Maria Doyle Kennedy on her song “The Most Beautiful People are Broken” (x)
Someone took a candid photo of a fight in Ukranian Parliament that is as well-composed as the best renaissance art
I can see the criticism of this show from a mile away; Vanity Fair has already published a withering post questioning whether it really ought to be so blatantly targeted at women: “It’s a given that the rabidly devoted Outlander audience (a largely female readership who will pre-order each installment months in advance) will show up. But will the men?”
I really want Outlander to succeed; I don’t want it to be relegated to niche entertainment. But, news flash: women are not a niche. They are the dominant force in cable viewership, and they’re also becoming an increasingly powerful demographic at the movies, showing up in huge numbers at the box office this summer and proving that female-centric entertainment can equal big business.
And many of us female viewers are beyond tired of the rationalizations we need to make in order to enjoy big-budget adventure shows and films with complex plots and first-rate screenwriters that are still, by and large, primarily targeted at men. As I’ve mentioned here before, I often have a hard time reconciling my continued viewership (and, yes, enjoyment) of Game of Thrones with its abysmal treatment of most of its female characters. I adored Breaking Bad, but it depressed the hell out of me that so many fans hated Anna Gunn’s character while rooting for Walter White. I’m an ardent Doctor Who fan, but I do wish there was room in the Whoniverse for a female Doctor; no go on that score, not anytime soon.
So the arrival of Outlander really inspires in me, in response to Vanity Fair’s questioning whether the men will show up, a certain catchphrase making the rounds: “I don’t fucking care if you like it.”"
less fics where kel gets raped (SERIOUSLY. WHY IS THAT A THING) more fics where kel has romances w/ ladies. get w/ the program fandom
Kel would cut the manparts off of anyone who tried to rape her. Has no one read the book. If she had no cutting weapon she would bite them off. If she couldn’t get her teeth on them she would rip them off. If she couldn’t do it at the time she would do it at the first chance.
What is this trope that a woman hero has to be raped? It is almost the subtext that a women hero must be punished for being female and heroic. That the culture demands she has to have her ladyparts torn up before she can be acceptable as a hero, or that she must have her ladyparts torn up as punishment for thinking herself equal to male heroes. Is that really the message we want to send?
If you want to bring a female down to the lowest place to show that a true hero will do everything she can to come back, have her so badly wounded that it takes her months of healing to come back to anything remotely like her early strength, and even more months of laboring to return to who she was (the end of Elizabeth Moon’s DIVIDED ALLEGIANCE and the beginning of OATH OF GOLD). Or have her lose a dear friend or relative (Jo March and the loss of Beth in LITTLE WOMEN) and fight her way back to a place of strength (Katniss thinking Peeta is dead in MOCKINGJAY).
There are plenty of authors out there who manage to write strong female characters who endure much in the way of tribulation, none of which includes rape: Barbara Hambly, Lynn Flewelling, Greg Keyes, Guy Gavriel Kay, Elizabeth Moon (the Paksenarrion books, not the science fiction), Kate Elliott, Suzanne Gregory. I’ve managed to write plenty of books, many of which cause the readers to curse my name for putting them through something, and yet I’ve never written rape into my stories. Plenty of other horrible things, but not that. Too many other writers turn to that.
And if you’re tempted to throw this awful piece of violence into your fic, ask yourself why. If the author has not written rape, why would you? What do you prove using this trope? Does your inclusion of it do anything for the victims of rape? Does it educate the reader in any way? Is there something better you could use in its place, something that could advance the character? Does it exorcise something in yourself that you need to be rid of? This last is the only reason I can think of for doing it, and then it would be too personal—I would want to use something else to put it at enough of a distance that I could write about it properly.
People will write what people will write, I understand that. I am not trying to ban anyone from writing as they want to when it comes to my fanfics. I just wanted to explain why you will never see a particular trope in my own work, and why.