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Blood Lore

Vampire....Rape & Abuse metaphors?

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Now here's thing that always bothered me for a long time or rather this was rather recent. Now let me tell you a story.

All of this started during the time I had enough of Twilight especially regarding the real reasons why I hated it was not only because it strayed far away from Vampire folklore and traditional literature and pop culture depictions of vampires, but it was actually because of  it's normalization of abusive relationships and rape and I started asking around about how Kindred can avoid the same red flags displayed by Edward in the books but much to my dismay, the conversations suddenly went downhill by them saying that "LOL nope, Vampires are walking rape (and abuse) metaphors which is what makes them monsters and if you don't like that then play a different game" which therefore made me conclude with a bitter sense of irony that VtM maybe no better than Twilight after all due to all this but matter of fact might be even worse....

Now with this in mind, then I started reading into what they were referring to such as the Beast, Frenzying, and also even the notion of the kiss causing pleasure (which I actually don't mind this) but sadly all these combined  concluded as "evidence" as their argument that Vampires under the VtM (VtR) context truly are presented as rape and abuse metaphors for several reasons....

1. Although the kiss causes pleasurable sensations which I always thought it's a great way of nullifying pain (unless you're Giovanni or Lamia) but however though it also has connotations of being metaphorical to sexual intercourse (as far I'm being told so far what I can remember) which leads up to...

2. When a Vampire feeds on someone unwillingly whether it's jumping on someone on a allyway, climbing into a window to feed on a sleeping person, etc since we're taking the context of the kiss being a metaphor for sexual intercourse then this is where the rape metaphors come in which doesn't help with the fact that....

3. The Beast, basically once you think about it it's basically a built in "Boys will be Boys" feature that rapists often victim blame their victims saying they were the ones "responsible" for "raping/abusing" them to get away from any form of responsibility much akin to "The Devil Made me Do it" and such. Which means when a Vampire gives in to the Beast, they frenzy and when they Frenzy they have "no control of themselves" which eerily identical to what rapists and abusers use to say "I can't help it it's my nature" as they victim blame instead. Which speaking of the Beast and Frenzy....

4. Basically the other biggest problem with the Beast and Frenzying that it also serves as a abuse metaphor too, since for one thing I remember when playing VtM Bloodlines and I'm trying to figure majority of the Vampire characters have short tempers and end up verbally abusing the PC if you say the "wrong things" to them (for example the Anarchs at the last round except for Jack of course) which I heard all of this is tied to the beast and I also heard that Frenzy can also manifest not always physical but also verbally and emotionally which I immediately knew what metaphors this actually meant. Basically this is where the abuse metaphors come in where the Beast and Frenzying makes the Vampire physically, emotionally and verbally abuse those around them making them toxic characters to begin with which would make anyone say "Why would anyone at the right mind would play these characters for?".

Oh there's also the Ghouling and Blood Bonding which none of those help either straight off the bat.

Basically it seems the biggest problem with Vampire that it takes it's basis on Victorian Morality especially when the character gains derangements when they drop on Humanity for example which serves as a prime example.

So due to all this, I often drawn up conclusions that If this is all taken literally then it defiantly does make Vampires make into unsympathetic irredeemable monsters that better off serve as non-playable antagonists and those who should be protagonists are the Vampire Hunters who under this context represent as a metaphor "Social Justice Warriors fighting against rape/abuse culture that Vampires represent" which this is the conclusion that often gets drawn up and I didn't wish for this to be true at all.

So does anyone have any insight to this and can someone attempt to point out I'm wrong? Since thing is I never wanted to abandon the concept of playing as a Vampire myself but sometimes though when games are constructed around a concept of them being solely these problematic metaphors just because the writers at WW are edgelords then this is where things become a problem at least for me at least since I personally feel that Vampires shouldn't have to be presented as rape/abuse metaphors and anyone should be comfortable playing one in the first place because they want to but then again when you have a game like VtM (and VtR) that is based on running away from it then why choose to play as a Vampire in the first place? The reason I would choose Vampire is because I want to play as a Vampire not because I want to run away from it because if that's the case then I would might as well play as a mortal or a another supernatural but sadly since that's what VtM is mainly about then why play it all in the first place?

/End Rant

 

Edited by Blood Lore

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Donor

The World of Darkness is about playing an unredeemable horrible monster, and trying to come to terms with that. You have outlined one of the ways Vampire is about that. 

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19 minutes ago, zenten said:

The World of Darkness is about playing an unredeemable horrible monster, and trying to come to terms with that. You have outlined one of the ways Vampire is about that. 

So it's all true then?

I guess it could be interchangeable to where you might as well play as a serial killer and rapist, stalker, abuser, slaver, a pedophile (oh wait...) a Incel MRA misogynist and a Nazi white supremacist and still call it vampire...

Even worse I guess the Masquerade is actually a metaphor for Rape and Abuse Culture that Vampires represent like as if Vampires are the patriarchy or worse Vampires are Fascists by default?

Thing is there is nothing compelling to playing as a irredeemable monster which instead they should be NPC antagonists for a good reason.

Edited by Blood Lore

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Well, the vampire myth is rather rapey anyway, not to mention the addiction metaphors and things that have gotten tacked onto it. It's not comfortable, its not good, but at the same time that's what makes it horror. Some people do like the play these kind of characters, not because they would ever do it but precisely because it scares them and this is how they deal.

 

I'm not saying any of these things are right, but that they are the things that go into the monsters that we fear.

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34 minutes ago, Random Avenger said:

Well, the vampire myth is rather rapey anyway

Then again I don't think this is true since Vampires can represent alot of metaphors that are mutually exclusive to rape.

and here's a interesting read I've found written by David Hill's wife:

https://medium.com/@filamena/vampires-its-about-freaky-sex-ya-ll-4f0a530cc93e

Also this too:

https://www.bitchmedia.org/post/reading-the-original-vampire-book-turns-out-dracula-is-all-about-sex

 

Edited by Blood Lore

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4 minutes ago, Blood Lore said:

Then again I don't think this is true and here's a interesting read I've found written by David Hill's wife:

https://medium.com/@filamena/vampires-its-about-freaky-sex-ya-ll-4f0a530cc93e

Also this too:

https://www.bitchmedia.org/post/reading-the-original-vampire-book-turns-out-dracula-is-all-about-sex

Dracula was a departure in its day - less rapey than the myths that went into it. Although there is still some of that, for example Jonathan's encounter with the brides at Castle Dracula. Dracula was more about the Victorian fear of sex, this is true, but this was departure from the earlier Medieval myths of vampires that also have much to do with TB and the plague (which is what they feared at that time).

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14 minutes ago, Random Avenger said:

Dracula was a departure in its day - less rapey than the myths that went into it. Although there is still some of that, for example Jonathan's encounter with the brides at Castle Dracula. Dracula was more about the Victorian fear of sex, this is true, but this was departure from the earlier Medieval myths of vampires that also have much to do with TB and the plague (which is what they feared at that time).

How are the original vampire myths rapey?

Last time I've checked there's nothing sexual about majority of the Vampire myths/folklore in the day since majority of them were twisted undead monsters that we would mistake them as modern day zombies as in they're either walking bloated corpses filled with blood to mass murdering monsters spreading plagues everywhere they go for example and hell even vegetables became vampries as well.

Of course the blood sucking corpses were especially exclusive to Eastern Europe while Western Europe had Revenants that only risen up from the grave to pull pranks which they're akin to Faeries a bit.

Edited by Blood Lore

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Donor
35 minutes ago, Blood Lore said:

How are the original vampire myths rapey?

If we're talking about the original vampire, as the ones we portrait in media today, which originated from eastern Europe, then it is not very hard to see the forced exchange of body fluids as something rapey.

Then to the topic, the Kindred, where it is even worse. The manipulation, the dominance and the utter fucking sadism that defines an abusive spouse is often just how the more decent ones act and the lower you get on the scale of Humanity, the worse it gets. And it's just not physical rape, the vampires of WoD have the ability to figuratively (or even literally) rape minds.

If I understand you correctly (and please correct me if I didn't), then trying to play Vampire without those parts is a hard task, although not impossible (correct me if I'm wrong, but the Salubri seemed half-decent, right?). Though to change every Vampire that way I'd have to suggest that you play another game that is more suited to it, as the Vampires as portrayed in the source material and the novels are not decent by humanity's standards by far.

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10 hours ago, _vamp said:

If we're talking about the original vampire, as the ones we portrait in media today, which originated from eastern Europe, then it is not very hard to see the forced exchange of body fluids as something rapey.

I guess going by this logic, might as well call cannibalism (or animals that feed on blood like ticks, mosquitoes, vampire bats etc) rape then.

Also Rape was less considered strictly considered those days since assault wouldn't be called rape then nor was it necessarily considered so. Metaphors are willing choices not a subconscious one.

For example the color Teal symbolizes sexual assault but does it mean that everything associated with it is.

Thing is I have a feeling that you're now justifying the rape metaphors of VtM by blanketing all Vampire Myths being rape metaphors as I highly suspect even though they're actually not since Vampire myths and folklore are rather vast and diverse and there isn't a single thing that defines what they are.

 

 

10 hours ago, _vamp said:

If I understand you correctly (and please correct me if I didn't), then trying to play Vampire without those parts is a hard task, although not impossible (correct me if I'm wrong, but the Salubri seemed half-decent, right?). Though to change every Vampire that way I'd have to suggest that you play another game that is more suited to it, as the Vampires as portrayed in the source material and the novels are not decent by humanity's standards by far.

Well honestly yes, I'm trying to find a Vampire game without those parts (since I think the biggest improvement is to entirely remove the beast, frenzying, humanity/path system altogether and present Vampires more like undead immortals who have to take subsistence from the living to continue existing in the world of the living).

Well if it's within VtM context I don't want to limit myself to one clan (the Salubri for example) but however as for finding a another game, that's been so far a difficult task so far since I'm not interested in the other WoD gamelines first of all and of course by you saying "as the Vampires as portrayed in the source material and the novels are not decent by humanity's standards by far."  once brings up my previous points that you're once again blanketing entire Vampire myths/folklore with one rigid worldview.

Since after all, Vampires are only rape/abuse metaphors if you want them to be which is unfortunately how White Wolf has written them to be because they're filled with terrible people to begin with since after all all art/literature/etc are microcosms of those who written them.

 

Edited by Blood Lore

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Curator

Masquerade, like Requiem, is a horror game, in which you play the horrors, and the world presents you with the things that the horrors fear.

Rape and abuse are one tiny aspect of the horrors which the game offers you. There is existential horror - as the Damned, one will never again be reunited with dead loved ones in Heaven (and just for laughs, the ST can show the characters a glimpse of Heaven during the Embrace before taking it away ...). There is body horror as the Kindred character comes to terms with the fact that her body is now a dead thing animated by this cursed substance called Vitae, which hungers for the blood of the living.

There is political horror, as the characters discover who the true string-pullers in society are, and learn that the vampires' role is to keep the human population from expanding too far and destroying the environment that the species needs to survive. And that it's a role that they are failing to perform, because they have become corrupted by the very lives they cull, and the earthly pleasures of human society.

And there is personal horror, as the vampire goes from a state of trying desperately to cling to the remaining fragments of his old breathing existence to the eventual realisation that he no longer needs to hold on to these, since they no longer need so many of the things people need such as food (if they can't properly smell or taste food, let alone eat or drink, what is the point of learning to cook?).

Vampire stories are about the parasites whose presence drains a society, but Masquerade does not have to be about that, or anywhere near that. The stories are about the characters' struggle to maintain their humanity in the face of mounting horror as they begin to realise just how long Eternity is, and how the greatest gift of a human life is, in the end, its brevity.

Sure, there's the possibility of sexual horror and the moral themes of rape, but they are not the sole or the central theme of this game. I've just explained the themes. The world is a horrific place enough already; in the face of almost daily atrocities being committed by humans against each other, the vampires could find themselves so horrified by the world's mass murderers, child molesters, serial rapists, terrorists, ambitious politicians, neonazis and cold-hearted corporate bastards that they could come to see themselves as a force for justice in the world and take out the swines who so clearly have set themselves up to be above and beyond the humans' law.

The setting could be, for instance, one where the premise is that the player character Kindred come to terms with who and what they are, because breathing humanity is even worse than the worst thing they could ever do. Your game could well be about how the player characters, tired of all the human sickness and atrocities, persuade even the oldest members of Kindred society to change long-standing Traditions or to adopt an overarching Tradition of Let Not The Herd Get Too Far Above Themselves.

And lastly, anybody who begins their conversation with "LOL nope the game is about celebrating rape culture and nothing else" is a heartless, soulless dick. Don't consider their ideologies as valid. Drain them, Embrace them, stake them and leave their husks out for the sun.

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15 hours ago, Blood Lore said:

I guess going by this logic, might as well call cannibalism (or animals that feed on blood like ticks, mosquitoes, vampire bats etc) rape then.

...

Thing is I have a feeling that you're now justifying the rape metaphors of VtM by blanketing all Vampire Myths being rape metaphors as I highly suspect even though they're actually not since Vampire myths and folklore are rather vast and diverse and there isn't a single thing that defines what they are.

Ah, but cannibals, ticks and mosquitoes were never designed to be sexual metaphors. Vampires, as those that inspired White Wolf, were. Thank you for trying to keep the discussion on a mature level.

VtM is not based off of all vampire myths either, unless I have missed something. Saying that there have been other vampire myths that are not based off of sexual understatements, while perhaps true, is not applicable to VtM.

16 hours ago, Blood Lore said:

(since I think the biggest improvement is to entirely remove the beast, frenzying, humanity/path system altogether and present Vampires more like undead immortals who have to take subsistence from the living to continue existing in the world of the living)

I usually say that there's no wrong way to play the game. If you find like-minded individuals who are on board with your vision of it, do play it. I doubt that it can be called VtM, though, as you're removing quite a few of the central aspects of the game that make it unique.

I'm sorry, blore, I have some problems with figuring out what you're getting at here. Vampire, while being about these metaphors of abuse (whether sexual, political or whatever) are also about how it changes the people who commit the act, spiraling down into themselves until nothing remains but a husk that can only commit these actions. If you want to remove these parts, one could assume that you want to play the violent individual that could do this without reprimands until eternity ends.

Honestly, while repeating that the writers of White Wolf may be bad people (whether they are or not) I get the impression that you have some conclusions about the game that could be fixed by just opening the books. There you will find examples of what Libra wrote about, Kindred who try to be better people while fighting themselves at every turn. Yes, they will still commit horrible acts during frenzy (and sometimes without) but that is what the theme of personal horror is about.

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7 hours ago, _vamp said:

Ah, but cannibals, ticks and mosquitoes were never designed to be sexual metaphors. Vampires, as those that inspired White Wolf, were. Thank you for trying to keep the discussion on a mature level.

However Vampires belong in the same category as cannibals/ticks/mosquitoes as they sustain themselves on blood or human flesh that from a basis. 

Like I said before, Vampires can be rape and abuse metaphors if you want them to be since metaphors are a conscientious choice not a subconscious one.

Since all of this is really directing towards the writers of White Wolf and the choices they make.

7 hours ago, _vamp said:

If you want to remove these parts, one could assume that you want to play the violent individual that could do this without reprimands until eternity ends.

It's more like I don't want the game being a morality play or rather it's also about players having full agency of their actions and not being "punished" for making them either.

Well rather, I just don't want anything to do with Victorian Morality at all.

12 hours ago, Libra said:

There is existential horror - as the Damned, one will never again be reunited with dead loved ones in Heaven (and just for laughs, the ST can show the characters a glimpse of Heaven during the Embrace before taking it away ...). There is body horror as the Kindred character comes to terms with the fact that her body is now a dead thing animated by this cursed substance called Vitae, which hungers for the blood of the living.

Now we're getting into religious (or rather Christian) territory here that I don't wish to engage here especially since first of all there's a vast array of afterlives (or reincarnations) from every world religion/culture/mythology that don't share the same thing.

Besides since VtM takes place in the OWoD, I don't think that type of Heaven you're describing actually exists since it's either you become a Wraith or eaten by Oblivion which actually makes becoming a Vampire more preferable just to avoid that.

Now I have really extreme disagreements about the Abrahamic/Christian version the afterlife which I could tell what they're about but I don't want this thread devolve into a religious flame war which is one of the previous mistakes I made that resulted me getting banned here I don't want to wish to repeat.

12 hours ago, Libra said:

And lastly, anybody who begins their conversation with "LOL nope the game is about celebrating rape culture and nothing else" is a heartless, soulless dick. Don't consider their ideologies as valid. Drain them, Embrace them, stake them and leave their husks out for the sun.

To play Devil's Advocate here, have you ever considered the fact that "not considering their ideologies valid" is actually partaking in rape culture by denying it even exists *wink wink*?

Edited by Blood Lore

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Curator

 I have now unlocked the topic. Carry on.

Play nice, everybody, especially when a Moderator turns up.

Edited by Libra

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