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Can we please discuss the rape in this book?

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Initial post: Jul 25, 2012 12:45:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 25, 2012 12:51:27 PM PDT
Jovana J says:
I've been going thru some reviews just out of curiosity to see if anyone else felt similar as me. Didn't the rape by Stalker and his gang bother anyone? The fact that Deuce is a rape appologist, blaming Tegan's physical weakness on her rape? How about letting the rapist join in, even after one of his victims expressed CLEAR discomfort? And what about the potential for romance between Deuce and the rapist?


Posted on Oct 16, 2012 5:33:22 PM PDT
Tanya May says:
I know this is late, but YES I hated the way rape was treated. The apologists for the book keep saying how rape is okay and Stalker can be sympathized with because it's how he was raised. Are these same people cool with the rapes in the Congo where young men are trained to rape and kill? Do they want to give those guys a big hug and teach them to be nice and cuddly? No, of course not. Those guys are bad, but Stalker is sexy.

I seriously think it's the first person narrative that tricks people into tolerating this crap. Because we're in Deuce's head and she's our guide and she says rape is okay or caused by weak women, we're inclined to believe her. Man, this book made me so angry. The readers who love it make me angry too. I saw on GR some women saying how Stalker was sorry and it wasn't his fault and he said he wouldn't rape again so all is forgiven. They actually get angry when people attack him as a character and they talk about how sexy his persistence is. Really?

Oh, in the next book, Tegan jokes around with Stalker and forgives him. What are a few years of being gang raped? Just loosen up Tegan and forgive the poor guy. WTF? Oh, hell, and a reader on one post actually suggested since Deuce belongs with Fade that maybe Tegan and Stalker could hook up!!!!!

Rant complete.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2012 9:09:09 AM PDT
Jovana J says:
I...I...honestly dont know what to say. Im speechless. I am SO HAPPY someone else agrees with me. The amount of praise on Amazon makes me lose hope in humanity. I did NOT read the 2nd book nor I intend to. I've had enough victim blaming and rape appologizing for the rest of my life. SICK SICK SICK books.

Posted on Oct 27, 2012 3:53:18 PM PDT
I agree with what you guys are saying about not being ok to dismiss rape or gloss over it in anyway...but in Ms Aguirre's defense, I don't think she was promoting anything. From Deuce's POV, she would kill others or herself before she would tolerate someone getting close enough to rape her and she wouldnt understand why Tegan wouldnt be the same. But she does acknowledge that there was a survival aspect to her not fighting back--especially as she wasn't capable of the fighting talents of Deuce-- and respects her for staying alive despite that.

In a world gone to mess, as depicted in the book, I wouldn't find it surprising that healthy relationships would be lacking and sex turned back into a matter of survival/procreation rather than love. In that, I can imagine it being more about getting off for guys and simply creating the next generation for girls. (Not pretty but we're talking about a world completely different than now.) I don't remember Tegan actually being assaulted or raped by Stalker, more that he didn't prevent it. Moving on for Tegan would be more for her healing than for anyone else (something I have heard from a friend who had been raped--it's not about the other person it's about you.) And there's a strength in Teagan being able to look past that aspect of her relationship with Stalker. S. Horn, i would have been upset a bit about Stalker and Tegan getting together as well...but again I dont remember Stalker being a participant in her abuse just a bystander. (NOT OKing HIS ROLE EITHER WAY!)

Reading post-apocolyptic books, I think you need to take it in the context of that book. Things are "socially acceptable" in our world cannot be considered the standard in a world gone to shit. Also, in the 2nd book Teagan, Deuce, Fade & Stalker join a community more similar to that of today and they certainly don't condone rape. SPOILER: Deuce kills a rapist in the community who tries to hurt her--further proof that our main character won't stand for that treatment. If only every woman could learn to protect themselves as Deuce can.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012 6:32:18 PM PDT
Tanya May says:
L, I understand you like the books and you might even find Stalker sympathetic, but Aguirre used a YA book to detail her feelings about rape. I don't care what Aguirre does in books two or three (even kill Stalker) because in book one, she clearly uses her MC to explain how rape is justifiable, rapists are sexy, and rape victims bring it on themselves.

The fact that Aguirre changes the story about Stalker isn't surprising. Tegan lied apparently! Not only does she bring rapes upon herself, slow down the group, but she also lied about poor misunderstood Stalker! Summary: Aguirre decided to make Tegan the bad guy for lying about Stalker vs. making Stalker the bad guy for being a rapist. Victims: 0 Rapists: 1

The fact that someone tries to rape Deuce and she kills him actually proves how Aguirre believes rape is the victim's fault. In book one Deuce (writer) thought Tegan was at fault for her years of rapes because she didn't fight back. In book two Aguirre shows how a good woman would fight back and kill her potential rapist. Summary: Tegan is at fault for her rapes. Victims: 0 Rapists: 2

The fact that Tegan not only forgives Stalker (why not since she was at fault for her rapes, he was a lost little boy who didn't know any better, and she's a liar), but she jokes around with him. Ask your friend, L, if she wants to chill with her rapist? Probably not. Tegan though thinks Stalker is cool. Deuce thinks he's cool too. Summary: Stalker is a viable love interest that will likely end up with Tegan, yet his heart will belong to a strong woman like Deuce who would never LET herself get raped. Victims: 0 Rapists: 3

Using dystopia as an excuse to explain why rape blaming is okay is silly. It's like saying that under circumstances evil human behavior is okay. Believing Stalker doesn't know any better because rape is very acceptable in his world is like saying rape is acceptable in the Congo so how can we judge them? We judge because certain behaviors are evil no matter when or why they happen. Yet certain women like Aguirre want to victim blame so they can feel safe from rape. If the victim brought it on herself then "good" women don't have to worry.

I don't want to attack you personally, L, but you state "If only every woman could learn to protect themselves as Deuce can." If they could, then what? Rape would go away because men only rape because women let them? I can see why you like the book, Aguirre, and her message.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012 7:18:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2012 4:19:22 AM PDT
Well I'd honestly hope it isn't a personal attack because you say you want to discuss. I always thought "discuss" was a different word than "preach at" but to each their own I suppose.

First of all, my comment about women being able to protect themselves by no means says, "if they can't it's their fault if they get raped." If that's what you took from my comment, I feel sorry for your world view. I'm stating that if they could protect themselves they COULD PROTECT THEMSELVES. Even if they weren't successful, I would personally rather fight and try to get away than just take the abuse or at the very least keep being a pain in the ass that might make them want to leave you alone(which is actually what Teagan did though she was unsuccessful in the getaway). Would you rather your daughter, wife, friend be unable to fight back at all?

Stalker never raped Tegan. He had raped others, we may assume, but he didn't personally do it to Teagan. That's not a defense of his actions, which aren't much better, but if you're going to start talking about "what the author meant" and "authors message" at least start with things that actually came from the book. Teagan hates him because of what he let happen. I would of course find it hard to believe that she would later become pals with someone who raped her but that's not what Aguirre wrote. But there are people in this world who do believe that someone can change and that forgiveness means something. (strange but true)

No one ever says in the book that Teagan brought the rape on herself. FROM DEUCE's POV she doesnt understand why you wouldnt die first before you could be raped BUT THEN ACKNOWLEDGES TEAGAN's STRENGTH TO LIVE THROUGH IT. This isn't a new concept in literature. Many historical writings talk about women who slit their own throats before they could be captured by the enemy or family members to did the deed for them. The fact that Teagan was never broken by the gang says quite a lot about her character. But again. No where does it say that if you can't defend yourself you deserve to be raped. "Part of me hated him (Stalker) for what he'd let the other wolves do to Teagan, but the Huntress half of me wondered why she hadn't fought until she died" (pg 198) For someone who grew up defending themselves, they wouldn't understand Teagan's situation but she still came to respect her for surviving. Victim:1 (bc she did what she had to, to survive--and still fought the Wolves' authority over her) Rapist: Wolves who raped Teagan--all dead by Freaks

Not sure when Teagan "thought Stalker was cool" but hey deduce what you want. Aguirre never said "hey rape is fine." Rape is an extremely horrific aspect of life. And in a world without rules, punishments and morals, rape could probably be expected. Go ahead and look at parts of Africa. Bad things happen everyday and writing a book about the end of all order and expecting there to be rainbows and bunnies is a waste of time. Anyone can find a way to justify actions. (HELLO ever heard of Hitler?)Not that one person is always right or another always wrong it is a matter of perspective. There was once a time when people were belongings--not strictly people. We today acknowledge that isn't right or moral but again we have our views today as a filter to look at that through. It's a harsh fact of life and putting it in a book doesn't mean you are promoting an action. Rather you are being realistic. These things happen and there are screwed up people who can justify doing it. No one is saying it's ok, they're saying it's a fact of life that bad shit happens to people for no reason other than it can. Victims: 0 World: -50000 Sick people: 1

if you're putting this much into an authors mouth, maybe you should just write your own books and stick to only reading them. They certainly won't have anything touching on the bad shit in the world. And by the way...I know quite a few kids who read Harry Potter-they haven't grown up to start worshiping satan either.

Posted on Oct 28, 2012 11:33:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2012 11:36:24 AM PDT
You know, the more time that goes by since you made that asinine reaction to my comment the more disgusted and utterly insulted I am. And I honestly hope I can blame that on you being a sexist male rather than a proud female. How you could equate a good thing, like self-defense, to whatever that crap was, is truly vile. I feel sorry for you that you think that way. Have you ever had to throw a punch in self-defense? Which do you think would make a woman feel safer, knowing how to or not knowing at all? This isn't about categorizing women into victims or not BASED on whether they can do simple self-defense. Cause guess what? Being a black belt doesn't automatically mean you are safe. And not knowing how to throw a punch or kick DOESNT leave a sign above your head saying "rape me I'm easy." It empowers woman to at least do something. You're "If they could, then what? Rape would go away because men only rape because women let them?," comment... I would hope it was safe to say that most women put up a struggle (unless drugged) should they find themselves in that situation. Even if that's ineffective, it's fighting back. Adding skill to a natural self-defense reaction is a GOOD THING. Stop categorizing women into victims or not, because not only is that entirely messed up, it doesn't represent every situation.

You preach about how screwed up Aguirre is but you dont realize that those reading this book take the story as it was presented--a world without morals and leave it at that. There is no reading in, no message to be gained (other that two women, one who can fight and one who survived a shit storm). it's a book and doesn't claim to be a Bible. The readers who enjoy this book are NOT adding current day morals to a MADE UP WORLD that is devoid of them and then taking that as a life guide.

You preach and yet you yourself send the message that it is ok to view the world in an "if you take self-defense classes and your friend doesn't...they're a target IN THIS WORLD not a dystopia" because that is the first conclusion you come to when someone suggests women learn some defense. I have more issue/disgust for your world view than Aguirre's description of a fictional world.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 12:34:15 PM PDT
Tanya May says:
I'm sorry I disgusted you. I'm sorry if my asinine ideas upset you. I want to reassure you that I'm not a sexist man. As proof, feel free to ask the group of men who raped me if I have the proper plumbing to discuss this matter. I am Tegan. I didn't fight back enough to keep a group of men from using my body for their pleasure. I'm no Deuce for sure.

You came into a discussion where you claim rape is wrong, but in the book, rape isn't wrong. Stalker is a rapist and he is painted as part of the main group. He is never punished for what happened to Tegan or the women he raped. He is never punished for what he wanted to do to Deuce and Fade. You might believe rape is fundamentally wrong, but Aguirre feels it's merely a stumbling block on the way to a wonderful relationship. Stalker is a rapist, but he is not the bad guy. Think about that and then think about why someone who has been raped might have trouble with the view. We are meant to root for Stalker. Deuce trusts him. If she and Fade didn't hook up, she might screw Stalker. How is that okay?

Posted on Oct 28, 2012 6:02:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2012 6:17:57 PM PDT
I am very truly sorry for what you had to go through and despite being ineffective, you should be proud for fighting back at all. BUT to accuse me of agreeing that you SHOULD have been treated that way because you weren't able to protect yourself is so far beyond insulting to me that I spent the whole time between you posting that and now being severely pissed off. And I don't know you.

I'm not going to pretend I would know or understand your situation, but I would hope, if it were me, that I would empower myself to see someone in the mirror who does not view herself as a perpetual victim and see everything in the world as colored by that experience. (Again, with that being said I have no idea what it's like in your shoes.) I abhor that type of violence and in a perfect world, all men who even thought about it would be castrated--and I wouldnt mind helping with that punishment. But that's not realistic. Sometimes, unfortunately and horribly too many times, the guy gets away with it. As horrible as this is to say and acknowledge, her version maybe more realistic especially in the world she created. I don't see that writing about, what is a horrible part of real life, is the same as promoting or OKing rape.

Yes, I believe they are still a rapist no matter how much time goes on and yes I would absolutely understand how you could and would be offended by a rapist getting away with it. But I also think that this is a book and Aguirre never said rape is OK--or else why would Deuce have a problem with it? Just because she's a fighter doesn't make her out of touch with the world shes in. Deuce's not ok with what happened to Teagan but let Teagan handle the situation as she felt she should and was there to defend her if need be. And Fade certainly doesn't ok it either. Yes, Stalker is part of the main group of characters but no where in Enclave is he openly accepted. There is in fact no character that says it's ok, they simply acknowledge that it happens (as we acknowledge it happens in our world). I'm sorry Stalker wasn't punished at all, let alone to the degree you would prefer.

And as far as Deuce trusting him, she never let down her guard about him and openly told him she'd slit his throat before he got close to her. They didn't have a wonderful relationship indeed the only relationship apparent was Stalker wanting to *have* Deuce because she was strong and useful in his eyes. Again, not something uncommon to the real world as disgusting as that is. And she "trusted" him as far as being able to defend the group from freaks-something their (the whole group's) survival depended on. I personally didn't feel Stalker was a good guy. I just felt he was necessary to their survival-especially in light of Teagan not knowing how to fight. Deuce didn't kill him straight off which, I'm sure would have been your preference, and I dont blame you. But in the world she created--indeed in our world--how realistic is it that all those b*st*rds are punished? Realism and promotion are two different things.

I understand completely how this presentation of rape as a circumstance of their world would be offensive to you especially in light of no punishment for Stalker--though the others were duly killed by Fade and Deuce. But I do wonder if you are reading into the book in light of your experience rather than reading what the author put down. I can't stand reading books in which women are subservient or weak and I don't think Teagan was, which is why I can appreciate this book for its whole and not concentrate so fully on what was presented as a circumstance of their world.

BEING HURT & BEING WEAK ARE NOT THE SAME THING neither are they mutually inclusive or exclusive. I applaud Teagan's ability to survive what happened to her as I would you as well. She didn't let them break her and I personally believe strength of spirit is more valuable than physical strength anyway.

This maybe an entirely insensitive thing to ask (and if it offends you I definitely and sincerely apologize) but if you could go back to before and have learned self-defense would you have? Even now, would you not want to know how to defend yourself? I would have thought that someone with your experience would be screaming at women to learn something...anything. I know I was when I heard about my friend.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 7:11:31 PM PDT
Tanya May says:
I think you are allowing your love of this book to give you the impression that Aguirre doesn't like Stalker. She has him kiss Deuce and Deuce doesn't slit his throat, does she? In book two, does she keep her distance from him? Likely not. Also from a survival standpoint why would it make sense to allow someone to join your group who had a) raped women, b) wanted to rape Deuce specifically c) wanted to kill and eat Fade? Imagine the world goes to hell and you meet up with a man you know is violent. Yes, he can fight, but he can also cut your throat while you sleep, rape your women, steal your resources, and in a battle injure you so the freaks will attack you and he can escape. Why would you trust a man like him? You don't know he's a lost little boy who didn't know rape and murder was bad. You just know he's violent and wanted to rape and kill you in the past. If you let him come along, you're an idiot. Deuce and Fade are idiots.

You have a lot more respect for Tegan than Deuce (the writer) does. I'm glad you don't personally victim shame, but Aguirre does. You can't see it because you really like this book. I'm sorry, but you are making excuses for keeping Stalker around and Deuce kissing him that make no sense in the world you are describing. He is a dangerous person and he would be a threat to Deuce and Fade (his romantic rival). The fact that Aguirre views Stalker as an attractive alternative to Fade is proof she doesn't view him as you do.

As for me personally fighting back, I actually knew karate. What Deuce and maybe you don't understand is when you are faced with multiple opponents it is difficult to get the upper hand especially when they have weapons and outweigh you. Yes, I felt good about myself for fighting back and gave myself a big gold star. I also spent years in rehab after my back was shattered so I'm less likely to tell a woman that fighting is always the best way to handle a violent situation. Sure, we don't have to feel guilty for just laying there and taking one guy after another (like Tegan). Yet maybe fighting back isn't the best answer in certain circumstances. I'm glad you feel like you could fight off a group of men or at least give it the old college try, but honestly if a guy has a bat and he's willing to kill you, self defense classes aren't going to do shit.

I respect that you liked this book. Maybe you're a big fan of the writer or whatever. I have friends that love Aguirre, but I read this book without that love and I feel I viewed it more clearly. Plus you seem to view rape in a clinical way. Rape is bad, sure. We all hate rape. You want to cut off the balls of rapists (as if that would help). Good for you, but you're missing the point. You talk about how Stalker wasn't punished because he lives in a world where rape is good and he is strong. Yet he kissed Deuce. The rapist and murderer kissed our hero and she's not repulsed. She doesn't slit his throat. She doesn't vomit at the thought of this man touching her. Aguirre doesn't write Stalker as the villain. YOU might think he is, but she keeps him around and tries to soften his character. You might not accept that he's a good guy, but I've read a lot of reviews for the second book and a lot of women are leaning towards Stalker as Deuce's love interest. He's just more sensitive, they say. He listens to Deuce. He isn't cold like Fade. He's persistent (you know like a stalker) and a lot of women find him viable as a love interest.

Did those readers pull this idea out of their asses? No, Aguirre likes Stalker and she wants the readers to like him. The only reason she would make a rapist a love interest and a sympathetic figure is because she finds rape to be acceptable in certain circumstances like in Tegan's. Clearly she feels a strong woman like Deuce would never allow rape to happen (like in book two) and her feelings aren't my imagination. She has written a likable rapist and she had the MC blame Tegan for not fighting back against a gang of men. Oh, but she's so proud of Tegan not killing herself out of shame. Whoopee!

Look we can agree that self defense is a great thing and women should fight back when raped. I assumed you felt like Aguirre (based on your initial comment) that rape was avoidable. Tegan's inability to fight back made her a victim (not the choices of violent men like Stalker) and Deuce's ability to fight back made her a hero who could look down at Tegan. Based on how you view Stalker, I guess you aren't like Aguirre.

She on the other hand does like Stalker. If you really think about how he is treated by the writer, you will realize she likes him. She feels he's an equal to Fade who was written as rather honorable even in this dystopian world. You might not agree with Stalker and Fade being equals or with Stalker being a love interest, but Aguirre does. She is the one I have the problem with because she wrote the book and she's the one who continues to harbor warm feelings for Stalker. Such warm feelings that she's trying to get teen girls to swoon for him and it's working. In my mind that's sick.
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Discussion in:  Enclave forum
Participants:  3
Total posts:  10
Initial post:  Jul 25, 2012
Latest post:  Oct 28, 2012

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Enclave by Ann Aguirre (Hardcover - April 12, 2011)
4.3 out of 5 stars (733)