Does Storytelling Require Rape?

A friend linked me to this blog post (trigger warning) by author Seanan McGuire about whether she will ever write rape into any of her female characters’ stories. Her answer is no, she will not. And since she’s writing fantasy, her readers should be just as capable of suspending their belief that sexual violence is needed to move along a story as they are of accepting that magic exists in the worlds she writes.

I hope that more writers and media-makers realize this: rape is not the only interesting or dramatic thing that can happen to a woman.

About Jeana


Jeana Jorgensen, PhD recently completed her doctoral degree in folklore and gender studies at Indiana University. She studies fairy tales and other narratives, dance, body art, feminist theory, digital humanities, and gender identity.