melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote 2017-03-18 03:52 pm (UTC)

I think once you get into certain historical or secondary world type settings, the "my rapist and I learned to love each other and we are now happily married" thing can work without being overly rape-y? Because those stories did & do happen in real life, especially in cases where the cultural coercion is so strong that the rapist believably did not realize there were other valid ways to get a wife. And I don't think it's useful to exclude large swaths of human experience from stories because they are ideologically inconvenient.

But it has to be really well done, and most of the time it does come off as the author excusing rape. (Also it often falls into the "unnecessary amounts of rape" category if there was no particularly compelling reason to worldbuild that way except that the author thinks it's how things should work.)

(Pern, for example, did not do it well. I actually thought the F'nor/Brekke in Dragonquest was framed as sad rather than sexy, but then I never felt the need to re-read that scene. It was defintiely rapey in other ways though. And the F'lar/Lessa in Dragonflight definitely was framed as hottt. Of course I never quite bought F'lar/Lessa as happily married.)

I also don't think I would ever use "rape-y" as a description of a fanfic? Probably not even for, like, indie kindle erotica. I feel like for me there's a certain context of... the writer having a particular power relationship with... cultural norms?... that works differently with fic writer. (I might use it to describe an entire subfandom or genre, though.) I expect non-con warnings on fic, though, which is probably another reason why I feel like the power relationship is different - the fic writer isn't trying to slip the non-con by the reader as normal good sex.

I don't think I'd use it for the lazy characterization version either, not unless it was, like, half the characters. I would be annoyed and call it lazy, but you can do that without having the things that make me think it's a generally rapey story. Interesting differences in usage!

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