Are You Offended?
Last night, I read a book with a rape scene. A FUCKING RAPE SCENE. No warning, just BOOM! Readers need to know the villain is an asshole, so here’s some rape. There was no fucking reason for this rape scene (not a main character), and yet, it contained the best writing in the book…what the fucking fuck?
Am I offended? I am a rape survivor, and I can’t read a rape scene without thinking about it. I was affected by this scene, as the author wanted. She played on my emotions, and she sensationalized an act that some publishers won’t even touch. Is that offensive?
Better yet, are you offended that I mentioned rape in this blog but did not put any trigger warning in the title, or in the labels, or in the post that brought you here? Well, are you?
I don’t care if writers want to write about rape, but I don’t want to read it. I don’t like how it makes me feel. I write about rape survivors because I want to provide uplifting support for other survivors: it does get better. I also write near-rape scenes of empowerment, where a character in a bad situation remedies that situation before it gets worse. I write paranormal scenes of predator and prey, and yes, a vampire forcing himself on a victim is very much like rape. Like rape, and yet, still not rape.
RAPE IS RAPE. Even if the first time was consensual, the next two times were not. The guy in the book was not a plaything for a paranormal host. This was contemporary “romance.” There were no trigger warnings. I wouldn’t have read it, had I known this scene existed in what I thought was a sweet BDSM romance. (Yes, that can be a thing. I want it to be a thing. This book wasn’t, but goddamn it, I think it can exist.)
No, I don’t want trigger warnings on everything. Honestly, most of the time, I agree with Steve Hughes. Nothing happens when you’re offended. I’m not going to go curl up in a ball and cry over this scene. I’ll feel vaguely used for awhile, and then I’ll get over it. I wrote a blog post about it, when I thought I had nothing to write about. Now, I’m going to have lunch, read another book, and forget this ever happened.