The OF Blog: Two potential discussion topics

Friday, January 09, 2009

Two potential discussion topics

Don't have much time right now (as in, I have some grading to finish before I go back to bed), but here are a couple of things that I likely will want to elaborate upon at length this weekend (time/energy permitting):

I. The use of the word "rape" to describe the similarities between authors' works. Err...

II. A series of three posts on urban fantasy by author Carrie Vaughn. I want to devote a lot of time to her posts, because she herself seems to have devoted a lot of thought to writing them and I think the result will be interesting.

But no, it's past midnight here and I need to get another 40 papers graded. Miles to go before I sleep and all...

6 comments:

Colinhead said...

I do not like the use of the word rape for anything else than what it was originally intended to convey. I think that any time you hear 'rape' you should be made to think of the horror and destruction that the act visits upon a person. Using it for something so (relatively) trivial takes away from that. I feel the same way about the word 'pimp.'

Larry said...

Same here, especially since I have spent several years working with teens who had been victims of rape/sexual exploitation. The cavalier way that title and others related to the traditional powerlessness of women bothers me on occasion (even if I can't claim to have been completely guiltless my life in that regard), especially as I get older.

kissoon said...

I really don't have a problem with it. I would think the poster used it hyperbolically to elicit a stong response to something he wanted to discuss and didn't think about the fuss using that particular word might cause.

Personally, I wouldn't have used that term myself.

The Witchfinder said...

I have also known a few rape-victims, and in my experience, skipping around the term as politically correct as possible never helped any, which it NEVER does in any scenario, ever.

Larry said...

While it is true that not using certain "strong" words can hinder rather than help those who are suffering the traumas of things such as rape, I do have to question the underlying attitudes that are associated with the way certain words are used. For example:

Pussy - a "not strong male individual"

Sissy - older, almost as strong term, used more to talk about men who aren't "manly"

Bitch - often used to characterize strong-minded/willed, sometimes annoying characters, especially women. Slight analogue to "uppity"...and if I have to explain that...

Cunt - the reduction of a woman and her personality to that of her genital region.

Rape - the forceful penetration of a person against that person's will, now seemingly used to describe certain undesirable changes, regardless of the centuries-long association of that word with the sexual trauma inflicted upon mostly women, but also quite a few males.

Words do have some power and those who aren't mindful of that (or who use them specifically to tear down another) need to be instructed better.

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