I was browsing through Seanan McGuire’s LiveJournal, having just begun exploring her Fae-verse in the e-novella, In Sea-Salt Tears (it’s a companion to Book 5 of the Toby Daye series, but it’s understandable enough for someone who hasn’t read the main series…though it really makes me want to read One Salt Sea).
Anyway, a few weeks ago, McGuire posted her response to a jawdroppingly dumb comment someone made about her female characters. The nutshell: the person first asked when McGuire’s female characters were finally going to get raped (because apparently that’s expected of urban fantasy female protagonists). When McGuire responded that that wouldn’t happen, the commenter accused her of not respecting her writing, and being unrealistic.
Try not to smack your foreheads too hard.
I’ll leave most of the rage-sponse to McGuire, but let me just say this: she’s showing respect for her characters precisely because she isn’t subjecting them to rape just because some ignorant reader expects that of female urban fantasy protagonists. In case anyone’s forgotten, rape is a serious subject, not to be thrown into a story just for edginess or drama.
I’ll leave you with this bit from McGuire’s post:
Rape in fiction can be a powerful and important thing. It can be used to make important statements, it can be used to drive important stories. […] I am not saying that no one should write about rape, ever.
But rape in fiction can also be a problematic and belittling thing, used to put cocky heroines in their places. […] I read a lot of horror, a lot of comics, and a lot of urban fantasy, and the one thing these three things have in common is rape. Lots and lots and lots of rape.
And I don’t wanna write that.