If you read Deliverance and you’re wondering why I wrote THAT sheikh scene then this post is for you. It’s a long one so bear with me, I have quite a bit to say on this issue.
If you haven’t read the book yet then I suggest you stop reading this post, get a copy of the book and then come back here – tissues, tears, rampant emotions and all.
Essentially, Dark Desires is a love story between two vastly different people. Vladimir – the notorious arms dealer who has a very limited range of emotion and no concept of romantic love, and Valerie – a young woman who gives it her all in relationships, but is just not very lucky with the partners she chooses. In Genesis, there was an instant attraction between the two but it was not instant love – it grew because both Val and Vlad took the time to get to know each other and understand their feelings for the other (more so Vlad who has never experienced this depth of emotion for a woman). When he’s found his happiness, his past comes back to bite him in the worst way and again during this separation you watch Vlad grow which is important because he was quite the douche in the beginning.
I used Valerie as my feminist motif in Deliverance and I wanted to spotlight some of the issues that affect women. Did you know that women in Saudi can’t drive? To me, that is absolutely ridiculous but the recurring response to this is that their pace of change is very very slow. However, I must give credit where credit is due and mention that there have been improvements in the lives of women in the country. Currently, there are more women than men in universities and the Saudi government has established scholarship programs that have sent tens of thousands of women to study abroad. But in the face of all this change one thing kicked me in the gut and was really hard for me to swallow:
A woman needs a witness to prove she was raped and is sometimes punished along with the rapist.
Both sources mention specific case procedures and outcomes and the shaky law around it. This is not just a Middle East problem but a general overview of modern society as well when rape occurs and is brought to court. It appears that the onus is on the victim to prove what happened and then there are the sentiments of: what were you doing? what were you wearing? why were you alone? why did you go there? As if it’s the victim’s fault and they could have done something to prevent it.
If someone breaks into your house and steals your stuff, no one asks you why you didn’t have a security system in place. If someone steals your car in a less than reputable area no one asks why you parked there. If someone steals your phone, no one asks why you were using it out in the open. In all the aforementioned situations we intellectually grasp the fact that a crime took place. SOMEHOW when a woman gets raped we want to ask questions that allude to the fact that she could have prevented the incident. It makes me sick to hear about rape prevention (I’m not talking about self-defence where you are put in the position of protecting yourself when you are under attack. I’m talking about blaming a woman for the circumstances surrounding the rape.) because the truth of the matter is, if there is a rapist in the vicinity and you are in their sights there is NOTHING you can do to change their mind. The problem lies with them. Dr Wilson wrote an extensive article regarding rape and I drew from that in this particular scene I wrote.
One thing he mentioned that leapt out at me was that some rapes are professional and the men that participate in these kinds of rapes are tall, professional-looking men in business suits or other clean attire and that some rapists want to pleasure a lady “This is the most mild type of rape. It is similar to an intense sexual experience, except, of course, it is not voluntary. Rapists generally know well how to pleasure a lady. The purpose is usually to break up the lady’s marriage…” this was Keyaan in every way. Valerie did orgasm and that was not me saying she enjoyed it but rather me highlighting the fact that physiologically your body reacts to sexual stimulation against your will. Law and Order SVU had an episode on this as well and you can read the following article that deals with it.
So I hope you have a broader scope of rape after reading this if you’ve gotten this far in my post. My intention in writing that scene was to spread awareness because I have the platform to do it.
My perspective on love is that even though it can be a beautiful manifestation of kindred spirits, it also has the potential to be a natural disaster of hurricane proportions based on the character of those involved. Vlad is a dangerous man who’s lived his life with no fear – he inspired it, and for the first time in his adult life, he is on the receiving end of fear.
I want to write about love that bends and twists and rips through the individual’s lives but does not break. That is the love I believe in, the love of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken
and that of Corinthians 13.
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
That is the kind of love this couple shares and my prerogative is to always write deeply moving stories that are heart wrenching but will make you a firm believer in EROS – the romantic love.