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May 2018
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Aerden [userpic]
Non-Con - Just My Opinion

I've been participating in an interesting discussion by sistermagpie of a subset of Harry Potter fan fiction called 'chan.' I have no idea what it is and will read with interest when Magpie explains it to me.

On a certain level, the discussion is a fascinating introduction to the world of Harry Potter fan writer jargon. Words and their meanings interest me, and I find myself looking over the commentary and thinking about the jargon that is being used--one word in particular: Non-Con.

This is the shorthand for 'non-consensual HP sex fiction.' Also known as 'HP rape fiction,' if you ask me.

I find myself becoming disturbed by such shorthand being used so casually, as casually as if it were said in a list describing types of Harry Potter fan fiction: "Well, there's slash, there's gen, there's het, there's non-con, there's yaoi, there's OC-based...."

I really think that, by shortening a word like this, we drain it of its meaning and its emotional color. We drain it of the distaste it ought to arouse in us. By saying 'non-con' and not calling the word what it is, it feels to me as if we are finding ways to make ourselves comfortable with what it is, rather than asking ourselves, "Why am I writing this stuff? Should I be writing this stuff"

I in fact think there are plenty of writers who ask themselves those questions. They're the better writers. I also don't think we should all go around angsting about rape victims instead of writing. But still...I don't like the surface trivializing of the concept by the abbreviating and sanitizing of the word. Let it say fully what it is. Let us at least acknowledge the suffering inherent in its meaning.

Current Mood: thinking


George Carlin has an excellent routine in which he describes the process of bleeding an affliction dry of meaning by assigning longer and longer names to it.

We went from "shell shock" to "battle fatigue," two syllables that perfectly described the mental condition of soldiers, to four that made it sound like no more than the lack of a good night's sleep. Then it became "post-traumatic stress disorder," four syllables to eight, and completely robbed it of immediacy. Now it sounds clinical, as if it's something that can be cured with a quick injection or a bottle of pills.

The cynic in me is saying we've gone from rape to violation to molestation to non-consensual sex act, along the same principle. :P And there's a difference between a violent act that is meant to tell the story and develop the character, and a violent act done merely so the author can get his/her "woe is me" chops in. :( I try not to include rape in anything I write; from me, it would either be reminiscing or wallowing, and I'd rather not do either.

What I can't understand is why so many young women write about rape. Is it because they want to understand what goes on for a rape victim? Or is it because it's a situation they fear, and they want to face that fear? I could be completely cynical, and say that it's born out of an immature confusion of rape with seduction, but I don't think that's completely it. So I'm confused, and just grateful I've never come across anything like it.

On the other hand, I can understand the stories that have the kids nursing crushes on this unlikely teacher and that. :D Puberty is nothing more than biological warfare on oneself, and the first places it hits are the brain and the genitals. And I'd go farther with that notion, but I really don't need to . . . ::blushes::


Kris--For some of the Potter rape fan fiction, I really do wonder if maybe it is meant to be seductive--not all, but at least some. I don't understand it, because you'd think people would know better.

I can live with the 'Fast Times at Hogwarts School' crowd, but I really, really don't understand anyone's fascination with writing rape fan fiction, especially when it is so counter to what Rowling has written. Yes, she made Snape an ass, but she didn't make him that bad of one.

I mean, really--I think Snape would want to vomit at the mere idea of accidently brushing his arm against Harry, much less going any farther than that with him. (g)