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S01.E09: A Secret of My Own

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29 minutes ago, BingeyKohan said:

ITA! Thought that all along. Now a new pastor at a mega church I could see. It made me wonder if they intended it to be a church community at first then changed it to a school connection for some reason.

Re the case wouldn’t Jeanette have to prove that Kate was not only demonstrably incorrect but made up the story with malicious intent? That’s such a high bar - her only standing (as far as establishing Kate motive) would be Kate’s resentment that Jeanette had taken over her friends and boyfriend. But then it would be in Jeanette’s best legal interests to keep that boyfriend through the trial to drive home her point. 

The requirement of malicious intent only applies to public figures, which would certainly not describe Jeanette.

Edited by moonshine71
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51 minutes ago, moonshine71 said:

To be honest, from the start, I've felt one of the strangest aspects of this show is how interested an affluent, and kind of snobby, group of people seemed in  a new assistant principle and the efforts they made to involve him with their social group. Everyone was just fawning all over him at the garden party, and then inviting on an overnight hunting trip w/ your gun club? The whole thing is weird to me. 

Taking my response to this to the General discussion.

Edited by RachelKM
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18 hours ago, HolmesUltimateQu said:

I actually thought something similar! When Kate was wearing that pretty Christmas dress and makeup, I thought, "did he buy that for her? And if so, how did he explain to the clerk in the small town that he's buying clothes for a female?"

But the town can't be that small because the boyfriend didn't know nerdy Jeanette (or acted like he didn't know) but in a small town, you know everyone, even if you aren't in the same circles. So idk. 

Kate brought the red dress and shoes with her. You can see the red dress hanging in her closet when she's packing to run away. It also showed her pulling it down and stuffing it into her bag. The shoes are shown on her mom's feet at the garden party. At the time I wondered why they zoomed in on them.

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If this show was on HBO and not Freeform, Olivia Holt and Blake Lee would have Emmy buzz right now.

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30 minutes ago, mamadrama said:

Kate brought the red dress and shoes with her. You can see the red dress hanging in her closet when she's packing to run away. It also showed her pulling it down and stuffing it into her bag. The shoes are shown on her mom's feet at the garden party. At the time I wondered why they zoomed in on them.

Well then someone needs to teach that girl about maximizing her luggage space. Why on earth would you pack a party dress and dress shoes to run away from home? (I say this as if there's supposed to be a logical reason instead of the wardrobe and props people just reusing whatever was already on the set.)

It still begs to wonder if he bought her other clothes, though. Never leaving the house or not, it's unlikely she packed enough clothes to cycle through for a period of four months, although I guess it's not implausible to wear the same four or five outfits on repeat for months on end. And then there's the matter of toiletries. It's a pretty small town and for some reason everyone knows each other. It would have stood out if this supposedly single man was repeatedly buying feminine hygiene products.

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This was a tough watch so I was relieved to see Kate's therapist explaining how everything Martin did was all part of his grooming her. He never intended for her to leave his house after she entered that first night, he wanted to keep her locked up, like she was a prize at his carnival booth. He knocked down every obstacle to win her and now she would be kept on his bed like one those cheap stuffed animals he was giving away.

I almost think we will find out that Kate had a baby while she was there, probably premature, and the baby died. She named the baby Annabelle but has blocked out the horror of the pregnancy and birth. Martin could easily sneak out in the middle of the night and bury the baby where no one would find them and there have been several stories about girls being kidnapped and having their captors baby. Maybe it's a little too soapy for this show but I can't deny it is a possibility.

Keep in mind, I watch it on Hulu and I purposely avoid spoilers so if Annabelle was mentioned in the promos, I have not seen it.

 

Edited by cmahorror

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2 hours ago, starri said:

If this show was on HBO and not Freeform, Olivia Holt and Blake Lee would have Emmy buzz right now.

I really hope Olivia Holt receives some sort of recognition for her acting in this show. Since episode 2, she has been playing Kate in the most subtle yet affecting way. I have not seen any of her other shows but she's impressive in this one.

And Blake Lee does a great job at showing a variety of emotions and thoughts on his face. After Martin locked Kate in the basement and he sat down to play his vinyl, great acting! 

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11 hours ago, peachmangosteen said:

This is why I was hoping the show wasn't going to go this route. There has been a large contingent of viewers that have been absolving Martin of doing anything wrong since the beginning and this just gave them more ammo in their minds, which is really sad.

Amen.  As I was watching the episode, I absolutely couldn't believe what I was seeing.  It was bad enough when they showed Kate lying in bed after Martin gave her the bear at the fair, and she giddily gazed at it as she was going to sleep.  But the recent episode was over the top in depicting actions of Kate that viewers could easily construe as seeming to show her being be 100% complicit.  And it just kept going and going and going with the depictions.  Given the age of the target audience, there is no way that the intended message of the danger of grooming got through, even with the therapist, because of the blatant teenage-girl-in-love depictions, which other teenagers would see as normal, so what did Martin really do wrong?

On 6/8/2021 at 11:31 PM, Jx223 said:

In tonight's show Jeanette looked she was getting closer to her Queen Bee era (she wasn't wearing her glasses) but she still had an awkwardness about her and wasn't shown with Jamie or any of the other popular kids. 

On 6/9/2021 at 12:14 AM, racked said:

So when did Jeanette get “cool” and take over Kates old life?

On 6/9/2021 at 12:56 AM, gesundheit said:

Definitely surprising that it was basically after the new year that Jeanette's transformation really picked up but by June she was fully entrenched with that crowd and Jamie was already in love with her and tight with her family and talking about marriage. I know things happen fast in high school but that's a lot. 

'Yes to all of this, and IIRC, when they showed Jamie and Jeanette together at the roller rink (?), and one of his male friends asked him something about whether he missed Kate, they specifically said how short of a time it had been, and I am almost certain that it had been less than 4 months...which would mean that her transformation should have already happened by Christmas.

On 6/9/2021 at 4:38 AM, RachelKM said:

In other news, this was tonight's delightful offering from Freeform re: The 700 Club:

FF6.8_21.thumb.jpg.3a11660578a381a72ee34e22c047a01b.jpg

Loved this, and the report of the previous one!

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17 minutes ago, LuvMyShows said:

'Yes to all of this, and IIRC, when they showed Jamie and Jeanette together at the roller rink (?), and one of his male friends asked him something about whether he missed Kate, they specifically said how short of a time it had been, and I am almost certain that it had been less than 4 months...which would mean that her transformation should have already happened by Christmas.

The Jamie/Jeanette roller rink scene was late June 1994, Kate disappeared in August 1993, so it had been a good chunk of time since the actual disappearance. It's certainly feasible that Jeanette was already hanging out with those girls before the full transformation and it may have been them. As in, "hey we found a project, let's make over this girl that's hanging around." The losing of the braces, glasses, and curls aren't exactly a big deal, that could literally happen over a weekend, but I think the whole new wardrobe and attitude would've taken some time and thought -- the wardrobe might've been Tennille and... I forget the other name.

 

Still faster than I expected, but not impossible!

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3 hours ago, LuvMyShows said:

Amen.  As I was watching the episode, I absolutely couldn't believe what I was seeing.  It was bad enough when they showed Kate lying in bed after Martin gave her the bear at the fair, and she giddily gazed at it as she was going to sleep.  But the recent episode was over the top in depicting actions of Kate that viewers could easily construe as seeming to show her being be 100% complicit.  And it just kept going and going and going with the depictions.  Given the age of the target audience, there is no way that the intended message of the danger of grooming got through, even with the therapist, because of the blatant teenage-girl-in-love depictions, which other teenagers would see as normal, so what did Martin really do wrong?

'Yes to all of this, and IIRC, when they showed Jamie and Jeanette together at the roller rink (?), and one of his male friends asked him something about whether he missed Kate, they specifically said how short of a time it had been, and I am almost certain that it had been less than 4 months...which would mean that her transformation should have already happened by Christmas.

Loved this, and the report of the previous one!

Hopefully with the therapist scenes, it will be evident to young people that this “relationship “ was wholly inappropriate and illegal. This was rape and kidnapping. It doesn’t matter what Kate did or didn’t do. I have worked with teens and I think many will understand that message.

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5 hours ago, Cinnabon said:

Hopefully with the therapist scenes, it will be evident to young people that this “relationship “ was wholly inappropriate and illegal. This was rape and kidnapping. It doesn’t matter what Kate did or didn’t do. I have worked with teens and I think many will understand that message.

Right. I think this was more realistic as a warning for kids. These predators will make you feel special and maybe even make you think you’ve fallen in love, but they’re manipulating and taking advantage of you. I used this episode as a “teachable moment” with my 13-year-old. I watched it myself first and then sat down to watch it with her, and gave a little talk upfront and commentary throughout. I worry because she’s “making friends” online, and she’s FaceTiming these strangers so she can see that they are actual other kids—but I worry about adults posing as kids or if someone older tries to manipulate her. I have “online friends,” too, so I don’t want to forbid her from connecting with other kids that she can relate to—but you worry about the Martins and the Berenice IVs of the world gaining their trust. I do wonder about the ages of the people who turn the blame on Kate. I think young people might think, well I’m not that stupid and I would know whether he really loves me or is just a predator! And the adults are like, uh, if you’re a teen and they are not, they’re all predators! But, as you said, I do think the therapist scenes were key. I kept stopping and commenting on what the therapist said to ensure my kid got it.

Edited by JenE4
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13 hours ago, Chicken Wing said:

Well then someone needs to teach that girl about maximizing her luggage space. Why on earth would you pack a party dress and dress shoes to run away from home? (I say this as if there's supposed to be a logical reason instead of the wardrobe and props people just reusing whatever was already on the set.)

I think it works as more than just reuse of wardrobe. For one thing, it shows that Kate is used to moving in wealthy circles and that to her fancy party dresses are just a normal part of your wardrobe that you totally need. But it also shows that she wasn’t expecting to be isolated and kept prisoner. She was thinking there’d be a social occasion to wear that.

ETA:  The show’s usual time switching worked especially well for me in this episode as you had the therapy scenes interspersed with the horrible Martin and Kate scenes to provide a break in the tension AND be like “Remember, what Martin is doing is all on him and NOT OKAY!!!”

Edited by Blue Plastic · Reason: Add thought
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9 hours ago, Cinnabon said:

Hopefully with the therapist scenes, it will be evident to young people that this “relationship “ was wholly inappropriate and illegal. 

4 hours ago, JenE4 said:

Right. I think this was more realistic as a warning for kids. 

I wish that was the case, but if I'm not mistaken, at least three people on this forum have mentioned what they've seen in other SM, and it has been anything but encouraging about whether the correct message is getting through. 

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17 hours ago, Chicken Wing said:

Well then someone needs to teach that girl about maximizing her luggage space. Why on earth would you pack a party dress and dress shoes to run away from home? (I say this as if there's supposed to be a logical reason instead of the wardrobe and props people just reusing whatever was already on the set.)

It still begs to wonder if he bought her other clothes, though. Never leaving the house or not, it's unlikely she packed enough clothes to cycle through for a period of four months, although I guess it's not implausible to wear the same four or five outfits on repeat for months on end. And then there's the matter of toiletries. It's a pretty small town and for some reason everyone knows each other. It would have stood out if this supposedly single man was repeatedly buying feminine hygiene products.

She was upset and literally just grabbing random things and shoving them into her bag. The red dress was hanging right above her head. In different parts of the episode you can also see her wearing his clothes, most notably the WS sweatshirt. 

The toiletries thing doesn't seem like a big deal to me. The items were in bulk form. Those stores exist so that you can purchase large quantities of crap. He could've gone to a Sam's Club or an equivalent in a bigger city: Dallas, Houston, Ft. Worth, etc. If anyone said anything to him at all he could've said he was getting them for his church, a homeless shelter he volunteered for, a domestic violence center...I worked in a bulk store in 1996. We had women and men coming in and buying strange items every day. There was one man who purchased 2 pallets of tampons. Each pallet contained 150 boxes. He volunteered that his church was putting together feminine care packages for several non profit, low-income teen centers across the state. Many of the girls couldn't afford basic hygiene products.

As for clothing, if he's going to 5*7*9 in his local mall once a week for size 2 dresses then, yes, some might raise an eyebrow. In another town, though? He's 36. They could be for his daughter, wife, sister, girlfriend, girlfriends daughter...Internet shopping wasn't really a thing then, but catalogue shopping was. As an older teen I used to order from Delia's once a month.

A lot of these things look bad to us because we know the context. In real life, though, people buy and do weird shit every day and it's totally innocuous. The weird seeming people aren't always the ones hiding shit. For instance, when Greg's car broke down which man looked like the weirdo? The sick man who barely knew the guy on knocking on his door and politely explained why he couldn't come in or the pushy dude who invaded his personal space and privacy?

That's what makes a story like this scary-bad things go on often without any obvious signs. 

 

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Oh man, all the feels on this episode. Poor Kate, I'm glad she has a good therapist, but in the mid-90's we were just learning the word "date rape" (and most people still didn't really understand that) and there wasn't much out there about the manipulation tactics and nuances of grooming by predators (I honestly don't think I even heard the word "grooming" in context with assault until around 2005 when Little Mo got raped on Eastenders), she definitely wouldn't have known the signs in mid-90's small town Texas coming from a very sheltered life. Jeanette is creepy, if she wanted to break bad she should've just stayed home and smoked the weed she stole from Mallory, hell she should have shared it with her dad so maybe he'd be less of an intrusive creeper. Also, how does a small town assistant principal make the kind of money for a house that size with all the furnishings??

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On 6/8/2021 at 11:35 PM, LittleIggy said:

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I believe Martin thought Kate would leave and go to school then back home after that first evening when she showed up. I don’t think he initially planned the whole thing. Not excusing his subsequent behavior, just saying...

I agree with you.  I don't think having her show up on his doorstep was necessarily part of his plan. It might have been a fantasy scenario to have her live with him but I'm guessing he knew it would be easier to manage a "relationship" where they'd meet in secret but she'd live her regular life.  Or hell, maybe he would have waited until she was closer to 18.

I understand the argument that he was in trouble the minute he let her in the house and so he was never going to let her leave.  In theory, yes, he was in trouble. His career should have also been in trouble from driving students home. But one thing to point out is that many times groomers don't only groom their victim; they groom their victim's family so they're not seen as strangers.  They're liked and embraced by the family. 

(If this has already been pointed out, I apologize.  I read all the pages but it was late so I might have missed it.)

At one point in a previous episode, Martin points out that it's not appropriate to be too close to the parents of students yet he does go to parties where Kate's parents will be.  He goes on the hunting expedition.  He lets himself be seen as something a little more than a principal in the school.  He quietly takes care of a drunk Kate and spares the family the embarrassment. He knows Kate's mother cares about appearances.  When Kate goes missing, Joy comes to him, the Assistant Principal instead of the Principal.  (And she's someone who'd go to the top but she went to him because they had a prior relationship.)

When it was just Kate's parents he had to deal with, he could have probably talked his way out of it.  I see a scenario where he could have convinced Joy that he was doing her a favor. He can admit letting Kate stay over was unusual but these were unusual circumstances after all and he thought she'd go home in the morning. And he could say he wanted to avoid bringing the cops into it given the slap.

Once the police were called, however, who weren't groomed by him, he didn't have many options left.  If she didn't stay.  He might have thrown her in the basement then.

On 6/9/2021 at 6:18 AM, Chicken Wing said:

But is it a defense for Jeanette? Kate actually being inside the main house and not in the basement as she claimed she was held all the time doesn't actually answer the question of whether or not Jeanette saw her in the house and failed to report it, and that's what's at stake in the Kate vs. Jeanette thing. Really all this revelation does is impugn Kate's testimony about what she says happened to her. Is Jeanette's defense really going to be about discrediting Kate's claim about being a victim, that she was not "trapped" and she could have walked out of that house anytime she wanted?

This is tricky. I don't think Jeanette saw Kate.  But let's pretend like she did.  It's not a defense against lying about whether she saw Kate.  It's not a defense against keeping silent.  It is, however, a defense that she thought Kate was in trouble.  There are adults who don't understand the psychology of grooming.  I don't expect a 15/16 year old in the 90s in TX to understand that Kate choosing to hide upstairs, not responding when Jeanette walked into the house and then looking out the window was anything other than a deliberate choice.

Heck, even after Kate was locked up, she is having a hard time seeing this as deliberate by Martin. Look at the way she wanted to dismiss the possibility that there's another victim out there.  Even after all that, she needs to believe she was special. 

Being locked in a basement prompts a different optics.  More obvious optics.  Jeanette not reporting that when Kate obviously had no freedom is one thing.  Jeanette not reporting it when Kate seemingly did have freedom (physically if not emotionally/psychologically) is another. 

Not that I think she saw her.

On 6/9/2021 at 6:44 PM, KaveDweller said:

And what did Martin think would happen when Kate turned 18 and became "safe." She'd go home, not say where she'd been and they'd just start dating with no suspicion? He was not rational at all.

He'd lose his job but a criminal case would become harder at 18 if Kate wasn't willing to testify against him.

On 6/11/2021 at 11:57 AM, LuvMyShows said:

I wish that was the case, but if I'm not mistaken, at least three people on this forum have mentioned what they've seen in other SM, and it has been anything but encouraging about whether the correct message is getting through. 

There are people whose immediate response when someone is raped to wonder what "they" did.  Some of it is misogyny.  Some of it is hoping the person did something they would never do therefore they're "safe" from predators. 

And it's why a criminal case against him would have been tough if she had decided to voluntarily stay with him until she was 18. 

Edited by Irlandesa
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On 6/9/2021 at 9:53 PM, moonshine71 said:

Pretty sure Jeanette doesn't think the snow globe  can help her case, she wants to get it back from Mallory because she thinks it can tie her to Martin's house after that Christmas Eve call was made. Imo, it's a pretty big panicky mistake. All she is going to do is draw attention to the snow globe, which probably would have stayed under Mallory's bed until the end of time, she didn't seem to know It held any significance or that it came from Martin's.

That was my thought, too.  I was very confused reading here that people thought she could use that to prove something about Kate not being locked up. 

With all the talk about tampons, my question is...did that basement have a bathroom?

My speculation about Jeanette's transformation is that her little friendship with Jamie turned into a relationship after Kate was gone for a while.  And because he's a "cool kid," the other girls accepted Jeanette into their friend circle despite her being from "Loserville." Jeanette's relationship with Jamie made her "cool" by association.

Edited by izabella
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On 6/10/2021 at 7:47 PM, mamadrama said:

Kate brought the red dress and shoes with her. You can see the red dress hanging in her closet when she's packing to run away. It also showed her pulling it down and stuffing it into her bag. The shoes are shown on her mom's feet at the garden party. At the time I wondered why they zoomed in on them.

Is it the same red dress she has on in the first episode?

I’m rewatching episode 1 and am wondering about a couple of things. First, why did Jeanette look so troubled/scandalized (guilty?) when her friend told her and her other friend that Kate was alive? And the other thing is why was Jeanette(‘s family?) recording all the news about Kate? And also, why did Jeanette’s mom, while watching the first news story (right after Jeanette came home with the black eye), say, “isn’t that Jamie’s ex?” I feel like she would know that Kate was his ex, but what really got me was the “that”; why would she not say “Kate”?

Edited by TattleTeeny

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59 minutes ago, izabella said:

With all the talk about tampons, my question is...did that basement have a bathroom?

Right! It's the old soap trope of people being locked in rooms for days/weeks/months with no bathroom. But it's a basement in a really nice, big house so it probably does indeed have a bathroom in it. It'll be interesting to see if they touch on this at all in the finale or if they just disregard it completely like soaps do.

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3 hours ago, izabella said:

That was my thought, too.  I was very confused reading here that people thought she could use that to prove something about Kate not being locked up. 

With all the talk about tampons, my question is...did that basement have a bathroom?

I think it did have a bathroom. There is one episode where we see her run through the basement towards the stairs in a towel. It is like she was taking a shower, heard Martin outside, and realized she had a chance to get upstairs. 

Plus it is a big finished basement, so it is not that crazy that it has a bathroom.

Edited by KaveDweller
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I also just noticed something in episode 2! After Jeanette, Mallory, and Vincent throw shaving cream balloons at the garden party, they run away. You can hear Jeanette say to Mallory, “hey, that’s my bike!” and Mallory then says, “who cares, let’s go” or something. Then, Kate is shown watching them pedal away, with Jeanette last, on Mallory’s bike with the card audibly flapping in the tire. So, if Kate noticed a bike with a flappy card the night Jeanette left with the snow globe and Kate has the necklace, which she knows is Jeanette’s, it seems logical that she’d think it was Jeanette pedaling away, even if it may have been Mallory. 

But when Kate told police about Jeanette seeing her,* it was only minutes after she saw Jamie and Jeanette kissing in the park, so that seems more vindictive than it is a mistake due to trauma. I hope not though because Kate seems better than that.

*And she also pretends that she doesn’t know what month it was that Jeanette allegedly saw her.

ETA: And, when Kate confronts Jeanette at the traffic light, she screams at Jeanette not for never telling anyone that Kate was trapped in Martin’s house, but instead for the arguably less serious issue of “stealing [her] life.”

Edited by TattleTeeny
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I’m such a geek, you guys—I am rewatching because I want to solve this before the finale! What is my problem—what kind of person does this?

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21 hours ago, sashabear21 said:

, I'm glad she has a good therapist, but in the mid-90's we were just learning the word "date rape" (and most people still didn't really understand that) and there wasn't much out there about the manipulation tactics and nuances of grooming by predators

Actually, date rape and acquaintance rape started being discussed seriously in the mid to late 1980s.  I don't think that those really apply to Kate's situation (since she was a victim of grooming).  I agree that in the time period of the show, the general public wouldn't be very aware of the concept of sexual grooming.

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I distinctly remember a former boss of mine talking about date rape — and using that term — in the late ‘80s.

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30 minutes ago, TattleTeeny said:

I distinctly remember a former boss of mine talking about date rape — and using that term — in the late ‘80s.

Yes, I volunteered at a rape crisis center in the 80s and 90s, and date rape was a “thing” in the 80s.

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But what was the attitude/understanding of consent between parties of unequal status? Was it understood that a relationship between a 30-year-old and an underage teenager was rape even if the teenager believed it to be a consensual romance, or did people still subscribe to the idea that rape was only when someone physically forced themselves on you while you kicked and screamed?

Someone brought up Amy Fisher earlier in this thread or one of the other episode threads. That happened maybe the year before this story first takes place. Amy Fisher was underage, 17 I think, when she got into a relationship with grown-ass Joey Buttafuoco. People rarely talk about that as a rape situation, as a situation in which Buttafuoco took advantage of a minor who was not legally able to consent to a physical relationship with him. Fisher was branded as some kind of teenage hussy for screwing an older, married man. She kind of still carries that label with some people, I'm sure. And Buttafuoco went down in infamy much more for his role in manipulating Fisher into carrying out a plan to shoot his wife -- not that this part didn't deserve the bulk of the attention -- than about the fact that he manipulated an underage girl into sleeping with him. It was rape. But even by this time, this type of "relationship" still wasn't really considered that way in the public consciousness, even though the letter of the law said it was. People still only thought of rape as sex or a sexual act being forced on you even when you said no.

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People blame rape victims to this day, even knowing that certain now-common terminology is “a thing” and/or knowing that thing is wrong. I don’t know how many otherwise intelligent people I’ve come across who don’t justify rape, but do make sure to say stuff like “He’s at fault BUT she put herself in the situation,” as if to imply a rapist suddenly lost the ability to decide not to rape once a woman said/wore/drank some certain thing.

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1 hour ago, Chicken Wing said:

Fisher was branded as some kind of teenage hussy for screwing an older, married man.

Similar thing happened to Courtney Stodden, and that was in the 2010s. A 50-year-old man married a 16-year-old and all the news stories were in the "what was she thinking!?" vein instead of asking why he'd be interested in a minor. The late-night hosts made so many jokes at Courtney's expense, not his. Courtney later realized their ex-husband's behavior was grooming and abuse and spoke out. D'Angelo Wallace recently did a good video about it.

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On 6/12/2021 at 1:31 PM, TattleTeeny said:

I’m rewatching episode 1 and am wondering about a couple of things. First, why did Jeanette look so troubled/scandalized (guilty?) when her friend told her and her other friend that Kate was alive?

I think that was the look of someone realizing she might just be kissing her new life goodbye because Kate's back.  Not so much guilt, but "awww, damn, I was having fun."  Selfish, for sure, but she's a 16-year-old, so pretty easy to see her mind would go there first.

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2 hours ago, Chicken Wing said:

But what was the attitude/understanding of consent between parties of unequal status? Was it understood that a relationship between a 30-year-old and an underage teenager was rape even if the teenager believed it to be a consensual romance, or did people still subscribe to the idea that rape was only when someone physically forced themselves on you while you kicked and screamed?

Someone brought up Amy Fisher earlier in this thread or one of the other episode threads. That happened maybe the year before this story first takes place. Amy Fisher was underage, 17 I think, when she got into a relationship with grown-ass Joey Buttafuoco. People rarely talk about that as a rape situation, as a situation in which Buttafuoco took advantage of a minor who was not legally able to consent to a physical relationship with him. Fisher was branded as some kind of teenage hussy for screwing an older, married man. She kind of still carries that label with some people, I'm sure. And Buttafuoco went down in infamy much more for his role in manipulating Fisher into carrying out a plan to shoot his wife -- not that this part didn't deserve the bulk of the attention -- than about the fact that he manipulated an underage girl into sleeping with him. It was rape. But even by this time, this type of "relationship" still wasn't really considered that way in the public consciousness, even though the letter of the law said it was. People still only thought of rape as sex or a sexual act being forced on you even when you said no.

IIRC, Joey Buttafuco was charged with rape or sexual assault of a minor. I can’t remember if he did jail time or not. Many of us did know it was statutory rape.

1 hour ago, Cranberry said:

Similar thing happened to Courtney Stodden, and that was in the 2010s. A 50-year-old man married a 16-year-old and all the news stories were in the "what was she thinking!?" vein instead of asking why he'd be interested in a minor. The late-night hosts made so many jokes at Courtney's expense, not his. Courtney later realized their ex-husband's behavior was grooming and abuse and spoke out. D'Angelo Wallace recently did a good video about it.

I blamed Doug, but I think I blamed her parents even more. They allowed him to take advantage of their teen daughter.

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18 minutes ago, Cheyanne11 said:

I think that was the look of someone realizing she might just be kissing her new life goodbye because Kate's back.  Not so much guilt, but "awww, damn, I was having fun."  Selfish, for sure, but she's a 16-year-old, so pretty easy to see her mind would go there first.

I don’t disagree, but I also feel like a “normal” person’s initial gut reaction might be surprised and relieved — and then maybe later on (alone?) stopping to think “awww damn” as kind of an afterthought.

Edited by TattleTeeny
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16 minutes ago, Cinnabon said:

I blamed Doug, but I think I blamed her parents even more. They allowed him to take advantage of their teen daughter.

Considering that Courtney needed permission to marry Doug at 16, it was her parent's fault. 

This show is a nice palette cleanser from Euphoria. I was never so pissed off when the show said that Maddy losing her virginity to a 40 at 14 shouldn't be looked at as pervy because Maddy was "in control".

Kate is older, but I think the show is doing a decent job of showing that Martin, in the end, was in the wrong and creepy. My stomach turned as the episode progressed because Kate came across so innocent and trusting, and slightly deluded to think that she was as somehow emotional mature enough to have a relationship with a 30 something man. 

Edited by Ambrosefolly
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5 minutes ago, Ambrosefolly said:

Considering that Courtney needed permission to marry Doug at 16, it was her parent's fault. 

Exactly .

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1 hour ago, Cinnabon said:

IIRC, Joey Buttafuco was charged with rape or sexual assault of a minor. I can’t remember if he did jail time or not. Many of us did know it was statutory rape.

Quick Wikipedia search -- he did four months for statutory rape. The actual legality of their relationship was never really in question. Everyone knew that it was illegal for this adult man to have sex with the teenage girl, and he rightfully did time for it. But Amy Fisher still got saddled with the "slutty other woman" label even though she was a victim of a predator.

At any rate, I bring up the Amy Fisher situation just because this happened around the same time as the events of this story (early 1990s), and so I'm trying to remember what the prevailing attitudes about women and rape and consent were for that time. Buttafuoco was held accountable by the law, but Fisher was by and large not exactly treated as the preyed-upon victim of a sexual predator. At most, people sympathized with her as a troubled young girl who got involved in the wrong kind of relationship and made bad decisions -- the key being, she made her own decisions, had her own agency in the situation when the reality is that, because he was far from being her equal, she didn't. But people didn't really think about it that way and that may have been just how the attitudes were around consent for the time (and even now).

Even though 16 and 17 are still below the age of consent in many states, some people kind of view that age as "old enough" to know better and know what they're doing, and therefore they still hold them responsible for their decisions even though they know that, technically, the law says they aren't. No one ever questions the culpability of a predator who takes advantage of an 11- or 12-year-old. That is a straight-up child. But a 16- or 17-year-old? The law says this is still a minor who can't give consent to an adult, but people view them differently. People think these minors are old enough to know what they're doing and it's only wrong because the law simply says it is. They don't view them as victims as easily as they do the 12-year-old. And (bringing the conversation back on topic) from what some have seen on other boards, it looks like people see 16-year-old Kate in this show in that same light -- a minor who is an old enough minor to know what she's doing and be in charge of her own decisions and therefore is a victim only of her own bad judgment.

Edited by Chicken Wing
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Yup, the teenage girls are always "old enough to know better" but guys are just being guys. 

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2 hours ago, TattleTeeny said:

Yup, the teenage girls are always "old enough to know better" but guys are just being guys. 

Seriously. If high school student Kate is "old enough" to know what she's doing by having a crush on the one adult she was led to believe would listen to her, then Martin the actual adult is "old enough" to know not to 1) allow an underage girl to spend the night in his home unaccompanied, even if it was 100% totally and utterly platonic that is just not a smart situation to put yourself in since it could cost him his job, and 2) not to then lock an underage girl in his home against her will when she finally realizes this situation might not be what she thought it was. Talk about a double standard. 

At 16 a girl should know not to flirt with an older guy in a position of power over her 

At (the actor is 37 but IDK how old the character is meant to be, but he's got a job that takes a few years to reach so I'm saying at least in his 30s so...) 30-something, shouldn't know not to lock someone in his basement against their will? 

Yeah, no. 

 

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Wait a damn minute — you are telling me we are NOT supposed to lock anyone in a basement?! I’ll be right back…

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36 minutes ago, Mabinogia said:

At (the actor is 37 but IDK how old the character is meant to be, but he's got a job that takes a few years to reach so I'm saying at least in his 30s so...) 30-something, shouldn't know not to lock someone in his basement against their will? 

Ha.  I think he's supposed to be 31 because Kate brought up a couple who had a 15 year age difference where everything is hunky dory. 

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His tombstone said he was born in 1963 so he was 30 at the time, just turned 31 when he was killed.

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On 6/13/2021 at 7:04 PM, Chicken Wing said:

But what was the attitude/understanding of consent between parties of unequal status? Was it understood that a relationship between a 30-year-old and an underage teenager was rape even if the teenager believed it to be a consensual romance, or did people still subscribe to the idea that rape was only when someone physically forced themselves on you while you kicked and screamed?

Someone brought up Amy Fisher earlier in this thread or one of the other episode threads. That happened maybe the year before this story first takes place. Amy Fisher was underage, 17 I think, when she got into a relationship with grown-ass Joey Buttafuoco. People rarely talk about that as a rape situation, as a situation in which Buttafuoco took advantage of a minor who was not legally able to consent to a physical relationship with him. Fisher was branded as some kind of teenage hussy for screwing an older, married man. She kind of still carries that label with some people, I'm sure. And Buttafuoco went down in infamy much more for his role in manipulating Fisher into carrying out a plan to shoot his wife -- not that this part didn't deserve the bulk of the attention -- than about the fact that he manipulated an underage girl into sleeping with him. It was rape. But even by this time, this type of "relationship" still wasn't really considered that way in the public consciousness, even though the letter of the law said it was. People still only thought of rape as sex or a sexual act being forced on you even when you said no.

I graduated from high school in 1995.  A large number of my friends throughout high school had been in relationships with adults with their parents and the community being totally aware.  It would have been looked up as a WTF or illegal if the person was a 40 year old teacher, but a 24 year old teacher or a 24 year old who worked at the grocery store that wasn't seen as horrible.  Unless the parents decided to press charges it wasn't considered a rape situation (and even then people would probably blame the parents)

One of my classmates married the basketball coach fairly soon after graduation.  They had to move and have him work in a different city but no one thought it was terrible.  A couple years after graduation one of my classmates got a 13 year old pregnant, he was never even questioned (he was immature and she was mature so it was ok).  One of my friends had a 22 year old boyfriend (who was just terrible to her) and her mother was not happy when they broke up because she treated him like family, they eventually got back together and mom pushed for a wedding fairly soon after graduation and the guy ruined her life (she had a full scholarship to the local private university but he pushed her into dropping out because she wasn't being a good enough wife, she didn't finish her degree until she was 40).

So, no people didn't really think of those relationships as rape unless there was some creepy factor involved.  If Martin hadn't been a VP he may have been able to coax his way into a relationship with Kate that her parents were aware and even supportive of.

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43 minutes ago, meatball77 said:

I graduated from high school in 1995.  A large number of my friends throughout high school had been in relationships with adults with their parents and the community being totally aware.  It would have been looked up as a WTF or illegal if the person was a 40 year old teacher, but a 24 year old teacher or a 24 year old who worked at the grocery store that wasn't seen as horrible.  Unless the parents decided to press charges it wasn't considered a rape situation (and even then people would probably blame the parents)

One of my classmates married the basketball coach fairly soon after graduation.  They had to move and have him work in a different city but no one thought it was terrible.  A couple years after graduation one of my classmates got a 13 year old pregnant, he was never even questioned (he was immature and she was mature so it was ok).  One of my friends had a 22 year old boyfriend (who was just terrible to her) and her mother was not happy when they broke up because she treated him like family, they eventually got back together and mom pushed for a wedding fairly soon after graduation and the guy ruined her life (she had a full scholarship to the local private university but he pushed her into dropping out because she wasn't being a good enough wife, she didn't finish her degree until she was 40).

So, no people didn't really think of those relationships as rape unless there was some creepy factor involved.  If Martin hadn't been a VP he may have been able to coax his way into a relationship with Kate that her parents were aware and even supportive of.

In England, when I was fourteen, one of my best friends was involved with a guy who had graduated.  He dumped her, and got involved with my neighbour’s cousin, who was sixteen, I think. But he dumped my friend when she was fourteen, and they had been in a sexual relationship.  
 

my sister married the only guy she was ever really involved with, and I felt like he groomed her.  She was 19/20, so technically an adult, but not living like one.  He’s twenty-five years older.  He hit on me several times, after I met him (and they were in a relationship). The best friend I mentioned, married a much older man (still married), and I have several other friends who married men at least eighteen years older.  

Edited by Anela

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8 hours ago, meatball77 said:

I graduated from high school in 1995.  A large number of my friends throughout high school had been in relationships with adults with their parents and the community being totally aware.  It would have been looked up as a WTF or illegal if the person was a 40 year old teacher, but a 24 year old teacher or a 24 year old who worked at the grocery store that wasn't seen as horrible.  Unless the parents decided to press charges it wasn't considered a rape situation (and even then people would probably blame the parents)

This is what I remember as well. Statutory rape was definitely a crime.  But it was viewed as more of a technical violation.  And it was used primarily to 1) prosecute forcible rape because proving the elements was just ages of the individuals and that sex occurred or 2) when a parent was upset that their minor daughter was with an adult.  Not that a teen/adult relationship isn't problematic, but the enforcement seemed to be about whether the parents were upset about it. And frequently, they were not.

Likewise, the terms date rape and acquaintance rape were around as long as I can remember.  And by the 90s they were generally recognized as alternative terms for something that could happen and was wrong.... until there was an actual allegation.  People still held a lot of the same prejudices about whether the woman "led him on" or if she'd been in a sexual relationship with him previously "what was he supposed to think?" etc.

In other words, the laws said one thing but in practice people's prejudices hadn't changed.

I do agree that a teacher or school admin with a student would have been viewed differently in the 90s. But not if he was attractive and young, there would still be a lot of people who didn't really think it was that bad and thought the girl wanted to be in the relationship as opposed to understanding grooming. 

 

Edited by RachelKM
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Graduated in 94 and 3 of my high school teachers (all men, probably in their late 30's/early 40s) were married to former students. It was kinda weird but no one was alarmed by it. And my BFF at 14 was dating a 21/22 year old and we just thought it was cool cuz he had a car. Looking back - ooof we were naïve. My other BFF's husband told her he moved in with a woman in her 30s when he was 15 and no one questioned it, though he said he would be horrified if one of his kids did the same now. 

Unfortunately, I'm not surprised there are comments at other places on the internet blaming Kate even with the therapist's ongoing rebuttal and reframing. Misogyny and sexism runs deep and too many will grab onto anything they can to blame a victim for being a victim.

Edited by calliope1975
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5 hours ago, RachelKM said:

This is what I remember as well. Statutory rape was definitely a crime.  But it was viewed as more of a technical violation.  And it was used primarily to 1) prosecute forcible rape because proving the elements was just ages of the individuals and that sex occurred or 2) when a parent was upset that their minor daughter was with an adult.  Not that a teen/adult relationship isn't problematic, but the enforcement seemed to be about whether the parents were upset about it. And frequently, they were not.

Likewise, the terms date rape and acquaintance rape were around as long as I can remember.  And by the 90s they were generally recognized as something that could happen and was wrong.... until there was an actual allegation.  People still held a lot of the same prejudices about whether the woman "led him on" or if she'd been in a sexual relationship with him previously "what was he supposed to think?" etc.

In other words, the laws said one thing but in practice people's prejudices hadn't changed.

I do agree that a teacher or school admin with a student would have been viewed differently in the 90s. But not if he was attractive and young, there would still be a lot of people who didn't really think it was that bad and thought the girl wanted to be in the relationship as opposed to understanding grooming. 

 

Hell, it wasn’t until the 90s that marital rape was acknowledged and made a crime. Sad.

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On 6/9/2021 at 6:01 PM, racked said:

The goal would be to impeach Kate, and it’s a very successful approach in litigation. If she’s lying about x,y,z why not this? Especially if the goal is to prove she’s lying about Jeanette seeing her because she was jealous over her boyfriend and friends. 

Yep. While a lot of the stuff on this show focused on 90s viewpoints of conduct, impeachment is not one of them. That is still used today and likely always will be because as you said, it’s a very successful tactic.  The issue in that particular case was whether Kate defamed Jeanette, not whether Kate was Martin’s victim, which she 100% was. If an attorney (any attorney) had those chat logs proving that Kate had lied about some of the details of her capture, and the attorney did not use it for impeachment, that would be borderline malpractice. 

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Harris is exactly the physical type I'm insanely attracted to so this was disturbing to watch yet I think both actors really killed the creepiness of  the whole thing.

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On 7/11/2021 at 1:11 PM, methodwriter85 said:

Harris is exactly the physical type I'm insanely attracted to so this was disturbing to watch yet I think both actors really killed the creepiness of  the whole thing.

If you need a palate cleanser, the Lifetime Christmas movie he did with his real-life husband and Fran Drescher was adorable.

But yeah, he's basically every guy I was into in college.

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