I’m pregnant. No, not by aliens.
The X-FILES (1993-2002). oh how i love this show. i loved it when it first came out, and i nostalgically still love it. i loved scully, i loved how she and mulder interacted and how they never ever hooked up (until they did) and i loved how this show was different than any other show out there. BUT. now that i look at it more closely, and ive watched every single episode over the last year or so on my ipod…well the x-files (and all alien-abduction scenarios) is probably the most perfect illustration of one of our common themes/criteria — rape and rape culture — there is. thats probably why teh menz like the sci-fi so damn much. but i digress.
watching the earlier episodes reminded me that in the beginning, FBI agent scully gets kidnapped, alot. like all the damn time. and that wasnt even by aliens: as a female FBI agent, apparently it was part of her job description. later, we learn that theres an alien abduction theme here, and a particular one that was centered on female reproduction: womens ova were being harvested and there were experiments being performed with human/alien hybridization. scully was thought to have been rendered “barren” by these interventions, but then she ends up pregnant and we are meant to assume it was an alien impregnation. turns out, mulder knocked her up, through regular old PIV! holy crap. theres a clip below of the moment we realize this, and it was absolutely shocking at the time. i believe it actually left me agape.
anyway, womens “abduction” whether by aliens or men is clearly, clearly a rape-reference. it has non-consent written all over it on its face, plus women are frequently subjected to unwanted PIV (aka. rape) while they are under their kidnappers control, as in the real-life case of jaycee dugard, who was kidnapped as a child and held captive for 20 years, bearing 2 of her abductor/rapists children during her imprisonment. in the case of alien abduction, well we get to blame what men are known to do on aliens, but really being abducted and raped by men is the possibility women should be more concerned with. and the fact that there are often reproductive experiments performed on women in the context of alien-abductions hints at the truth of the matter of abduction of women and girls in general, doesnt it? but of course, we arent really supposed to name the actor. its as if rape and forced impregnation happens in a vacuum without an actual perpetrator. refusal to name-the-agent (who is perpetrating all the harms on women and girls) is a common tool of the patriarchy. its a common tool of the fun-fems too.
of course, this alien-abduction business is also a very clear example of another of our criteria: normalizing reproductive stress and pain. but i’ll leave that for another day: i have a full episode of “gimme a break” lined up to illustrate that one. and its not like these examples are hard to find; thats kind of the whole point.
heres a mashup of the who-impregnated-scully business, and the final scene of s8 where that question is answered.