I’ve been thinking about writing this post since the Take Back The SciFi Redux panel at WisCon where we talked about media that portrayed rape in a horrid, sketchy way but also mentioned some media that did it well. The latter list was very small, as you can imagine.
I’ve railed against the way writers of books and television shows and movies use rape at least twice before. But there are obviously some people who still don’t get it, and they don’t know why they don’t get it. What makes the portrayal of rape in book X palatable to me, but the portrayal in book Y sends me into a fit of rage?
There are three books I’ve read in recent years that make excellent examples – two bad examples, one positive example:
- The Two Pearls of Wisdom by Alison Goodman
- Life by Gwyneth Jones
- The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner
Below is a description of each book that contains spoilers for the story and possible triggers for those who’ve been raped or sexually assaulted, so please take care when clicking. Though my hope is that the issues raised will be more helpful than harmful. Click here to read.