Links + Things: Literary Rape, Loneliness, Teen Death Novels and More
There were so many intriguing/interesting/irritating things on the internet this weekend, guys--It's hard to pick just a few!
What I want is for there to be less gratuitous literary rape.
I’m not talking about books like Speak. I’m talking about novels where the rape scene could just as easily be any other sort of violent scene and it only becomes about sex because there’s a woman involved. If the genders were swapped, a rape scene wouldn’t have happened. The author would’ve come up with a different sort of scenario/ backstory/ defining moment for a male character. Really, this sort of rape is such a medieval, classical way to tell a story. Need to establish some stakes? Grab a secondary character and rape her. Possibly with a god or a mythological object if you have one handy.
And that starts to feel a lot less like realism and more like a malingering culture of women as victims. And it starts, especially when the author is male and the rape scene is graphic, to feel suspiciously like the goal is titillation. It starts to feel like the author believes the only interesting sort of GirlAngst is sexual abuse.
Maggie Stiefvater writes one of my favorite author blogs. Even when I don't agree with her (like her take on what is and is not a review), I respect that she puts hers thoughts out there in the world in an unapologetic way--so many authors avoid anything controversial because there's risk involved with wading into big issues.
Last week she wrote very eloquently about the problem of literary rape, how rape is constantly used as a plot device, often with no purpose. Go read Maggie's post on the subject--she's 100 percent right on all counts.
Now that the "Twilight" franchise is behind her, Stephenie Meyer, the woman who created the vampire world of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, is upping her efforts in a different department: movie producing.
And Meyer has a juicy new project, The Times has learned: "Anna Dressed in Blood," a young-adult ghost story from the acclaimed author Kendare Blake.
Submitted without comment, except to say that while I find Twilight deeply disturbing on many levels, I'm simultaneously fascinated by Stephanie Meyer and her "brand" (for lack of a better word). I've been meaning to read this book for ages, but I'd love to know what fans of Anna Dressed in Blood think of Meyer's involvement in the book's big screen adaptation.
It can be stressful to be alone, with detrimental effects just as any type of stress warrants.
A recent study explores the impact of loneliness on overall health, with the results indicating that "being alone" weakens the immune system and overall health profile. Laura posted this on her Tumblr, and I had the same reaction as she did: there's a tremendous difference between "being alone" and "loneliness," and we're both wondering why they're used interchangeably.
People are often surprised to hear that I'm an introvert, because the very nature of my work requires that I interact with other people and be actively engaged with them. However, that takes a tremendous effort on my part and leaves me exhausted. I can't help but wonder if this is another instance in which the extrovert way of being is more valued by society and that this seeps into the premise of such a study. (I'm of the belief that all research--even quantitive--contains bias.) Plus, I wonder if the "loneliness" described is as much a function of feeling guilty/abnormal for not wanting to be social.
I recommend Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking for an accessible exploration of this subject.
Why does Katie's life suck?
-She needs a heart transplant
-Because she needs the transplant she can't run track
Want to read a morbid book about dying teens, but can't decide which of Lurlene McDaniels' oeuvre is the best fit? BuzzFeed has the hook-up! Honestly, I read a ton of these circa 1988-91, and they're all terrible. I remember them being terrible at the time, but they were the books that were at our school library, so they're what I read.
Revisiting these titles--with their amusing summaries--cracked me the hell up.