Author Topic: Question about lead characters  (Read 6565 times)

Seattlelite

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Question about lead characters
« on: January 19, 2008, 09:09:53 am »
I've read a number of Patty's books now (I haven't been dissappointed yet), and I'm just curious as to why so many of the leading lady's have been rapped[raped]? 

ETA: Edited for spelling change. Elle.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 06:18:41 pm by Elle »

Mike Briggs

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Re: Question about lead characters
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2008, 09:48:02 pm »
Just a quick comment from the peanut gallery  ;D

Rape is a disturbingly common crime -- much more common than most people realize.   In Mercy's case, that's just were the story led.  What would an insecure pinhead with a goblet full of fairy-juice and a ring that makes him super-persuasive do to a lady that he thought had been playing him for a fool?  Heck, what would half the guys in the world do with those artifacts? 

Patty got several emails from people who were upset with the events in Iron Kissed.  I posted a web-page that mentioned some of the hate mail she'd gotten and included some discussion of why she made those choices. She then got a large number of heartbreaking emails from people who had been sexually assaulted, and wanted to voice their support for the way it was handled.  While the support was greatly appreciated, we don't have the expertise to respond to people dealing with these issues appropriately, so I pulled the link.  I did leave the page on the server.  If you want to know why Patty made those decisions you can go to http://www.hurog.com/ironkissed_spoilers.shtml. The one thing that is obvious is that this is an extremely sensitive topic, and one that we as a people are not comfortable discussing.  Some people are going to remain angry, and that's understandable.  I still think she made the right choice.

In "Steal the Dragon" the main character was a slave, trained as a dancer because she was lovely.  There were allusions to rape, but (unless my memory fails me) those events were treated as something long done, and were never 'on screen'.   For the record, slaver and rape go hand in hand.  To have a pretty female slave, trained as a dancer for mens pleasure, and NOT have any sexual contact would have been a real stretch of the imagination. 

In Dragon Blood rape was implied as a form of torture.  Patty kept almost all of it off-screen, but it's there. Again, this is distressingly well documented.  From a torturer's stand point, the combination of pain and humiliation is a quick way to break down all sorts of psychological resistance.  Various levels of rape/sodomy/humiliation have been used in  "interrogation" for centuries (including by US troops in Iraq). 

I believe those are the only books she's written that deal with this topic.

Patty is, perhaps unfortunately, a good student of history.  Good stories usually involve change -- and in a fantasy world, change usually involves wars, famine, plage or civil unrest (sometimes all of the above).  All of these destabilizing influences are also associated with increased crime, random depredations and rape. 

Finally, as other people have mentioned.  This isn't a fatal event for a character.  I don't mean to diminish the impact of rape, but most victims move on.  All of us are tempered and shaped by the afflictions we endure.  As long as the trials don't destroy us, we emerge scarred, changed and stronger than before.  This isn't some abstract philosophy, it's the truth, and some of us bear the scars to prove it.   




« Last Edit: January 19, 2008, 09:52:47 pm by Mike Briggs »
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Seattlelite

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Re: Question about lead characters
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2008, 04:44:55 am »
Thank you for the thoughts.  After posting, I realised that in each case, it made sense that the incident happened.  However, it did surprise me a bit when I looked back and most of the characters had been raped (not rapped) at some point, either earlier or during the book (Alpha & Omega, Steal the Dragon--and yes, she was raped during the book, in fact, Tris was surprised it didn't challenge their bond, the Hurog books, and, of course, Iron Kissed), and I wondered if there was something more behind it (other than perhaps respecting statistics).  I was also quite impressed at how the experience further strengthened the character rather than diminished them. Though not having experienced it myself, I'm sure it must help to empower someone who has.   

Patty Briggs

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Re: Question about lead characters
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2008, 09:56:43 pm »
It looks like Mike handled this one pretty well.   You can also look at my explanation on Diana Pharoah Francis's blog --http://difrancis.livejournal.com/152960.html

Best wishes,
Patty Briggs