Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Telenovela on PTSD

         In the telenovela, Fatmagülün Suçu Ne, the main character Fatmagul is gang raped. While most people would consider Fatmagul to be a victim of an atrocious crime, her loved ones treat her as if she were to blame. She subsequently becomes the town outcast and is forced to marry a man that she believes raped her. While the writers of this telenovela initially used Fatmagul to represent victim shaming and/or victim blaming, they now use her character to represent much more. Although the writers want to draw attention to the social injustice of rape, they also draw attention to the aftermath. As the show progresses, viewers can not only see the physical toll of rape, but the emotional one as well.
        Throughout the episodes, Fatmagul is drained of life. Her misery is evident for she continuously cries and can't bare to have anyone touch her. She is not only a victim of rape, but also post traumatic stress disorder. Fatmagul and Kerim eventually move to Istanbul to try to start a new life. While they are in a new environment, the rape still haunts both Kerim and Fatmagul. Although Kerim quickly falls in love with Fatmagul, he still feels shame for not helping her. Fatmagul also carries the same shame and hates Kerim for being involved in her assault.
      While I was watching these episodes, I couldn't help but feel sorry for Kerim. He loves a woman who hates him and feels guilty for her attack. I found myself secretly hating Fatmagul for not reciprocating his love; I couldn't understand why Fatmagul couldn't love Kerim. Then I realized that she is still a rape victim. Acts like loving, trusting, smiling, touching etc. would be extremely hard for Fatmagul. It would be rather unnatural and unrealistic for her to immediately fall in love with Kerim. I believe that the writers are suggesting that society forgets the toll sexual assault has on people. Unlike other crimes, I believe that sexual assault is the most traumatic because it is an extremely personal crime. It robs people of their ability to trust. While I want Fatmagul to get over her PTSD and fully love Kerim, I have to realize that all victims heal on their own time.

1 comment:

  1. Telenovellas are truly more than mere melodramas. They can focus on issues in society and people themselves. The audience is sucked into the plot lines, and the authors do a wonderful job of creating a mixture of emotions in their audience to bring up a big issue. That is part of the reason why the censoring of the shows drew up some feelings of resentment in me. These series are so much more than what they appear to be- they are works of art that can expand the views of their audiences and to censor that is a horrendous crime in my eyes.