Awesome “Law and Order: SVU” Moment

Law and Order costars Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay posed together

Last week’s episode of “Law and Order: SVU” featured an awesome moment that I wanted to share with you all. While victim-blaming has become disturbingly common in the mainstream media, the writers over at SVU provided a refreshing alternative to this familiarly misogynistic paradigm.

The moment came when Detective Elliott Stabler (played by Christopher Meloni) was interviewing a victim of sexual assault. She is describing the crime, and begins by recounting the fact that she had been on her way to work as a stripper when it took place. She says “Yeah yeah, I know, I’m a stripper” in anticipation of being victim-blamed. His response? “It doesn’t matter what you do, doesn’t mean that’s an excuse for you to be sexually assaulted.” Elliot FTW.

While the concept that no woman deserves to be sexually assaulted may seem like a basic, even rudimentary notion, we all know it can be shockingly tough for some folks to grasp.

And while I sometimes have difficulty watching SVU because of the extreme depictions of violence against women and sexual assault it contains, I think we can all agree that this was a pretty great message to be sent in a primetime TV show. I also appreciate that the show exposes some of the extreme misogyny that underlies sex crimes, and, for the most part, the show is cutting edge when it comes to dealing with gender issues.

H/t to Heidi Vanderlee for bringing this bit of feminist media to my attention!

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman started blogging with Feministing in 2008, and now runs partnerships and strategy as a co-Executive Director. She is also the Director of Youth Engagement at Women Deliver, where she promotes meaningful youth engagement in international development efforts, including through running the award-winning Women Deliver Young Leaders Program. Lori was formerly the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and has also worked at the United Nations Foundation on the Secretary-General's flagship Every Woman Every Child initiative, and at the International Women’s Health Coalition and Human Rights Watch. As a leading voice on women’s rights issues, Lori frequently consults, speaks and publishes on feminism, activism and movement-building. A graduate of Harvard University, Lori has been named to The Root 100 list of the most influential African Americans in the United States, and to Forbes Magazine‘s list of the “30 Under 30” successful mediamakers. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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