layla: grass at sunset (Default)
Layla ([personal profile] layla) wrote2012-06-09 01:24 am

Annotated Raven's Children - Issue #1: Page 10

Trigger warning for sexual assault (discussed/implied) under the cut.

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So what the guys were gambling for in the background of the last couple of pages was, basically, who gets to rape the slave girls first.

I regret this sequence quite a lot now. At least, I regret the tossed-off way that I handled it. Like I've talked about in past installments, there was a lot in Raven's Children that was dark simply for dark's sake -- because my 22-year-old self had set up this dark and gritty and brutal world, and I think I was trying a little too hard to demonstrate it. So I ended up with stuff like this. (Hey, let's make some of the characters rapists, and never mention it again...)

Like a lot of stuff about the early RC, it's not that I think it couldn't be done well or shouldn't be done at all. There is plenty in Kismet that's very dark, after all. I just really don't like the way I handled it. I don't like it because this tossed-off, casual mention is an absolutely terrible way to deal with rape and rape victims, and I also don't like it because essentially it's an example of what I was talking about in the comments to an earlier installment about the narrative reinforcing Jained's racism rather than undermining it.

What I was trying to show here is that they've been doing this for a generation now -- selling slaves to the Tolshay Kahn for fun and profit -- and they've become completely blase about abusing them along the way. The way it comes across, though, is that the first thing the reader learns about a chunk of the cast is that they're unlikable assholes. Go me.