Why the Divergent Rape Scene Matters: Link

This is too good a piece of writing to miss. I haven’t yet read or seen Divergent, but now I want to go charging straightaway to do both

We need books like this. This is why YA fiction matters, not just Divergent. YA does things, talks about things, that no other genre touches.

The “Divergent” Rape Scene: Here’s Why It Matters — Medium.



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  1. These post certainly make me want to, both read the book & see the movie. Between these post & some others, my mind has been reeling like a top. Thank you for another eye opening post.


  2. I read the books as did my daughter. It definitely sounds like the movie veers from the book in the simulation scene. I read it the same way you guys did. It will be interesting to see this scene in the movie. Diana, have you read the Legend series by Marie Lu? My son and daughter both read this series and loved it. It’s another YA dystopian themed series. We all read Hunger Games and I haven’t read the Marie Lu books yet, but my kids say they are even better than Divergent and Hunger Games. Just curious if you’ve read them since I know this is part of your field of study.


    1. I haven’t yet read Legends, but it’s also on my TBR list for after comps. Pretty much, if it’s been published in the last 5 years, it’s likely that I haven’t read it because of so many books to read for classes and the Little Jedi.


  3. I will have to read the book. I am tired of women trying to “open their minds” to the rape culture and being told they have fears of their own sexuality when they do not like something imposed on them. I tried that route, the one of opening my mind and liberating myself and I do not recommend that mentality to anyone. It is one of the most powerful, subtle tools against women now, a weapon women armor themselves with under the illusion that they are doing something wrong. The prude factor, it must be avoided at all costs! No, it is just that I do not confuse rape and disrespect with sex. For me, I applaud the post and thank Diana for posting it. If the scene plays out like written, she said no, the character should not be portrayed as wrong for being fearful to do so would be sending young adults yet another mixed message, does no mean no or should you just get over your fear and say yes? You also teach males they are doing the young adult a favor by pressing the sex, after all they are helping the girl conquer her fears. As someone who had to go over the realities of Twilight with her children and how is is NOT the greatest LOVE story ever I welcome opposing views that support a woman’s choice to say no. To me, you can’t fight rape culture and then call young adults who want to abstain from exploring their sexuality before they are really ready “fearful” which suggests cowardice. Thank you for sharing Diana.


    1. I am also thankful that Diana posted this here, I found it interesting to read and it sparked many thoughts and got me writing.
      However, I am confused by your comment. First, I first handedly know that anyone, man or woman, can have legitimate fears of their sexuality and especially at a young age when it is new and developing. It is not a part of the rape culture. And no one has to tell you that you have these fears because of rape culture. They exist. They are real. I do not understand your argument there nor do I really get the relevance in this discussion.

      Also, the rape scene in question from the article was a simulation. It was all in the main character’s mind in an effort to make her face her fears and be a stronger soldier. Also, no one ever said the character was portrayed as wrong for saying no. Not once. Not ever. Not in the book, and in reading the article Diana shared, not in the movie either.

      I just really tried to make sense of your comment and it’s points and I perhaps got lost in it. If I have misunderstood anything, please feel free to correct me.


  4. Oh man, I just realized. That guy that she tells “If you touch me again, I will kill you?”

    He’s the Nice Guy.

    He’s this quiet, dopey guy that Tris befriended because he was having a tough time. He eventually confesses he has feelings for her and when she (not unkindly) rejects him, he reacts by assaulting her with three other people. And then comes crying to her for forgiveness. She slaps the metaphorical fedora right off his head. Gotdamn.


    1. Oh, wow.

      I would say that some of this has been changed for the film. But I do wonder, too, how much of the interpretation of what happens here is based on that juxtaposition with the new 300 film.

      Either way I think it’s really interesting. Probably even more so if the attack wasn’t so much an attack in the book as a fear of sexuality. That says something about what we’ll put on paper versus what we’ll put on film, I think.


      1. It definitely could be a paper vs. film thing. We don’t have the option of hearing Tris’ internal monologue when she’s encountering the fake Four. She never gets an opportunity to shout, “I’m frightened both of growing up and being strong and also of opening up to others and being vulnerable! These feelings I have are confusing and I’m worried that they aren’t reciprocated and if they are it’s because of superficial reasons!”

        Changing it to a similar, but more recognizable fear seems reasonable.


        1. Yes…And it makes her purity less questionable, which is what I think is a really interesting change–though I don’t know what to do with that.


  5. When I clicked the link I thought it was going to be about when Tris was groped by the guys who were trying to throw her off the bridge. I’d forgotten about the simulation make-outs with Four.

    And yeah, I thought the same thing as you, Lyn. I don’t remember Four forcing himself on her in the simulation. Her fear was more about the fact that she DID want to be intimate with him, but she’s still just a kid and was confused and embarrassed by it. Especially since she was being watched by the proctors.

    But if they did change that for the movie, then it sounds like it was handled well.


  6. Hmmm, interesting. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I just had to read that article because I didn’t remember a rape scene in any of the books.

    The part the author is describing came back to my memory as I read about it. But it wasn’t at all like they way she described it. Maybe it’s like that in the movie, but in the book I didn’t view it that way. The fear was more of Tris’ blossoming sexuality and her own natural fear of it. Not of rape. At least that’s what I remember. Not that woman shouldn’t be afraid of rape or that the scene the author describes doesn’t sound like a great example. I just do not recall it that way when I read the book.



    1. I didn’t read the book or see the movie. So that is part of the confusion I think, I should not have commented.


      1. I’m glad that you commented.

        This does seem, though, to stem from confusion. I haven’t read the book or seen the film either, but I thought this article was important to share either way. What’s interesting are the differences that Annie and Lyn point out, and that makes me wonder even more at what we do to characters as we move them from book to film, especially when they are young and coming into their sexuality.


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