**Warning** Contains graphic depictions of sex and violence**Mature audiences only**It's the year 1296. Sam Montfort is mounted on an armored horse, while fighting through crowds of bodies covered in steel. Sam is slashing the way toward a castle which holds the prize all this bloodshed will win: Morgan Saint-Claire.
After making way into the castle, battling through the guards inside, and fighting to the inner chamber, Sam finally comes face to face with Morgan.
"Samantha!" Morgan said with excitement as he ran to hug the woman who had fought to free him. They embrace, Samantha gives her beloved Morgan a sword, and they fight their way out. They return home to live happily ever after.
Not a conventional fairytale, is it? Did you picture a man saving a woman even though there was no hint to gender until Samantha's full name is given? It's not your fault, I would have been surprised too because that's what we are accustomed to reading. That's exactly the kind of thing I wanted to flip on its head with my short story Voyeur. We are used to seeing the damsel in distress while her prince risks life and limb to rescue her. However, it isn't 1296 anymore, and women aren't the only ones who need rescued. With research now showing that men are just as likely to be abused as women in a relationship (http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm) we are seeing a change in the conventional gender roles to which we are so accustomed. However, the male identity does not lend itself to throwing its hair out the window like Rapunzel so easily.
Such is the case in Voyeur. April Videre is in love with her best friend Simon George, but doesn't have the courage to tell him. Will things change once she finds out about the abuse Simon is suffering at the hands of his fiancee, Cecilia?
Sometimes it takes a critic to make you appreciate what you do even more. In this instance it comes from Smashwords user "hrhsophia" who commented about my short story saying: "I know that women can also be abusive but this is a little unbelievable." User hrhsophia also rated The Last Princess of the Dream Dragons by Janet MacDonald with 5 stars. I guess dragons are more believable than men being the victims of abuse at the hands of a woman.
Turns out yes. Saying that a man being victim to a woman is "unbelievable" is about as bad as it gets. People are victims to people. Period. Man or woman, black or white, old or young- it doesn't matter. Should we dismiss every domestic abuse case from males on grounds that it's "unbelievable?" No.
It is for this exact reason, this exact paradigm through our culture of men never being the victim that I wrote this short story. I only hope that the words I write can serve to challenge someone's views, and if not then maybe the next time they encounter a woman abusing a man the words will ring a bell.
In closing I would like to urge you to watch this eye opening video on public reactions to men abusing women vs. women abusing men. It's well worth your time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlFAd4YdQks
Thank you for reading. Take care.