For the last month, I’ve been skim-reading thrillers. Not reading them enough to review them here, but kinda speeding through them when my brain needs something fast and furious to swallow down. Frankly, I’ve been disturbed by a lot of what I’ve found in them, and not by the gore or violence. I’m appalled by the number of books playing off a particular disturbing trope: a woman has been assaulted and/or abused, only to be revealed in the last chapter or two that nope, she’s been faking it this whole time in order to manipulate, drum up sympathy, or get away with murder! This is too commonplace, and often written by female authors – I don’t get it!
The proliferation of this kind of crap in fiction does not help anything. Yes, it’s fiction, but how often – in real life – are female assault/abuse victims accused of making it up, exaggerating, or otherwise falsifying their claims? Way too often. I’m not saying this kind of thing never happens, but the instance of it is a tiny minority compared to the number of victims out there. Fiction is capitalizing on this minority, often for shock-value alone, and spreading the idea that falsified claims are more the norm than actual assault and abuse. No. No no no.
I really don’t get it. I know authors need to make a living. I understand that. But throwing victims under the bus in order to shock-value your way into more money? I’m not okay with that. And if that’s not what they’re doing – if all these authors, many of them female, believe that what they’re writing is totally plausible and commonplace – then that’s another nail in the coffins of What’s Wrong With Our Society and Why Rape Culture Thrives.
I don’t want to read any more of these. Perhaps I’ll have to start reading the last few chapters of these kinds of books before I read the beginning. I’d rather deal with spoilers than the rage that comes along with enjoying a book until an unnecessary disturbing twist.