Unless you’re familiar with the intertwining threads of internalized sexism and fetishization. Then you’ll totally believe it, because this is just another day in RomLand. I’m too sick for this shit. Seriously. But hey, Ridley coughed it up in my lap like a fur ball so let’s clean this mess and get me back to the couch. Henshaw’s article on Women Writing M/M Romance is a lovely example of why I stopped reading female authored M/M romance. The fetishization and projection is off the charts.
Amy Lane began by saying that “love is redemptive” and if any group needs the redemptive qualities of love, it’s gay men.
Right away you’ve lost me. Why do gay men require redemption? How are you not fetishizing your subjects if your baseline is one of innate suffering?
Z.A. Maxfield agreed, saying that what was missing from the previous fiction about gay men was the happy ending. By writing gay romance, “we’re rewriting the traditional endings the way we want them,” she said.
Way to dismiss all the male authors of m/m fiction that gave their characters happy endings. It’s like City Lights had nothing but tragedies on the shelves in the 80’s and 90’s. It’s like there’s no such thing as gay erotica. It’s like you can’t easily google your way to hundreds of books written by male authors that readers consider romance. Here I start to wonder how deeply women who write m/m romance read in m/m erotica and romance before embarking on their Ken + Ken play dates.
Writing about two men falling in love is completely different than the traditional romance. For one thing, both characters are equals, each with his own power.
Wait – what? Holy Othering, Batman – did we seriously just say that the power of a female character cannot equal or surpass that of a man? Are we teeing up for a round of Bitches And Ho’s?
“I’m tired of women’s nasty, mean games, and don’t want to write about them,” Amy added.
Looks like we are. If your experience of women is that of mean and nasty games, allow me to strongly suggest you change your friends. The common denominator in the problem would appear to be you. How would this author write a F/F book? Constant emotional abuse? I know many wonderful women who hold each other down and elevate their partners on the regular. (Wait tho, we’re about to go all Onion with this stuff.)
Backbiting and undermining of friends’ goals and aspirations aren’t often found in gay romance since men are more direct in their interactions.
Ahahahaha – that’s serious? Okay, hold up, do these women know any gay men? Like not in a My Best Friend Is Gay but in a I Go To MCC Services way? Unless you’re riding the fetishization train (next stop Strokesville & Feels) you’re aware that the only thing different about a gay man (or woman) is who they are sexually attracted to. People are people. (I’m this close to breaking into an R&B song, y’all.) Gay men are more direct and don’t backbite or undermine others? I need to go call some friends and family with the Good News.
Z.A. Maxfield said the equality of the partners is much more interesting to her. “There’s an equality at the beginning of the relationship that’s a very powerful dynamic to explore,” she explained.
And here we have it. Unless you fundamentally believe in the innate inequality of women then having an unequal power balance between your leads is a matter of authorial choice. What confers equality to the reader and the author? Nothing more than the way the author chooses to present the characters. Assuming a M/M couple are inherently equal is an assumption that ignores every aspect of their humanity but their sexuality or gender. That’s a great Macklemore song, I’m sure, but a terrible way to view individuals.