The use of rape in narrative.Posted: September 17, 2011
In response to a play I recently saw in New York:
Dear playwrights: Please repeat after me. One in three women will experience some form of sexual assault in her lifetime.
Are there three women in your audience?
When your only female character exists to be bartered and abused, that is lazy writing. When you raise the stakes by threatening a woman with rape, that is lazy writing. When you demonstrate the “seriousness” of a situation by describing a brutal rape, that is lazy writing. When you inject emotion into a flagging scene by making the man throw the woman against the wall, that is lazy writing. Not only is it lazy writing, but when rape is used lightly and cheaply as a convenient narrative device, it hurts people.