Retribution as Protection

Posted: October 5, 2012 by Arushi in Thoughts
Tags: , , , ,


Recently it was pointed out to me that one of the most frequently used plot devices in the UF and PNR genres (for those of you not in the know, UF = Urban Fantasy and PNR = Paranormal Romance) is rape. Another common one is the apocalypse. Either it is coming on, or it has already happened. The world as we know it coming to an end is so melodramatic, but it really does work.

I thought about it, looked it up and realized it was kinda true. Rape is an easy to use plot device and seriously, most of the time the world portrayed in UF and PNR is more brutal and harsh then ours (yes I know the current state of our world, so imagine what a worse one is like) and so.. the strong forcing the weak is not exactly a surprise. No, this is not about women, because trust me, force of any kind for anything on anyone can count as rape and some things can be quite out of the box that we have stuffed this issue into in our minds.

Its just the way it is. The other thing that came out of this little bout of thinking was that there is also a very strong sense of “Noblesse Oblige” in the ‘good’ strong characters in these worlds. Those are the leaders people want to follow. Not just someone who would protect them, but someone who at the end of the day would go out and avenge them. That threat kept them safer more than anything else. I can quote examples and it makes sense.

Its not necessarily that someone would come rescue you, but that no matter what happens to you, worse would happen to your tormentor. That kind of thing would make for some damned good security in a world which has none. It would make for some damned good security in our world too, come to think of it.

Another interesting concept was that many victims moved on to better things, eventually. They lived, they grew and they did their best to live rather than just exist and people let them. Such a simple thing: moving on. So hard to to in real life, but things are easier in fiction especially with someone at your side who is vested in your well being.

We are a strange people and our fiction when it deals with the future has more to do with the Apocalypse then it has to do with Utopia. There is more violence then there is peace, and yet through it all, we establish order. After all, even in fiction there has to be a way to feel at least marginally safe. Or maybe I need to broaden my horizons.

Then again maybe not. I am good with thinking that if the monster under the bed eats me, someone will kick its butt. No way am I gonna think that it will get away Scott free.


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