spoiler alert: the wolf of wall street

So I saw The Wolf of Wall Street last night. And it was a pretty good movie! The rest of this post is going to be full of spoilers, so if that bothers you, stop reading.

I’ll wait.

Okay.

Can we talk about the rape scene for a second?

By the end of the movie, things are not going well for Jordan Belfort. He’s pretty unambiguously the worst. He’s greedy and mean and reckless and selfish and addicted to drugs. He’s arrogant. He has basically no sense of human decency. It’s not hard to hate this guy.

And then he rapes his wife.

He’s standing there in the bedroom talking to his wife about the ongoing criminal investigation against him, and then he decides he’d like to have sex with her. And she says no, she’d rather not. And he forces himself on her. She pretty clearly tells him to stop. She tells him no. And he keeps going.

Eventually, she decides to take a little control of the situation and says, “Okay, you want to fuck me? Cum for me baby, fuck me like it’s the last time,” so he does, and she tells him she wants a divorce. (And then he does a bunch of drugs, punches his wife, and nearly kills his daughter. Because, in case it wasn’t clear, this guy is a huge asshole.)

I’m not surprised that he raped his wife, honestly. Belfort has literally no respect for women whatsoever, and he’s used to getting everything he wants all the time. He isn’t above rape. It’s totally the kind of thing he would do.

What surprises me is that no one is talking about it. I mean, when I google “wolf of wall street rape,” this is what comes up:

wolf of wall street rape google results

At first I thought perhaps the first article was actually going to talk about the rape scene, but the sentence actually goes on to say “Wolf of Wall Street could’ve shown Jordan Belfort raping his own mother and some people would still think he’s a hero because he had a yacht.” Is it ironic that even the writers of this article don’t seem to have noticed Belfort actually raping his own wife?

The rest of the search results are just incidentally related to sex somehow. Whatever, google.

So why isn’t anyone talking about the time Jordan Belfort raped his wife?

Is it because she’s his wife? Because marital rape has been illegal in the United States since the sixties.

Is it because eventually she kind of agrees to it? Because that’s not what consent is. Consent is not saying “Well, your penis is already inside me, so I guess this is just going to happen, so… fine.”

The fact that there was a rape in this movie doesn’t really bother me. It bothers me that there are people who watched this movie and didn’t see it as rape. It bothers me that so many people still don’t understand what rape is. It bothers me that anyone could have sympathy for this guy after watching all of this (and some people definitely did).

But I guess nothing can change unless we talk about it.

Thoughts?

 

  • Courtney Fairhurst Howard

    I’m happy you are furthering this discussion but I just wanted to point you to my official review that ran December 17 where I pointed out the marital rape (and also the film’s treatment of women). http://veryaware.com/2013/12/review-the-wolf-of-wall-street/

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  • Lady Berd
  • GoodOne

    Thank you for this observation about the rape scene. I bet tumblr will be overflowing gifts depicting the rape and the sickening comments about he can do me anytime, or this is so hot like it is now for the marital rape scene from the Messengers 2. All of it is acceptable because the actor portraying the rape is “hot”. I just cannot understand those folks. Don’t get me started on how articles refer to the rape scene in 12 years as a Slave as sex or to the rape survivor as the master’s mistress. We have a real problem dealing with rape in movies.

  • Kyle

    Thank you for elevating awareness about this scene, it was hard and tragic to watch.

  • Jordan

    read his actual book. Then pose questions

  • anon123

    I really appreciate you raising awareness of this point. BUT to say ‘So why isn’t anyone talking about the time Jordan Belfort raped his wife?’ is the part I don’t agree with

    I do not believe that this scene was meant to be the focal point of the movie. I believed it was one of the best movies I’ve seen for a long time, and it obviously shows how good, controversial and entertaining the rest of the film was that this scene isn’t the focal point.

    Just because the search results don’t show for what you want isn’t an issue. The film is meant to be taken as a whole. We aren’t meant to be like ‘that film was so good, but lets focus on that scene’ everything leos character does is meant to portray who this jordan belafort was in a nutshell so watch all the scenes, take them in, and discover along with the movie the type of guy he was. This article goes way off on a tangent and not focusing on the fact this is one of the best portrayals of a character in recent years, who remember wrote his own memoirs.

    If you had just highlighted the issue raised in the film i would of agreed with this post wholly, i just don’t agree with you laying into people that don’t want to focus on this particaular scene in their own blogs and write about how good it was, cos it was bloody good!

  • http://moreawesomerblog.com/ Lindsey

    This was a really great movie and I’m glad you raised this point. However, I don’t think people thought Jordan Belfort was a hero, though. It seemed like that scene was added to show him at his lowest point. I think it was meant to make everyone super uncomfortable (at least it definitely did for me). It wasn’t added to say marital rape is a good thing – in fact, it was added to do the exact opposite.

  • Wendi

    I kind of feel a little weird about the whole thing. See, I’m the type of person who HATES rape scenes in movies. I will avoid a whole movie, no matter what it is, if I know there is a rape scene in it because I just don’t want to worry about seeing it.
    When I watched this movie though, I didn’t get that “uh oh” feeling (so to speak) that I get when something like that is about to happen. Also, as it was happening, I wasn’t feeling as if it were rape because I know that if I had’ve gotten that feeling, I would’ve skipped through that part.
    It kind of makes me feel bad that I didn’t recognize it for what it actually was.