Was it murder--or something serious?
Philip Marlow in Murder, My Sweet

Friday, March 14, 2014

Veronica Mars was Raped

Mr. Thrilling is writing a review of the new Veronica Mars movie for Mystery Scene, and he’s been preparing by watching all three seasons of the original series. So I’ve joined him for a few episodes. We were both fans of the series when it first aired, but that was a while ago. Last night we were watching the episode in Season One where Veronica investigates her own rape.
I’d kind of forgotten about Veronica’s rape.
In fact, I’d been thinking of introducing my teenaged nieces to Veronica, but last night gave me pause. Do I want to put rape in the minds of my little nieces? Well, of course they’re not “little” nieces, they’re fifteen and sixteen now, but no. I don’t want that in their minds.
But the thing is, Veronica’s rape is handled realistically and sensitively. It’s not a big, dramatic assault at gunpoint. Veronica is drugged at a party and she wakes up the next morning to realize that she has had non consensual sexual intercourse.  She's been raped. It  happens before the series ever begins -- although we do get some of it in flashback -- but what seems most important to me is it doesn’t define Veronica. The series is not about Veronica the Rape Victim. Yes, there is the episode where she tries to figure out exactly who was behind her rape, and it has certainly affected and shaped her who she is during the course of the series.
But I think the message for girls -- for women -- is that despite this awful and unfair thing that has happened to her, something that could certainly destroy a girl or a woman, Veronica doesn’t let it define her. She survives. She moves past it. She’s brave. Well, more than brave. She's a tough cookie. But she’s also funny and smart and kind. And that is a pretty good role model and a message that never loses power or relevance.  
So tonight we see the movie. I have high hopes for it. I hope young Ms. Mars has aged well.