manifesta: (Dangerous)
manifesta ([personal profile] manifesta) wrote2010-04-29 11:06 pm

hook, line, and sinker

I promise the 3W4D book posts are forthcoming; my life should wind down considerably after today. Expect the first book analysis sometime tomorrow.

However, today at Dear Author I found the perfect example of what I refer to when I say that not all readers, even educated ones, can recognize a forced seduction scenario as rape every time. I think this particular example highlights exactly how hazy the distinction can be and the cognitive dissonance we may endure when faced with two conflicting images: how we are inclined, as a society, to believe that if, later on, a rape is presented as though the woman wanted it, then we dismiss any other reactions she may have had.
"This is one of the problematic areas. Charlotte is not a prostitute but nor is she a virgin. At the beginning of the coupling, it appears from Charlotte’s point of view that this is unwanted and initially fights him off, yet the two proceed to climax. Later in the chapter, clues are given that Charlie not only consented but was a full participant. During the consummation scene, I wasn’t sure. I read it twice and came away with some ambiguity. However, the post consummation exchange displays what I enjoyed so much about this story."
This book received a B grade from Jane at Dear Author.

[personal profile] miss_haitch 2010-04-30 08:19 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, ugh. And I found the after-sex scene horrible -- the bit about starting angry and then changing to "a different emotion". Ick.
marina: (Default)

[personal profile] marina 2010-04-30 11:28 am (UTC)(link)
UGH UGH UGH >_< I feel unclean and I haven't even read this book.
mllesays: John Singer Sargent painting (gg // dub tee eff)

[personal profile] mllesays 2010-04-30 02:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I remember taking a Victorian Lit class my freshman year of undergrad, and reading Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Our professor actually argued with us that the forced seduction scene wasn't rape, and moreover, was totally consensual. Frustratingly, being so young and new to academia, I couldn't make my point well enough about forced seduction and power differentials and coercion. Ughhhh. I remember leaving that class and just crying because I was so frustrated by it.
mllesays: John Singer Sargent painting (* // 3w4dw)

[personal profile] mllesays 2010-05-01 06:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Since starting the discussion about forced seduction scenarios, I've found a lot more people who believe forced seductions aren't rape than I thought I would.

This worries me, a lot.

I'm not even sure what else to say, except thank you for your efforts to talk about and analyze these things.
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)

[personal profile] holyschist 2010-05-01 02:12 am (UTC)(link)
...I had an argument recently with someone who claimed these sorts of scenes aren't common in romance novels anymore. And apparently romance is not more likely to have them than other genres.

I remain unconvinced, *sigh*.

(Which does not mean I think romance as a genre is bad and worthless, etc. Just--a genre focused on romance and sex is going to have more potential for skeevy sexual dynamics, and I'm not convinced this one is passé yet.)
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)

[personal profile] holyschist 2010-05-01 07:13 pm (UTC)(link)
I think also the subgenres of romance I've read the most of (historical and paranormal) tend to have more "alpha heroes" and dubious consent justified by psychic soul-bond or "different social norms" or whatnot. But yeah, they are subtler than the 70s and 80s stuff I've read. I'm not sure that's a good thing.