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.