Sunday, June 23, 2013

There's violence all around

One of the concerns I have about my series is that I talk about violence against women in three of my books.  It's a real thing that happens, especially to this age group. In The Smartest Girl in the Room, the violence moves Emily to take some drastic measures on behalf of her friends; in the upcoming The Family You Choose, we'll see how such an act can chase two families for generations. It's not glorious at all.

In retrospect, it seems funny that I worried so much about the violence against women that I wasn't too concerned about the violence against men, but maybe I should have been. College hazing propels the plot in The Smartest Girl in the Room, and that's the start of the series. Although we don't see it happen, we know via Mitch that it was serious enough that he left his fraternity and later joined the Student Government Association because of it.

I include this article about high school hazing because, as someone points out, there is a link now between the hazing boys suffer in high school and what they might suffer later in college. Reading about students sexually exploiting more vulnerable classmates as a way of "breaking them in"- and the adults who condone it as a conditioning technique- makes me ill; that their older brothers might come up with ways to top that once in college makes me shudder.

Please read the article and let's think of better ways to socialize our children.