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  1. Freshpage

    Freshpage Member

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    Protecting a child

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Freshpage, Aug 24, 2020.

    I'm currently working on the backstory of my antagonist, and i would love some creative brainstorming.

    Simply put, my antagonist is born into slavery. Her mother is exceptionally beautiful and due to this is taken advantage of sexually. It looks like her daughter (the antagonist) has inherited her looks. What are ways in which her mother could possibly try to protect her daughter from random men's attentions? (helping her child escape is not an option)

    I've thought about possibilities where she tries to hide her child; but doing this for years seems kind of unrealistic. Even the possibility of physically maiming her daughter so she wouldn't be as attractive; but then i run into the problem that i don't intend to make my antagonist look like a monster or diseased. So it would have to be in a way that would take away from her beauty but not completely destroy it.
    I'm sure i'm missing all sorts of out of the box ideas, trying to work on this on my own. I'm looking forward to other creative ideas.
     
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  2. Davi Mai

    Davi Mai Banned Supporter

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    Couple of ideas.... you mention you don't want her to look diseased. But you could start a rumour that she has an unseen disease. Although this could also put her at risk I suppose. How about dressing her up as a boy? It would work while she was young anyway. Although that might attract attention from a different subset of potential abusers :-(
    You could invent a very scary father for her. Figure out how to make people believe that her father is a gang leader or someone. ie. anyone lays a hand on her and they'll be dealt with by Dad?
     
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  3. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Life is Dynamite Contributor

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    (Assuming we are talking about American slavery of African Americans)
    This would not work in slavery. The concept of "parents" rarely existed. Slaves were bred then their offspring sold. If slaves were allowed to keep their children, they could not legally marry and raise their kids. The "scary father" would most likely be beaten if he tried to intimidate a master who wanted his daughter.

    To the OP, i like Davi Mai's dressing up as a boy idea. Its not unheard of for slaves women to pass as boys in order to stay "hidden" from owners on plantations.

    There is also mud... Taking mud or coffee to stain her skin darker. Darker slaves werent as appealing to slave holders.

    Honestly, without maiming her, there really isnt a way to make her unattractive. Really, it wasnt was about attraction but domination and punishment.


    ETA:
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
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  4. A_Jones

    A_Jones Member

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    I am partial to the dressing like a boy option as well. I dont know where you story goes plot wise but it can cause some real conflict as she hits puberty and the differences between the sexes begin to be more obvious. I love a good girl dressed as boy narrative. Alana, Eon, Pirates! to name a few. There arent enough really.
     
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  5. Kallisto

    Kallisto Ruler of the world... somewhere... Contributor

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    Well, that's where perhaps cultural worldbuilding of taboos and such should be taken into consideration of the whole narrative.

    It's said that Ninja would tattoo their female members in order to make them less attractive sexually. This tattoo is often depicted in media as on the thigh so it's not easily seen out in public. Now, I don't know if this is actually true, as records of how ninja clans were run is rather scarce, but it is makes an interesting story element, none the less. And this could be hidden later in life by make up.

    It could be that her mother was under the protection of a master who had no issues with adult sex slaves, but draws the line firmly with children and tends to protect the children of his slaves. This doesn't make him a good guy, but could make him viewed as "better than most" and therefore his slaves are less likely to run.

    She could dress her daughter up as a boy and hide the fact the child is actually a girl. It's what Achilles mother did in the Iliad.

    There's also illusion magic. Where the daughter is scared or maimed, but she uses magic to hide it.
     
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  6. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah. There really wasn't any good side to this horror, was there? Those slaves' lives were lived totally at the whim of those in control, not only of them, but of the society itself.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
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  7. Freshpage

    Freshpage Member

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    Its a fantasy story and not necessarily about american slavery, although you couldnt know that from my post obviously.
    I am very grateful for the links you shared though. Truth be told i am more aware of the dynamics of present day human trafficking than i am of past day slavery and i actually think that knowledge about the latter is going to help me more with my story in this case. So thank you so much for taking the time to respond and share those links! Will definitely go through them.
     
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  8. Freshpage

    Freshpage Member

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    That is actually not such a bad idea. I hadnt considered the idea of dressing her up as a boy yet. That might be a possibility. Thanks!
     
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  9. hankas

    hankas New Member

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    During Japanese occupation in World War II, many people in a number of Southeast Asian countries resorted to hiding and dressing their daughters as boys to avoid being taken as "comfort women". Facial disfigurement did little to protect them. Regardless whether you were pretty or ugly, as long as you were a female, you were likely to be taken. Having sexually transmitted diseases gave you better protection than being hideous, but there was no guarantee that you would not be taken even if you had STDs.

    But there is a different context in your story. There is no systematic rape. Your character is trying to avoid opportunistic rape. So perhaps the situation is not that severe. I am just trying to point out that "being ugly" does not necessarily give you a protection.

    I am thinking somewhere along the line of her mother offers her "service" to some powerful men in exchange for her daughter's safety and future. This is plausible, especially if her mother is exceptionally attractive. So the antagonist, despite being born a slave, was actually protected and raised like a member of a powerful family.
     
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  10. Freshpage

    Freshpage Member

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. This was my first post on this forum and all the replies have made me feel very welcome. Its nice to see how supportive people are towards eachother.
     
  11. Freshpage

    Freshpage Member

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    Thats a good thought i hadnt come up with. Thank you. The idea of her mother possibly basically exchanging herself for her daughters safety isnt a bad one.
     

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