Women and erotica and that Mail article.(7 Posts)
OK, I'll put the disclaimer right upfront, while none of the featured people (may not be worksafe) is me, some of them are friends of mine - which is partly why I'm having this rant here and not on Facebook. The link is not the Daily Mail article, which is even more annoying.
Anyway, what is irritating me about this is there seems to be such a massive need in the patriarchy to render these women 'safe'. They are 'nice'. They are 'respectable.' Some of them go to church, some of them grow vegetables, some are mothers, and many of them are ashamed of using their imaginations ie they don't want to tell anyone that they write erotic fiction. So look, patriarchal status quo, don't panic, it's only ordinary, properly subjugated women who write these silly trivial little stories about men fucking each other up the arse.
OK, it is true that most people who write fiction are people who spend a lot of time sitting at home quietly. Because you need to spend a lot of time at home to do the actual writing. But we don't get many articles about how the men (or even the women) who write books about people being dismembered in various imaginative ways are actually pleasant, polite, pacifist vegetarians. Nor do we get articles about the men who write erotic fiction (and believe me, there are loads of them.) One of the continuous themes in the whole press splurge on EL James/50 Shades was the business of her being a married mother, middle-aged, not a scary pervert.
I think this is about minimising and trivialising female sexual autonomy. AIBU? (And yes, this is in Feminism rather than actual AIBU bbecause I hope for slightly fewer 'Get over yourself' responses.)
Okay, first question, which ones should I read, SGB?
I can see what you mean. I find the whole "turns out they're not leather-clad mistresses after all!" line so eye-rollingly obvious it almost made me not read the rest of it. But, but, don't you think there's something a bit subversive in "erotic writers are churchgoers"? I quite liked the juxtaposition of these 'normal' woman with their text beneath them. Although there's definitely a conversation to be had about what characteristics of a woman are considered 'normal' in this context - clearly, the school run and church attendance are 'normal' but they're only a fraction of a person's life.
I feel like it's an all-over-the-place article, to be honest. I'd have liked a whole article about why there's such an increase in female erotic writing (and thank fuck there is, by the way, I'm so very sick of the Submissive Slave In Black Garters trope). But I think the photographer was mostly going for a visual effect, yes?
Yy SGB, I really don't think there would have been a photo shoot of various male authors and a "shock horror they aren't in gimp suits" feel.
Because "mainstream" press doesn't expect sexualised visuals of men in the same way, I assume.
The whole thing has the tone of "respectable woman is a bad girl underneath."
Tortoise: You might like My Book of course - otherwise, Elizabeth Coldwell is very good, and KD Grace is fun and fairly lighthearted - but it does depend on your taste.
Doctrine: well, exactly - I know quite a few male erotic writers as well and they are (like the women) a diverse bunch of people but they don't get the same sort of 'respectable but bad underneath' stuff at all.
It's a bit daft really, almost like the fantasy of female erotic fiction writers is a dominatrix while the reality is that they are normal people, like any other writer.
I've seen similar judgements, I write science fiction and it's incredible how many people think I must be some lonely tech nerd. Then they're surprised that I'm a normal woman (or a woman at all, apparently girls don't write sci-fi) with a partner and child. I've yet to meet a writer in my genre that fits the lonely geek stereotype.
I do agree with the woman who spoke of the pleasure she got from writing in a coffee shop, it's always fun to imagine what people think you're doing, and how they'd react if they knew. Good exercise for characterisation too!
There are two issues, the photography and what is said about the photography. Based on looking at the portfolio of work on his website and understanding the style and methodology of his portraiture I cant fault it. In portraiture you either go the extra distance to reveal humanity or you warp it for effect. His is the former type, not the latter. He talks about the reasons for his inventor series in depth but lets the photographs and authors words in the kinky books series do all the talking, because the combination is so powerful further input by the photographer would be superfluous and out of place.
As to 'minimising and trivialising female sexual autonomy'.... hmmm. Part of the problem is that mainstream media is still out of touch with the age of the internet. Seeing print withering they jumped to the internet with their various online sites but, depending on who was calling the shots, either learned better or repeated mistakes that withered print to begin with. Some clearly managed the transition to online better than others and some probably decided to appeal to different types of web clients.
Having just looked over the whole 'femail' online section of the Daily Mail....(cough)... sorry but I dont think its a safe place to hang out for even the most easy going of feminists. If I showed that site to my fifteen year old daughter, with things in it like this:
She would like as not smash her computer screen over my head.
Sbg I'm on phone but if you would be so kind as to pm me with details of Your Book that would be nice. Also I warn you I have a whole theory I'm working up re childrens TV and 'soul mates' I'm going to run past you.
Sorry for hijack!
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