Time after time The Fall has been criticised for its treatment women. For each scene that sexual predator Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) preyed on young women in the first two series of the BBC crime drama, more and more people brushed the show with the same word: misogyny. In fact, writer Allan Cubitt recently told us that he’d been hurt by the volume of accusations.
However, last night the show went a long way to killing off the misogyny label as Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) gave a powerful speech about consent.
Towards the end of the episode, Gibson spoke to Tom Stagg, whose wife, Rose, was tortured by Spector in series two. Tom couldn’t understand why his wife didn’t “fight or scream” when she was taken by the killer.
Gibson had the perfect answer for him:
That speech in full:
“Men always think in terms of fight or flight. In fact, the most common instinct in the face of this kind of threat is to freeze. If she didn’t fight, if she didn’t scream, if she was silent and numb, it’s because she was petrified.
“If she went with him quietly, it’s because she was afraid for her life. And not just her life – yours and Nancy’s and the baby’s.
“In that state of fear she might well have been compliant. She might well have submitted. But that does not mean she consented.”
Twitterers everywhere praised the words and their powerful message…
…As well as praising Anderson’s performance.
Writer Allan Cubitt was praised in particular for the speech (and the episode’s many scenes of surgery).
And now the show is being written about in the same sentence as feminism, not misogyny.
Will The Fall gain even more feminist praise next week? We’ll have to wait until next 9pm Thursday on BBC2.