I was watching The New Rockstars on YouTube, and they were reviewing Season 7, episode 3 of The Walking Dead, The Cell. They are one of the good reviewers/commentators to watch for a lot of their analysis. They have good ideas, good observations, and ask good questions to keep in mind as the season progresses.
In The Cell, we get a glimpse of Negan’s world in Sanctuary, his home base. We see the men and women who he trusts, the ones who work for points, the security, the loyalty, etc.
Make no mistake: Negan is G-d. He made that clear in the premiere episode by giving Rick the same sacrificial request as G-d gave Abraham in Genesis. I wasn’t the only one to notice this. Then there’s all the kneeling and head bowing. He not only runs the show, as he says, his is the only way. He’s the only game in town. And if you cross him, he exacts revenge. Death might be better in some cases.
In the comic books, the episode, and the New Rockstars video, there is much said about consent in having sex with the women.
There doesn’t seem to be any room for non-cis, non-straight people. If there are any, they are very firmly in the closet; at least, that’s how it appears at the moment.
One of the rewards offered to Dwight by Negan is his choice of any of the women. Except his wife, of course. Dwight can have sex with any of them, but only if he has consent, only if they’re willing.
Which sounds like a very enlightened attitude for the sociopath that Negan is.
The comments were made that the point of offering Dwight a night with his wife who went with Negan to save Dwight’s life was a way to hold it over Dwight’s head and show him who was in control. It also reminds Dwight that his wife went with Negan willingly. Kind of. So, yes, technically she consented, but really she didn’t have a choice. She was coerced. And the whole trying to get her pregnant thing with Dwight being encouraging… – not cool.
The entire commentary is on the emasculation of Dwight where there is no mention of the continued rape of Sheri or of the other women.
It doesn’t surprise me that Negan, the narcissist would focus on the man pain and have no regard for the autonomy of the women, while at the same time feeling that he’s a good leader by giving them a false choice. I’m just not sure if this is a plot point or a latent bias by the writers to ignore the women except where they relate to the men.
I also realize that a zombie apocolypse would bring us back to basics, but I’m just not sure that the equality that women have earned is something that would just disappear overnight.
We do see women in positions of authority, carrying guns and giving orders, killing, being leaders to the men, but I have a feeling those are not the same women offered into sexual encounters as rewards for the men in authority.
If you’re offering youself sexually to save your life, or to protect your spouse and/or children, there is no valid consent. Denial would be enough to lose privileges and risk your life. Coersion is not consent.