I’ve noticed a trend in literature in the last few years: gratuitous rape scenes. Specifically gratuitous anal rape combined with demented torture.
I find this trend disturbing and I’ve boycotted the authors.
Not a sort of “I hate you now and I’ll never read you again,” boycott.
More of a “I don’t trust you now and I don’t want your demented images floating around in my head,” boycott. I’m on a different soul path these days.
The latest was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I could have done without the very graphic descriptions of torture, the very demented mix of sexuality and violence.
It’s not only in the fiction of male authors. It seems female authors are going for the emotional jugular and shock value as well. Specifically I’ll mention Kira Silak’s The White Mary and one of Janet Evonovich’s numbered novels. Both had incredibly horrific imagery of vaginal mutilation and anal rape.
I’ve gotten to where I don’t read much of the thriller mystery genre anymore.
It’s particularly disturbing when the author feels it necessary to graphically describe the rape, anal rape and torture of his or her own protagonist. Often times by someone they love or have a relationship with. Then the protagonist will spend maybe a day or a few hours washing herself off and going about her business, as if this is just what women should expect of the world and the men they are involved with.
There is a disturbing underlying emotion of hatred of female sexuality, a hatred of females in and of themselves, an objectification that goes beyond a one-night-stand-use-them-for-pleasure into women-are-disposable ideology. It’s an absurd notion that the witnessing of such horrific deeds – fiction or otherwise – passes for harmless entertainment in the plots of the stories.
It makes me wonder several disturbing things like:
How many men are jacking off to these images and creating an attraction to the mingling of misogyny, a fear and loathing of normal female sexuality and taking an an erotic pleasure in climaxing at the moment of a woman’s mutilation and even her naked death?
It also makes me wonder about the female audience. Why are we passively consuming graphic descriptions of rape, violence and torture of women in mass quantities of mainstream literature, music, television, movies and online porn and not offended by it?
I think there’s something wrong with both the men and women who are not offended. Mass desensitization to sexually violent misogyny can’t bode well for us.
It’s a form of vicarious rape of the masses of femininity. I don’t know whether its intent, in all cases, is to “keep women in their place” making sure that they’re aware of and just a little frightened about their physical vulnerability in this world – but I do think that’s the effect of it.
For more on this theory check out Misogynistic Violence for Breakfast where I discuss the sexually violent graphic nature of commercials during family programming time.
If you are on a different soul path, connect with Tracee Sioux. She can work with you to make sure you on the right track.