In Defence of Uncomfortable Subject Matter

 

 in [Genre] Fiction

Is it ever justified to write about uncomfortable matter in fiction? Whether genre or not? –

Tom Hawking wrote a piece on   august 18, 2015 in http://flavorwire.com/ commenting on a New Stateman’s blog by  Liz Lutgendorff, who has read, she claims every book on a tp 100 of sci-fi list and finds them shockingly full of pervasive sexism. She especially considers rape scenes as being a bad example of this sexism. However, she does not consider, it would seem the necessity to write about very uncomfortable matter in order to being to the readers’ notice the very existence of these happenings and their outcomes.

I am not sure that genre fiction is particularly bad at this, and have read the Thomas Covenant novels she cites and enjoyed them. I was especially impressed that it highlighted the issues of leprosy which is far more of a subject matter that we do not like to think about as it makes us very uncomfortable indeed. Are response has generally been to hide sufferers away from our sight.

I think that it is indeed literature’s role to look at these subjects that make us uncomfortable and even to demonstrate what sexism looks like and indeed rape, incest, or mothers suffering from post-partum depression killing babies or thinking about it. I think we do need to look at these very difficult incidents and occurrences from both the sides – we need to try and understand why they happen as well as the outcomes and his will enable to us understand better how to prevent them and how to help any who have been impacted by these events.

I don’t think that just because we feel things like sexism are wrong that we should prevent them being written about and I do personally feel that some feminists go too far with this – art must imitate life and also expand on life and imagine this life under many and different situations. Artists have imaginations for the rest of us and just reading soft or cosy matter that does not stretch the mind – happy books are a drug that it is nice to have at times, but our emotions are far more involved in darker and more desperate stories. The ones that make us cry!

So let’s cheer for those who write about the subjects that we wish weren’t there and read their books and blog about them and share our thoughts with others. We need this writing as much as we need chick literature and happy historical romances!

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