Fear. Shame. Blame. Silence. Young girls tend to be made to feel sexual pity till they have a speech capable of knowing exactly what they believe and feel about their bodies and themselves.
Girls are made to believe that they need to stay silent about sexual abuse or face the extra burden of public judgment and judgment.
It provides psychological weight and nourishment to these encounters in ways words alone may not. It’s a frequently chilling read. It isn’t.
Back in Borders Broken, Edges Blurred, Sabba Khan informs an extraordinarily strong story about child sex abuse, making a maelstrom of expertise in finely drawn panels which are nearly whimsically washed in pink and blue.
In a panel, Khan pulls a map of a doll’s house-like residence, tucked within an intricately drawn place, where “a tiny one, not a teenager” is sexually attacked in the middle of a family gathering.
It’s soon apparent the kid’s parents are more concerned about the pity which might be caused the household than worried for their kid. We’re family! Family doesn’t do these items, they state. “How can we show our faces into our circles”.
A pit “I will stay silent”, says the kid. “I will not tell anybody”. Silence and anxiety are visual themes that weave their way through each work within this collection.
It’s always there, since the name of Nicola Streeten’s narrative about the inter-generational encounter of violence makes apparent. It isn’t simply the ferocity of the violence which instils fear, however, the thickness of this terror exerted by Jetter’s stressed black ink drawings.
Violence is kept confidential. A feeling of lifelong scaring is hauled through panels which flick backwards and forward in time. We feel the effect on kids, and also the utter despair of ever leaving when there is nowhere to move. “But they only laughed”.
Disempowerment of the kind has clear and quantifiable social and financial prices. Firth indicates the delight of landing a coveted task suddenly giving way to anxiety and dread.
The perpetrator at an eerily familiar situation describes his actions away as “a joke”. At some point, the perpetrator has been awarded fourteen days leave and the girl is made to negotiate the conclusion of her job contract.
The brightly colored panels belie the glaring terror and gloomy familiarity of this narrative. It’s obvious that this young woman isn’t the first to depart.
Searing Effects Of Silence
Drawing Power is full of strong works by founders of varied ages, sexual orientations and ethnic histories. Ajuan Mance shows the reader just how “being the only lady in a room filled with people of color can sense more like security” than “being the only person of color in a room filled with girls”.
Marian Henley deploys a picture of a tank for a metaphor for the violence imposed on rape victims from the criminal justice system. Marcela Trujillo utilizes the picture of her mum’s lacquered hairstyle for a way to discuss gang rape, self-imposed silence and self-protection.
Australian founder Rachel Ang conjures the annoyance of an abusive relationship, together with spectral effects, until there’s nothing but anger and pain churns out over the dark washed panels.
During each of these 60 comics, what remains with the reader would be that the searing effects of so much silence. Along with the dire need to talk. Pain of the kind isn’t or shouldn’t be seen as merely a normal part of growing up female in the entire world.