Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Doing History Badly

I'm watching this show on History Television called Ancients Behaving Badly. It examines the behaviour of historic figures and places them on a scale between psychopath and goal-driven killer. It's incredibly cheesily done. The episode is about Julius Caesar.

The show acknowledges that Caesar used sex to demonstrate his dominance over the husbands of the women he slept with. So they get the sex-power relationship. However, they completely miss the mark when discussing Caesar's conquest of the Gauls.

After one major siege, Caesar let his soldiers loose amid the local population. The show refers to this as, "R&R, Roman style." And shows a montage of neon signs and modern-day women walking down the streets in short skirts.

It's not "R&R". It's rape as a tactic of war and conquest. It's easy to grasp the concept - the show acknowledged that sex is used as a sign of dominance, this is the same thing on a larger scale. The visuals they chose where just gross. It wasn't a good time on a Saturday night. It was war.


  1. Yuk.

    The problem is that some people don't see a problem with that. It just reinforces the whole rape is just a good time or whatever bullshit you want to add to that.

    I went to see a lecture yesterday on the politics of rape...really interesting.

    The woman who gave the lecture goes by the moniker Jane Doe. She wrote a book "The Story of Jane Doe", which I haven't read, but will do so as soon as I can afford to buy a copy. I'm recommending it just based on hearing her talk.

  2. I have that book, but have yet to read it. We learned about her case in law school. First successful lawsuit against a police force - must have taken a lot courage on her part.

  3. Thanks, good point.

    There is the same kind of issue in Islam. Muhammad, the prophet, is said to have had more than 100 wives and the way some Muslims try to justify it is that they argue it was to make better relationship with the other tribes and expand Islam. It gets even more controversial when it comes to Aisha who was only 9 years old when Muhammad married her.

    Today in Islamic states, men are allowed to be married with up to four wives at the same time. It should not be mistaken with polygamy since women do not have the same rights...


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