From Featured Longreader, Emily Douglas: Solomon brings us the agonizing dilemmas faced by women pregnant as a result of assault (some feel pressured into having abortion and experience that as a second violation; others carry pregnancy to term and struggle desperately to bond with their children). And he forces us to confront how foundational a trope rape is in our common history and mythology:
Classical mythology is full of rape, usually seen as a positive event for the rapist, who is often a god; Zeus so took Europa and Leda; Dionysus raped Aura; Poseidon, Aethra; Apollo, Euadne. It is noteworthy that every one of these rapes produces children.
“The Legitimate Children of Rape.” — Andrew Solomon, New Yorker