melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2017-03-17 04:57 pm
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I was prepping a laundry load of newly thrifted fabric and recently finished sewing projects, and decided to throw in my pincushion, as it was getting kind of grungy.

This pincushion is the one I made as my first project in 6th grade Home Ec, by sewing together two small squares of cloth and then stuffing them. I've been using it for twenty years.

After pulling all the pins out, and then all the visible needles, and then squeezing it for awhile to get all the hidden needles, I threw my hands up, took out the stuffing, and went through it that way.

There were forty-five needles hidden in it.*

...has anyone yet invented a pincushion that doesn't eat needles?


Anyway, I am still working on Kushiel. This week's FMK poll is still neck-and-neck, so your vote could turn it! You have until I get back from the St. Pat's dinner in an hour or two. I took the first three weeks' K books to the thrift store today (where I bought the fabric that is being washed. And two more books shhh) so I can't chicken out, augh. I am now finding myself wanting to buy books just because they will fill out a good set for an FMK poll. No, melannen! Bad! Bad!

In preparation for writing my thoughts on Kushiel, here is a poll for you about evolving terminology in reviews:

Poll #18094 Rape vs. rapeyness
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 71


If I describe a creative work as "rapey", I mean that it:

View Answers

has at least one rape in it
7 (9.9%)

has a lot of rape in it
13 (18.3%)

has unnecessary amounts of rape in it
31 (43.7%)

may or may not explicitly include rape, but has a lot of dubcon/noncon sort of situations or references
42 (59.2%)

may or may not explicitly include rape, but a general aura of rapiness hangs over it
42 (59.2%)

may or may not explicitly include rape, but uncritically includes many lovely exemplars of rape culture, such as victim-blaming or 'he couldn't help it he's an alpha male'.
56 (78.9%)

I will give you my answer in comments
5 (7.0%)

I would never use that word and don't find it a useful descriptor
2 (2.8%)



*I did not intend that as a metaphor for rape culture, and yet there it is.
recessional: bare-footed person in jeans walks on log (Default)

[personal profile] recessional 2017-03-18 04:44 pm (UTC)(link)

Oh definitely - just for me, at this point, "rapey" has absolutely hit the point where it's a sign of the Ugly Weaponized Discourse, not of "I just want to let you know that this is basically Dragonflight except it was written last year so . . . "

(I don't really hold the original Dragonriders' trilogy's shit against it, but if you're writing the same shit NOW and presenting it totally unproblematized, WELP.)

And since the Ugly Weaponized Discourse is 1000% one of the things that I know feeds my anxiety to the point of making me incapable of writing, and I know does it to a bunch of other people I'm very fond of*, and I've got a big chunk of scars from it, at this point the word preeeetty much serves as a Warning Sign? Because . . . I'm poking at words to explain it, here, but like my experience is that once it's become the frame even people who wouldn't normally get into the UWD-version start framing things that way.

Tl;dr, I guess: mostly what the word indicates for me is "we have now switched to viewing anything in this work that might if we squint look like it applies to sexualized violence through a lens of Is This A Socially Responsible Work and exactly where that line gets drawn is based entirely who's framing this discussion, and I need to figure out who that is. Or actually just need to leave the discussion before I start hissing like a teakettle as we talk about 'but is this book entirely about war, violence and power full of TOO MUCH rape and ERGO BAD because it PARTICIPATES in rape culture while also critiquing it and really is writing rape ever Justified?™'"

Which: the words "for me" are germane, but. (And, ironically, I'm a person who DOES need a warning for sexual/ized violence in fic, avoids the Trash Party like the plague**, and definitely curates her reading based on "can I deal with sexual/ized violence right now", which is why The Secret History of the Mongol Queens has gone on pause right now because I cannot deal with the shit the great Khan's piece-of-shit sons started doing after he died and they all got threatened by their sisters and aunts being better than them.)

Summarize the summary of the summary: this also is totally not meant to be "STOP USING THE WORD!" Or whatever, just, "this is what it means to me, and why, and I bother saying anything at all because I know I'm not alone I'm just way more willing to be obnoxious and throw greenish ungulates at people about it."

(*just, in the way of anxiety crap, usually people whose anxiety ALSO prevents them from going "HEY GUYS A THING". Brains, man.)

(**not because there's anything Wrong there but just because the whole frame Upsets Me because of how I relate to fiction and so on. They are 100000% free to do their thing and I will fight for their right to do it as long as I don't have to look at it. ;P)