(3WC pt4) Production Notes

SPOILERS for the current chapter! (Part 4: Interlude With The Confessor)

 

One of the roles in this story was offered to a friend who initially accepted, but then turned it down after reading the story. She felt that Eliezer was portraying rape in a manner that implied there was nothing wrong with it, and didn’t want anything to with the project. This was my reply to her (slightly edited).

I don’t want you to have the wrong idea about Eliezer, so to pass along his explanation in brief – he once wrote that if our ancestors from even a few hundred years ago had been able to see what their children had wrought, they would be horrified. What we call Civil Rights they would call destroying the social order – allowing the vote to the lowest classes of humanity and thereby reducing governance to pandering to the lowest common denominator. We’ve allowed jews to take over large parts of our entertainment and financial sectors, and allowed a member of the slave race to become president! Sexual depravity is rampant, with everyone indulging their carnal desires with no regard for any decent morality. And perhaps worst of all, we’ve abandoned God and consigned our souls to hell and our time on earth to a living hell of satanic evil. (On a personal note, my mother locked herself in her room and wouldn’t come out for three days after I told her I was an atheist, so that one hit kinda close to home).
He conjectured that it’s entirely likely that if our ancestors had been able to see what we would become, they could decide it would be better for the human race to be wiped out than for such a disgusting travesty be allowed to take place. When writing 3WC he wanted to find a way to convey that feeling to his audience, that sort of disgust and repulsion. This was what he came up with. It’s not an endorsement of rape any more than Dexter is an endorsement of methodical, clinical murder.
I do understand your position though. I was unable to continue watching Dexter past the second episode, and I wouldn’t want to actively participate in it either.

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2 Comments

  1. I came across with the same issue about rape apology. I was happy to find this note. However, I still do not understand how “make rape legal” comes along with “sex would be boring if women could not take matters into their own hands”? Isn’t it a contradiction?

    I couldn’t but imagine that the Confessor is no one else than Dumbldore conjured from outside time and convinced by rationalist Harry to live on and be a voice of sanity for humanity.

    I also imagine the described universe as an implementation of Harry’s Patronus charm 2.0. I understand it was almost intentional but still.

  2. Hey,
    I was jarred by the rape reference too and was trying to figure out what the deal is. All the social changes you say that our ancestors might be horrified by (abolition of slavery, not persecuting Jews) they are about foregrounding consent (i.e. not making people do things they don’t want to do and letting them do things they do want to do) and about being less violent. Rape is the opposite.

    There are lots of other examples you could choose, like polyamory being the norm or legalising all the drugs or literally anything else. And the character comes off as super sleazy with his comment about women. And like the previous comment says it makes no sense.

    I think if you’re saying something that is so incendiary you should really have put a lot of thought into what this actually means and explain yourself thoroughly in the story rather than just being provocative. You should also tread lightly when writing science fiction which has a real problem with misogyny anyway.

    I don’t know if you’ve considered this (you probably have) but a lot of the moral content of this story deals with subject matter that is really close to women’s rights issues like abortion. It also has similarities with to pro-life writing (thinking about the baby eaters, their brains live on in stomachs, your baby can smile in the womb). It might be worth reading the (really nasty) Philip K Dick story the Pre-Persons just to get context on how hateful scifi can be towards women and their reproductive right.

    I don’t mean to upset, I enjoy the writing and it would be nice to feel like it’s being considerate.

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