Links: Saturday, October 5th

October 5, 2013 Links 3

Twin babies wearing onesies. The boy's has the Almond Joy candy bar logo and the girl's has the Mounds label. The back of the boy's says "Almond Joy has nuts." The girl's says "Mounds don't."

Parents of the year.

  • Let’s Read About Sex – This link is for hate reading. Not only does the first writer dub the 1980s “the height of the feminist terror,” the article doesn’t include a single romance or erotica author.

    Writing about sex can be uniquely powerful — and perilous. A group of novelists, memoirists and poets tell us about working blue: what novels first inspired them, what nouns they strive to avoid and who they think writes sex best.

  • Romancing Abortion? – Heroes who have killed actual living, breathing people are a dime a dozen, but a heroine who terminates a pregnancy? That’s just crazy talk.

    Given genre romance’s roots in the comic mode (in the Northrop Frye Anatomy of Criticism sense), the babylogue makes sense: comedy focuses on the reform of, or integration into, society, the success of which is typically symbolized by the marriage that occurs at a play or novel’s end. An epilogue showcasing that married couple’s fecundity simply extends the symbol, providing proof that the newly formed society is already thriving and prospering.

    Is this why romances featuring heroines who have had abortions, or who contemplate having an abortion, are so very rare?

  • By the Numbers: An Analysis of the Reviews Deleted in the Goodreads Policy Change – This post by Ceridwen crunches the data on who Goodreads targeted and what they deleted. Of note: all but one of the users who had stuff deleted were female.

    Goodreads can’t publicly comment on the reviews they deleted, as I can see how that could be untoward, but the people affected can talk about the content of their reviews. These 21 people also received emails detailing the deletions, so we can know exactly what books are being flagged. I wanted to get those lists and collate the data: is there a pattern to the deletions? Are the same books and authors coming up again and again? And if I could find the 21 people who had their reviews and shelves deleted, I could ask them exactly what the content of their reviews was, and how exactly they were using their shelves.

  • I Am So Very Tired – Blogger and author Foz Meadows is tired of your shit.

    I am tired, not of arguing in favour of equality, diversity and tolerance, but of having to explain, over and over and over again, why such arguments are still necessary, only to have my evidence casually dismissed by someone too oblivious to realise that their dismissal of the problem is itself a textbook example of the fucking problem. I am tired of being mocked by hypocrites who think that a single lazy counterexample is sufficient to debunk the fifteen detailed examples they demanded I produce before they’d even accept my point as a hypothetical, let alone valid, argument. I am tired of assholes who think that playing Devil’s advocate about an issue alien to their experience but of deep personal significance to their interlocutor makes them both intellectually superior and more rationally objective on the specious basis that being dispassionate is the same as being right (because if they can stay calm while savagely kicking your open wound, then clearly, you have no excuse for screaming). I am tired of seeing false equivalencies touted as proof positive of reverse sexism and racism by people who don’t understand that Lin punching Robin is not the same as Robin punching Lin if Robin is an adult pro-wrestler and Lin is a five-year-old child.

  • Where I Write – Many of these are an ergonomist’s worst nightmare, but I enjoyed seeing the different spaces authors work in.

    Serena Bell tweets that she’s organized her office, her space where she writes. “Where I Write,” she posts, and then, Mary Ann Rivers answers with “Here’s mine.” Then another writer calls and responds. Here I am, we say. Here I have been, for hours, for days, for books, for the beginning of my first book, for as much as I can in the early morning, at night, while kids are at school. Here is my space. My space in time, my space in the world. It feels big, it feels too small, it’s temporary, I’ve been here for years. It’s messy, it’s spare, it’s me. Where I Write. Where. Here’s a space, here’s another. Most of them, most of these spaces — in our imagination.

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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.

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3 Responses to “Links: Saturday, October 5th”

  1. Liz Mc2

    I’m trying to give up hate-reading because it depressed me, so I didn’t (couldn’t bring myself to) read past the first page of that link. I will say that I read a Geoff Dyer book and was surprised by the frank writing about sex, which is unusual in literary fiction. It was an interesting book but one of those where the worldview/tone is so antithetical to mine that I always felt at arms’ length while I was reading. I think the depiction of women had something to do with that and now that I read that paragraph you highlighted (poor heterosexual men, forced to accept dungarees as lingerie), I am not surprised I was so put off.

    The Wonkomance post made me think of A Room of One’s Own, and I was struck by how many of these romance writers do NOT have a room of their own but are in a corner of the sofa/at the dining room table surrounded by children’s toys or other evidence of the rest of their lives. More power to them!

  2. Ridley

    @Liz Mc2: I’m trying to think of a time where a writer’s comments made me want to slap them like Dyer’s comments did, and I’m coming up empty. What a prat.

    After seeing how many women work from a sofa, car or bed, I’m amazed they ever finish a manuscript. I need drone metal or ambient techno playing in my office in my child and dog free house to focus enough to finish a blog post. If I had to work from a sofa with a toddler on the floor, I’d get nothing done.

  3. Liz Mc2

    OK, so I’m a dinosaur and I still get a dead tree copy of the Sunday NY Times, and I finally got around to flipping through this Book Review. The theme is “Let’s Read About Sex” and most of the books reviewed are tangentially related. There’s that feature you quoted. There’s actually a nice homage to Judy Blume’s FOREVER as an exploration of female desire. And then, in the header for the best-seller list, where they usually do some kind of thing about some of the books on the list, there are partial cover images and one-sentence quotes from sex scenes from three of the romances on the list. So, of course, they sound idiotic, not like these books could possibly have anything interesting or meaningful or fresh to say about sex (unlike the reviewed books, natch). I’ve seldom been more tempted to quit the Grey Lady.