September 17, 2019, 03:58:06 AM

Author Topic: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes  (Read 4195 times)

Offline CryptofCthulhu

Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2016, 01:28:34 PM »
Here's how I look at the whole thing. Killing someone isn't that hard to imagine doing. I've read enough books where if I really wanted someone dead, I could make it happen and have they're body disappear, as long as I had the right resources. Which I don't at the moment.
But raping? That I would never do. To me, it's a far worse crime than killing. You kill someone, that's it. They're no longer on this Earth to feel any pain. Sure, their family might be grieving, but still. With rape, they're still here to feel it, remember it, be traumatized, possibly get pregnant from it... Add on to that their loved ones having to go through it with them, and it makes for a mess.
I can handle books about rape. It sucks reading about, but it's a part of life I'm not going to shy away from just because it makes me uncomfortable. However, I would rather read 300 pages of death and destruction of both men and women, rather than see 10 pages of either gender being violated.

If you kill someone you have stolen their future from them. All they might do or become.  A rape victim isn't incapable of persevering and finding meaning and happiness again in life. They can still get married, have children, grow old with someone they love. A murder victim might have never had any of this, nor will they ever be able to if that is true. On the other hand they might leave children behind. I can't imagine a child who watches someone killed in front of them would be any less traumatized by the event than a rape victim would be from an assault.

I'll never understand this glossing over of murder and suggestion that rape is worse by leaps and bounds.

I'm going to just leave it at that because the thread is basically at the point that I naively hoped it wouldn't reach.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2016, 01:30:53 PM by CryptofCthulhu »
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Offline ArhiX

Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2016, 02:02:21 PM »
Sometimes killing is unavoidable. You are being recruite and you have to go there and kill in order to protect yourself/your family/village/people/country/ideals/race. You can JUSTIFY killing someone. Being good in killing can make you famous (think i.e gladiators or famous WW2 snipers). It means you are skilled enough not to get killed. To survive. Killing is not always evil.

But rape? Being famous, because you are hmmmm... good at raping doesn't sound glorious at all. Killing can make you a hero, but raping won't take you that far. You can't rape someone in order to protect yourself/your family/country/etc. Rapists do it, because they want to. This is pure evil (like 99.99999% of time it is - but more about that later).

What people forget is that rape is a VERY real threat for at least half the population (e.g., anyone not male).

Never heard of males being raped? Don't quote me on this later, but as long as something has a hole and is moving, it can be raped. Man can do this to man as well as woman to another woman or even man.
Never heard of jail rapes? Na-ah? Well... that's good for you then.


Human kind is really messed-up when it comes to think about it...

The world is full of stories, but not always the ones you'd like to hear.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2016, 02:08:15 PM by ArhiX »
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Offline ultamentkiller

Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2016, 07:46:59 PM »
I think I know the difference.
Countries go to war all the time. Sure, there's killing and raping alike, but what it's ultimately about is the killing. Therefore, we've glorified it. "Hey! Go kill these people to protect your country! America! Rah!" Or any other country. However, you never hear, "This country is pure evil! Go over there and rape every person you can find! America! Rah!"
We justify killing with protecting ourselves and friends and family. I don't know of any such justification for rape.

Offline Yora

Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2016, 08:12:22 PM »
I'll never understand this glossing over of murder and suggestion that rape is worse by leaps and bounds.
My favorite Witcher story in The Last Wish is "The Lesser Evil". Though the theme of the story goes through the whole series.

Spoiler for Hiden:
There is no lesser evil. There is only evil.

Offline CryptofCthulhu

Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2016, 09:21:43 PM »
Sometimes killing is unavoidable. You are being recruite and you have to go there and kill in order to protect yourself/your family/village/people/country/ideals/race. You can JUSTIFY killing someone. Being good in killing can make you famous (think i.e gladiators or famous WW2 snipers). It means you are skilled enough not to get killed. To survive. Killing is not always evil.

But rape? Being famous, because you are hmmmm... good at raping doesn't sound glorious at all. Killing can make you a hero, but raping won't take you that far. You can't rape someone in order to protect yourself/your family/country/etc. Rapists do it, because they want to. This is pure evil (like 99.99999% of time it is - but more about that later).

What people forget is that rape is a VERY real threat for at least half the population (e.g., anyone not male).

Never heard of males being raped? Don't quote me on this later, but as long as something has a hole and is moving, it can be raped. Man can do this to man as well as woman to another woman or even man.
Never heard of jail rapes? Na-ah? Well... that's good for you then.


Human kind is really messed-up when it comes to think about it...

The world is full of stories, but not always the ones you'd like to hear.

If you include jail rapes the statistics show that men are just as likely to be raped and some years more men are raped than women. But they just lump all the prisoners together and tell the stupid "dropping the soap" jokes and dismiss it as nothing.   ::)
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Offline Francis Knight

Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2016, 12:30:38 AM »
In some areas male rape is endemic (in certain war areas for instance, or the more notorious prisons) and there were ancient laws against male (as well as female) rape in a lot of places. It happened/happens and more often than you might think

Which makes you wonder why for realism's sake it doesn't turn up in books with female rape. Which is why I have alluded it to it in both my trilogies. (In the first, of the two who might be victims it's funny how everyone assumes it's her....)

ETA I am all for realism. As long as you don't gloss over the bits of "real" that make you squirm
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 12:33:47 AM by Francis Knight »
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Offline noisomethrone

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Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2016, 02:15:22 AM »
If I had to guess, it's likely because to tell the story in A Song of Ice and Fire, people need to die. It's about a kingdom at war with itself. You couldn't really move the plot along otherwise (not to mention a fantasy novel without people dying is almost guaranteed to be boring as all hell). It's been a while since I've read the books, but I don't really recall any rapes that moved the plot forward in any significant decree. I do still occasionally remember the tale Arya overhears in A Clash of Kings that involves Gregor Clegane and some barmaid and the horror and brutality of it still makes me shudder.

People started watching the show with full knowledge that people would die. It advertises itself with the tagline "all men must die" for Rhllor's sake. But nobody really expected (or wanted) graphic depictions of women being raped. I'd guess that these expectations have far more to do with the controversy around the show than anything about people treating men poorly or whatever meninist nonsense you seem to be too shy to come out and say.
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Offline AshKB

Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2016, 06:30:53 AM »
In some areas male rape is endemic (in certain war areas for instance, or the more notorious prisons) and there were ancient laws against male (as well as female) rape in a lot of places. It happened/happens and more often than you might think

Which makes you wonder why for realism's sake it doesn't turn up in books with female rape. Which is why I have alluded it to it in both my trilogies. (In the first, of the two who might be victims it's funny how everyone assumes it's her....)

ETA I am all for realism. As long as you don't gloss over the bits of "real" that make you squirm

This, so much this.

In SFF, generally, it's only women who get raped, even where the male characters next to them should be threatened with the same, or the male characters are in situations where it'd be. Women, women, women, women, girls, sometimes a strike out into 'children'.

Jon Snow should be very, very worried, heading to the Wall. And yet....not as far as I can tell, from what I've seen and heard.

And keep in mind, that the number of female characters will be far, far fewer than male, so it stands out more. An army can die in a paragraph, but the rapes usually happen to characters on-page. It's not just a question of sheer number, but also treatment and focus.

The present ratios in 'realistic' novels isn't realistic at all, which just adds to the anger about the whole situation.
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Offline Lanko

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Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2016, 06:50:51 AM »
In some areas male rape is endemic (in certain war areas for instance, or the more notorious prisons) and there were ancient laws against male (as well as female) rape in a lot of places. It happened/happens and more often than you might think

Which makes you wonder why for realism's sake it doesn't turn up in books with female rape. Which is why I have alluded it to it in both my trilogies. (In the first, of the two who might be victims it's funny how everyone assumes it's her....)

ETA I am all for realism. As long as you don't gloss over the bits of "real" that make you squirm

This, so much this.

In SFF, generally, it's only women who get raped, even where the male characters next to them should be threatened with the same, or the male characters are in situations where it'd be. Women, women, women, women, girls, sometimes a strike out into 'children'.

Jon Snow should be very, very worried, heading to the Wall. And yet....not as far as I can tell, from what I've seen and heard.

And keep in mind, that the number of female characters will be far, far fewer than male, so it stands out more. An army can die in a paragraph, but the rapes usually happen to characters on-page. It's not just a question of sheer number, but also treatment and focus.

The present ratios in 'realistic' novels isn't realistic at all, which just adds to the anger about the whole situation.

You see, it really comes down to personal experience. I have very few books under my baggage and pretty much started reading Fantasy all-out last year.

And I can cite at least 3 male rapes right away, with a possible 4th:

In Way of Shadows, by Brent Weeks:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Jarl is repeatedly raped and beaten by Rat, their crime boss. He even makes Jarl appears dressed as a girl in front of everyone.
Meanwhile, there's a girl called Elene with them and despite living in the slums with this guy and plenty of other street kids and teens, is never raped.

In Emperor of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence:

Spoiler for Hiden:
We discover Jorg himself was raped.

In The Deed of Paksenarrion, by Elizabeth Moon:

Spoiler for Hiden:
I forgot the name of the character, but a guy, son of a commander, is captured, beaten, tortured, raped and then castrated

While I don't know about rape, in Game of Thrones, by GRRM:

Spoiler for Hiden:
The Imaculated are beaten, brainwashed kids, who were also all castrated

EDIT: Not that I'm saying the proportion is equivalent or something like that...
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 07:00:23 AM by Lanko »
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Offline AshKB

Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2016, 08:26:40 AM »
Castration is not rape. It is horrific, but it is not rape. And good, that's two male protagonists across two different book series - it's a start.

But, okay, Game of the Thrones?

Rape in ASOIAF vs. Game of Thrones: a statistical analysis

Quote
Rape acts in Game of Thrones the TV series (to date): 50
Rape victims in Game of Thrones (to date): 29

Rape acts in ASOIAF the book series (to date): 214
Rape victims in ASOIAF (to date): 117

Another link, which I think illustrates the overall argument better: We Are Not Things: Mad Max vs Game of Thrones.

It's just...it's lazy, all of that rape. Lazy and not remotely as edgy or realistic as the authors who keep employing it like this think. And it's so highly gendered in ways that are unrealistic, which given how many women are sexually assaulted in their lifetimes is saying something.
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Offline Rostum

Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2016, 11:28:01 AM »
Just because it says it's a statistical analysis doesnt mean it is so.

I have been avoiding this thread for fairly obvious reasons, but I draw the line at opinion on tumblr being quoted as data. The authors byline reads 'I was a geek girl before those loser boys started calling us “fake geek girls.” Why do I feel really old?

Context within fantasy writing is everything look at the world through a 21st century earth ideal and it likely wont fit into your viewpoint, but there again neither would the real actions of people in the 16th century.
Is the love scene in Romeo and Juliet rape? After all both are under the modern age of consent so by modern thinking a crime has been commited.
Authors should be able to write pretty much within reason as they wish to, your choice to read it or not.
Quite recently authors were personally attacked for among other things portrayals of rape and degradation.  The moral arbiter of this reaked havoc through the SFF community by playing to the mob and claiming to either have the moral high ground or be the victim, the outraged and easily led jumped on the bandwagon.

As for Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes the reality through human history has been the opposite.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 06:46:10 PM by Rostum »

Offline Barbara J Webb

Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2016, 06:41:18 PM »
This is a really complicated topic, that's hard to answer in the length of a forum post, so I'm just going to come at one angle.

One of the reasons why rape in fiction gets a lot of--lets say negative attention--is that because so often it's simply a lazy writing trick that relies on the idea that a) women exist to provide motivation for men and b) the only bad things that happen to women are things related to their gender.

Over and over and over again in books, on TV, in movies, if we are fortunate enough to have a female character in the story, if her story is to progress, it does so in one of three ways (or some combination): she gets married, she gets pregnant, she gets raped. These are the stories that women get. Men get lots of different stories.

Over and over and over again in books, on TV, in movies, one of the primary ways we bring pain to our male protagonists is by attacking their girlfriends. Usually either she gets killed or she gets raped.

Over and over and over again in books, on TV, in movies, one of the fastest and easiest ways to show some guy is a villain is to...you guessed it!--have him rape a woman.

The problem isn't that rape is worse than killing. It's that it's a trick used over and over by lazy storytellers and one of the few stories women get to have, and it gets pretty tiresome. It's a trick that gets used so often its to the point people expect it. At a con, Seanan MacGuire once got asked when her urban fantasy heroine was going to get raped, because that was what happened to women who ran around alone at night. A super-powered heroine. Does anyone ask that question about Batman? If so, I've never heard it.

The problem isn't that rape is A tool of writers, it's that, too often, it's the only tool.
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Offline JMack

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Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2016, 08:26:38 PM »
I am writing a book (so I say) with a female protagonist.
Never planned to include rape in any way.
BUT, I found Barbara's post just now very useful.

Now planning to also avoid marriage and pregnancy.  ;D

No, seriously. Now planning to also avoid marriage and pregnancy.
There are so many other stories to tell.
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Offline Francis Knight

Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes
« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2016, 11:28:05 PM »

The problem isn't that rape is A tool of writers, it's that, too often, it's the only tool.

Yup - guys get all sorts of stuff happen to them. But need to traumatise a woman?

Tbh raps is not my worst fear. Now, something happening to my kids....Ofc men get "whole family killed off" as their standard backstory, but that's just lazy too.

OK there are times it could be used to good effect. But 99% of the time, not. One of my very few rules as a writer is this: your first idea about (say backstory, or worst thing to happen) isn't usually any good. Often this (rape) feels like the first idea, or the not thought out idea. I doubt it's in any way malicious. But it IS lazy

ETA I do recall.. I think Seanan McGuire? (and sp?) saying she was asked when her female protag would be raped in the series. Not if, when.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 11:31:19 PM by Francis Knight »
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Offline Raptori

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Re: Slaughter of thousands vs a handful of rapes
« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2016, 11:37:25 PM »
I am writing a book (so I say) with a female protagonist.
Never planned to include rape in any way.
BUT, I found Barbara's post just now very useful.

Now planning to also avoid marriage and pregnancy.  ;D

No, seriously. Now planning to also avoid marriage and pregnancy.
There are so many other stories to tell.
We don't plan for Sora (our protagonist) to go through any of those... but then again she is only about 13 years old. As an adult she'd never want kids though, just not in her character. Marriage depends on whether she'd meet the right person, and whether it fits where she is in her life.


No, I'm not delusional, she is a real person.  >:(
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