Does Deckard rape Rachael?

Here is an argument that he does, and some other criticisms of Deckard’s character:



I have written about this question previously: The Sexual Politics of Blade Runner.

I have also had my concerns about this controversial sex/rape scene. I notice two things on reviewing it. One is that in the theatrical version Rachael does say “put your hands on me”, unprompted, which tends to suggest she is open to having sex. On the other hand, he really does throw her hard against the wall beforehand. Of course, a display of masculine strength can be part of a normal sex act.

There is a boisterous discussion in the comments at ” There’s Something About ‘Blade Runner’ “. “Mike Freed” writes this:

“Second, I think it’s a real stretch to call the encounter between Deckard and Rachel a rape. Cinematically speaking, I think it falls under the category of category of “man talks woman into sex by overpowering her,” and that was fairly common at one point (James Bond’s rough seduction of Pussy Galore in “Goldfinger” comes to mind). It’s also not unheard of for women to be turned on by rough sexuality – Rachel clearly is. Not exactly a “girl power” moment…but not a rape, either.”

Also, there is no suggestion that Rachael resents Deckard afterwards. Rather, to the extent that a replicant can, she seems to have fallen in love with him.

In conclusion, I don’t know. I would welcome comment.

27 responses to this post.

  1. Interesting comment in the link there about men who are “liberal in language but not in behaviour”…. a phenomena that feminists are not unfamiliar with; see for instance this jokey link:

    It raises interesting questions: to what extent might feminism be a pose for women, too? If unprincipled men pose as feminists, does this perhaps imply that principled men will tend not to be feminists? Can we in turn infer that male and female values are just different? (Just pursuing possibilities here, not necessarily agreeing with them.)

    This is perhaps why feminism has developed the concept of the ‘ally’, which sounds to me like the worst buddy relationship of all time.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 28, 2017 at 7:07 am

      Very interesting comments.

      Yes, I was the one I think who made the remark you cite about men being liberals in words but abusers in actions. (Bill Clinton springs to mind.)

      I am currently going through a three-day Facebook ban for an anti-feminist remark, and yet in my personal life I have generally been very mild and indeed I am still married to the same woman and we get along very well.

      Fundamentally, I have come to realise that many, many people misrepresent their true feelings (and there is a school of thought that female feminists are indeed only pretending – even Andrea Dworkin and Germaine Greer have written very unfeminist material). And male feminists are often just the kind of men who would have been abusers of women in earlier times – in fact, many of them have been found to be “serial abusers”. There was that notorious fellow not long back who posed as a male feminist who had once tried to strangle his girlfriend.


      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 28, 2017 at 7:08 am

        It has also been my impression that women rather prefer men who don’t pose as feminists: they at least know you are not pretending to views you don’t really possess.

      • Yeah, Hugo Schwyzer is the guy you’re thinking of. He was good at acting though, and I can see why he had some adherents – he would manically swing from manipulative liar to disarming honesty – ‘yes, I lied, it was wrong now, I see that’….

        You’ve got to police yourself as a feminist ally, too: there’s a phrase current now – ‘performative allyship’.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 28, 2017 at 7:48 am

        Ultimately it all gets too hard. I don’t pretend to be a feminist. I am a born “male chauvinist”. I once grandly announced at the age of about four that “the women in our family don’t smoke”. And I only realised why this caused such amusement quite recently.

        If people think you are incorrigible they tend to leave you alone. Some women hate my style. Some women love it.

  2. Posted by thebigfee on May 28, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    This isn’t the only love scene in movies that is retroactively declared a rape. I can think of Rhett drunkenly taking Scarlett up the stairs and Rocky seducing Adrian in his apartment.
    I could never understand, if it was rape, how HAPPY the women were the following morning.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 28, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Well some women argue that Rachael is suffering some kind of Stockholm syndrome after what Deckard does to her. And that she has no choice but to submit to his advances to ensure her own survival. But there is no evidence that she resents Deckard afterwards and there is a final scene available in which she is clearly delighted that they are lovers.

      No, I think it is just that feminist desire to sour everything.


  3. Posted by fuzziewuzziebear on May 28, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Without watching the movie again to comment, I am reminded of what Karen Straughan said to Naomi Wolf, “The only thing separating sex from rape is consent.” So, to answer your question, you would have to ask Rachel. Also, feminists have made consent something that can be withdrawn after the fact. Rachel can change her mind and, in California, there is no statute of limitations.
    I wonder if women have any idea what level of hazard men put themselves in by having sex?


  4. Posted by fuzziewuzziebear on May 28, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Julian, would you be willing to write a post about your experience on facebook? While I have an account, I never go there and all that I hear leads me to believe that they have gone overboard to accommodate feminists.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 28, 2017 at 9:41 pm

      Perhaps soon. What PC censors don’t understand is that people who cannot express themselves in any other way become “trolls” like the young men on 4Chan and so on, who did so much to damage Hillary Clinton.

      I suspect that part of Trump’s “shock victory” resulted from pent up frustration at how politically correct and censored public discourse has become. If people cannot speak their minds, they have nothing left but the ballot box.


      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 28, 2017 at 9:45 pm

        I just saw a sad complaint on Facebook from an academic in America who has been forced out of his job along with others who have stood up to a bullying student body. He remarked that he and his colleagues were liberals. Well, precisely. Liberal academics have created this situation by years of pandering to students.

      • Posted by fuzziewuzziebear on May 28, 2017 at 11:54 pm

        It is a shame that we have to censor ourselves. As for the out of work academics, he should stay tuned. What is going on cannot last.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 29, 2017 at 12:03 am

        Well, I don’t self-censor a lot. Normally I get away with it, even on FB. And I am retired, so threats to “have me fired” don’t worry me.

        I do think that my three day ban on Facebook was unfair. I suspect they do pander to feminists who complain. Both sides of politics and the culture war probably feel that FB is unfair to them, but I suspect there is a pervasive Left bias. Somebody complained recently that an accurate account of the Muslim invasion of Europe was removed from Facebook, for example.

    • Facebook is pretty clever in the way it goes about its self-censoring. (Self-censoring is probably the best term – ultimately all content that goes on there gets moderated according to the site rules and the company’s whims).

      I had a post pulled recently, and I’m still not sure exactly what it was that tipped the facebook censors off. It was a link to a lengthy blog essay about the etymology of the word ‘cunt’, a very good one. It had explicit pictures (there was an explicit picture in the link on Facebook). So either a word or two in the quotes linked caused the moderation software to identify it as spam – or someone quietly ‘reported’ it as spam. I guess it’s more likely the second, as Facebook didn’t reject the post immediately upon posting.


      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 29, 2017 at 1:05 am

        Oh, I am fairly sure the system relies on reporting. (Although the nipple reporting protocol is apparently partly based on a visual recognition program – there have been cases of cup cakes being “pinged”.)

        Incidentally the nipple thing is a reminder of how very American the whole style of censorship is on FB.

        I suspect in the cunt article case it was the title and of course the word itself.

        I don’t believe in complaining, and God knows I have probably deserved to be censored a few times, but honestly it was so petty the latest time. There was one of those nasty posts mocking men for the crass things they say when they approach women on the Internet and doing a “you go grrrl” on the insulting female replies (tho’ in a society where men are expected to do the approaching, men are placed in a difficult position – and anyone who thinks that women don’t respond sometimes to assertive men is living on another planet.)

        Anyway my comment was “Women being bitchy. How unusual.” And for that response to a feminist provocation, I got a three day ban. I suppose next time I would write something like, “Would this still be funny if the sexes were reversed?”

        But, as I said above, if people are censored, they find other ways of getting their points across.

      • The pic that came up in the link was pretty explicit. The reporter probably thought it was porn. Maybe they’ve also just as quietly clicked themselves off my friend’s list. I don’t mind. I have plenty of remaining friends, men and women, in my list, most of who have no qualms about these discussions and who are better able to discern a spammy porn link from the blog post I linked.

      • Getting a ban for your comment is just ridiculous.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 29, 2017 at 10:12 am

        Yes. The cunt painting by Courbet. The one that a woman recently sat in front of with her own cunt similarly displayed if I recall correctly. For some reason. Perhaps protest.

        My ban ends tomorrow morning morning. Generally I have found most people surprisingly tolerant of my FB contributions. I shall however tone down the rhetoric for a while.

      • Crikey. And they say we men have a problem keeping it in our pants.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 30, 2017 at 12:26 am

        This woman makes a habit of doing this kind of thing. I have written before about the tendency for women artists to objectify themselves like this.

        There are groups of women who read in public naked. Why? Who knows? But women ARE their bodies in a way that I don’t think men are or can understand. In a sense a woman’s body is her creative canvas.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 31, 2017 at 4:28 am

        Women taking their clothes off and screaming like idiots:

  5. Posted by fuzziewuzziebear on May 30, 2017 at 12:07 am

    I don’t knows if you can use it, but if it comes up again, try cautioning the feminists from discouraging men from approaching women. It is working all too well and they should ask an older woman to confirm this.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 30, 2017 at 12:12 am

      It’s actually broader than that. It is not just about pair-bonding. It’s about men continuing to care about women. I have seen women make this point: if women keep abusing men, after a while men will simply lose interest in caring for them in general.

      Some women may really want men to ignore them. But I doubt that most women really want men to simply avoid them altogether because we are nervous of what might happen.

      My behaviour has changed subtly. These days, I would be a lot less willing to provide help or protection to a woman I don’t know well. My general opinion of women has also plummeted. Frankly, I think their general behaviour in recent years has been pretty appalling and a lot of men probably respect them less (by respect, I mean the respect men naturally feel for a woman who “knows her place” and fills it well.)

      Even if actual “Rachael” sex dolls are a way off, more immersive pornography and other technological developments are here already. I can easily imagine men simply having an AI girl to greet them on a screen every morning.


      • Posted by fuzziewuzziebear on May 30, 2017 at 8:37 pm

        I think it is already here, at least in Japan.

        This is scary because Japanese women know how to be civil.

        You have a good point about respect and fear. I don’t think that men are mixing all that much with women socially in public as they used to.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on May 30, 2017 at 10:10 pm

        Yes. That was what I was thinking of. That device. Now imagine her lifesize on a screen and asking questions like “Do you want the news? Or would you like me to do another striptease?”

      • Posted by fuzziewuzziebear on May 31, 2017 at 1:41 am

        Somebody else has given this much more thought.

  6. Posted by Julian O'Dea on June 11, 2017 at 8:30 am

    “Why Are So Many Women Searching for Ultra-Violent Porn?”


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