Friday, October 16, 2015

Arrrrrrrrrrrgh! What part of "nonconsensual" do you folk not understand when dealing with problematic historical romance tales, uh?

Before I have a conniption, let me air this ish. First off, I'm gonna get territorial or generational or FFS. Plain mad.

Just left my weekly trolling of Twitter (that place where logic goes to die but with hipster panache). The droppings of the day are spinning around an ebook called The Garconniere (sorry about the missing diacritical mark under the "c.") Described on Goodreads as "beautifully written" "eloquent."  It's a 142 page "romance" (re: steaming dump of poo) about a male slave on a Southern plantation and his master's young family relation having a benign love affair against the backdrop of blooming magnolias and night jasmine. Barf bag, anyone? Anyway, raised together, the White guy has always had this symbiotic relationship with the young slave. Because owners leaned on their purchases for everything. I call it leeching the life outta the guy but, hey, I'm being an insensitive soul 'cuz slave holders had feelings too and the highest regard for their "things."


What is with this obsession with writing slave/master romances set in the plantation U. S. South? What is the allure? What is this need to spin the narrative to depict a "happy ending?"

In the vein of that trainwreck, For Such a Time by Frau Kate Breslin, the courtesy has been extended to the African-American and gay communities with this "beautifully written" POS. Two fantasies for the price of one! Forbidden IR and dudes! Oh yummy! (My head's about to explode)

No! No! What effin part of non consensual doesn't register with these scribbling broads? Property has no room for consent. If you are owned, you do what the guy who owns you says! Love affair. Yeah right. I hear Hitler loved his dog too. Didn't stop him from exterminating people.

I am as appalled at the readers of this book that gave it glowing reviews as I am at the author.

Am I being closed-mined? Yes. Like I've said before, these "writers" can scrawl whatever they want. But they should be prepared to face the music if the topic reeks. And this topic reeks because the actions of real slave owners of centuries past STILL reverberate down through the years. And the results have been devastating to a people only seen as good for free labor and easy sex, sexual assault, rape. And male slaves were raped with as much regularity as the female ones. It was all about exerting power over a human being sexually. No roses. No gumdrops. No seductions.

So, no. I'm not down with revisionist history or this sickening revisionist "romance" where the need for the hero's absolution/redemption  trumps the real, nasty business of what was happening and what he was doing. No matter how prettily it's concocted.

Seems like the aftershocks of slavery have buried themselves deep in White romance authors' psyche because every other week there is a White romance author trotting out variations of this tired trope. And then they get pissy about it when folk side-eye it. Why? You gotta know making a person who owns other persons or is making life miserable for others, the "hero" in a romance, and then making him palatable is a challenge. And you with your limited view of the world little, ole you are gonna make this creature redeemable. Maybe you know mainstream readers love a redemption arc. What better one than a SLAVE OWNER who loves his chattel. Because some bridge club member in Peoria, who is as equally limited in life experiences, will remark, "Look, Marge. He loves that boy.  I knew it wasn't as bad as they said it was. Some masters were kind sweethearts!" UGH!

These "books" are for readers who, I swear, deep down feel that the Plantation South was just one big lawn party full of bottomless mint juleps and happy darkies. And if a White writer depicts it that way, it's gotta be true. Amirite? The same folks, I swear, live in LaLaLand and cling to crinolines and the obvious hope that consuming this stuff is somehow cathartic for them. Because if they can like a monster of a hero (and yes. slave owners were monsters. no way around that fact. check the history), hey, how can he be that bad?  I could be wrong but it's just waaay too much of this "creative ish" popping off nowadays to be co-incidental.

Don't even get me started on the idiotic backlash that rises up when these forays into "literature" are criticized for making misery entertaining.

Just a thought. UGH, again! In the meantime, I need a shower after this doosy.

Ps check out the mix of reviews at Goodreads

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