On an episode of American Dad, the family's daughter Haley starts to date her father's CIA body-double, who looks, acts, and talks exactly like him. And unlike with the previous shows I mentioned, she is totally aware of it. She just ... doesn't think there's anything wrong with having her own fatherly doppelbanger. Another example comes from Californication, where the character Becca dates a guy who is essentially a younger version of her father in every possible way, from their intellect to their temperament. And everyone can totally see it, including Becca, though she seems to be the only one not creeped out by that fact. In a show that was seemingly totally about fifty-two-year-old David Duchovny plowing his way through the millennial population of Southern California, it was by far the most unsettling part.
Movies are really weird about women on the best of days, but women sexuality tends to be a whole other universe of weird assumptions and backass-ness. Hollywood ladies are usually either prudes with chastity belts made out of spikey ice, or insatiable perverts that only really care about getting some (penis), no matter where it comes from. It works for the writers' late-night fantasies because if a woman doesn't really care who she's having sex with, it might mean the writers themselves could have a chance with her. But it makes for some really weird writing that starts at virtual incest but then keeps going until it dives off the Cliff of Decency straight into the Chasm of Awkward Family Movie Night.
That's why in Cruel Intentions you have Sarah Michelle Gellar seducing her stepsibling, or why on True Blood, a vampire is freaked out when he discovers he's been dating his great-...-granddaughter while she is all just: "Oh come on, incest is all relative!" On a similar note, in Machete, one of the antagonists feels sick over his incestuous feelings for his daughter all while, as it turns out, his daughter is doing porn with her mom. She wasn't attracted to her or anything. She just thought that doing mom-daughter porn would get her a lot of viewers, and so she didn't mind getting intimate with her parent. That's another thing: women being way too OK with incest often also comes down to them using sex as a weapon in the unrelenting pursuit of their own goals, even if it means aiming their sex-guns at their own family.
For example, in the 2011 remake of Conan the Barbarian, Rose McGowan tries to seduce her sorcerer daddy in her quest for power, but him being a man and all, he rejects her. A similar thing happened in Grifters when a mother tried to seduce her son to try and get away with murder, but he was having none of it.
The sinful pinnacle (sinnacle) of this trope is definitely Shameless (the U.S. version) where one character gets raped and made pregnant by her dad. But because the girl claims the dad was drunk and maybe didn't know who he was doing it with, she is KINDA OK with the whole situation. Although she later got an abortion, she basically rationalized the pregnancy as just one of those annoying things that sometimes happen in life while the audience thanked God Almighty they weren't watching this episode with their family. Conversely, when a man was tricked into getting a handjob from his sister in National Lampoon's Class Reunion, he had the common decency to go insane and become a deranged serial killer. Because he's NORMAL!
Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a Cracked columnist, interviewer, and editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.
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