Yesterday, I wrote 1,105 words on "One Tree Hill (The World As Cataclysm)." On the one hand, I like where it's going. It's coming along very nicely, even if I have no idea where it's headed. On the other, I only meant to write a vignette, and I need to find THE END so I can get back to Fay Grimmer (which I am presently subjecting to a MAJOR fucking reimagining, at my own behest). Oh, that reminds me. I saw the new cover for Blood Oranges yesterday. It's still not completely finished, and the text isn't done, but I like it very much, and I'm thankful to my editors for saving me from that first round of crappy cover designs.
Yesterday, for the second time ever, I blurbed a book (I've written introductions, but I don't classify those with "blurbs"), for Swedish fantasist Karin Tidbeck's forthcoming collection, Jagannath (coming from Cheeky Frawg Books). It's very, very good, and I hope you'll get a copy as soon as you may. The title story is something I genuinely wish I'd written. I'm about to do my third blurb, and then I think I'll not be giving any more for a time.
So, what I wanted to write about yesterday, but didn't, and what I'm not writing about today because Monsieur Insomnia is an ass, goes back to what I did write about July 20th. Specifically, the same individual who accused me of being a racist for using the word "exotic" in Silk condemned me that same day for the rape of Nuala by the Lop in The Dreaming #48 ("Scary Monsters,' May '00)*. Yeah, I don't think this person's read anything I've written in the last twelve years or so, but whatever. When that issue of The Dreaming came out, there was noise from a few people who felt I'd crossed a line, writing the rape scene (and who were of the opinion, too, that it didn't matter that Nuala immediately killed the rapist).
Under the guise of feminism, near as I could tell, the logic ran something like this: Writing rape scenes contributes to media normalization of rape and contributes to rape culture and therefore to actual rape itself. You write a rape scene, you may as well have committed the crime in real life. Which, of course, is precisely akin to blaming The Dark Knight Rising for James Eagan Holmes attack on that theater in Aurora, Colorado.
It works this way, folks who are too stupid to be allowed to read: Authors write about the real world, even when we are writing fantasy. In the real world, rape occurs. It is one of the great evils humanity can perpetrate upon humanity (rape against women and men), and, as such, it has a rightful and profoundly important place in literature, which seeks to examine and understand humanity. Or we can begin removing all manner of books from the shelves right now, beginning with those original faerie tales and mythologies, and proceeding to some of the greatest novels of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Shall we begin with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Let the Right One In, and, oh, hey, The Color Purple? The individual in question would likely say we should. Fortunately, she is just another twidiot, and there are smart people who fight censorship. If you don't want to read a book with a rape scene/s, do some research beforehand, and you can make an informed choice to avoid them.
And, if it means anything (and it may not), I was raped in 1992. It was never reported to the police. I was too afraid to do so. It just happened, in the dressing room of a club where I was dancing. That scene with Nuala, which I wrote seven years later, what I was doing is called catharsis, working through my fear, facing and killing my fear. Learning to live with it, even though I would always be haunted by that night. Understanding closure is a fantasy, and the best we can do is refuse to allow fear to crush and blind us and render us cripples. Is that TMI, and do you stand offended and aghast at my public admission? Then fuck you. And, also, see Tori Amos' "Me and a Gun"**, et al. Oh, and I don't buy that nonsense about "retraumatization," either, unless we're talking about an actual, real-world reoccurrence of the incident that created the first trauma.
Well, so I wrote about it today after all. Bully for me.
I want to make a promise to you, the reader. And I don't know if I can fulfill it tomorrow, or even the day after that. But I put the bastards of this world on notice that I do not have their best interests at heart. ~ Hunter S. Thompson
I Only Came Here Seeking Peace,
(It will be interesting to see if today's post elicits as many comments as did that on the 20th.)
* By the way, with the exception of the stand-alone issue "The First Adventure of Miss Catterina (#56, January '01), and it was immediately after this story arc that I asked to end the series (at #50), but was persuaded (ney, cajoled) into continuing to issue 100. Ironically, I was then told we really should end at #60. But after #47, I confess I was pretty much writing the series on autopilot.
** To quote Amos on the effect of having written of the song: "My strength has been to open again, to life, and my victory is the fact that, despite it all, I kept alive my vulnerability."