This is about sexual abuse in the alt lit scene, so content warnings for that. My first thought, on reading this, was to wonder whether there was a single creative industry in the entire world not built on male sexual predation against underage girls.

My second thought was prompted by this excerpt from Tao Lin’s Richard Yates, which is essentially a dramatised version of Lin’s (alleged) own sexual and emotional abuse of a teenager:

“I’m not sure if you should come Friday,” said Dakota Fanning on Gmail chat. “My mom is going to think you’re going to rape me or something.”

“Your mom,” said Haley Joel Osment.

“I told her you were an autistic vegan and she said ‘autistic vegans can still rape people.’ I told her I felt insulted by that comment… I think she thinks you’re like 35 or something.”

“Why does she think I’ll rape you?” said Haley Joel Osment.

“She thinks everyone on the internet is out to rape everybody.”

“What should I do,” said Haley Joel Osment.

“You should rape me out of spite,” said Dakota Fanning.

… Seriously?

Like… seriously?

‘Cause, like, don’t get me wrong: I don’t really “do” literature. I’m a genre girl at heart, meaning this question comes from a position of sincere obliviousness. So here goes: Is this excerpt indicative of litfic in general? Because, if so, holy shit all those stuffy-nosed hipsters sneering at books like Twilight have nothing to be proud of.

Nothing. At. All.


… Wow.