What constitutes as rape, be it heterosexual or homosexual sex is the focus as Arabella and Kwame story as they try to speak their truth.
|Director(s)||Sam Miller, Michaela Coel|
|Trigger Warning(s)||Conversations About Rape & Assault|
|Introduced This Episode|
|Susy Henny||Franc Ashman|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
When You’re Gay And Report An Assault – Kwame
It has been three weeks since Kwame was assaulted, and with going with Arabella to the police station and hearing about her discovery of how rape and assault are far more than forcibly being penetrated, wheels start turning. Thus leading to Kwame wondering if he was a victim of more than just an ass****, but then he runs into an issue. From what it seems, the cop he speaks to is somewhere in-between ignorant or uncomfortable, and with that comes Kwame being treated as less than.
What we mean is, the sympathy and attention Arabella was given? That is damn near absent. In fact, there comes a point where Kwame just decides to leave since clearly he and the situation don’t seem like they will be taken seriously.
Was It Rape? – Zain, Arabella
Zain taking off the condom and not saying anything is a dick move, but you saw Arabella let it go. However, with one of the podcasts she listens to noting how what Zain did was rape, this triggers something in Arabella. It pushes her to, in what almost seems like dream scenes, call out that Zain raped her. However, she never says it as a clear and concise statement, but rather keeps comparing what he did to the man in the club.
Yeah, It Was Definitely Rape – Zain, Arabella, Biagio, Terry
But after going back and forth in her head, she realizes at a very public writing summit that Zain did rape her, and she airs him out in front of everyone. Mind you, the opportunity to do so comes after Terry gets stage fright and decides not to perform a piece Arabella set up for her publisher. So while there is a need to side-eye Terry, who backed out last minute but was all there for Zain’s shaming, and becoming a meme, at least Arabella got a win, right?
Well, while she may have taken down Zain, as she awaits the opportunity to finger the first man who raped her, then there is the issue of Biagio. Due to Arabella needing some of his DNA to check against her rapist, he is upset. After all, having cops involved in your life, paired with them getting some of your DNA, it isn’t something a drug dealer would want.
Which, to a point, is understandable. What isn’t, and is certainly not tolerated, is Biagio’s victim-blaming. Though, what perhaps makes it worse is Biagio is putting on an “I told you so” vibe to it. For, lest we forget, he did tell Arabella about her partying when he took her barely functioning self home. However, what Arabella didn’t need or want was a reminder of club etiquette, what she wanted was affection, sympathy, care, from the one person who has long withheld that in the way she needed. So, him blaming her was perhaps a good thing. It was the wakeup call she needed that he really doesn’t give a damn about her unless it is convenient.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Simon is brought up this episode, but we haven’t seen him or his girl in forever! Will we in the next?
Arabella Calling Out Zain
While #MeToo, the topic of rape culture, consent, and more have created conversations that helped many expand their definition of assault and rape, that doesn’t mean everyone is familiar. In fact, there still is, for some, that gray area. The inability to say what’s a bad day, someone being an ass****, and an encounter that can be assault or rape.
When it comes to Zain, it seems Arabella didn’t initially take what he did as anything more than Zain being a jerk. Which may seem strange since surely someone who gained prominence through Twitter would be aware of the many conversations involved with assault? But, who knows if that was a topic of discussion within the circle Arabella was in? Never mind, as the #MeToo movement largely became about white women, maybe she stopped following the topic?
It’s hard to say since the show more so is about pressing forward than looking back. However, Zain being called out firmly, and publicly, you can tell it felt good. It might even explain why Arabella saw herself in the position of her rapist. She felt empowered in anticipation of taking down Zain, and it leaves you to wonder, will that be enough?
The Complication of Being Gay And Reporting Your Rape
Unfortunately, the conversation around gay men being assaulted can be as complicated as when women are, but for different reasons. It’s like apples and oranges. Both are fruits, but with different color, texture, and taste, they only share the core thing while everything else is different.
So for Kwame, his issue is an uninformed officer, which helps you understand why the “Defund The Police” movement would want the money reappropriated to social workers, and the officer’s discomfort with Kwame being gay. At least, the way we interpreted it was that the officer was uncomfortable. For whether he was new or a bit homo-averse, it became clear that he wanted limited involvement and seemingly wanted to pass this case off. But, when that wasn’t an option, he tried to push through, and after being abandoned for so long, Kwame said, “Screw it.”
Leading you to wonder, with the prominence of Grindr, and so many other apps, and meetups going wrong, how underreported are situations like Kwame’s?
The Joys Of Your Boss Being Similar To You
The head of Arabella’s publisher, Susy, being Black is understated in the grand scheme of things. Learning your boss will be Black, or is Black, often feels like such a gift – if you’re a Black person. Especially if they aren’t just skin folk, but kinfolk, for it creates a realm of familiarity that allows you to be comfortable. That you don’t always have to be a representative of Black excellence and shy away when you can’t represent your race so well that it could prevent more who look like you from getting hired. Instead, you can simply be you, without prefixes, and truly enjoy the work.
Understanding Why Creatives May Not Reveal Their Assault
Taking note an article came out after Arabella outed Zain, and how others avoided putting him on blast, a part of me feels we may see why those in the creative field avoid doing coming forward. Not just in terms of the possibility of blackballing, but also that being the conversation when it comes to their person. For with the way journalism and the internet is set up, Arabella’s future may consistently be about calling Zain out and how she found the strength to do so. Even if, or when, she finishes her book, likely it is going to be brought up in any and all interviews. What was a small part of her life, is likely to be blown up into a part of her narrative. Whether she wants it to be or not and when in the public eye, you lose so much of yourself due to perception that, what little you can hold and control, you don’t want to give that up.
On The Fence
How Terry Acted Before, During, and After The Summit
There is something about Terry that gives us pause sometimes. Mainly, there is a part of us that almost feels like she wants to use Arabella’s success to catapult her own, yet something holds her back. The feeling began when she left Arabella, who is a sloppy drunk, on her own in Italy, as if she didn’t likely know Arabella parties way too hard. But then with her backing out at the summit, it increasingly seems like she wants to take advantage of the opportunities Arabella gives willingly, but some kind of guilt holds her back.
Now, granted, like with the Zain thing, she’ll take advantage of that and celebrate becoming a meme. However, abandoning Arabella last minute? I can guarantee that will become an issue. Though, if it doesn’t, it’ll make me wonder if Terry exists within a blind spot.
Trajectory – Neutral
“I May Destroy You” holds steady as it expands on the topic of assault for both Arabella and Kwame. But there is a need to question, when it comes to plots not dealing with assault, will they get stronger or are they just going to be used as relief from the core subject matter?