Trigger Warning: General mention and discussion of rape.
When I pulled into the hotel parking lot this evening, all I wanted to do was sneak up to my room and hide. I knew there were still FOGcon panels and such going on
It happens. Sometimes the idea of being social is just too much and I just need to be alone in a quiet room disengaging until I’ve recharged.
So, I spent the first hour just relaxing and looking through the panels to see what I wanted to do tomorrow. Along the way, I learned that there was a late night panel, called “When is Your Heroine Finally Going to be Raped?” with Seanan McGuire, Sasha Pixlee, and Karen Williams, with Alison Moon as the moderator.
The panel was inspired by this blog post by Seanan McGuire, in which she describes her reaction to one of her fans asking the above question — her answer: never.
I remembered reading that blog post when she first put it up (I recommend it to anyone interested in the subject of rape culture) and I was curious about the discussion.
Also, it was based on the desire to see and possible meet Seanan McGuire that I gathered myself up to come to FOGcon in the first place this year, so it seemed like such a shame to sit in my room. So, I found myself finding the energy to get out of my pajamas and back into real clothes, so I could go to the panel.
It was a heavy topic for my introduction to this year’s con, but it was fascinating and everyone on the panel was great.
Here are a few thoughts and quotes that came out of the discussion:
— Rape in stories and fiction is cheap, generally used as a short cut to show how evil the villain is, and it’s generally portrayed as a woman being raped and the man doing the raping.
— One of the results of this is how it can define rape in the popular mindset as one kind of thing (strange man jumps out of an alley with a knife), so that other and more common forms of rape (such date rape) get ignored and defined as not being rape.
— When the narrative is used to drive a man’s story (his wife or daughter is raped), it usually has to do with a tone of property (“my wife”, “my daughter”, etc.).
— “‘Yes means yes’ is much more important than “no means no'” — Seanan Mcguire
— “The cultural narrative is that it’s not okay to be a recepticle for sex.” — an audience member, talking about whether the sex or rape involves a woman or a man, if they are receiving, then it is considered shameful in culture.
— “Don’t ever shame consensual sex. It’s just as important as not glorifying rape.” — Seanan McGuire
— “People who’ve been murdured, don’t read your books. Victims of sexual assault, do” — Sasha PIxlee (quote posted to twitter by Kay Marie
Books or series in fantasy/scifi that handled the issue of rape well:
— Deerskin by Robin Mckinley
— The Boys (graphic novels), by Garth Ennis
— A book by Kate Elliot (I didn’t catch the title, so if someone knows which one, let me know in the comments)
— Rose Madder by Stephen King