It’s been a long time since I shared my rants with you all. Today is one of too many days that the steam has to go out one way or another.
I do not review as much as I used to but this does not mean that I slowed down my menage readings too. I just became more picky about it. However, lately, it seems that my radar to select great books left me a bit. Enough that I decided to share my frustrations.
So, lets talk about FORCED SEDUCTION!!!
This is such a touchy subject and a worldwide abomination in real life. In real life, we do not disguise words. We say: RAPE. And all the decent people will agree with me that it is not acceptable and most of us want to yell and scream and call bloody murder against a society that do so little to eradicate such horrible act.
My issue is that a lot of authors do not see it as rape. Rape is not only a guy who force a penis into a vagina. It can take many different shapes and forms. My frustration is that authors think they can write everything and put the blame on their “little voices in their head”. You can rape a person emotionally. The person (because genre is not only about men being the villains and women being the victims: it happens no matter the genre), does not fully agree to accept the other person inside her personal bubble including or not touching physically but also incapacitate the person to completely agree and respect that the person is not ready to accept this invasion.
Here we are talking about fictional characters. Those are ONLY characters and many will think it is not important. If a person does not like it, then this person just need to close the book and move on. Yes I do. I always do or try at least. But reading the same over and over again irks me. I see a general author/reader consensus that it is OKAY and sexy to be forced as long as there is love or orgasm at the end of the FORCED SEDUCTION aka RAPE.
It is not OKAY. Not at all.
So, can anyone explain to me WTF some authors think that forced seduction is right in their romances?
Forced seduction is a theme found frequently in romance novels and soap operas. The theme hinges on the idea that man-on-woman rape can turn into a genuine love affair. It is a common theme in Thai soap operas where it was long taken for granted, until in 2014 the rape and murder of a thirteen-year-old girl led to a national outcry. The theme was summarized thus:
Once upon a time there was a very pretty girl. She was raped. The boy begged for forgiveness and they lived happily ever after.
How come a rape became romantic? How come we try so hard to teach our kids and explain to them no means no and romance authors are spreading the complete opposite? Are they truly believing that all their readers are doormats, that they love not to be respected? I think they should read the definition of abuse. Because it is. In those romances, those cavemen heroes abuse their good look, their friendship with other guys who used the same tactics to win the woman.
Lets have a real life situation. You meet a guy at work. He makes sure to look at you up and down and insist on your ass and boobs. He does not speak nicely because his only way of communication is to be grumpy. Then HE decides to make a move. At first sight, you find him enough attractive but this is a stranger. You do not know him. Then HE decides to make a move on you. He immobilizes your arms because he is a huge muscled dude and decides to kiss you, probably touch your ass and boobs……………… would you think it is sexy? acceptable? think it is the love of your life? the man you will marry?
Am I going to far? Well, from my perspective not by much. Because this is exactly the kind of relationship I read in many “romances”!
Yes, the heroine is not violently raped by the heroes. She just say no a couple of times until the heroes subdue her by their incredible level of expertise in kisses and once they are sharing saliva, it seems that she becomes totally under their spells. Of course, after that, even though the heroine knows nothing about the heroes, the girl who lets remember said a couple of time “NO”, decides all of a sudden to spread her legs for them and become a ragged doll. I call them a plastic doll with 2 holes in my book. Once the saliva enters the woman’s mouth, they go straight to the brain and eat every grey cells as much as possible from the heroine…
It could be laughable but it is not.
I do not find “forced seduction” aka rape funny. I find that extremely disturbing that authors DO find that sexy enough that they use it in their romances…
I wrote a while ago some rants about cavemen, about how some authors still think we are living in the 60s under the man’s authority. I think most authors are from this late generation that was raised with a father and grandfather who took charge of the household, and because he brought money, he was the king of the house and the woman was home, raising kids and believed that her life duties was to please her husband and no matter she disagree or did not feel like it (please read: have missionary sex with husband), they had to do it.
Exaggeration you must think! Not really.
This is exactly the message some authors are delivering in their romances when they use cavemen, 25 years old virgins and most of all FORCED SEDUCTION… the romantic and politically correct way to do not say RAPE.
I am upset (no kidding). Most books have potential. Many of those books are not even written by newbies authors. Young or experienced has nothing to do with it. The frustrated and sad part is that those authors do sell those books, so there is a market for them. I am not going to judge women who love them. Everyone is entitled to like or dislike and have an opinion. I am just very confused about it because no matter how sexy the guy is, this does not excuse his wrong behavior.
So what can I do to avoid reading such a pack of BS. Yeah yeah, for me it is BS. I will never enjoy reading such books. Those authors have no ideas how disturbing it is for some readers. I bet each and everyone one of them believe that they do not write about forced seduction but about sexy alpha males that are the wet dreams of every woman reading them.
Definitely not me.
I want my heroes sexy, do not get me wrong. I want them focused on the heroine. I want them hot in the bedroom but not assuming they are reincarnated gods on earth allowed to force themselves without a LOUD and CLEAR YES from the woman first. RESPECT is gold.
Because it is a romance, the message author are carrying should be an heroine who is not a doormat, who is not weak, who do not accept for face value everything a pretty boy say or do. I am not saying that romances should not have the level of lalaland in it (meaning beautiful heroes falling immediately in love). Although for me, I need to go further the physical aspect to love the characters and this is rarely given because a lot of authors do not offer me enough time to read the love development, the personalities. But I get it, romance is not the real life and this is why it is successful because we all want to read a happy ending story. But happy ending story and romance and fiction does not mean that everything is allowed. As a middle aged woman, I do take offense when I read FORCED SEDUCTION and the author does not even know she does or worse, if she does it because she knows it will sell.
WRONG. BIG BIG NONO.
It takes two to tango and it takes definitely coordination and agreement to dance with multiple partners at the same time.
Every reader wants to relate to the heroine. At least, this is how I am. If I like the heroine, the heroes, then my enjoyment will be increased tenfold. If the author believes that deflowering a 25 years old virgin is sexy… that no matter how many times the woman say she is not ready to have sex… that she is cornered by men the size of Hulk and are still strangers in her book… that immobilizing physically is an okay behavior for the heroes to force themselves to kiss or have sex… that waiting a night and jump the heroine’s bones is enough time to allow her to accept her fate… I mean… the list is endless… so if the author, as I said, is at ease to deliver such message, then I will make sure to deliver another message on Goodreads (sorry not worth my time to blog it). I will make my duty to share my opinion and forget to be politically correct because at the end of the day… FORCED SEDUCTION IS RAPE. Plan and simple.
See my point now?