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Author Topic: PC409 / 660: The Husband Stitch  (Read 14773 times)

Devoted135

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Reply #25 on: April 17, 2016, 03:12:07 AM
A blandly stated "Rated R" didn't come close to covering it for me. This was one of the most deeply uncomfortable stories I've listened to in quite a while. It was masterfully crafted and of course beautifully read, but I come here for the fantasy which was minimal to the extreme. I didn't doubt for a second that the ribbon was holding her head on, but really, 99% of this story was a disturbing tale of the boundary line between consent and abuse, and altogether too real. I'm feeling a bit queasy just thinking about it again.



bounceswoosh

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Reply #26 on: April 19, 2016, 05:40:05 PM
@ThatOldCreep - I am so very sorry for the physical and emotional pain you've been put through. I can see how this story would resonate strongly for you. Even if you had had that disease, it still wouldn't be an excuse for rape. But you know that.


The two are not unrelated.  I agree that much of it is about communication, but also to a large extent about consent. 

She opened herself to him in a variety of ways, sexually at least (if not generally emotionally, although I think she had feelings for him she also kept many of her emotions locked up from him).  But she drew the line at that one thing--he could do whatever else he wanted to do and she never complained, but that one thing she drew a clear line about.  And he picked at that boundary.  And picked at that boundary.  And he pressured her about it, tried to cross that boundary while she was sleeping or otherwise distracted, kept picking at it for years and years and years and years, even though she drew a crystal clear boundary across this one thing that she wanted to keep for herself.  And in the end she finally gave in, but at that point was it really consent, if she only gave in because she was constantly wearied by his picking and picking and picking and picking?  It was more of a surrender out of weariness than an agreement, IMO.  Maybe the difference isn't always easy to discern, but here since she had made it very very clear time and time again that this was a line she didn't care to cross and he kept poking at it, that this was surrender rather than agreement.  And that's all taken out of the context of the rest of his treatment toward her, which was more real-life and horrifying in most ways (I don't know anyone who actually has a ribbon holding their head on that draws the line there, but the "husband stitch" is a real thing and a horrible one).

This was the first time I'd heard of "the husband stitch".  Seriously, WTF is wrong with people.




Thank you, this is exactly how I saw the story, except I totally did see it as an issue of consent, not communication. And I remember a relationship where my partner was always pushing, pushing, pushing for more, and yes, sometimes I gave in out of weariness. And yes, I thought generally he was a good guy. And I'm not even looking up the husband stitch; I didn't even think about the name of the story as I was listening, and without looking it up, I have a pretty good guess what it's about. I wrote a paper on female genital mutilation in high school. *shudder* Horrific word: infibulation

This story also resonates with some podcasts I've been listening to recently about a new book about young women and sex. Apparently young women typically prioritize their partners' needs over their own, ie, "If he has an orgasm, then it was good."

Sorry, scattered thoughts because I'm at home with a massive cold that makes it hard for me to think.



Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #27 on: April 21, 2016, 01:24:39 AM


Sorry, scattered thoughts because I'm at home with a massive cold that makes it hard for me to think.

Ugh - I had one of those; I refer to it as "2008"...

This Wiki Won't Wrangle Itself!

I finally published my book - Tad's Happy Funtime is on Amazon!


irishlazz

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Reply #28 on: May 02, 2016, 02:42:39 PM
Wow - a lot of discussion from many angles.  I myself am of a mixed opinion, but only want to share one thought:

"My son touches my ribbon, but never in a way that makes me afraid. He thinks of it as a part of me, and he treats it no differently than he would an ear or finger."

Ever hold a child?  They don't just touch, they grab & yank, pull things toward their mouths as part of their learning exploration.  That woman wouldn't have lived past her son's second birthday.

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." A.Einstein


Unblinking

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Reply #29 on: May 03, 2016, 02:21:31 PM
Wow - a lot of discussion from many angles.  I myself am of a mixed opinion, but only want to share one thought:

"My son touches my ribbon, but never in a way that makes me afraid. He thinks of it as a part of me, and he treats it no differently than he would an ear or finger."

Ever hold a child?  They don't just touch, they grab & yank, pull things toward their mouths as part of their learning exploration.  That woman wouldn't have lived past her son's second birthday.

You are right. 

But, I took it as part of the metaphor.  The intent matters.  An infant doesn't have the same intent as an adult, even when they hurt someone they do not intend it in the same way an adult would intend even with the same action.  I got the impression that her ribbon was secure from the hands of any very young child because they lack the intent that her husband had.  Does that make sense?  I figured it as part of the magic of the ribbon--the ribbon in itself isn't plausible to hold a head on, so it has to be magical/metaphorical, and so I think it's internally consistent for it to have other magical/metaphorical properties like this.




Obleo21

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Reply #30 on: January 20, 2017, 02:14:35 AM
I am way behind in catching up with stories from the beginning of last year (I skipped ahead to current ones and make up previous when I can). I have to say I'm surprised that no one seemed to notice that the main story, and all the stories within the story, come from "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark". I loved those books when I was a kid.  I really liked how the author spun them up for an adult audience.



shanehalbach

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Reply #31 on: April 18, 2017, 09:18:03 PM
Holy hell this story. Wow. I don't even know what to say about it, other than I can't stop thinking about it.

As a dedicated Pseudopod listener, I enjoy a story that makes me squirm, but I understand that not everybody does. I actually forgot this was a PodCastle episode and thought I was listening to Pseudopod. So I certainly don't fault anybody for not enjoying this, especially if they were blindsided a bit by it. We all want different things out of our fiction.

I have been a bit of an urban legend scholar in a past life, so of course I recognized all of the stories-within-the-story. Of course I knew that head was coming off. But the slow build worked perfectly with this absolutely unflinching look at consent and sort of gray-area relationships. It's like being the guy in Clockwork Orange with your eyeballs held open...you want desperately to look away but you just can't. You're tied to the tracks and you know the train is going to run you over and you see it coming and you hope someone's going to swoop in and save you, but they don't. They just don't.

Really sorry it took me a year to get to this one (man I am behind).


Ocicat

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Reply #32 on: January 06, 2021, 08:13:55 AM
This episode has been rebroadcast as PodCastle 660: TALES FROM THE VAULTS — The Husband Stitch