Rape, and the Commodification of the Female Form

The undeniably frequent presence of rape in Ovid’s Metamorphoses remains a deeply problematic theme outside of its historical context. Nonetheless, its prevalence renders it impossible to ignore. The same might equally be said of the depiction of the female form in contemporary street art, especially given the predominance of male artists. In both instances, the perspective of the artist is obviously crucial. But is it easy to discern? The answer, sadly, is a resounding no. While the poet has been argued to feel some sympathy for female victims of sexual violence - scenes of pursuit are often written from their perspective – he nonetheless takes a painful vicarious delight in recording their radiance in distress. Ambiguity is also a strong force within this piece. While we might accept the artist’s appreciation of the female form, it is difficult to imagine that their approbation goes any deeper. Another point of similarity between the two works is their setting – secluded, and out of the public eye.