When I did my post about heroes hitting women, Milady Insanity commented on livejournal that there is in fact a worse crime for a hero to commit than hitting a woman. Rape. Rape is the unredeemable sin.
Because as we all know, men have been redeemed from it countless times. The most famous case is of course Luke and Laura from General Hospital back in 1981. I’ve spent some time hunting but can’t find any other examples online, although I know there are, because I remember reading an article about it a few years back that cited more recent cases.
So why is that? Is it because we can believe a man might only rape a woman once, but once he starts hitting, he’ll never stop? If the hero hit the heroine because he loved her so much he couldn’t help himself, would that be any different?
“Forced seduction” is fairly popular still, as far as I know. Yes, the difference there is that the heroine always consents, even if it’s at the last second. And I’ll be honest. I don’t see anything wrong with it. As I said before, and will keep saying, we sometimes enjoy things in books that would horrify us in real life, because books are safe. We can experience our less savory fantasies vicariously, and I think that’s a good thing.
But I also wonder if I personally would be able to get past an actual rape in a book–not a forced seduction, but an out-and-out rape. I don’t think so. I just don’t think it’s a storyline that would work for me. Not having rape in the storyline–again, yet another reason Demon’s Triad will likely garner an X rating. The rape in that book is of a man, not of a woman, but it’s rape just the same, and there’s a particularly twisted reasoning behind it. Boy did we have to be careful writing and editing that scene, especially because of the identity of the rapist (you’ll have to read it to find out.) It’s a very, very dark book.
But I’ll be honest. The scene worked. And we actually discussed writing a sequel where the rapist is redeemed but neither of us really had much of a taste for it. Redeeming the rapist not only from rape but from various other crimes simply didn’t hold much appeal. Neither of us thought it was possible to do in one book.
What do you think? Is there any way you’d read a book–a romance, I should specify–in which the hero was a rapist? In which the hero raped the heroine? Or would you throw it across the room? Do you think such a book could even be published today?
And in other news, I had a great time on Saturday with Miss Caitlin Kittredge, who was gracous enough to listen to me drone on while I had her trapped in my car for hours. We drove to Cornwall (STUNNING) and went to the Museum of Witchcraft, which was fascinating and gave me a whole bunch of cool ideas. And now I feel all fired up and excited again, which is great because my enthusiasm has been flagging of late, what with the aborted Caveman attempt and all sorts of little projects on my mind. I’m refreshed again…even if I am having trouble again with my new Caveman tale, which I fear may not have the right voice for EC.
Anyway. That’s basically it for the moment. I have some fun stuff for Wednesday. I think it’s time we start having fun here again.
And I’ll be blogging at the League tomorrow about when things go wrong…