romance is by women for women and really feminist, okay

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Hey guys, romance is by women, for women, and really feminist, remember?

1. Let’s ask the biggest question first. What about the rapes? Do you feel like the Last Hour of Gann normalizes rape? Are we supposed to see that as the actions of a heroic individual?

So…let me get this straight. Your first question requires me to defend rape? You don’t play around, do you?

She goes on to spew rape apologia for about twenty thousand words. Remember that this is the most feminist of genre, by women, for women. You know. Rape apologists, very feminist.

Meoraq does have sex with the women who are presented to him after judgments (and with at least some of the women who are sent in to bathe him) and no, not all of these women were willing and no, he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.  [...] my hero rapes women, but ultimately he understands it was wrong and when he understands it, he never tries to justify or excuse those acts. He has remorse and moreover, he has the chance to affect change, not only in his own life but in the law, and those I do say are the actions of a heroic individual.

Look, he feels sorry about it, this means he’s a hero. Heroic rapist. I swear, not even R Scott Bakker was this fucked up.

Finally, I’d just like to point out that I think it’s a hell of a thing that I’ve been called before the court about the women being raped in my books and not one person has ever remarked on all the men

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MENSSSSSS.

So feminist. How about more feminism from romancelandia?

it’s what I call the Caregiving Alpha that does it for me every time, and heroes of that sort appear more than once in my Favorite heroes list. I like them big, bossy, and completely focused on taking care of the heroine

What the fuck is with these people and their obsession with “alpha males”? Are they part of some evo-psych cult or a confused MRA offshoot?

Hey, more feminism and some praise of a dude for not… being… a rapist?

Trig is a wonderful guy. He’s wanted Lena for years – especially after he watched her almost die on the mission – and now that she’s as healed as she’s ever going to be, by golly he’s going to do something about it. The man has laser focus and it’s all on Lena. Good thing he’s strong enough, mentally and almost physically, to hold out long past when lesser men would have caved to her sexy nightie and bed snuggling efforts.

It’s REALLY noble of a guy not to take advantage of an amnesiac woman’s dubious consent, you know? Romance readers can’t get enough of fictional guys who aren’t rapists. Well, except when they can’t get enough of fictional men who are rapists.

Not had enough feminism? How about this vaguely SJ-minded, fully illiterate “sporking” (people still use that twee fucking word?) of an Anita Blake thing.

…Mrs. Hamilton, have you literally forgotten the PREMISE of this piece?

…Really?

…Okay, call me a concern troll for this. But I get abruptly worried for an author if they seem to be unable to retain the premise for a story through a several-page oneshot. Far as I’m concerned, that’s… a sign of a severe mental disturbance, whether mostly psychological or mostly biochemical.

I can mock a piece by an author in full possession of their mental faculties to my heart’s content, but even I get guilty over snarking someone who… isn’t all there.

Hey, she only calls Hamilton mentally unstable and crazy fifty times, and speculates about Hamilton’s sex life like sixty (“SHE’S BEEN PUBLIC ABOUT SOME OF IT THEREFORE TOTALLY FAIR GAME!!!”). Given Hamilton’s many problems of bigotry, this is what people want to make an issue about? Her “severe mental disturbance” because she can’t keep her plot straight?

12 thoughts on “romance is by women for women and really feminist, okay

  1. A particular gem is R. Lee Smith’s point 2, in which Smith seems to seriously argue that “Hey, it’s not my fault that the fantastic society which was entirely mine to design according to parameters of my choosing was a Gor-esque patriarchy; it had to be that way because of the fantastic space virus which was entirely mine to design according to parameters of my choosing! I had no choice in the matter, when you think about it.”

  2. How creepy is that idea of grown-ass women dreaming of some man “taking care” of them? More proof that far from being feminist, romance fans tend to be Daddy’s Girls.

    As for focusing on Hamilton’s supposed mental problems while ignoring her bigotry, that just shows you what’s important in our society. Bigotry is naughty but insignificant. However, a woman liking sex must be mentally ill.

  3. Ugh, blearg, “alpha males”, there’s nothing I loathe more than that silly little term, nevermind that the whole concept is utter, paternalistic bullshit. The obsession these people have with “bossy, controlling” men baffles me. If I met a guy like that in real live, I would laugh at his face.

  4. “I’m tired of reading books where we have to take the author’s word for it that the bad guy is really bad. I’m tired of seeing evil leer and tap its fingertips together menacingly instead of do something. And yeah, I’m tired of villains that think they have to seduce a woman when she’s already in chains at his damn feet.”

    I seriously wonder what books this woman has been reading if she thinks there’s some kind of shortage of villains (and “heroes”, apparently) who rape people for pages and pages in these glorious days of the Gritty McGritty trend. I fucking wish.

    Shit like this is exactly why I had to stop reading romance, erotica, urban fantasy, all of it, and look for my female protagonist fix elsewhere. Those genres are perfect examples of how something can be made by women, for women, and still not have a drop of kindness or respect for female characters while worshiping at the altar of dick. It’s kind of terrifying, in fact. Where the hell can you run?

  5. I do think there’s something to be said that romance and other genres made by or for women get shit on by the mainstream media more than like, more dude-oriented genres that commit a lot of the same sins.

    But um, that’s not because romance isn’t actually full of shitty stuff. Or because writing lots of rape scenes isn’t still horrible.

    And God, I am so sick to death of anti-feminist or otherwise hateful tripe being excused because it’s written by women. Like women aren’t capable of internalized misogyny.

  6. Yeah, the romance genre is awful. The thing is, I DO think there’s an argument to be made that it gets shit on more than more dude-oriented genres that commit a lot of the same sins, simply for being a genre made by and for women. But that doesn’t mean it’s actually feminist or progressive. And God, I’m so sick to death of people acting like everything made by women is progressive and awesome, as though internalized misogyny isn’t a thing that exists.

    (apologies if I posted this twice, since I didn’t see the “Your comment is awaiting moderation” notice)

  7. I’m not really a huge fan of heterosexual romance writing anyway, but a big part of that has to do with that it’s 99% of it is gross shit like this that glorifies abuse and traditional gender roles.

    (Also my comments don’t seem to be showing up? I’m not sure why since I don’t think I said anything wrong in my previous ones.)

  8. Hi,

    Been reading your blog for a while now but this is my first comment.

    A bit of background: I’m a Muslim Pakistani woman, and have lived here all my life. I’m married, have a full-time career and no kids (we decided we didn’t want any early in our marriage. It’s been 12 years and so far, no regrets! Of course, having to constantly navigate people’s curiosity, shock and outrage is a different matter. Not procreating feverishly and diligently post-wedding really isn’t the done thing around here).

    Anyway, I’ve always been a big reader. I like to think I’m quite smart and educated and more than that, worldly wise. I was brought up by a single mum who instilled the mantra of ‘independence’ in me and my siblings from an early age, and I thank her daily for it. She taught me to expect and demand my rights as a human being and to never, ever let a man put me down/make me compromise on any part of my life. In my daily life, I like to think I’ve managed this fairly well. I’m lucky enough to have had a good education, to have travelled and experienced the world and more than that, to make my own decisions, such as regarding my career and marriage.

    All of this rambling leads to 1 point: you have opened my eyes, dude. Really. You’ve given me a new lens on the world around me, a world that, for all my experience and knowledge and awareness, I was woefully ignorant about. From your posts on racism in fantasy (hello, Tolkien!) to the ingrained, insidious nature of real-world, daily misogyny, you’ve made me think on points I never have done. It seems fucking hilarious to me now that, in all my readings of LOTR I never spotted the blatant racism; that I failed to recognize the common tropes on man/woman relationships that I have literally been surrounded with my entire life, and the misogyny practised so casually and smugly by women towards other women all the sodding time (slut!), the white privilege being shoved down our throats 24/7 via Hollywood and pop culture and well, the list is endless. I’m not saying I denounce all such entertainment(!), but I am saying I will now examine such stuff with a more critical eye.

    So, thanks. I shall continue to come here and read what you write. Thanks for the insights and the eye-openers and the laughs (aka everything you’ve written about Bakker!). Thanks for the whole-hearted attack on such tropes, and the way you do it, too. Your voice is much-needed, and very welcome.

    Sara (who made a WP account just to comment) :)

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