Recent posts

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. Continue Reading →

The Importance Of Storytelling To Sexual Health

Stories are indisputably powerful: the success of the movie-factories of Hollywood and Bollywood, the mass-market paperback book industry, and the blogosphere all attest to the fact that stories in so many forms can reach, affect, and transform people’s lives. Stories and storytelling also play an important role in sex education. This piece on how storytelling can lead to insights about teens’ sexual choices is a short but compelling argument for the necessity of including teens’ voices in the discourses about their sexuality. By telling the story of a straight-A student who became pregnant in high school–and letting her speak for herself about her fears, her confusion, her decision to keep the baby, and her activism in sex education–the piece makes a powerful statement about how the inclusion of storytelling in sex education is invaluable. The specific set of stories discussed has to do with pregnancy prevention among teenage populations, but the applications are far wider. Continue Reading →