Some clarification on what is offensive about yesterday’s brouhaha

Followup thoughts from Amelia C. Gormley regarding Jessewave’s disciminatory post from yesterday. Why do I continue to reblog this stuff? Because it’s important. Because we’re on a crux in publishing and in m/m fiction. If we continue to want the freedom to write what we choose, we have to speak out, make the issues clear.

The fiction of Amelia C. Gormley

Okay, before anyone comes at me with the old “it’s so-and-so’s site, she can review what she wants” battle cry, misrepresenting what are the issues with this entire debacle over female-bodied-sexuality in m/m romance, let me get a few things on record.

Yes, people can read what they want. They can review what they want. No one is debating their right to do so. That’s not the problem.

The problem is that it’s misleading to cast ones site as being inclusive when it’s not. Don’t pretend to be a champion of all folk under the rainbow when you’re actually just a fan of the peen.

The problem is that it’s hypocritical to QQ about discrimination and disrespect while being discriminatory and disrespectful. It’s hypocritical to take readers and writers to task for making the genre about “the erotic needs of straight women” while maintaining a policy intended to pander to…

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6 Responses to Some clarification on what is offensive about yesterday’s brouhaha

  1. Allison says:

    I want to know why the books and the genre are being reduced to this one single aspect. If I read these books for the sex alone I wouldn’t constantly be on the lookout for new books. As you have said in the past Fen, slot A into slot B only gets you so far.

    Do I enjoy that part of the story? Obviously, or I wouldn’t be reading them. But I am reading them for the story, all of the story, not just this one part. Some of my favorite books have little to no sex, some of my FAVORITES, just to be clear.

    Increasingly I am looking for books that step outside the narrow corridor that is being suggested as the only viable option by this attitude. I want to read about all the flavors of the rainbow because that is real life and fiction does and should reflect that. In fact fiction can definitely make that point, at times better than reading a real life story or statistics about real life can.

    Maybe that is the most disturbing thing for me about this whole situation. These books have opened my eyes to many things that I otherwise would not have any reason to be aware of. And I absolutely do not mean sexual things, I have become much more involved in the LGBTQ community as an ally because of what I have read and learned from reading in this genre. I hate to think that someone would not write the book that they have in their hearts and minds because of an opinion like this, thereby not allowing someone to read about an issue they might not otherwise know about.

    I realize for authors the issue is more about freedom to write what they want and need to write but as a reader I am affected as well. To say an author is disrespecting their readers by writing their story is ridiculous. If that was the case we could just take care of the entire thing with Mad Libs, put this noun here and this adverb here, and voila, the story you want to read is told.

    Fiction has the power to make a difference in the world and reducing this genre to being about sex alone is demeaning to everyone involved, authors and readers alike.

  2. sarah g says:

    hi theo, i’m late to all this but have read all the stuff you and others have said. Comments are closed on jessewave and so forgive me if I use you to have my say! I dont like graphic on page het sex and yes I do hate my ‘lady bits’, it’s true and I think their are many women out there who do but i would NEVER say to anyone you can’t write something or you are oppressing me or whatever because freedom of expression is an important principle to me. I just want warnings such as you would get for dub con, non con, references to incest, abuse, drug use etc so I can make an informed choice about what I read. When it happens that i start reading a book and find some het stuff I usually return the book or if i can’t i tend to delete it from my kindle. i can get shaken up and have bad dreams after because i had a complicated, prolonged period of abuse in my childhood. I think it is uncomfortable to hear that some people may have a desire to read m/m erotica who have complicated psychological reasons for being as they are and that yes women can have a negative gender image (why would that be a surprise? look at society) and a very definite sense of their female sexual body whilst being very unhappy with it.

    I hope i’ve made some sense here and i’ve written this with trepidation because i suppose i’m worried about NOT being free and easy about all sexual permutations and wanting to read a certain form of erotica. But basically I would like warnings on books so I can chose. Sex can be a minefield of triggers potentially so everyone should have a chance to chose carefully what they read just as all writers can write what they want.

    • You’re part of the rainbow. Nothing you feel can be wrong.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sarah,
      I was just reading your posting and it breaks my heart that you were subjected to abuse when you were younger as woman and a mother, I cannot begin to express to you how this saddens me. But I have to say that I don’t think putting warnings on books for normal heterosexual scenes is appropriate either, I’m sorry your saying that you equate this with things such as incest, abuse or drugs as a result of your experiences but in fact, whether it is in reality or fiction a healthy loving, sexual relationship between people (whether it is 2 or more) is normal and should not be viewed as something that is shocking, inappropriate or wrong and requires a warning label. So I have to say in spite of the fact that I do understand why you feel this way, as a woman, I would find it offensive to see warnings on a book because graphic descriptions of female anatomy may be included, this for me is only another way for negative gender image to be reinforced and honestly where does it stop, should we have warnings because graphic descriptions of male body parts are included?
      Sarah, I sincerely hope that what I have written does not offend you, it is not my intention to do that and if I have then I sincerely apologize. I am simply sharing my concerns on this issue nothing more.

      • Thanks for that comment, Karen. You managed to say what I struggled to define, and do it beautifully.

        I, too, don’t want to put warnings on my stories for sex. I see this as something beautiful that needs no warning, whether it’s m/m, m/f, and everyone in between.

        I’m really sorry, Sarah, for what you’ve gone through. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

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