If I were male, I would be real hesitant about including a rape plot in any story I write. It’s an extremely complex and delicate issue, and it should be treated as such. Without understanding it completely, trying to tackle it is probably going to anger a lot of people, because men have trouble understanding how horrible rape truly is.
Since I am a guy, you can consider that my official policy on the issue.
The problem is that men don’t understand rape like women do. I remember when I first stumbled across the article titled Schrödinger’s Rapist, and reading it was a revelation. Any moderately moral man knows that rape is bad, but we don’t understand how much even the possibility of rape warps women’s lives. Learning about it more has only impressed upon me my thorough ignorance on the subject.
Which is not to say that a man can’t write about rape, even from a woman’s perspective, and do it respectfully and well. I’m saying it’s difficult. Extremely difficult. It’s not a challenge I would undertake without doing a lot of research, and given the subject, I don’t want to. It’s not my desire to delve that far into the darkness of the human condition. I’ll stick with beer and explosions, thank you.
Rape is horrifying, but if you haven’t lived your entire life actively guarding against it, you don’t understand how horrifying it really is. I know I don’t. So I will leave it alone when I go to write my little stories. There’s enough to write about without pissing everybody off with a tone-deaf controversy I don’t fully understand.