Once Again: Rape is NOT Your Personal Metaphor

HUGE TRIGGER WARNING

So remember how we were having a conversation fairly recently about assholes who throw around the word “rape” to mean anything but? Well I’m sure you’ll all be shocked to know that not every person on the internet read that discussion about how horrifying, triggering, pointless, blatantly misogynistic and fucking stupid such a use of the word is.

Including, even more shockingly, the fine folks at that upstanding blog known as Gawker (which, I believe I was recently reading, doesn’t currently have a single regular female writer on staff?). Because this is how CajunBoy decided to describe the awful, no good, very bad experience of . . . wait for it . . . developing a TV show! (Below the fold, and again, Huge Trigger Warning)

From the creative end, developing a television show these days is sort of like giving birth to a daughter, your work, a daughter that you raise and nurture with tremendous care, and then one day you bring her, beautiful, statuesque, perfect in your eyes, to the church to walk her down the aisle, where a dashing groom, the American television viewership, is waiting to embrace her on the other end of the aisle. But just before the organist plays that “Here Comes the Bride” song so she can begin her walk down the aisle, out pops a herd of groomsmen, television executives, who proceed to throw your daughter down and violently gang-bang her in the back of the church, and by the time they’re done with her she’s bloody, beaten, and battered, almost completely unrecognizable to you, the person who raised her. Both of her eyes are swollen completely shut, one of her legs is broken, she can barely function at all, and then the very groomsmen, the television executives, who just finished violently raping her turn to you and say, “Okay, now make her walk down the aisle,” and you, the person who conceived her, nurtured her and cared for her for all those years, has to walk with her as she hopelessly flounders her way down, and all the while you’re hoping beyond hope that she a) makes it all the way down before completely collapsing and b) that her groom, the American television viewer, isn’t so freaked out by her when he sees how hideous she now looks that he turns and bolts out of the church.

So. Creating a TV show — a TV show — is just like creating a person. Who is inevitably female because women are the ones you dress up and mold as you see fit and certainly never the creators in any equation, which is why the developer in this pathetic excuse for a “metaphor” is necessarily male. And having someone water down and change your TV show — a TV show — is just like having someone violently gang rape your daughter! Even worse, you’re left with the miserable prospect of selling her off now that she’s been totally ruined. Wow, am I glad I don’t work in television!

Hey, I wonder how the TV show in this “metaphor” feels? Oh, that’s right — TV shows don’t have feelings!  Because they’re objects, and property that you pawn off on other people!  Just like women! Which is why this metaphor is totally apt, not even remotely revolting, and completely okay for publication on a blog with ridiculously high traffic!

Gee, I hope the feelings of too many men with daughters weren’t harmed in the reading of that blog post.  We wouldn’t want any people getting hurt.

Clearly CajunBoy was thinking of such a possibility when someone called his “metaphor” “uncomfortable and strange,” because he responded in the comments with:

Yeah, I can see that. I actually hesitated right before posting it worried that some might find it offensive, but I decided to go with it, if only because I think that there’s a feeling of being violated that goes along with having something you create utterly destroyed by idiots.

But regardless, sorry if that metaphor offends you. I mean no offense, obviously, I just couldn’t think of a better may to put it once I spit it out onto my screen.

Oh, well then, he meant no offense.  And remember, folks, he hesitated.  Clearly he’s not just some misogynistic asshole who randomly runs around throwing out hugely violent rape metaphors like it’s no big deal, irregardless of the huge portion of the female population that has been subjected to sexual violence!  He thinks about it for a minute or two first.  (And then decides to do it anyway.)

Let me tell you — and I’m sure that most of you get this, but I’m really angry, so let’s go there anyway — I’ve had things I’ve created destroyed by idiots.  Plenty of fucking times.  I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and I’m a writer, and I don’t usually work well in groups, so I’m sure it’s not a huge stretch to see how such a thing may have happened at various points.  I’ve also, since we’re talking about me now, been raped.  (Though I haven’t been a father with a daughter that’s been raped — so clearly I can’t comprehend the worst of the impact, but I can only work with what I have.)

You get exactly one guess as to which one still occasionally gives me nightmares ten years down the line.  And then don’t you even dare think about telling me what it feels like to be “violated” as a means to defend the downright, unapologetic and misogynistic stupidity up above.

Read more from Sady, who gives CajunBoy the “Worse Than Dane Cook Award.” Thanks to Brinstar for the link.


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46 comments for “Once Again: Rape is NOT Your Personal Metaphor

  1. May 22, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    There is not enough D: in the world.

  2. May 22, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    How infuriating! WHEN WILL PEOPLE LEARN? We have a looooong way to go.

  3. May 22, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    But how else are we to convey the depth of violation we feel? What worse crime is there than to violate the sexual integrity of a female person, seeing as how her sexual integrity is the highest factor in determining her worth as a person? Especially when that female person is considered only secondary to a true (male) person, whose property she is; that adds a whole new level of violation, because who cares what that stupid slut feels like anyway?

  4. May 22, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    I do think people reach for this rape metaphor specifically when they are trying to convey a violation they feel is deep beyond understanding. But why? Why is this the common reference point? Perhaps specifically because it taps into this cultural narrative of women-as-sex, this common understanding that there is nothing more damaging and hurtful to a woman than this, and even then – that only because of the cultural value assigned to her (presumed) virginity (which is why we, as a culture, police so strictly what is “rape” and who is a victim), meaning the rape has violated, not necessarily the woman herself, but the people around her to whom her unspoiledness was so important.

  5. Aleph
    May 22, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    And I LOVE how HE’S the one feeling violated by having to watch this hypothetical woman be harmed in such lurid detail.

  6. May 22, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    I poked around for a few minutes looking for info on this guy, and as far as I can tell not only has he never been raped, but he’s also never been a father.

    Or developed a show for television.

    So … yeah.

  7. moodygirl
    May 22, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    This is even more disturbing than the whole “I got raped on that test” phenomenon to me… And it seems the metaphorical rape trend is becoming more elaborate these days than how I remember it from a few years back. I used to hear things like (in the book buy-back line in college) “We’re getting raped here!” (meaning that receiving $0.80 for a book you paid $15 for a few months back was a violation), but never “that test raped me,” which seems to be common now. I’m not saying the first example isn’t offensive, but at least it seemed more apt in that you do, generally, have a lot of control over how you do on a test. (Again, not saying it wasn’t offensive.)

    In the example discussed here, the writer isn’t even saying he’s being raped, but that his creative project, anthropomorphized into a human female, is being raped in that he has lost control over it. To carry the metaphor to its end, rape occurs when a man doesn’t like his daughter’s sex partner (since the daughter has no more volition than a screenplay or whatever).

    Also, he manages to invoke (in unnecessarily graphic terms) the historical phenomenon of women being forced to marry their rapists. Classy.

  8. Daomadan
    May 22, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    I couldn’t even get through his description in the first paragraph you posted.

    I feel sick.

    He is disgusting.

  9. May 22, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    this is the guy who, when doree was bemoaning the current lack of female editors or writers at gawker, said “put me in a mini-skirt and fuck me pumps and i’m a hot bitch!” so clearly he thinks he can imagine the female experience well enough to recount it and represent it.

  10. Emma
    May 22, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    This is so sickening. It just can’t be said enough, apparently, how incredibly inappropriate the use of the word is to describe ANYTHING other than what it is.

    I just keep thinking, you know, that soon people will start getting it. Any minute now. Then another story like this pokes its ugly little head out.

  11. Clio
    May 22, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Jesus Christ.

  12. Chris
    May 22, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    You know, it’s one thing to use the word “rape” nonchalantly. That’s bad, but at least I understand how people can live with themselves after doing so.

    What really, truly disgusts me about this is how fucking extraordinarily graphic this guy’s description of his metaphorical rape is. I mean, Jesus. He actually took a lot of time to craft this disturbing, misogynistic scenario. I felt sick while reading it. There’s simply no fucking excuse for this shit. I can’t imagine anyone reading this without thinking this guy is creepy as hell, and possibly a rapist himself. Just…why would someone want to write this? And be proud enough to put in on the internet? Creepy. As. Fuck.

  13. Chris
    May 22, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    God, there only like, two comments there that were even remotely critical of the rape metaphor, and I mean remotely. I just left a rant. Hopefully more people will too.

  14. chops
    May 23, 2009 at 12:05 am

    I find the most disturbing part is that last bit:

    “You, the person who conceived her, nurtured her and cared for her for all those years, has to walk with her as she hopelessly flounders her way down, and all the while you’re hoping beyond hope that she a) makes it all the way down before completely collapsing and b) that her groom, the American television viewer, isn’t so freaked out by her when he sees how hideous she now looks that he turns and bolts out of the church.”

    In other words, the worst trauma is faced by you, because you invested so much in her. And the worst fear is that she won’t go through with the marriage, or that her “groom” will find her post-rape body ugly.

    This stuff usually doesn’t bother me because holy jesus, this shit is insanely triggering and completely fucked up and sick. I bet he thinks it’s okay because it’s, like, a metaphor! It’s not *really* about a woman!

  15. Phrone
    May 23, 2009 at 3:27 am

    And in the metaphor the only people who were active in the process were male. There was the narrator, the creator; the rapists, the television executives; and the groom, the American public. (The American public is male, of course, and horrified at rape victims.) It’s a rape metaphor that not only trivializes the experience of being raped, but erases the rape victim within the metaphor. There is so much wrong with it, I can’t even begin to fathom it.

  16. May 23, 2009 at 6:35 am

    betcha he had a hardon the whole time he was writing that disgusting “metaphor”. And every time he read it after that.

    oh, and i never wear “fuck me pumps” and yet i’m still a woman. try to wrap your mind around that, asshole.

  17. May 23, 2009 at 7:34 am

    May I’m just too mature to close my eyes on things that can be neglected or should be. Either way, this kind of behavior is getting more and more common these days, nothing much can be done. Sad but true

  18. Ginjoint
    May 23, 2009 at 9:48 am

    So that’s how Cajun Boy feels about the television business. The poor thing. I just left a comment regarding how I felt after reading that. Let’s see if they publish it. I mean, I may have used some overly violent – and completely inapplicable – imagery involving Cajun Boy to describe my feelings, but apparently that’s a-O.K. over there.

  19. May 23, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Gawker (which, I believe I was recently reading, doesn’t currently have a single regular female writer on staff?).

    Gawker just hired Melissa Gira Grant to write for them. So, that’s one. She has WAY bigger ovaries than me for writing for that place.

  20. alice
    May 23, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    The rape metaphor is definitely problematic, but I don’t understand how he can be so incredibly graffic, and not see the post as completely innapropriate, offensive, and disgusting. I haven’t been this offended by something I’ve read online in a long time. He must just be that stupid. Wow.

  21. M
    May 23, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    This guy should be fired tout suite.

  22. EllieB
    May 23, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Not to mention the implicit assumption that a woman who has been raped is damaged goods, sullied, a horrible broken thing from which to “bolt out of the church.”

    Fail. Utter fail.

  23. May 23, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Disturbing humour helps me keep my head on straight when I’m scared (I always wonder out lout if I’ll get raped and killed when setting off on a trip – because a part of me believes just that, and always will), but even I’m staring at this and finding little to say besides “WTF.”

    WTF?

  24. squoggle
    May 23, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    While it’s pretty clear that this goes way over the line, I think it wise to exercise a slight degree of perspective with respect to the use of ‘rape’ to refer to various experiences that in no way approach the horror of rape. This is not in any sense the only instance of colloquial language using a term referring to some manner of horrific assault to exaggeratedly describe something unpleasant. For example, it’s not uncommon for British people to speak of very bad weather by saying “It’s murder out there.” Now, I’ve never heard of anyone who thought that this was intended to belittle the moral gravity of murder; similarly, losing sports teams who describe themselves as having received a beating aren’t typically thought of as disparaging to the victims of battery. There is, however, an anecdote about Wittgenstein, according to which he once called a sick colleague only to scold her when she said she felt like a dog that had been run-over. Typically, we allow people to be colourful in their exaggerations: after all, they could not be recognised, nor intended, as wilful exaggerations except in light of an understanding that the object of comparison is especially awful. Unless there is something particular about rape (is it that it is a form of sexual assault (and so what?)? that it is in some sense implicated in a wider circuit of oppression and intimidation of women?), or unless there is something generally wrong about exaggerating one’s injuries (which seems a little heavy-handed), I think it a little excessive to strike down on general and casual usage. Which does not excuse ‘CajunBoy’, of course: his absurd analogy would not have been any less inexcusable for referring to the violent knifing of his metaphorical daughter.

  25. May 23, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Squoggle — we are not going to let another conversation on the topic devolve into a series of angry and defensive answers and questions about why using the term rape to describe something other than rape is wrong.

    If that’s a conversation you want to see, and that’s the answer you seek, you should click on the very prominent link right at the top of the post, where is says very clearly that we discussed this before and read through the comment thread. That way I don’t have to blow my top again. And just as a general tip, if you have a question, it’s a good idea to click the links in the post to see if your answer might already be there.

  26. squoggle
    May 23, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    oops, sorry, totally missed that.

  27. Cameron H. Russell
    May 23, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Oof, I feel the same way about Nazi or Holocaust or Hitler, etc.
    It gets offensive. More than that, it gets a bit worrying…I mean, people compare everyone to Hitler nowadays, when they didn’t, DIDN’T, orchestrate the organized, state-sponsored deaths of 8 million people. That’s a poor metaphor. So’s this one. Rape is rape. You can’t feel raped about something that wasn’t rape. You can feel violated, but not raped.

  28. May 23, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Yeah, I can see that. I actually hesitated right before posting it worried that some might find it offensive, but I decided to go with it, if only because I think that there’s a feeling of being violated that goes along with having something you create utterly destroyed by idiots.

    Yeah, that makes it worse! I think typing highly offensive material is worse, because it’s not like saying something out loud on TV. There’s always that moment of hesitation when you type something. There’s always proofreading involved when it comes to popular online publications. There are simply more opportunities to edit what you say online before you hit “post.” At least on TV, things are sometimes more spontaneous, and saying something offensive might have been in the heat of the moment (not that that’s an excuse, but maybe an explanation). But that’s not how it is online.

  29. May 24, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Somehow, out of that whole shit salad, the nugget that struck me was the “something you’ve created” in his not-even-a-notpology.
    Yup, a father creates his daughter ALL ON HIS OWN!

  30. May 24, 2009 at 7:26 am

    I’m saddened by the cheapening of the word “rape” which seems to be occuring more in the world at the moment. I’m a vicim of rape (please come and visit my blog to read my experience and its lasting effects) myself and I find it hard to hear the word being banded out in frivulous ways.
    I was shocked to read a friend’s status on a social networking site that she’d been raped. I was so upset, but then found out that all she meant was that her account had been hacked and someone had changed things in there and pretended to be her. That’s not rape. I wished I could tell her how wrong it was to use the word like that, but I figured that someone who used it so blatantly in that situation probably wouldn’t appreciate what I was saying.
    Also there was some footballer who complained about a vicious tackle, that it was like being raped. Hardly!!
    If I hear the word “rape” in conversation it makes me stop in my tracks, I feel panic and I feel fear, it’s instinctive. People who say that these things are like being raped all over again are cheapening the experience as well in my book. It’s not someone else’s fault that a person has trigger words, but it is their fault if they use such serious words in wildly inappropriate ways.
    However I do think part of it is the listener’s/reader’s sensitivies and I think we’d end up not saying much at all if we were mindful of all the possible bad ways in which our words could be taken. I do think sometimes that people who’ve lost loved ones to murder could get upset on overhearing someone saying they’d “kill for a cup of tea” or people who’ve nearly starved might get upset about someone saying they’re “starving” when they’ve only missed breakfast. I suppose though these people have not been the victim themselves. You’re not going to upset someone who’s starved or been murdered because they are dead, but the majority of rape victims live to remember the horror.
    The thing which sickens me about this guy’s writing, I totally agree with those of you who have already said it, it’s about the image of the daughter as his possession, something soiled he’s been forced to give away, and that her awful experience is all about him and his feelings. What about her?

  31. May 24, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Sorry… now you have four versions! Deeply sorry! They’ve all worked at once! Some might look slightly different to others, but the gist is the same. Feel free whoever edits this to get rid of the extras…

  32. Bunny Mazonas
    May 24, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Wait… he claims he couldn’t think of ANY OTHER way to describe what having his “art” tampered with felt like? How about…

    It is like that first time you brought home a painting you’d made in preschool, only instead of your parents gushing about how good it was and telling you they were proud of you, they point out all the things that are wrong with the painting and how it simply isn’t good enough. So you redo it the next day, and the day after that, and repeatedly until all the child-like joy you felt when you first created something you loved is gone, and replaced only with exhaustion and a real temptation to just give up and stop trying to make your work acceptable to them.

    Or…

    Did your parents ever surprise you one birthday or festive season with a car? Some beat-up wreck that was ready for scrapping but you loved it, and nurtured it, and spent months working on it every moment that you could spare, and how proud you were after all your hard work when you took it out that first time? Now imagine that, just before you take your car out for its first drive, all of your supposed friends turn up to see it, and start criticising every part of it; The paint job, the windows, the upholstery, and tearing andclawing and smashing every part they don’t like, until all that remains is a broken heap, and then you are expected to drive it.

    Or even…

    It is like when Cinderella first stepped out, wearing the dress she had made from her mothers’ old dress and the unwanted scraps of her stepsisters, and they tore it apart and expected her to go to the ball int he remaining rags.

    Nah, he’s right, graphically describing a violent act of gang rape is the only option.

    Arsehole.

  33. catfood
    May 24, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    I don’t think I’m repeating anyone here in this observation: Yet another thing wrong with the metaphor is that he equates producing a TV show for the sole purpose of presenting it to the viewing public to creating a woman for the sole purpose of marrying her off to a man. Even setting aside the obvious issue of volition, the metaphor only works if women exist only to be married to men, the same way TV shows only exist to be presented to viewers.

    Yeah. It’s that messed up, so many ways.

  34. May 24, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    That is fucking horrible.

  35. Bonn
    May 25, 2009 at 12:33 am

    Bunny, your analogies don’t quite work for me. They lack a certain gravity. As graphic and horrible as this guy’s metaphor is, it works. I understand exactly what he means and can grasp the situation a person who makes TV shows goes through and how they feel about it. It goes too far, but if we think about how we call a project our “baby,” and what awful things can happen to our “baby,” then it does work.

    As a creative person, nothing is more frustrating to me than lack of control. I wrote for a magazine once where there were two editors. One rewrote portions of my article (badly) and then sent it to the main editor. The main editor made his comments and sent it back to me. The main editor had remarked on several lines that made no sense, but I didn’t remember writing those. Of course, I hadn’t written them. And everything the other editor had changed was remarked upon by the main editor as being wrong or not making sense. (I wondered if this was turnabout because I had previously been the proofreader and the main editor was also a writer–a horrible writer–whom I had to correct all over the place. Revenge? Maybe.) Anyway, I was livid. I put my foot down and said I would revert back to my original and work from there. But I would not work with this copy they had sent back to me. And I had the power to do that.

    But if I wanted to create a metaphor that conveyed the depth of my anger, it would be difficult. The best I could come up with (without using violent imagery at all) was:

    You’re a painter. You have a show in a gallery tonight that a lot of important people will be coming to. It could be just the thing to boost your career and make you a world famous artist. But about 30 minutes before the gallery is set to open, the gallery staff come in. “We don’t like your paintings for reasons X, Y, and Z,” they say. “We’re just going to make some changes.” So they take out paints and brushes and go around to every piece and furiously paint on them until they are almost completely covered in scribbles with very little of your original work still showing.

    And then the gallery opens and people start flooding in and you cross your fingers and pray that even though it’s not really your work anymore, that A. people like it and write/say nice things about it, and B. the last-minute changes that were out of your control don’t taint you forever.

    Something like that. My other analogy involved a wild pack of angry dogs. But I figured someone would claim I was a dog-hater (or a cat-hater because they were going to maul a show cat).

    Art is a thing you create and work on and it’s really hard to express the anger and frustration you experience when people swoop in and change it. So while I think he could have come up with something better … I get it. Just, it sounded too much like whassisface’s description of the perfect abortion exception.

  36. angryhag
    May 25, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Though I haven’t been a father with a daughter that’s been raped — so clearly I can’t comprehend the worst of the impact, but I can only work with what I have.”

    Actually, he talks about “birthing a daughter”, so he’s comparing his feelings to a mother’s, not father’s.
    Also, what is this show he’s talking about? I want to be sure not to watch it.

  37. Davey
    May 25, 2009 at 8:11 am

    There are so many different kinds of wrong in the analogy that it’s hard to know where to start, and everyone seems to said most of it. Unlike others here, I’m not shocked that “Cajun Boy” referred to the show as his child. Artists, even bad artists, feel protective of their works, and after shows like “The Sopranos” and “Breaking Bad”, I’m more than willing to call a TV show a creation. But it’s a cliche to refer to the work as your child*. Rather than try and think of an original way to express himself, he just spins it further into shock. Shock is easy. If it wasn’t, the writers of Family Guy would be at the unemployment line.

    Or at least it’s easy for those delivering it. As has been shown many times here, it’s certainly not easy for those who get their traumas dug up. And he’s so comfortably oblivious of what he’s actually saying that he ends up revealing far more about himself as a writer and a human being. An artist’s goal should be empathy, understanding things from a perspective of outside his or her own. If “Cajun Boy” isn’t capable of doing more than “hesitating” at the thought of the trauma he caused others, he should stop cold at revealing how fucking selfish and small-minded he is. I wonder how many of those “asinine notes” are from people trying to protect him from himself, because he doesn’t display any of the qualities of someone who has the right to call what he writes his child*.

    *I’m not going to dignify the “daughter” shit.

  38. Rebecca_J
    May 25, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I agree with Personal Failure…
    This analogy reminded me of someone’s response on another message board to a person using particularly vivid imagery to make a point (in this case, about legalized prostitution and its effects on “the children”):

    “your tone and content both reflect those of a particular class of dominants – doms whose aim is not to temporarily ‘hurt’ their submisives for mutual enjoyment (the goal of the majority bdsm dom role players), but to cause serious and long-lasting physical and psychological harm for their own satisfaction (sadists).”

    When someone uses extremely detailed descriptors to paint what should be a simple picture, you have to wonder whether they’re simply (and perhaps even unconsciously) vomiting up their own fantasies for all to see.

  39. Alara Rogers
    May 25, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I have had people stomp all over my creative works before. I find the very fear of it so distressing that I have not pursued work in Hollywood or comic books; I stay safely in the sole-creator ghetto of prose fiction where most likely no one will stomp on your work too badly. Being forced to write something I despised upset me so badly I became clinically depressed at grad school, stopped being able to remember my classes or make sense of my notes, and ended up losing my stipend, destroying my potential career as a scientist.

    ANd I *still* wouldn’t compare the experience to rape. And most especially I would not compare the experience to watching my child be raped. Frankly, if the description had involved *himself* being raped I would be more forgiving of it, because the violation of having your work ruined is so powerful it can actually cause depression… in fact if I were really, really emotionally invested in a project that I desperately wanted to bring to fruition, I might *prefer* rape (in the sense of being willing to sleep with someone I had no desire for if they demanded that in order to see the project’s success, which legally isn’t rape, but emotionally I think it’s coercion and therefore rape). But there is *no circumstance* that would be as horrible as the rape of your child… except the death of your child. The destruction of your creative work is *nothing* compared to the suffering a parent feels when a child is gravely harmed in any way.

  40. paulbel
    May 26, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    I’m new here, noting that the words “asshole” “fucked” and “trigger” are used freely as personal metaphors by the poster and commenters. Are they meant to relate directly to the asshole, sex act and firearms they they allude to? Or is “rape” different, and is it different because of triggering?

    Not having been raped, (though I’ve been assaulted), the closest I can come to understanding triggering is through the way many people speak of suicide. I lost a loved one to suicide and it took more than a decade to come to terms with that, if indeed I have. I used to, and still often feel anger and irritation at insensitive ways that people speak of suicide. Not just “I could kill myself” but when they ask things like “why did she do it?” And yet, in my own language I freely use “asshole” and “fuck” in ways that are well within the conventional metaphorical uses, even though fucking is dear to me and assholes are one way we are all the same.

    So “triggering” as a metaphor, at least in my life, is pretty apt. I have a history that is like some explosive packed into a cartridge in a gun, and when someone says the wrong thing, I go off – shooting violence into the conversation.

  41. Napalm Nacey
    May 27, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Bonn – the guy’s metaphor doesn’t work. It’ll never work. It’s sloppy and insensitive. It cheeses off a good portion of the audience which he immediately loses upon using it. Using something which makes people stop reading is never, ever a successful literary device. It’s called screwing up.

    I don’t have words for the contempt and disgust I have for CajunBoy.

  42. Roving Thundercloud
    May 28, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Bonn and Bunny, nice attempts at alternatives, but the guy is supposed to be a writer and couldn’t come up with anything better? I’m not impressed. Also, he writes a dramatic action-packed scene and can’t put himself into any other character’s feelings? FAIL.

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