A while ago one of my online-friends, Eliza Gebow, mentioned something about asking people what scares them most, to incorporate it in her writing.
Trying to think of what that I had read in a piece of fiction scared me most, a situation from one of Lois McMasterBujold’s “Miles Vorkosigan” books came to my mind.
There was a woman who got a surprising visit from two of her male relatives. Another guy had written them a letter about a supposed danger the woman was in, and they’d travelled quite a distance to talk to her about it and help her.
She told them that there was no danger. She even pointed out why their informant might want to cause her trouble.
Her family dismissed her completely.
Someone with a vagina could not possibly know better what’s going on in her own life and immediate surroundings than some guy whom she met a couple of times, and/or the word of a complete stranger is to be trusted above that of your own sister, provided said stranger has a penis.
This scenario terrified me more than the two or three dozen books by Stephen King that I read put together, because being dismissed is a whole lot closer to home.