Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Danse Macabre--chapter 42

You know, this book has slowly degraded all my standards. I began the book wanting a plot that didn't hurt ballet too badly. Then I just wanted a plot in general. Then I just wanted happy, consensual sex that didn't read like it hurt on a physical or psychological level. Then I just wanted sex that wasn't actively abusive. Now? Can we at least start a chapter without having rape? Please?

I BROKE THE kiss, pushed him away hard enough to make him stumble. His eyes were drowning emerald fire. “Didn’t it feel good?” he asked. I shook my head, not trusting my voice. But the moment he wasn’t touching me the panic was back. The fear, and it was worse now. I was surrounded by vampire tricks. Surrounded even inside myself, and that was one person I couldn’t run from.

I shook my head. “No, because if you touch me, I’ll give up. I won’t fight. I can never win a fight when you touch me. The effect you have on my body overwhelms everything else.”
Yep. Because our bodies are hardwired for survival and MICAH IS YOUR RAPIST. OF COURSE your body is going to shut down. IT WANTS TO STAY ALIVE.

I want to blog about something other than rape and abusive behavior. I would love to have the insanity of the agents of the (NUMBERED) dread overloard being defeated by a seven-spotted ladybug. Or even Werewolves taking selfies. BUT NO. WE GET PAGE AFTER PAGE AFTER PAGE OF ABUSE, RAPE AND MIND-FUCKERY.

There is a difference between writing about sex and writing about abuse. With sex, the  characters enjoy it. Anita has, in the course of this book, been assaulted by a woman, assaulted by a man, raped several dozen people at once, had an emotional breakdown (THAT WAS UNDERSTANDABLE AND A GOOD THING), had her emotions and feelings manipulated and shattered BY HER RAPIST, raped a recovering addict with the thing he is addicted to, and now we're doing rape again, and that's just the shit I remember. And the best part is, thanks to Anita being so fucking out of control the whole time, she's not in control of any of it. She's not having sex because she wants to, and neither is anyone else.

Micah keeps talking, and oh my fucking GOD it reminds me of many, many, many bad people I've read about. Jeffery Lundgren. Jim Jones. Vernon Howell (look it up.) Probably even Warren Jeffs. Once again, Anita is all but screaming I WANT OUT OF THIS BULLSHIT and the men are all gathered around, saying "But ANITA, we're all HAPPY HERE."

Shithead: If she were happy she would not be screaming right now.

 And then Nathanial says "you could leave us?" and starts crying. And it's passive-agressive and pathetic, and of course Anita collapses around him and starts rocking him and throwing all her own feelings and decisions away because how dare she be so selfish as to put her own wellbeing over the thoughts and feelings of her partners. How dare she think that her sense of self is more critical than pleasing her menfolk. Oh my god, how dare she try to disentangle herself from the two men who have victimized her over and over and over and over and fucking over again. How dare she.

 And then they start having a heavy petting session because "kiss and make up" is just too vanilla for this crowd.

They decide they don't want Haven, but that they need Jean Claude to break up the bond before it's completely set. Auggie decides that he'll try to help.

Yes. Let's ask the fucking MOB BOSS who ACTIVELY WANTS Anita to bond with Haven to keep Anita from bonding with Haven. I see no way whatsoever for that to go wrong.

And then we get another crash course in were-lion behavior. Which is basically of the "Let's study lions in a caged enviroment" variaty.

(On a totally unrelated side-note, I've been dealing with a slightly aggressive bunny at my work, and have ODed on bunny behavior and how to deal with biting bunnies and bunny body language and how to care for one properly and I have since decided I want were-bunnies almost more than I want were-hippos. Because folks? You do not fuck with bunnies. And they have a really complicated, yet easy-to-work with caste system that involves petting and grooming and establishing top bun that would probably be much more entertaining than the whole "Dominance/submission predator" pack behavior bullshit.)

And then we establish that new male werelions kill the infants of the females in the prides they move in on.

Look, I'll buy a lot of "Weres are different" shit, but you cannot expect me to swallow that a group of sentient creatures would willingly tolerate motherfucking infanticide. I could see a rogue lion doing that, but a group of something even part human tolerating a baby-murderer as a leader for three seconds? I can see a lot of solutions for that, starting with an anonymous phone call to the cops and ending with blood and fire and a very dead baby-killer. And if I were that female? It wouldn't happen with me alive. Not if it were my kid, not if it were anybody else's kid.

Oh, and guys? It's the female lions who wear the pants in the pride. NO FUCKING WAY WOULD THIS GO DOWN.

 “Your local pride has very weak females,” Auggie said, his voice still that empty master’s voice, so it could have been almost anyone talking. “Your Rex’s wife is weak, and since the females of the lions are just like the males, it’s forced him to reject a lot of strong women.”
...I'm being reduced to the point where all I can say is "fuck you, Laurell."

I wanted to say, I won’t let them hurt you and your people, but I couldn’t. Not and be truthful. We had an alliance with the lions, true, but if Joseph had truly let his pride get this fucked up, and it was truly the lion’s way to take over the pride like this, then no other animal could interfere.
FUCK the inter-were rules. If you are a good person, you do not let shit like infanticide happen. You're dealing with an artifically created set of rules usually constructed by abusive idiots who can't think around problematic behavior. And you should not be listening to the motherfucking MOB BOSS who has a vested interest in giving you his own lion.

Anita decides to try Noel on for size, and the chapter ends with her muttering about sharks and fish and god only knows what else.

This book is still not done yet.


  1. "Your Rex’s wife is weak, and since the females of the lions are just like the males, it’s forced him to reject a lot of strong women.”

    I love the implication here that it's all the wife's fault for why the pride is fucked up. Anita/LKH really love shifting the blame on women whenever possible. They'll bend over backwards to forgive a man, but women always get the short end of the stick. Even when it comes to victims.

    Men who were sexually/physically/emotionally abused = poor victims that need Anita's sympathy and magic vagina to heal all their wounds.

    Women who were sexually/physically/emotionally abused = spineless weaklings that probably deserved it because they were too weak to fight back and Anita will spend all her time scorning them and showing how strong and awesome she is in comparison to them.

    Or when we see Belle Morte in comparison to Jean-Claude. JC and Belle are essentially the same; two vampires who feed off of sex and use sex to gather power and allies and are currently building massive empires. But Belle is 'totes evil' because....she's a woman. Really, we've seen that JC has done the exact same things as Belle, but Belle is somehow worse.

    Oh, and I can't remember which book it happens in, but this whole thing with Joseph and his wife is only going to get worse. Because you know, married monogamous people suck and all married women are horrible harpies that are jealous of Anita.

  2. Everything LKH knows about lion behaviour is wrong.

    A pride of is basically a group of sisters or nieces who keep a breeding male on hand to help them control the local water resources. It is not the harem of an "alpha male", which is a term people who actually study animals don't use.

    Most male lions who can't live with a pride of lionesses will either hang out on their own, or hang out with other male lions.

    A lone male lion will sometimes try to move in on a pride, because hey, ladies and WATER. What's not to love? Most of the time these contests come down to dominance displays and brief fights between the males, but if the lionesses like their current mate (Or don't like the challenger) for whatever reason, the lionesses will cooperate to drive off the challenger.

    If the challenger wins, they probably WON'T kill any young, because the lionesses won't let him. Most lions just accept this and wait for the next time the lionesses go into heat, because why make trouble for yourself? If he tries to kil their young, they'll cooperate to drive him off. If they can't drive a male off and he succeeds in killing the young, they typically try to get ride of him again.

    The point is, lionesses are not passive harem members of the Mighty King Of The Beasts. That's a bunch of patriarchal bullshit projected on to the animal world.

    So of course LKH has not only swallowed the BS hook line and sinker, she's blaming it on the women involved. Because LKH.

    1. The lionesses don't stand for their cubs being killed? Omg can you give me a source? That is really really awesome and I want to find out more!

    2. I can't find a specific source for that. It's come up a couple of times in newer documentaries and articles I've seen. Basically it boils down to pride behaviour being a lot more complex than we used to think, and big cats not giving a fuck about human social standards.

  3. I thought Auggie DIDN'T want her to take Haven?

    1. Auggie brought Haven in the first place, and he's established as a criminal leader who, at the very least, doesn't mind violating his people's minds and integrity just so he can have the ardeur. He sounds desperate to have a hold on Anita so he can get ardeur whenever he wants it. Haven is his best bet for getting that hold.

      If Auggie DIDN'T want Anita to take Haven, he shouldn't have brought Haven along, or he should have taken steps to knock Haven out of the running. Haven is Auggie's man, and is one of Auggie's enforcers. In the overly idealized mob hirearchy (Which not only doesn't fucking exist the way the movies portray it, it only exists BECAUSE of the movies, but that's a rant for another night) that means that Haven takes Auggie's orders.

      In short: If Auggie didn't want Haven to be Anita's choice, he'd send Haven home the way he did his other problematic people. Haven is still here. Ergo, Auggie wants Anita to pick Haven over her other options.