Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Talia and the Blood King's Guard

Today, I wanted to talk about a scene in "Heir of the Blood King" from chapter three.

As Talia was leading Donadeir out of Riverside when the Blood Guard arrived in the village, the two were stopped by one guard that insinuated that he wanted to molest Talia.

I went out of my way not to sexualize the characters in my story, so adding this part was a bit of a challenge for me. It isn't really about sexuality per se, but more about decency. What I aimed to do was address issues that teens and young adults may struggle with in their daily lives.

My oldest daughter just turned 13 years old in May. She has become very conscientious of how her body has been changing and "boys" are starting to take notice.  If it were just the boys, then no one would be worried about that, but unfortunately, that's not the world we live in.

When I was 14 years old, I remember going to play pool with a few older guys.  There was a 12-year-old girl that was there with her father.  One of the men who was with us actually went to school with her dad.  After we left, all this man talked about was the 12-year-old girl saying stuff like "If they are old enough to bleed, they are old enough to breed." It disgusted me. I knew he was talking about molesting a girl that was close to my age.  I went home and told my dad about it and then I didn't hang out with the man willingly in the future.

It is a fact that girls are sexually abused more than four times the rate of boys. Now add that to how boys (and men) talk to girls, the amount of inappropriate attention they receive from "cat calling", innuendos and more can have a major impact on a young woman's psychological development.  And then we wonder why young teen girls become obsessed with their body image!

I wanted to show Talia as a strong character for girls who have to deal with this day in and day out. They are forced to be self-conscience and many times they are put into positions where they can't say anything about it because they become embarrassed, especially tween girls who are still transitioning from being children.

Talia is faced with this dilemma in my story and she keeps a level head. For me, it was showing young women that they can be empowered and hold their heads high.  Talia attacks her tormentor with a sword, so I'm not wanting to go so far as to advocate violence against these predators (unless I witness it myself and I can't promise that I won't react violently).

The point is young women need an example to show them that men who are inappropriate towards them do not have the power to steal away the pride and self-respect. Girls should be educated with coping skills and to have the courage to speak up. I hope Talia serves as an example to these girls and reminds them that they are not alone.

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