[DWJ] Re: (now with minor^Wmajor spoilers for Dark Lord of Derkholm)

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Sat May 6 19:58:28 EDT 2006

On Sun, 7 May 2006, minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:
|[1] It wasn't in fact rape, which would explain the rape being missable.
|[2] It was rape, and DWJ was uncharacteristically clumsy, crass and stupid
|in her treatment of it, trivialising it almost to the point of
|[3] It was rape, and DWJ deliberately didn't give it prominence, possibly
|in order to suggest that rape is nasty but not in the same league as being
|burned very nearly to death, or forced to kill innocent victims, or
|destroying an entire world for monetary gain.
|Your view is that [2] is the correct interpretation; I'd be inclined to
|think it is [1] or [3]. myself.

My view is actually that it's possibly [4]: that author's intent
may not have been to write a gang rape scene, but given that a
quick google tells me I'm far from the only person who sees it
that way, it is certainly readable as one in the text, and so any
interpretations that rely on it as a problematic rape are valid

If it was [3] ... well, that might have worked for me if it
weren't a book from the perspective of several male characters
(yes, men get raped, but this was a female character getting
raped by men in a heteronormative and patriarchal stock fantasy
setting) in which the rape was made not prominent.  In that
perspective, it's more to me that the rape is not important to
the worldview of Derkholm, not that it's not important to Shona.
I agree that maybe if the fetishization of sexualization in our
society weren't so ludicrous than rape per se might be no more
heinous than any other crime with an equivalent level of damage
and pain, but I hardly think Dark Lord, as framed, is the book
best suited to counter the cross-cultural treatment of rape as an
extra-violent type of assault.

I see our difference, here.  You see my problems with the
treatment of the attack on Shona as evidence that no sexual
assault occured, since if it had occured, Blade and Shona would
have reacted more strongly.  I see the sexual assault as clearly
indicated by the text, so I find Blade's and Shona's reactions
find disconcerting, since I see the rape itself as having clearly

I would rather go honestly to Hell, admitting that I leaped
knowingly into error and folly, than enter into the sweetest
Heaven men can dream of by whining that I had been pushed.
		-- Freedom & Necesssity

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