In the Legion season 2 finale, the show flipped our mental schemas about superheroes and superhero shows. It introduced us to a reality of the main character, David, we have never seen before.

Like Sydney in the previous episode, we were forced to question the reality of David’s actions and decide if we can continue to view him as we did. If this were real life, it would read differently. David Haller has been accused of sexual assault by his girlfriend. This distinction may seem small but our word matter, on the show there is no doubt.

David Haller is a rapist.

We were complicit, we saw it happen. True, we logically couldn’t do anything about it. But, to put us in the situation of identifying with people closest to those accused of assault is jarring.

For me, once Sydney said aloud that David raped her I found myself reeling and clawing for possible alternatives. This was my knee-jerk reaction.

However, I think is the reaction of many. Coming from this place we can see what must change. My own initial lack of willingness to believe Sydney mirrors that of the larger society.

Celebrities and Abuse

When a celebrity, someone we collectively hold up as better than ourselves, is accused of assault we don’t want to accept that possibility. Instead, we get wrapped up in the nuances of the allegation. Whether or not they had been in a relationship, what the was doing there with him, why she didn’t come forward sooner.

These don’t matter. They go beyond the evidence, and into a search for justification. We want to believe, didn’t do it, we want to believe she got confused and in short, we want to believe the wrong. This need for our fictional and social heroes, overwhelmingly male, to be in the right adds to a culture that doesn’t believe women.

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