Five days after I wrote about how weird it was that the heroine of a book stayed in the same house as the man who tried to rape her and cooked him breakfast, this appeared. (via Love in the Margins.)
Probably a coincidence, but it made me realize that I was pretty slapdash there. I vaguely thought about the fact that reactions to rape and attempted rape can be unexpected, but didn’t think I needed to go into it. I should have.
To be clear, there’s nothing in the narrative to indicate that the heroine had any lasting emotional reaction to the attempted rape, or to the physical abuse that occurs later in the book. It’s not a coping mechanism for her — it’s just bad, thoughtless writing that doesn’t take rape or abuse seriously.
But I should not have thoughtlessly contributed to the idea that there’s only one real or appropriate way to respond to rape.