Geek Feminism Wiki

Rape is a common trope in science fiction novels, movies, television, etc.



In novels

Canadian science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer has incorporated rape and the lifelong effects of it in several novels published after 2000. In Hominids, the main character survives a rape by a colleague. She later receives counselling and changes her opinion about certain social issues. In Triggers, when a handful of people accidentally switch memories, a previously forgotten memory of child molestation is exposed, having ventured into the mind of an autistic savant. Finally Red Planet Blues briefly discusses people who were sexually victimized while in the helpless state of being frozen for long periods of space travel. Sawyer has stated that he feels strongly about using provocative themes like this to raise awareness.[1]

At cons

This topic comes up from time to time in programming at Science Fiction conventions. Examples:

ConJose 2002

Buffy/Spike: Consensual Sexual Violence. Is It Ever Okay?

Recent seasons of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer have presented sexual violence between non-human or semi-human people as acceptable, even desirable, before countering that presentation with rape imagery. When is sexual violence acceptable? When does humanity (or lack thereof) excuse certain behaviors?

Rebecca Moesta, Tom Whitmore, Keith R. A. DeCandido

Source: ConJose 2002 website

WisCon 2009

Take back the Sci Fi

Sexual assault and rape frequently get used as symbolic plot devices with no consideration about the realities of how these events effect survivors and the people around them and the larger social realities of this epidemic. Sometimes these stories get told well but often they perpetuate social myths and stereotypes that normalize predatory behavior and make survivors complicit. How do authors work to create a culture where stories that perpetuate rape myths are not acceptable? Examples?

Beth A. Plutchak, Moondancer Drake, Mikki Kendall, Shira Lipkin, Katherine Mankiller

Source: Wiscon schedule

(This panel session got sidetracked into discussions of personal experience of rape. See Wiscon's official response or any of a number of LJ posts like this one by shadesong for more detail.)


  1. Silver, Steven. "A conversation with Robert J. Sawyer". SFSite (2002). Retrieved 2016-01-28.