[TW: Rape in fiction]
My co-author says he doesn’t consider it believable that a man would use force to consummate a relationship with a woman he loves. No matter how mad/jealous/impassioned a man becomes, no matter when he lived, unless he is completely depraved, at some point her unwillingness will prevent him from carrying through with rape because it would involve such brutal physical force or intimidation.
I said, “I think the heroine will slowly awaken a gentleness in the hero and when he begins to see her as a human being, he will begin to see himself as one also. But what about before that?”
He said, “If the hero rapes the heroine, he’s not the hero anymore, he’s the villain.”
I said, “Well, on a pirate ship, who will stop him?”
And he said, “I will.”—5
Sharon Curtis, from "Rifs on Political Correctness"
The title is rather grating, the subject matter even more so, but this remains one of my favorite exchanges between co-authors of all time.