I recently read an article about romance novels being pro-rape and rape disguised as romance and how it’s promoting women to accept certain roles and violence/coercion in the dating world. That this sort of thing is “normal” and “acceptable”. From 50 shades of crap to 9 1/2 weeks to the historical romances and captive brides, the old west and beyond.
To which I reply BULL CRAP! Young girls who aren’t mature enough to understand what she wants or what is acceptable yet shouldn’t be reading 50 shades of Grey. Not without some serious parental supervision.
Romance Novels shouldn’t be taken any more seriously than Porn. No one really expects the pizza guy to have sex with a woman because she doesn’t have enough money to pay for the pizza, or for the plumber to “lay pipe” with the bored housewife. (unless you’re an idiot) In action movies, we are taught that cars explode when they roll over, that we can outrun an explosion, and that the bad guy ALWAYS lays out his detailed plan before he inexplicably leaves the hero unattended allowing him to escape.
CHECK YOUR BRAIN AT THE DOOR!!! This isn’t real! It’s FICTION…
I’ve read a lot of books by the authors mentioned in the article. One of my favorite authors Johanna Lindsey was indeed all about the medieval practice of arranged marriages and even captive brides. Those things happened in those era’s, I’m sure some of the women fell in love with their captors/husbands. It didn’t WARP my sense of what is rape and what isn’t. It didn’t warp my view of consent or affect how I viewed men and my role as a woman. Of what is acceptable or not.
If I was uncomfortable with the attention I was receiving I removed myself from the situation. I found a friend or group of friends to mingle with to feel safer and if that didn’t work, I was blunt with the other person. “Look buddy, hell will freeze over before anything happens between us. Move on.” Yes, I’ve actually said it! Was it harsh? Maybe but it was deserved after all the times I’ve tried to be nice and reject the unwanted advances. I’ve also been known to seek out another male to get my point across, I’ve asked other men for help with the creepy guy. I’ve asked another girl to please take care of that customer, wait on that table. Never once did I think what they were doing was okay.
It’s about respect for oneself, it’s about knowing your limits, knowing your power and worth. Parents need to teach girls this is acceptable behavior, that they have the right to say no. They have a right to do a great many of things. And that if they aren’t comfortable then to respect themselves enough to say No!
When they read the “rape culture/historical romance/50 shades” they’ll know it’s fiction, they’ll know in real life that Chit don’t fly. I may get in trouble for saying this and catch a lot of crap for it but this is just like mothers who freak out about the violence in cartoons.
I grew up watching Elmer Fudd blow daffy’s bill off, Coyote and Road Runner, anvils dropping on people’s heads, throwing matches into ovens, Tom and Jerry beating each other senseless… and I really could go on and on… BUT NOT ONCE did I drop an anvil on my friend’s head. I NEVER thought birdies really flew around someone’s head, and no one ever needed to tell me that they didn’t.
And you know WHY I didn’t? Because I wasn’t a frickin’ idiot! That’s why not! It’s also why I can read those old romance novels and not think: Gee, maybe forced marriage to some old guy is what should happen. (OH BTW… in those “romances” the old guy the heroine was forced to marry is usually dead shortly after and how she meets the love of her life.)
It boils down to USE YOUR BRAIN.. for me. If you’ve got two brain cells left, rub them together and spark an independent thought or two.