On The Originals we have a number of female characters - both plotting against the Original family, and the eternally troubled Klaus in particular - and working for them. And, of course, sharing Klaus’s bed. These women need to be careful, though, because there’s fine print - get too close to Klaus and you may become his chattel. And since he’s one of the most powerful creatures on the planet, how free are these women to reject him and his claim?
We have been complaining about the portrayal of Rebekah Mikaelson since early on in her appearances on The Vampire Diaries (TVD). Over time, we have seen her backstory on both TVD and The Originals. There has been one long running theme to Rebekah’s past - she is not free. Rebekah is not free to fall in love and she most certainly is not free to have sex. You might think that a 1000 year old female vampire might just be able to make competent decisions about what do with her vagina but according to Klaus Mikaelson, you would be wrong. Klaus spends an epic amount of time either killing Rebekah’s suitors, or scaring them away. This, of course, is done under the guise of love because what good is a patriarch for if he doesn’t keep the family vagina pure? No man can possibly be good enough for Klaus’s little sister and while he projects this as a sign of his high esteem for Rebekah, it is really just the same ordinary patriarchal desire to control female bodies that has been going on since the beginning time.
That his infatuation with his sister’s genitals is downright incestous is ignored. No, that would be creepy, so instead it is wrapped in sexist justifications that reduce Rebekah’s personhood. Klaus is just intense when he loves people and because he believes that he is protecting her it’s deemed okay and it is further troubling because, as Klaus is the protagonist of The Originals, the audience is expected to see his POV. Yes, Rebekah continually rebels and she talks about wanting to be in a loving relationship and even raise a child some day. What Rebekah doesn’t do is simply express a desire to get laid. Casual sex is something the males of both the TVD and The Originals can and do engage in sex without much direct consequence. When Rebekah seeks a partner it is almost always about wanting a relationship. At times it reads as justifying her sexual desire as chaste enough in the hope that Klaus will break down long enough for her to get her groove on.
What is further galling about this whole situation is that Rebekah has come to accept Klaus’s policing of her sex life. When she finally confronts Klaus about his policing, it’s not because he has no right to control her sex life - but because his standards are too harsh and limiting. She doesn’t think he should have no say in policing her - he just needs to be more relaxed about it, less exacting. She doesn’t question his right to make those decisions for her - she questions whether he’s making good decisions.
The second blonde in Klaus’s life is Camille. Klaus was introduced to Camille by Marcel and from almost the moment he meets her, Klaus manipulates her. Klaus uses compulsion to force Camille to date Marcel, messes with her memory, forces her to provide counselling and, when things begin to look like they just might get rough in the quarter, tries to force Camille to leave New Orleans (it’s for own good, love honest.) Somewhere in the middle of all of that manipulation, Klaus decides that he must police the vagina of another grown woman. And what does Camille do about? Why she panders to it and justifies it of course.
Prior to Rebekah leaving the show, Camille was a fairly independent character who fought back against Klaus’s manipulations every chance she got. The moment Klaus got down to one blonde, there was an instant transfer of vaginal rights to everyone’s favourite vampire patriarch. This manifests after Camille decides to sleep with Marcel in a drunken binge. She is absolutely clear that she doesn’t regret her decision to sex; however, instantly becomes concerned with how Klaus is going to feel about this. Why would a woman who has been so abused by a violent man have concern with how her abuser feels about her decisions regarding her own body? I’ll tell you why - the writers have deemed Klaus’s penchant for collecting vaginas to be non problematic. Klaus’s vagina collection has become such a thing that Genieve wounds him by informing him of Camille’s night of passion with Marcel. When confronted, Camille doesn’t tell Klaus that her sex life is none of his business but stands silently like someone admitting guilt and feeling shame.