So I've been avoiding the discussion of rape because dammit, I know my triggers, and I'm not in a place where I can afford to be jumpy and flinchy for anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
But then events transpired, and while it's not part of the discussion (to my knowledge, since thinking about this is making me edgy enough without going back and reading everything), I'm trying to figure out the implications of a particular bit of terminology.
Why "non-con"? Why not call it what it is: rape?
Or maybe there really is a difference, at least when it comes to fanfic?
Is a fic that is described as non-con different, somehow, that one which is described as rape? Perhaps non-con has some characteristic (the victim secretly enjoys it? and/or falls in love with the perpetrator?) that makes it a specific, separate genre? Could non-con be rape as self-aware kink, as opposed to treating it as a serious matter?
In that case, I can see how the terminology could be a good thing. A warning to people who don't want to play that particular game, who don't share that particular kink, that this is a story they want to avoid.
But there's a part of me that can't help wondering if using "non-con" is just a verbal game, a way to somehow make it okay to write and read about horrible things for fun. Maybe it's not fair, but sometimes it feels like using the term "non-con" minimizes the seriousness of rape, molestation, sexual assault. Minimizes something that happens to countless women and a smaller (but still horrifying) number of men. Minimizes, not to put too fine a point on it, what happened to me.
My issues, let me show you them.
eta: I think I've figured out, at least in part, why the minimizing thing hits me on such a visceral level. It reminds me of being told that I was making things up or exaggerating. See above re: issues.