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24 June 2009 @ 04:16 pm
So. Apparently I am almost three years ahead of the curve on this one.

(For the timeline and quotes of Warning!Fail, go here.)

Obviously, I am not going to pretend I am neutral on this subject. I will say, I wrote that essay three years ago, and from today's perspective, let me say I am not going to throw stones at anyone else's kink in this entry. I don't understand rape fic. I admittedly wish no one wrote it. But I'm not saying don't write it. I'm saying why in the heck would you fight PROPERLY LABELING IT.

I am totally dumbfounded that people actually believe warning labels on fic for sexual assault and rape are akin to trying to put warning labels for the color orange, or for people with food allergies.

Fandom, you are at least 80% women. I am appalled at the apparent ignorance about the realities of what rape is. Of what sexual assault does to someone. How about a little common courtesy and human sympathy for someone else's suffering? You, those of you who have your rape fantasies and are perfectly okay with it, and clearly there are a percentage of you who have no understanding for why it triggers assault victim survivors, you have no idea how fortunate you are. No, really.

Go read impertinence's excellent essay on what it means to be a victim and have triggers here. But if you do, for God's sake, don't bother commenting if you don't know what the hell you're talking about. She bared her scars in an attempt to educate those who might be ignorant, and did it with grace and poise, and a truckload of bravery. And some disturbingly insensitive people have said some things that stomp all over that for the sake of winning an argument she wasn't even trying to have.

I say "survivors" up above for a reason. Did you read my statistics in that entry? Here, let me repost them, so you don't have to wade through the parts that will no doubt piss some people off:

75% of women who are raped need medical attention after, although many of them don't seek it, and something like 80% of the women who are assaulted or raped by a stranger (meaning not an acquaintance, friend, relative, etc) end in death. (To put this in perspective, 77% of women who are raped are victimized by someone they know, so the 80% statistic above refers to the other 22% of total victims.) But that means that if you are in a confrontation with a stranger, he is 80% likely to kill you either during or after the act. Those are not good odds, ladies.

I tell the women in my class that if they are assaulted by a stranger, they must assume that person is going to kill them. They cannot go along with the rape hoping it is "all" that is going to happen. Remember that 75% of all victims will need medical attention after the act, regardless of stranger rape or acquaintance. That doesn't even touch on the possibility of HIV, or other STDs they may contract from the experience. This is a deadly assault, period, and I teach women to fight for their lives, and use deadly force if they have to. Even if they survive the attack, they will have severe psychological scars that will forever change them, and effect all their loved ones.

Let me reiterate: I taught a women's self defense class for several years. I have suffered from assault myself. I once sat in a room with seven friends, and realized that every single one of us had been assaulted at one time or another. The statistics say 3 our of every 4 women. I find the statistics conservative. And yet, for the sake of what, some twisted sense of artistic integrity, you don't want to put a warning label on your fiction? Do you even know what empathy is?

Professional fiction authors and publishers put warnings on erotica fiction, which comes in just as many flavors as fandom has for fanfic. Not only does this serve to warn potential customers what sort of material they might be buying, but it helps guide those looking to buy a particular brand of book, or erotica. Warnings can be a marketing tool as well as an actual, you know, warning.

How about showing some class, fandom? I've never been ashamed of being part of this wonderful online community of writers and artists. But reading some of the things people have said in this argument brings me perilously close.
Current Mood: pissed offpissed off
The Teasemastertinylegacies on June 24th, 2009 11:34 pm (UTC)
The problem I have with this whole situation (and I'll admit I haven't read the post that started this discussion, just various reactions on my flist) is that the publishing industry does NOT provide warnings for non-con situations in books. Television and movies do not provide warnings for non-con situations on the screen. The evening news does not provide warnings for reports of non-con situations that happen in real life that they report on.

Yes, I understand that it's a courtesy in fandom. Yes, I've been lucky that I've never been a victim of an assault. Yes, I post warnings on my fanfic.

Edited at 2009-06-24 11:35 pm (UTC)
rhienellethrhienelleth on June 24th, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
Actually, erotica as a genre came to exist because romance genre publishers would not print the more extreme situations depicted, and most erotica publishers categorize their books with labels that do in fact warn the reader of the sort of sex found within the pages, ie, BDSM, M/M - this is both to warn potential readers, and so customers can find what they're looking for.

Also, a lot of erotica publishers specify NO RAPE (among other things) in their guidelines. If they DID permit it, I have no doubt they would have a category/label for it, thus warning the reader of what was contained in the book.

Fanfic pushes those boundaries more than commercial fiction or TV. Most shows that deal with potentially triggery content at least have a general warning in front of it, ie, L&O:SVU. Fanfic goes the extra mile in graphic content, and IMO, needs the warning labels. It doesn't "harm" the writer to put the label there. In fact, it may draw their audience to them more quickly.

Edited at 2009-06-24 11:56 pm (UTC)
The Teasemastertinylegacies on June 25th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
So you're talking specifically NC17 fic?
rhienellethrhienelleth on June 25th, 2009 01:26 am (UTC)
I am, yes. Or at the very least, depicting of graphic R. However it may have spread, this topic initially referred to some pretty explicit material from the descriptions I've read.

I'm also not sure one can have rape in a fic and really call it PG-13. (Yes, I know these ratings are technically only for movies. Whatever. I've never learned the fandom acceptable rating system.) I'm trying to think of a "PG-13" film that depicted rape, and for the subject matter alone, I can only think of R rated material.
The Teasemastertinylegacies on June 25th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)
That makes sense. I don't know the initial context. I suppose you could refer to rape/imply it/have someone dealing with it in a PG13 story.
Mockingbird Q: days like thismockingbirdq on June 25th, 2009 07:11 am (UTC)
Why the debate?
I don't get why people think it is such a big deal to add one line of text to their fanworks stating warnings? It's not that hard to do, and why would anyone want to be responsible for causing another person pain?

Fandom is a b*tch sometimes...