fiction. Whilst TV shows like The Walking Dead (has there ever been a more kick
ass woman in a TV show as Michonne) and Person of Interest (hey, we're spoilt
with three strong women in one show) have cottoned onto the fact that women are
just as likely to punch a mugger as hand over their handbag, fiction seems to be
trailing behind with far too few exceptions like the excellent Detective DD
Warren series by Lisa Gardner and Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoloi and Isles.
In Hell to Pay, office worker Nancy Kerr comes home to find her parents
tortured and murdered. The culprits, two men repeatedly rape her and leave her
to bleed to death on the floor after they've repeatedly stabbed her. Nancy has a
breakdown and when she recovers she has just one goal - to get revenge on the
men who ruined her life.
The response I've had has fallen into two camps -
the overwhelmingly positive with people saying it's about time women got
revenge just like men (and many of the readers saying that have been men) and
the ones who dismiss Nancy as a man hating bitch.
The second opinion surprises me and after spending time thinking about why a woman who goes after her parents killers and the men who raped her and left her for dead, should be described as "man hating," I've come to the conclusion that women just aren't meant to get their revenge.
Nope, they're meant to turn the other cheek and forgive their attackers and just move on with their lives. They're certainly not allowed to use violence.
I've interviewed women who've survived rape and the one thing that seems common to
them all is the guilt they feel. When they were attacked, they were powerless. There was nothing they could do, yet they blamed themselves. They believed there was something they could have done; they should have fought more. For some of them that feeling was so intense that they took their own lives or became terrified to go
|Out on April 28th|
called the Crime Files. I wanted to have some escapist fiction where a woman
does get her own revenge, because let's be honest here, the conviction rates for
rape are pitiful.
Why don't you read Hell To Pay and tell me whether Nancy Kerr is really a "man-hating bitch" or an avenging warrior?