BitchBuzz: Women’s Dangerous Desires

Just a tad bit too late to make it into the column, two news stories today: HarperCollins has a new erotica imprint, Mischief, and the Wall Street Journal has another gasping-for-the-shock-of-it story about what women read on their Kindles (oooh, scandal!). All this frothing shows the ultimate futility of the attempts to stuff women back into the genie-bottle of the past. Annoying that these old geezers keep trying, but we will triumph in the end. After all, women have more endurance. And multi-tasking!

Women’s Dangerous Desires

By K.A. Laity

We may have accustomed ourselves to the bizarre hysterics of the Republican war on women in the States, but there’s a more subtle campaign against women’s desire. I guess it’s a way of getting to the root of the problem. Apparently snapping some kind of chastity belt on the vagina just isn’t enough. These busybodies would love to shackle women’s minds as well.

It can be very subtle and often masquerades as “positive” coverage. The Independent Magazine had a story this past Sunday on a number of erotic romance writers, women of various ages and backgrounds. The male author approaches the writers as if they were some kind of lost species. The idea that he must ask, “Do women write porn?” flabbergasts. The shock angle is they are “shy introverted woman [sic] with a love of reading and writing.” Like most writers of every genre, I suppose.

The editorial side plays up the sensationalism: “Kinky Books” the interior title screams. The first pull quote, “I write in secret, using words I would never, ever say,” makes Kay Jaybee sound very different than her other words like, “Sadly, many people can’t separate the art from the subject matter,” rightly noting that people seldom assume crime writers to be murderers. Predictably perhaps, although the authors write mostly erotic romance, the cover blurb has it, “WOMEN WHO WRITE PORN.” Porn triggers a more sensational reaction, of course…

Read the rest at BBHQ.