Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Dear Author

Dear author of the novel I just finished reading,

It's true that I've heard people tell me that for years they repressed the memories of being molested as children and that the memories caused them to behave in ways that got them locked up in mental hospitals even though it wasn't until later that they actually remembered having been molested at all. I completely believe that this can happen, because I have heard people tell me it happened to them. Now, the idea that a person can not only repress the memory itself but also repress all feelings about it so completely that the person retains no sense of discomfort with the molester whatsoever and speaks of the molester with utter worshipful devotion and calls the molester his very favorite relative is rather more difficult to believe, because I've never yet heard anyone tell me that they adored and worshipped the person who molested them; but really I'm pretty good at believing anything can happen at least once in the history of the world, so I think if you put some effort into explaining exactly how your fictional character who was apparently so internally tormented by repressed memories of this relative's actions that he ended up locked in a mental hospital could somehow apparently still remember this same relative with nothing but the very fondest feelings, you could manage to convince me of it.

However, convincing me would require you to provide at least a few details beyond the mere word "molestation." You didn't tell me how the boy felt about her before she molested him. You didn't tell me what exactly she did to him in the first place. You didn't tell me what the boy said, whether he protested aloud, whether he thought it safer to just put up with it, whether she bribed him or beat him or simply intimidated him. You didn't tell me how else she treated him when she wasn't molesting him. You didn't tell me how old the boy was. You didn't tell me how many times it happened, how frequently, how long a period of his life it continued for. You didn't tell me whether the boy ever had sufficient hope to try to plan an escape. You didn't tell me a single line of dialogue that either one of them ever said to the other nor a single thought the boy ever had on the entire subject. All you did was announce suddenly at the very end of the book that oh! - the boy was molested, well then, that magically completely explains why he's crazy! No more questions left in the readers' minds now! Sure, naturally every time an adult hand touches a boy's penis the boy's brain just magically explodes into disfunction instantly upon contact and he'll be doomed to get locked up in mental hospitals and also he'll inexplicably just magically worship and adore for the rest of his life the woman who molested him! Of course no social context whatsoever would ever be required to explain this effect upon him!

The fact is, my dear author, I think you are an idiot with absolutely no knowledge or understanding much less experience of child molestation unless of course you were the one doing the molesting who just randomly decided hey, I bet it would be really cool to write a book about some kid going crazy because he got molested, and then everyone will applaud me for what a great service I'm doing to child molestation victims everywhere - because of course, everybody knows that the best way to help any group of people is to impugn their sanity and imply that they all (yes, every single child molestation victim ever, no further details apparently required) need to be locked up in mental hospitals.

Your non-fan,
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