Saturday, November 23, 2013

#waronwomen #rapeculture and my novel JIHADI

As I move into the final four chapters of my novel JIHADI, I find myself in a particularly painful part of the narrative.

Among the unexpected things I've learned on this journey: One comes to love certain characters, even to mourn for them. After six years, 103,000 words moved into the Ready for Prime Time manuscript, and something like 300,000 words written but deleted, I really hadn't expected to experience anything but joy as I neared the finish line. I certainly hadn't anticipated experiencing personal sadness at the loss of one of my characters. But that's what's happening. Maybe I'm grieving for what we've become. (Email me if you would like to beta-read the manuscript so you can get a clearer idea of what I'm talking about here.)

It's important for me to say here, whatever happens with the novel, that it is not anti-American, but it is defiantly anti-rape-culture. We have a big problem with rape and sexual abuse in the US, particularly in our military. If you don't think this problem exists, or don't think it threatens our security as a nation, or don't think it threatens our security as individual citizens, one of the things this book is meant to do is to invite you to consider thinking again.

This article will give you an idea of how overwhelming and savage the problem remains within the US military.

This sickening real-life case gives you a glimpse of the legacy we have left behind in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

File this post under Yes, It's Fiction, but No, I Am Not Imagining This.

I'll leave the last word to Toni Morrison.