So much rancid literature and not nearly enough air-freshener in the world.

After having read The Young In One Another’s Arms, which was a total all-consuming and kinda heavy book to read, I decided I wanted something fluffy and easy and maybe even a little silly. Something that wasn’t as political or philosophical, but maybe a simple story about tension and build-up and easily digested characters. So I picked out a couple of lesbian romance novels. What ultimate fail that end up being.

First of, everything is political. I know this even if I occasionally try to ignore it, because…I’m stupid and a little bit ignorant. Even if the label reads “romance”, or perhaps especially if the label reads “romance” the book will be packed full of politics. Politics of the body, of the normative, and of sexuality. It drips, oozes and sweats politics, morality and normality. Which maybe wouldn’t be a problem if you agreed with either the manner in which it was broadcasted or the actual underlying messages on display. When you don’t it gets stinky. Onions, bad seafood, used diapers and a legion of unwashed armpits. That kind of stink.

I know I’m overreacting, but it bothers me because I do consider myself to be part of the dyke co-op culture and that makes me feel partly responsible and thoroughly ashamed of what this culture in turn produces artistically. It somehow becomes personal even if I have no real influence over it. The fact that I could have it worse, the fact that I could actively subscribe to a culture that birthed shit like Twilight and 50 Shades could be considered to be a comfort, but it’s not. They’ve got their own problems that they need to work through on their own terms. No, my community, my culture, my problems. We can share them over beer and a bonfire, but my personal point-of-view makes me biased and I feel more comfortable having an opinion when I also feel like I am a part of this group and therefore have a right to cast a vote.

Where was I..? Yeah, stinking literature. Sigh. Listen, honestly I don’t have a problem with the romanticising of love, of monogamy, of relationships in general. I’m a Science Fiction and Fantasy nerd through and through, I appreciate escapism and I do not require realism in my fiction (other than an emotional core that sparks enough empathy to become relevant for me). In fact I much rather read and experience fiction that differ from my own reality and in some cases even my own opinions. But why does it have to be so bad? And why does so much of the lesbian fiction have to be as hurtful and belittling of the lesbian identity as the heteronormative? Why do we feel the need to subtly bash ourselves within a context that should be ours and in which we should be allowed to practice self-pride?

Yeah, yeah, I’m no fool, I’m not blind to the self-loathing that permeates the soul of contemporary homosexual identity. I just wish…I wish that in this format, in the written word, an arena where you can take your time to express yourself, that we would see less of this. That as the writers have the time to sit down and think through what they put on screen, on paper, that they’d actively try to police themselves, diligently work away from this diminishing of the self that the normative forces upon us with every breath. As a writer you have the power of the universe, you are omnipotent and you can take your time to create. There is no rush. You can think through your decisions. Consider the implications of your sentences. Don’t document, don’t reproduce a theme that is in direct opposition with your own culture. Write the motherfucking change you want to see.

Okay. I’m done now. I’m going to calm down.



~ by Ape on March 5, 2013.

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