I want to be clear that I am in no way, shape, or form looking to justify Theo’s actions. The show is doing an incredible job in showing many of the ways that a person can be sexually assaulted, and the nuisances behind the many ways that ones own behavior can contribute, but that rape is still rape, and sexual assault is still assault regardless of how you arrived there.
Theo was 100% wrong to falsely accuse Ryan of rape, but he did sexually assault her by taking photographs and sharing them. Theo was a damaged little girl who was taught to lie about sex as a 7 year old girl by her mother, so she lashed out in the only way she knew how.
Watching Arabella realize what has happened to her during the course of this show has been one of the most painful, poignant, and realistic things I have ever watched. Yes- she drank and took drugs before the first rape. Yes, she initiated sex before the second rape/assault. Neither of these scenarios in any way discount what has happened. Yes, Kwame met up with someone for a planned sexual encounter. He was still raped.
Watching them come to the realization of what has happened as the series unfolds is the realist portray of this I have ever seen. I was date raped when I as 17. I broke up with my boyfriend soon after this occurred because I didn’t like the way he acted at the time, but it took years for me to realize that what had happened was rape. Any non-consensual sex, regardless of how much consensual sex you have had with that person is rape. It is often very difficult to understand and come to terms with that.
Any time a minor accuses someone of rape, there is more to the story. Children don’t come up with things like that out of the blue.
This show is an incredibly difficult watch, but one of the best things on television.