*Warning: This post discusses sexual abuse in fiction.
After my rant about my despised ‘twu wuv will cure what ails you’ trope, some of the comments started me thinking about the way sexual abuse is dealt with in m/m romance and I was reminded of this by way of a few recent reads.
There is no doubt rape is an extraordinarily tough issue for any author to tackle. It does seem to me, though, that one of the biggest traps a writer can fall into is by making the victim either a whore or a nun.
I’m not saying this doesn’t happen in RL nor am I wishing to be deliberately dismissive of an horrific act that quite frankly scares the absolute shit out of me.
Rather, I’m wondering if m/m romance – or perhaps romance more broadly – has taken the step beyond the whore/nun characterisation?
I’m also interested to know whether this rather narrow representation is partly due to the stigma attached to male rape. That is, if it’s not a topic which is openly discussed, can it be convincingly explored other than by using the example of the female victim? Or is that justifying the ‘chicks with dicks’ approach?
I don’t have enough knowledge to be sure one way or the other, but I’d be very interested to see if anyone else has had similar concerns about male rape in m/m romance and if you have any recommendations about books that you believe portray this realistically.