Writing Rape/Sexual Assault Part 2: Is it Necessary?

Considering I didn’t receive a lot of feedback on my last post, I’m guessing you all don’t like hearing about rape/sexual assault. Me either. But since there was a part 1, I feel obligated to write a part 2. Today we’ll focus on how important rape scenes REALLY are in a story. If you want my opinion, they’re not. But that’s just how I feel about it.

For me, it just feels like a rape scene would be impossible to move the plot of a story along, unless that was actually the plot of the story. For example, if a Kelly is camping in the woods, would it really move the plot along if a stranger came out from the bushes and raped her?

Before I go on, I just want to quickly touch upon the description of rape scenes. They shouldn’t be bland, but they should be quick. They don’t have to include vulgar descriptions of clothes coming off and what the guy’s you-know-what looks like. Writing a scene like this could be a trigger for many of the 1 in 5 women who are raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

Let’s go back to the camping story. What if Kelly is camping with her boyfriend David and his friends, and suddenly one of his friends takes advantage of her after a few too many beers. David is now caught choosing between his girlfriend and best friend on who is telling the truth. If this is what the entire story is going to be about, then yes, a rape scene could be included.

Main point of this post: try to steer clear from rape/sexual assult scenes unless it is 100% necessary. The general conflict of the book, the climax of the book, etc.

Writing Rape/Sexual Assault Part 1: Accuracy

Many of us have been victimized or affected by rape of sexual assault in some way, especially here in the US, where 1 in 5 women are likely to get raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime. This is a subject closer to me than ever, since a friend of mine went through a brutal, violent rape just last month.

A lot of people want to evoke feeling and powerful scenes in their stories. I get that. Many that I’ve seen (and I was guilty of this myself when I wrote my story Misconception at 18) have done this by including a rape scene and having their character refer back to their past pain time and time again.

Here is a list of things I’ve seen in multiple stories vs. real life statistics. Truth be told, I was guilty of two of these when I was 18.

1. The perpetrator

On Wattpad: usually a college guy at a party or a random creep on the street.

Real fact: 51% of women are raped by an intimate partner, 41% by a friend or auaintence

2. Location

On Wattpad: happens at a party, a remote park, a back alley, or right on the street

Real Fact: the party fact is correct, but many victims are raped/assaulted in their own home or a friend’s home

3. Conviction

On Wattpad: the guy is usually found and convicted, is spending years in jail

Real Fact: Many victims (68%) do not even report their crimes, and even when they do, a measly 1% end in an actual conviction. These jail sentences are actually very short, many ranging from only 30 days to a little over a year.

4. Pregnancy

On Wattpad: almost 100% of the time, the victim is suddenly pregnant and wants to keep the child.

Real Fact: Many victims do not end up pregnant, statistics say only 3-5% of rapes end up in pregnancy. 50% of that small percent choses to have an abortion.

Again, research is super important. Tomorrow, we’ll discuss how not knowing these facts can lead to offensive content in your story.

The Midnight Keurig

So a while ago I posted about finally having someone move into my 2-person suite after having the place to myself for the last 3 months.

It’s going well so far. My suitemate spends Thursday-Monday at her boyfriend’s apartment. However, when she comes back on Monday night (usually around 10:30) the Keurig goes on.

Usually at 11:30 or midnight when I’m trying to sleep.

Am I the only one who thinks drinking coffee midnight is a bit strange?

Beauty Standards Took 15 Days of my Life

I’m European. I’m hairy. American society doesn’t like hairy girls, though. Not on your legs, arms, fingers, stomach, or basically, any place but your head.

I started shaving my arms and legs daily when I was about fourteen. Because of genetics, I can’t get away with shaving once or twice a week like some of those lucky-thin-haired ducks out there. After getting an extremely hairy boyfriend, recently, I started thinking: if I was a guy and didn’t have to shave, how much time would I have saved in my lifetime?

Okay, so for everyone it’s different, but for me, it takes about ten minutes for me to shave in the shower, being careful not to end up with a multitude of cuts on my legs. This means I spend 3,650 minutes shaving a year.

In the past 6 years I’ve been shaving, that’s 25,550 minutes that I’ve spent SHAVING, which means that added together, I have spent a total of 15 ENTIRE DAYS OF MY LIFE SHAVING.

Over 50 years, if I continue at the same rate, I will have spent 127 days of my life shaving! This just proves how inconvenient beauty standards are. And to think, that is SHAVING ONLY. I don’t even want to know how many minutes/hours/days I’ve wasted with tweeting, waxing, and hair-straightening.