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Violence! Rape! Agency! The rapiness that comes before


Kalbear

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Are you really so hurt over criticisms of works that you enjoy that people suggesting how a scene might be improved is labelled 'OPPRESSION'? I want more sympathetic portrayals of lesbians in fiction and I want things I find offensive fixed. If a book offends me I return it or just refuse to buy it. How is that oppressing the rights of the author?

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shoulds are just humble desires and wishes, no matter how much loss of income or legislature changes (with martial enforcement) in the wake of this 'non commanding' shoulds

law doesn't work that way. may is permissive, discretionary. should is aspirational, advisory. shall is mandatory, peremptory.

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Are you really so hurt over criticisms of works that you enjoy that people suggesting how a scene might be improved is labelled 'OPPRESSION'? I want more sympathetic portrayals of lesbians in fiction and I want things I find offensive fixed. If a book offends me I return it or just refuse to buy it. How is that oppressing the rights of the author?

If you were talking to me, if you use the word 'should' in your post I'll discuss the implication of that. Or if you wont, then I wasn't talking about things you've said (and maybe you were talking to someone else, so cool - just guessing who's post is to whom)

law doesn't work that way. may is permissive, discretionary. should is aspirational, advisory. shall is mandatory, peremptory.

And when does the aspirational 'should' stop aspiring to obtain what 'should' happen?

I can't see the difference between an aspiration to stop X which will never quit, and saying X shall not happen. The whole 'shall' thing seems just a self aggrandising decoration name to place upon a 'should' that rose in power. There is no 'shall', not unless you feel your connected to a god who endorses your shall. There only ever is aspiration.

Law does work that way. You lobby a politician enough with your 'shoulds', do you really think in his head he's thinking "Ah, but they didn't say 'shall', therefore I wont lose votes if I ignore this and don't change law X/add law Y!".

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shoulds are just humble desires and wishes, no matter how much loss of income or legislature changes (with martial enforcement) in the wake of this 'non commanding' shoulds

law doesn't work that way. may is permissive, discretionary. should is aspirational, advisory. shall is mandatory, peremptory.

I can't decide if it's a high point or low point of my time posting thoughts online that a debate has shifted to questions of the horatative, jussive, and mandative. Probably the latter.

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law doesn't work that way. may is permissive, discretionary. should is aspirational, advisory. shall is mandatory, peremptory.

This is a good comparison.

May -- do what you want

Should -- you are advised to do it my way. I wish for you to do it my way.

Shall -- you must do it my way.

"Should" is what inspires people to create the power of "shall".

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Otherwise wow, I'm wondering if you feel your shoulds are just humble desires and wishes, no matter how much loss of income or legislature changes (with martial enforcement) in the wake of these 'non commanding' shoulds. Makes me think of a dictator lying on a recliner, who insists he only ever asks people to do things, never commands.

I gotta say I'm still lost on this. Why is it bad for me to tell creators what I think they should be doing?

I think authors *should* focus on doing a better job in the handling of sexual assault in narrative, and yes I am placing a moral weight on this in the same way I think authors *should* avoid utilizing sexist or racist tropes in their narrative. I accept that there will be disagreement on what constitutes sexism, racism, engendering rape culture, etc.

I even accept that my complaints may spur on boycotts (that I may participate in), and as for legislation I would be opposed to it but I accept that such legislation may be proposed if enough people complain about something. To me this is part of what free speech/market/assembly is for, so that one might address negative depiction via public action.

Perhaps this is me shooting back hyperbole, but all this "should might lead to shall" talk is sounding like "Attacking Bush weakens us against terrorists" or "talking about economic injustice might lead to a communist revolution."

As far as I can tell, the threat of "armchair dictatorship" is unfounded and much less of a concern than the perpetuation of various negative RL impacting narratives in fictional media.

=-=-=

Also, further Prince of Thorns discussion from Moon's blog from commenter linesdrawninred:

You’ve brought up most of my problems with the Prince of Thorns but the thing I hate most about it is the way it chooses to portray morality as black and white, in much the same way ‘less realistic’ works do quite often. The main character is a rapist, a murder, and a sociopath but all of this is implied to be because of his status as a pseudo-child soldier. Child soldiers don’t do these things because they are devoid of morals, or essentially bad people. They have no choice and along the way start to see it as normal. Saying that only heartless psychopaths do horrible things is something that has long been a staple of fantasy, and works like these do nothing but enforce that. It’s not gritty it’s idealistic.

ETA: grammar

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Law does work that way. You lobby a politician enough with your 'shoulds', do you really think in his head he's thinking "Ah, but they didn't say 'shall', therefore I wont lose votes if I ignore this and don't change law X/add law Y!".

this is referring to a scenario, as in contrarius' thesis, that enough "will to repress" in the citizenry, enough shoulds, will result in changes in the law. this is a slippery slope argument, invalid on its face, but which we have charitably discussed until now, and, even were it not invalid, is not exactly well evidenced historically, and, to be honest, is not really a constitutional likelihood in the the united states.

that said, i wasn't referring to the political process. i'm talking about law. the first rule of reading a statute is to find the verbs and examine the moods thereof. if it's shall do such and such, that's a world away from should or may.

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Whoa I think I missed something.

When did Prince of Thorns come into this?

Here just at that last post, although it does fit into the theme. The current discussion is not purely located over here, and there seems to be some bleed-over right there.

edit: I stand corrected (see next post)

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I'm just presenting Prince of Thorns as an example of violence in the grimdark subgenre. As I've stated, the book has its merits but there is a troublesome trope being utilized that in all my experiences working with children deviates from an actual case of a child experiencing abuse.

ETA: I actually mentioned if before now, but that comment better stated what I was hoping to get at in a prior post.

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this is referring to a scenario, as in contrarius' thesis, that enough "will to repress" in the citizenry, enough shoulds, will result in changes in the law. this is a slippery slope argument, invalid on its face, but which we have charitably discussed until now, and, even were it not invalid, is not exactly well evidenced historically, and, to be honest, is not really a constitutional likelihood in the the united states.

Hmmm. I think it's just as valid as the argument that the portrayal of a less than ideal lesbian in a book should be removed or substantially altered, because less than ideal portrayals supposedly encourage institutionalized sexism....

As for historical evidence, I think the evidence is in every law we have. Every "Shall" starts with a "should".

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I gotta say I'm still lost on this. Why is it bad for me to tell creators what I think they should be doing?

In a *general* sense, I'm not sure it IS a bad thing. But I get very uneasy when authors are told they should change *specific* things about their works.

The main character is a rapist, a murder, and a sociopath but all of this is implied to be because of his status as a pseudo-child soldier.

This is not actually true.

"All of this" is actually supposed to be because of a combination of things:

1. the pseudo-child-soldier bit;

2. his experience of seeing his mother and brother killed horribly while he was helpless;

3. his joining with the outlaw warrior band;

AND

4. his being manipulated by a wizard, nearly from the beginning of his association with said band.

People who don't finish the book, or who don't pay much attention to the book, often seem to miss #4 in particular.

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How could you read that book and miss #4? Without getting into specifics, that's a BIG part of the book.

Edit: This reminds me of some blog posts that came out a bit after Prince Of Thorns, calling it "that book with all the rape", which just blows my mind. There's maybe a paragraph and a half? There's some disturbing stuff sure..but it's like calling Game of Thrones "that incest book".

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FYI Richard et al. I've read all three kovacks novels and TSR and market forces. Feel free to argue how awesome the homosexual characters are in those books, but please don't indicate my opinion is based solely on what was written here. FYI, I won't be picking up cold commands most likely because of my reaction to TSR.

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Also, lgbt issues are a lot better related to violence, rape and agency than this argument about whether expressing desires about a novel in a specific way is censorship. ( spoiler: it's not). Please derail that somewhere else.

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People who don't finish the book, or who don't pay much attention to the book, often seem to miss #4 in particular.

@Contrarius: Oh I got #4, but it doesn't remove the reliance on a negative trope. The "seeing horrible things makes you horrible" is something that is the premise in Dexter as well, and it feels incredibly unrealistic there. There is more going on in a child's mind than the magical snap effect that PoThorns and Dexter both portray. At least everything I've read and dealt with first hand suggests there is.

Yeah, the amount of actual rape isn't that large in Prince of Thorns. I think the objection is more to the cavalier way Jorg speaks about rape. Reminds me of the comic Wanted by hack-extraordinaire Mark Millar with its casual mention of raping actresses and getting away with it.

Larry might be able to speak more to this, given his posts about working with victims of abuse.

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