Rape Culture: From Grimdark Fantasy to Reality

Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault and Rape Survivors

When I worked as a reporter for a local paper in East Tennessee some years back, a story arose about a young woman who had been sexually assaulted at her high school. When the issue was brought to the school board’s attention, they moved heaven and earth to shame the young woman and to vilify her and her family.

No one denied the attack happened but nothing was done about it because the attacker was a star athlete and the school’s administration was beyond corrupt. When I tried to follow up and get the family’s side of events, the story was buried due to local politics and my publisher’s wish to stay in good with the Powers That Be in the county.

The young woman’s mother contacted me later and informed me that she and their family moved to another county, they were doing much better and thanked me for doing what I could. I apologized I couldn’t do more.

As I would come to learn in the years to follow, this is why rape culture is so prevalent.

I’m often asked why I tackled rape culture in Hollowstone and it’s for that very reason, to bring awareness to how pervasive and serious this issue is.

Needless to say I have serious problem with writers who use it as a trope or filler or a plot point for female characters.

Needless to say this is one of the main reasons I quit watching Game of Thrones years ago.

15 thoughts on “Rape Culture: From Grimdark Fantasy to Reality

  1. I’m quitting it also. After this season, it has really put me in a dark and angry place – at the directors who feel that there is nothing wrong with using rape, molestation, and sexual assault as a plot point for female characters and at viewers who feel that this is just an understandable depiction of the “way of the world”.

  2. I have my own personal history with sexual assault and while I was okay reading the books (mostly) because of the oblique way Martin handled it, the show is putting me off in a big way. I used to defend it to detractors and I don’t anymore. I’ll still watch it myself because of the understanding I’ve come to, but I’m not recommending it to new viewers anymore.

  3. I haven’t ever seen more than a preview of Game of Thrones. To be open, some may see me as prudish, but I don’t watch nudity on film. I just find it unhelpful to any story I’ve seen, and I don’t want to see stories that “need” a sex scene. I hope that, very soon, women can act and direct without needing to be sexual in front of a camera. Men don’t, but the Film Industry hasn’t seen this inequality as abnormal.

    As to GOT, I hear it’s good story-telling. Regardless, I save my brain space (yes, I’m saying I have limitations) and don’t add the stress of a fake evil world to the real world. So, I don’t watch the Sopranos, Family Guy, Breaking Bad, or any show focused on an idiot, antihero, or culture’s malaise.

    GOT, as its author states, will end with a scene of a landscape of graves becoming covered by deep snow falling. SPOILER ALERT too slow! Why do we want to see people act with a way that leads to death? Can we instead spend time looking for “only solutions”*?

    As to the Rape Culture, we need to stand up. Drupkins, keep fighting evil in the real world. God bless ya… and yes, I am one of those kinda “God bless ya” people.

    *Quote from one of my favored old films, “Tron” and its soundtrack song by Journey… and yes, I’m sa

  4. I wondered how much violence the audience would take before they realized how barbaric it all is. Did they cling to some hope that Danaerys or Sansa would rise like Queen Elizabeth the First, or Empress Catherine the Great? The show proceeds like an upcoming train wreck but we’re helpless to look away.

    It’s sad that family had to suffer like that. I hope that in today’s world they can get more peace and justice than what’s in Game of Thrones.

    1. GOT isn’t historical. It’s a fantasy with dragons and zombies and White Lady Jesus and stuff.

  5. While GOT is not historical, it is an analog to the world during medieval times. Westeros is one giant British isles and the whole saga of King’s Landing is based on the War of the Roses.

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