On the subject of violence, sexism, and abuse in stories.

Does this happen? Yep, as stories follow life and without the lows, the highs will not entrance. Most people with an atom of sense will read a story blurb to see it the genre is something they like and then they will go on to read the first three chapters offered for free on Amazon. Most people with a molecule of gray matter will also read the reviews and see where the majority opinion lies.

Yes, there are going to be some hysterical diatribes condemning the story for all sorts of reasons. Some of these will be because the person grabbed a free or discounted book without bothering to see if it fitted their reading needs. Others may be offended by certain content, or what they have misinterpreted, having read one word and jumped about three miles high to the wrong conclusion. One person went to every single Amazon site, whether English speaking or not, to diss a book that was the same genre as that person’s soon to be published book. (1 week later). Another person decided to set up a reviewing blog and in order to get people to pay for these, began dissing authors at random with slanderous remarks on the reviews left. This is despite this person’s blog stating they never say nasty things about the author. Mmmm, right. To all of this the author must never respond. Basically, it is a ‘don’t feed the trolls’ imperative.

So, for a moment, lets just look at the earliest forms of literature of a mostly non-religious nature. I am talking about fairly stories, the ones Disney has capitalised on and the ones we read our kids at night.

Cinderella. Insignificant girl is abused by her stepmother and sisters, takes up offer of unfair magical entrapment goodies to snag prince.

Sapsorrow. King’s daughter flees home to live in filthy state to avoid having to marry her own father. Uses stolen bridal dresses to ensnare prince.

Beauty and the Beast. Father trades away daughter to save himself from beast, whom she eventually promises to marry. Early bestiality thoughts? He turns into prince, but she didn’t know he would.

There is more than an element of horror in fairy stories and yet we read them to children. Beauty or the reverse is in the eye of the beholder. It is not so much what is said, but how it is interpreted  and presented.

1 thought on “On the subject of violence, sexism, and abuse in stories.

  1. Janni Styles

    In my mind anything that can really happen is fair game and those who protest need only watch the daily news to see how awful “awful” can really be. Great point with the fairy tales, some of those can be horribly gruesome. Easy answer if you don’t like a book: put it down, stop reading it. Because I have PTSD I try to post trigger warnings. Even so, what triggers one may not trigger another. I figure if I put a trigger warning on it, my job as a conscientious writer is done. Everything after that is the readers choice. Good piece 😊


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