Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Danse Macabre--chapter 44

Anita tests out the other were-lion and he peggs off as a "wounded antelope" because Anita's uber-beast reads other predators as prey, I guess. She promises not to choose either Peirce or Haven and it's flippy-floppy enough for me to know she'll probably do exactly that.

I think one of the most disturbing things about this series (and there's a shit ton of disturbing to be had) is how Anita never owns responsibility for her choices. Icky as it is to say, that's part of why the sex is all non-con. As long as Anita never consiously chooses to have sex, she isn't responsible for being sexual. (Note: I am not saying for a second that the rapes don't count as rapes, or anything like that. That's just one of the componants behind why it's ALWAYS non-con.) it's even more obvious when we get out of the bedroom and start trying to do plot shit. It's not that Anita sucks at her job, or is insenstive, or a bigot, or a misogynist. Nope, boys and girls. She's just out of control. She's afflicted. It's not her fault.

Bullshit. Even if Anita were mentally ill with diminished capacity--I personally do consider people in long-term abusive situations to fit the clinical definition of mentally ill. Their thinking processes have been altered by their circumstances and they are much more likely to develop depression, PTSD, and addictive behavior as a coping mechanism. Note: I'm not saying that they stay in those situations because they are mentally ill, they are mentally ill because they're in those circumstances. You cannot breathe chlorine and not have lung damage. Abuse is toxic and damaging--she still has personal responsibility. Being abused does not give you a blank check to be abusive. You might have a diminished capacity to recognize right from wrong, but you can still recognize it and you absolutely can still back down and say no. The instant another person is involved in the abusive situation, you become responsible for how you behave towards them. Being a battered wife does not give you an excuse to beat your child. Being the spouse of an abusive partner does not give you the right to harm the person they're having an affair with. You do not have the right to continue an abusive cycle. The moment you raise your hand against someone who is not your abuser, and your abuser does not have a figurative gun to your head? You become the abuser. It's a very sketchy gray area, because the circumstances of abuse do dramatically reduce an individual's capacity to free choice, but unless there is an immediate threat against you or another individual--ie he will kill you and your children if you don't do as he says--it is never alright to perpetuate an abusive cycle.

Anita knows that Haven is not a good person. She knows that he's probably abusive (he's a motherfucking mob enforcer) and she knows that bringing him into St. Louis will destroy one of the few good were-animal groups in the city. She is attracted to him, yeah, but it's the attraction a co-dependant person has for an abuser (I am not kidding: Abuse victims, unless they have EXTREMELY good self-awareness, will pick a new abuser out of a crowded room of otherwise sane individuals. I had a friend who told me the best thing she could do when attracted to a guy was run the fuck away.) and while she's tone-deaf to her own self-needs, the fact that everyone else in the fucking universe wants Haven gone ought to be a good clue that he needs to be gone.

Auggie then reveals that one of his goals during this trip was to take over the local lion pride. And that he still wants to do that.

I came thinking I’d get my ashes hauled, and make a smash and grab on the local lions. Still might do the whole lion thing, but the rest didn’t work out like I planned.”
Yeah. Letting him supervise sexerpades with Haven would be a very bad idea.

Anita threatens to kill Auggie's pet lion so that Auggie can't hold control of a lion pride anymore. It's almost admirable, but we're threatening to kill someone we don't know that we've never met just because Anita's feeling taken advantage of.

This goes back and forth for a few minutes, and we find out that the were-lion leader's brother, Justin, is going to be at the ballet. Great. Jason shows up bleeding, and we spend a couple pages talking about his sex life. And it's actually good, though I'd really like to know what could leave that kind of dramatic bite mark on a shoulder. Consensual sex rocks, folks.

And of course Meng Die is disgusted by this. I can't decide if it's the consensual sex part or that it was two guys doing it. Either way, it's yet another case of the author character-assassinating her own characters. WHY IS THIS NECESSARY I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

Auggie tells Anita that Justin isn't the match that Haven is because she needs someone dominant enough to dominate her, and I tried to think my way through the implications, my dear blog-readers. I really did. I tried so hard. There was the sexism and the gender politics and the fact that Anita is never dominated, ever, and that was about the time the gender/sexual bullshit turned into a Lovecraftian mobius strip and my brain dribbled out my ears. I have no fucking clue what this book is doing, why it exists, or what we're supposed to do with it. Guys, Fifty Shades of Gray has more complexity and a better plot, and that's one book I'd like to shoot just to put out of its misery.

The chapter is done. I am going to go OD on cold meds and go to bed.

1 comment:

  1. "Being abused does not give you a blank check to be abusive."