is what happens in long-term marriages all the time! I didn’t realize it was such a turn-on to have sex with people who are literally unconscious but apparently some people are into that. In any event, sad to say, like many rapists who don’t think they are rapists because they are really very nice people and pay their taxes and have never lurked in dark alleyways in major urban areas, the salient question in any analysis of whether rape has occurred is whether or not your partner has consented to sex. Unconscious people can’t consent because they are unconscious. Tautological, I know, but there you have it. So, hence, rape.