Originally Posted by AwkwardMD
I said this in my intial review; any of the many factors I pointed out could easily be explained. The problem was with so many of them being present. If it walks like a duck, AND quacks like a duck, AND swims like a duck, AND shits like a duck, AND eats like a duck, AND procreates like a duck, at what point do you start thinking "You know what? This might be a duck..."
First of all, the following is from Wikipedia.
I know that one or two times in earlier posts, I may have just used the word 'rape', but for the purposes of this conversation, what I'm always talking about is 'statutory rape'. What you're describing, about keeping the peace and being too shy, is statutory rape assuming the character is not capable of consent, and that's the tricky part.
I think it's funny that, in several responses now, you have not once indicated that you've read the story. You're just blindly arguing with me about it because reasons. None of the other reviewers who have read it have weighed in on this, and I'd be shocked if it was because they disagreed with me. That's just not the norm. Reviewers often stick up for the reviewee when they feel unjust criticism is levied. It seems to me that no one is touching this because they don't know how they feel.
And honestly, I don't either. I didn't report it. I'm not going to report it, but I do feel a responsibility to convey that this story wades into deep waters. Deeper waters than I think the author was aware of when writing this, and I've tried to be gentle in my arguments. If there's a cultural disconnect in me trying to interpret it, I think it's safe to say there's also a cultural disconnect where the author wrote something a foreign audience could take issue with.
I don't know what point you think you're making when you bring up that Lit abides by a very safe policy when it comes to 18/underage characters. Literally no one is going to prosecute the author. There are no legal risks here. The only risk is in having his story taken down, and that's what I've been trying to make the author aware of from the start.
I think the word I've been struggling to find for this is infantilize.
1.to keep in or reduce to an infantile state.
2.to treat or regard as infantile or immature.
To me, the argument is "At what point does infantilization cross over into a state of diminished mental capacity?"
Okay AwkwardMD, for starters I did read the story (at least the first four chapters, not sure if any more have been posted) but since it wasnít really my intention to review (from now on I plan on ceding the field to you and 8letters) I didnít focus on the story per se in my earlier posts but rather about some of your comments about it because I disagreed with them.
Thumbnail review follows. The whole cfnm fetish isnít my thing especially when itís almost exclusively focused on the embarrassment/humiliation factor and how the protagonist gets his kicks from it while still feeling ashamed. I donít find humiliation or shame sexy though I know some do and imo the writer did a credible job of getting in Vishalís head and exploring this. Also he certainly shared with us a lot of Indian culture and showed a family that rang true in some ways even to those with a different worldview. There were a few errors in the writing I noticed but nothing out of the ordinary and Iíve seen stories with a lot more mistakes.
As far as the issues you raised it seems to me there can be a few possibilities. One Ė that the author was simply trying to pull a fast one where he was stating that the character is eighteen but really in his mind he isnít so he is sneaking in underage content and you done caught him. He states that isnít what he was trying to do and though perhaps you are doubtful unless OP changes his story that isnít something anyone but OP can know since it would be his intention in question. Your other theory is that by Vishalís actions (or lack thereof) then for all practical purposes he has such diminished mental capacity that he is unable to consent and he should be treated as if he is underage. Last possibility is that due to certain aspects about the story youíve jumped to an erroneous conclusion.
Your reasons given were numerous though none close to being a smoking gun (or proving that itís a duck). The erection thing is not nearly as damning as you believed and I feel I answered your concern but just to restate Ė it isnít uncommon for an eighteen year old to get unprovoked erections though they werenít wholly unprovoked and in two cases (including one from before Nisha arrived) they were morning wood which most men get, not just young men. If it ever gets to the point a man doesnít get those then Iím guessing it would be at a very advanced age or there would be something wrong with him medically. As far as uncontrollable, once you get one even if you want it to subside it isnít as easy or as fast as flipping a switch and much more difficult when the person/situation triggering it is still there.
As far as the eating/getting himself food thing it is the norm in Indian culture for women to serve men and I gave a true life example of some from that part of the world who have moved to US where when a man wanted food at three in the morning he woke his wife so she could make him some. I know not many American women would stand for that, and who could blame them, but it is a cultural thing not proof of age or diminished mental capacity. And even here there are some cultures, say Italian-American or certain Hispanic cultures where the wife and/or mother spoils/serves the males to a slightly lesser degree. Itís not uncommon for an Italian mother to make her grown sonís bed, wash, fold, and put his laundry in his drawer and if anyone comes into the house (not just relatives) she will sit them at the table and feed them and God forbid you refuse or try to help.
In the story Vishalís mother constantly says both Vishal and his sister are spoiled and compares them unfavorably to Nisha, but who spoiled them? Something like that doesnít happen in a vacuum but if she really wanted them to act differently than she would have raised them differently. When I was a kid much younger than any possible age Vishal is in story I had chores and the like and I didnít get dinner until they were done and I sure wasnít served hand and foot but I do know some who were and though nice people they were spoiled rotten.
And while not as extreme as in this story even here in US if you are 18 but living in your familyís house, being supported by your family, your school being paid for by family, etc. then they get to decide house rules such as curfew, whether you can have friends over and so on, and even if the clothes you are wearing to school are appropriate. Things are more liberal here but Iím guessing if 18 year old Katy Perry wanted to kiss a girl in her parentsí house they wouldnít have liked it and would have had a range of options to let her know it if she was under their roof.
The only thing about story that might make me question Vishalís age would be him not knowing his clothing size but Iíd find that equally baffling even in a twelve year old. Iím guessing that was put in at least in part to give Nisha a reason to be adjusting his underwear in front of everybody in store thereby causing Vishal embarrassment while also making him erect and humiliating him further.
Now Iím no expert in law but generally when we are talking about lack of consent due to diminished mental capacity it would be about someone, who of legal adult age, has some type of mental impairment. I know the term mental retardation is no longer favored and Iím sure saying someone is slow was always frowned on, Iím not sure if cognitively/developmentally disabled is now the term accepted, but if a 18 or 20 or 40 year old has the mental capacity of a 10 year old then Iíd assume that this standard would be applied. Not because someone who was raised to be spoiled, while also being shy and passive, didnít act the way you think they should.
Iíve yet to hear about a case where a parent petitioned the government to have their adult child not be allowed to vote or get a driverís license because they acted so immature when they were told to turn off the xbox and come say hello to Grandma. Nowhere does Vishal act like he has the mind of an actual child. He certainly has the intellectual capacity to excel at stem courses (excluding chemistry), it is just he has been spoiled and controlled by a domineering mother who due to her culture and lack of opportunity to do things in the wider world has no other way to assert herself than in the domestic sphere which she rules with an iron hand. In her house Iíd guess that the unseen father would not cross her either but that wouldnít make him have diminished mental capacity either.
Look I said in one of my two (not several) previous posts that I find Indian culture infantilizes people to a degree and Iím not down with that. I also believe that a lot of Asian cultures demand more conformity and expect people to toe the line in a way that someone from the modern west will find strange at best. An example is that in much of Asia, not just India, arranged marriages are the norm. It used to be that way just about everywhere in the world but Iíd argue that we have evolved socially but that still doesnít mean that all who have arranged marriages arenít mentally competent.
I also see that after I began writing this post (and my poor laptop suffered a damaging fall) that another chapter was posted so either Laurel just keeps getting fooled or being an immature eighteen year old fictional character is not a disqualifier. Iíd be willing to bet if someone examined a hundred random stories here about college kids there would be plenty of immature behavior exhibited but unless the character demonstrates the mental capacity of a child, rather than just emotional immaturity, then it is acceptable here.