Going out tonight with bestest college friends who are in town--dollar margaritas at Sabor Latino, yay!
Did some hard shopping with my mother today--she takes no prisoners, man. Got the ROTK soundtrack for myself, which makes me very happy. The CD store where I bought it was playing nothing but Michael Jackson songs on the speakers, which I found very disturbing.
Speaking of disturbing, I would just like to discuss a trend I find a bit upsetting: rape as a casual plot point. Particularly in light of this news story. We've been getting an unusual number of stories in my fiction workshops that involve male protagonists, usually first-person narratives, raping women at or near the end of the story. We had one last night; we had a T.C. Boyle story presentation the week before that, and over the summer we had the most graphic "accidental" rape of a virgin lesbian (look, don't ask me) that I ever want to read. I can't remember precisely, but I think there may have been another story with a rape in it earlier this semester.
I want to be clear that the stories were mostly good, and the rape scenes did not seem gratuitous taken individually. It's the overall trend that upsets me. Put it this way: I'm tired of reading about rape. The stories aren't about dealing with the after-effects of rape, or how the woman deals with it, or how the man feels guilty at all. It's always a man who "gets excited" and "can't control himself" and goes too far. It's usually eroticized ("her body was so beautiful"). And generally the writer is using it to tell us something about the narrator (i.e., he's a creep). But you know what? Find another way. I'm tired of reading rapes. This is something that woman will have to carry with her for the rest of her life, and part of the reason I'm so disturbed by these scenes is that they're so offhand, they come at the end of the story and don't show or deal with any fallout, any consequences. Are these writers trying to be "edgy"? Because I hate that. The last story, in fact--and God bless Jim, he's a good writer, and I doubt he meant it this way--had a particularly trivialized rape. I mean, the guy drugged and raped the girl to make his friend think that she was cheating on him, and thereby break them up and get back at the friend in some weird way. You know, never mind how this affects her; I don't care if she is a stripper. It's just--wow. I don't even know that I can talk about it rationally. I know too many women who have been victimized in one way or another by guys who are never slapped with any consequences whatsoever, and I'm just sick of it. Guys? Try making the character who gets raped male and see how you feel about rape as a plot point then.