There’s a disturbing trend in fiction today, particularly genre fiction published by smaller, niche presses.
Is it the prevalence of objectionable content? The normalization of the unacceptable? The crossing of taboo lines?
No. That has pretty much been happening since the dawn of literature. I guarantee you, the first time a cavewoman took a piece of char from the firepit and etched a story on a stone wall, another cavewoman clutched her animal-tooth necklace, gasped in dismay, and grunted something that would have vaguely translated to, “you can’t write that!”
No, this disturbing trend is far more insidious. It’s the infantilization of the reader.
The riff goes something like this: “Oooh, that content is objectionable! It might upset someone! We better warn people away! Quick, tag it! Oh, how dare that author not include warnings! What a terrible, insensitive person! I bet they wrote it because <insert ignorant…
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