Fantasy and reality

Johanna Draper Carlson via Journalista:

“I don’t want to be accused of yaoi-bashing, because I do think it’s a valid genre, even if I don’t personally “get it”, ….. One of the commenters mentions how rape fantasies are common among the young female readers the genre is aimed at. I think there’s a very good reason for that: women are taught that girls who want and enjoy sex are dirty or impure. So a rape fantasy makes enjoyable sex not their fault — they couldn’t prevent it, they were forced into it, and so the element of guilt is removed.”

I like reading Carlson’s blog, and I can appreciate the analysis but I don’t think she actually answered the question: Does Yaoi normalize rape?
I don’t know – I don’t read it and it’s not targeted to me. But I’ve got to ask: In general, where’s the dealbreaker? At what point do you – the reader – get creeped out by a story that banks on the idea that “when (s)he says no (s)he really means yes?”
I just don’t get into rape fantasies – too often the fantasy doesn’t match the reality.
Some people say that it’s just fiction. “Dirty Harry” and “24″ are both fiction and they both constructed very specific, fictional situations where torture not only worked but was responsible for saving countless lives. How much did all that add to our recent national debate? I used to enjoy those shows – not so much anymore because the fiction crossed over to reality in a bad way.

Is it wrong to cringe, to want better from our fiction?
Here’s something less volatile: the CSI Effect and the problems it’s causing in trials.
So, in general and not picking on any genre, do rape fantasies normalize rape?
My answer is worth repeating: Too often the fantasy doesn’t match the reality. Your mileage may differ, but there are still places in this world where women are punished for being raped. Because I have that knowledge, I can’t buy into these fantasies.
And it’s weird that I have to say it, but I’m not advocating censorship or banning books – things I’ve been accused of in the past. I’m criticizing.
That’s one of the reasons I’m commenting on this. Sure, there are people who want that kind of thing, not me. It threw me for a bit, though, getting accused of censorship.
Now I realize that I was actually being accused of hurting comics. I’m with Lea Hernandez: Sometimes to help comics, you’ve got to hurt them.


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