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

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Sun May 7 23:37:18 EDT 2006


On Sat, 6 May 2006 19:58:28 -0400 (EDT), deborah.dwj at suberic.net wrote:

>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
>|invisibility.
>|[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
>concerns.

I tend to agree with you on this.  Even if it wasn't rape (and for the
record, I do see it as rape) it was still a hideous, sexually-oriented
attack.  You have a pack of hardened criminals who have already been leering
aggressively at Shona, and their attack on her had all the marks of a
specifically sexual assault.  But let's say for the moment that whether or
not it was rape, it was on a level with some of the physical assaults on
other characters, such as Derk's being so severely burned.  Derk's recovery
is painful and long even when aided by magic.  Shona's recovery compresses
what would normally take weeks or months into a matter of seconds.  The
implication to me is that a sexual (mental) trauma can be healed far more
easily than physical damage, and I'm not happy with that.  Yes, some rape
victims do recover that quickly, but not all of them, and I think it
trivializes the latter group's struggles to imply that "getting over it" is
just that easy.

Melissa Proffitt



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