Domestic Violence Education in Pop Culture: “THE BLOOM IS OFF THE ROSE”

“THE BLOOM IS OFF THE ROSE,” The Golden Girls, Season 6, Episode 13 (1991)

When we think of domestic violence, most of us think of young women who are involved with loud or abusive men. The Golden Girls proved that violence can infiltrate any relationship, no matter how old a person may be, and whether or not they actually live together as a married couple or family. In “The Bloom Is Off The Rose,” Blanche Devereaux, who viewers of the show were well aware had dated her share of men and knew men reasonably well, involves herself with Rex Huntington, a loud, abrasive, and abusive man. It takes no time at all before she is doing his laundry and he is calling her things such as “barrel butt,” giving her wrong information, showing up late for dates, and criticizing her in all sorts of ways. It takes an incident where he attacks Dorothy Zbornack, a fellow roommate and survivor of abusive relationships, to bring Blanche to her senses.

The episode was important because it proves that no matter how much experience you might have with dating, anyone can be susceptible to an abusive interaction because of the manner by which an abuser interacts. The standoffish nature, the early signs that seem intriguing and alluring, are something that can be attractive to anyone. The Golden Girls alerts all of us, no matter how experienced or inexperienced at dating, to the warning signs of abuse.

Sophia: [about Rex] Boy, he makes Wallace Beery look like Adolphe Menjou.

Dorothy: Has been a long time since I’ve taken you to the movies, hasn’t it?


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