Thursday, August 23, 2012

Defining "Abuse"

I was pretty much stopped cold by a line in an interview with authors SL Armstrong and K Piet. I will start by saying I have read and greatly enjoyed these authors' book and I have no issue whatsoever with fiction about consensual incest or the points they are making in this post as read in its entirety. In fact I fully agree.

That said, I was temporarily shocked to scan down and see a bolded bullet point saying: "Love and Consent Should Trump Abuse"

I absolutely agree that "The addition of consent shouldn’t somehow make the content more objectionable" when speaking of relationships depicted in fiction.  And, actually, that fiction is fiction and you should be able to write about any damn thing you want up to and including stuff that would be wildly horrible if it happened in real life.

However in the real world abuse can and does occur with victims that love their abuser and consent to the abuse, including but not limited to children, animals, the developmental delayed, and those who are under the abuser's total control despite possibly being (objectively speaking) free to leave at any time. 

What happens in fiction is fiction and I have the somewhat unpopular view that absolutely everything should be allowed.  But abuse is the kind of subject where it is important to be very clear when you are talking about fiction and when you are talking about the real world. Even if that means prefacing every single statement with an awkward caveat.

Just my 2c.

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