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.