Monday, April 9, 2012

Writing about rape

There are some topics which are difficult to write about, just as there are some topics that it's difficult for a reader to read about.  However, it's important for those topics to be addressed because they are, like it or not, a part of our everyday life.  Rape, child abuse, domestic violence are some of those sensitive topics.  It takes a brave author to write about it.  Some readers might feel horrified, some might feel offended, But that is the point.  We want you to feel.  We want you to feel so much that you will do something to stop it.  In The Case of Billy B I looked at child abuse.  In Not Telling I looked at rape and it's impact on the life of the victim.  In Defective I looked at using emotional and mental abuse to manipulate others.  If you don't put these sensitive topics out there, people won't read about them and become aware of what is going on.  There are sick individuals in this world.  We have to stop hiding our heads in the sand.  Lydia Brew is an author who has tackled the sensitive topic of rape.  Here's what she has to say.
"Many people wonder why authors write what they write. I have cerebral palsy, and many people wonder why I do not write about my disability.  Fiction authors need to able explore different worlds and entertain. Some novels are pure entertainment while others deal with social issues as well. All novels should entertain as well as make a reader think.
A few years ago, two teenagers were kidnapped and their names were given on the national news. Luckily they were found alive. It was determined that the teenagers had been sexually assaulted and their names were not given after that. What is wrong with this? Society says they were violated; therefore, they need their privacy. Why is that? After extensive research was done for Ungolden Silence, the information gave a little insight as to why the name of a rape victim is kept private by the media.
Why are sexual crimes against women hard to talk about? It is because of the way women have been treated throughout history. The earliest account of women is that they were taken in as bounty between hostile tribes during war. Rape is an English word, which is derived from the word “rapere” which means, “to steal, seize, or carry away.” Now in early society rape was considered marriage. Once a man raped a women, she was taken to his home, “Bride capture” is what they called it. A man saw what he wanted and because he was stronger, he took the woman he wanted. Society needs to begin to understand that women are not objects of pleasure.
While there are many kinds of sexual assaults, this blog will deal with rape. Some think that rape is about sex. Sex is between two consenting adults. A rape is about power, while being intimate is about love. The problem is the action of lovemaking and rape are similar - making it somewhat impossible to tell the difference between the two. Therefore, keeping the name of rape victim private, does not help the victim, but it helps the rapist.
Society needs to realize that rapists are people. There are many kinds of rapists. There are many reasons why people rape. The one thing that all rapists have in common is the fact that they will do it again.
It is imperative that society sees that keeping the name of a rape victim private is not helping anyone. Rape is a crime and the victim does not need to hide.
Ungolden Silence takes an extensive look at all of this. I first started writing the story for entertainment. Once I was finished and other people read it, they suggested that I do a little research.  I began to realize that the media unknowingly protects the wrong person. A lady told me that women who are raped feel violated, and that it is personal. While that is true, the whole picture has to be looked at. Does any lady want another lady to be violated?   After reading Ungolden Silence, it is my hope and desire that society sees a rape victim as a person who needs her rapist to be found and put in jail. The rapist more than likely will find another woman and will rape her.   Here is a quote from one of the characters in the novel, Rape is a crime, and not to report it is a crime.”
It is my desire for the reader to enjoy Ungolden Silence, then begin to think about the social issues that the story dealt with. I dealt with my disability in a subtle way. Having a disability, from birth is a part of who I am.  I dealt with how society deals with rape because it something that I think society needs to think about.
Writing a good story is hard work. However, if the writer has the passion about what he is writing, then he would have done two things: entertain the reader, and told a good, thought provoking story. It is my hope that Ungolden Silence will be entertaining as well as thought provoking." Lydia Brew.

Lydia E. Brew was born with cerebral palsy but has not allowed her physical limitations to stand in her way. Her writing also provides insights into the world of the physically challenged. She graduated from Texas Southern University where she received The Society of Professional Journalist Sigma Chi Citation for Achievement. She was a member of the drama club and pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Under the leadership of one of her journalism professors, Miss Brew penned her first book Edith, The Story of Edith Irby Jones, M.D. about the first African-American to graduate from The Arkansas School of Medicine. Upon finishing college, Miss Brew worked with the Houston Association of Black Journalists. She is a Christian and attends St. Timothy’s United Methodist Church.

Miss Brew founded Lydia’s Educational and Charitable Organization (LECO) when she decided to encourage young people to write. LECO did this by sponsoring a yearly contest in which the contestant had to write about positive role models who were alive and from the Houston area. Each student who wrote an eligible essay was given a certificate of participation. Winning writers received cash prizes.
Her second book Our Learn Together Book is based on the biography of Dr. Jones. It tells her story in a simplified format on one page and allows the child to writes his biography on the other. There are activities in the back where children can learn developmental skills and older children can learn to do research.

1 comment:

Maria Hardy said...

Great writing as always, Cindy, and I fully agree with you. There is another book out written by Linda Martin 'The Bird That Flew Away' in which she describes very well how that young girl feels during the rape. The scene is written in a clear matte-of-fact style but in a nice language. Lynda kept it in a very fine line but tells you what it feels like.