☆☆☆ Thoughtful Thursday ☆☆☆

Reading romance is my escape.  My respite from the real world bullshhhhh** where happily ever afters aren’t always promised. On this blog, my goal is keep it cute, spark some conversation, and hope y’all get my sometimes warped sense of humor. I don’t engage in or instigate the drama that sometimes goes on in the book community, particularly the romance community. I’m just here to read the books I enjoy and share my reviews with like-minded folks.

That said, I’m not oblivious or ignorant to what’s going on behind the scenes by any means. I read about it on social media, sometimes chat about it with other bloggers and friends; but 99% of the time, I let that negative ish roll right the hell on. I choose not to be angry every day or let trolls steal the joy I find in reading my favorite genre.

Then there’s that 1% of the time that something occurs that sucks all the fun out of being a romance reader for me.

Like this tweet from author Jill Sorenson.

Boooooyyy, it  got me riled. Not because I was surprised or shocked by it. Nope! Micro-aggression, racism and prejudice don’t shock me. This got me all in my feelings because I’ve seen this sentiment expressed too many times of late! A few months ago a “review” from Amazon circulated for His Everlasting Love  by Theodora Taylor in which a reader who didn’t even read the book felt the need to “warn” others who may be interested, that the book was featuring “another bwwm killing [her] mood” because she just can’t relate to a Black heroine in a love story.

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Then there was the time a while back I read a review while perusing Goodreads (sorry, I forget the book title) where a reader also couldn’t relate thus waxed on and on about how unnatural she thought an interracial pairing of a Black man and White woman was. I ask myself, “what’s unnatural about two human beings falling in love???” The fact that people can’t relate to said experience regardless of differences in race, ethnicity, or culture, yet read romance novels featuring vampires and shape-shifters without any issue boggles my mind, honestly — but that’s another rant for another day.

There are certain plot points, such as rape or violence, that readers might not know about unless they read the book. If you’re soft-hearted like me or just not looking to be taken to that place, these advance warnings are necessary and appreciated — at least by me. Now some readers think they should be warned when characters aren’t White?? Warned. Let’s take a moment to dissect that…

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“To inform someone in advance of an impending or possible danger, or other unpleasant situation. To give someone forceful or cautionary advice…” Words mean things, people.  Be careful in your choices!  I wasn’t aware that a non-White character was something traumatizing, requiring advance cautionary notice before encountering.  As a WOC myself, I can’t not take that really personally.

Don’t get me wrong, people have a right to their preferences. OTOH, this micro-aggression against characters who aren’t white, cisgender, heterosexual (or a host of other “standards”), wrapped up in “I just can’t relate“, is getting out of hand. If you don’t want to read something, I’m not mad at you. Do you, boo!  But feeling an author should caution all readers (or that you should take it upon yourself to caution other readers) because you don’t like something…

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I’m so tired. As a reader, as a blogger, as a person of color, I just want off this ride. I’m not liking what I see up ahead on the horizon.

Anyway, that’s all…I just had to get that off my spirit. Feel free to comment below if you feel so inclined…’til next time.

Xoxo,

Coco

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7 thoughts on “☆☆☆ Thoughtful Thursday ☆☆☆

  1. I once asked a long-time reviewer to read an IR romance I’d written. She agreed, and her review was a 4-star, BUT, it began “When asked to review this book, I said ‘yes’, even though it’s outside my usual genre,”…..blah, blah.
    I blinked. Had I asked her to read something out of her comfort zone? (heat-wise?) A fast check of her reviews showed she had, indeed, reviewed erotic romances for me before, no problem. So, what was ‘out of her usual’?
    Ah. (Okay, my white privilege is at play here, which is the only thing to explain how slow I was on the uptake, but it stunned me) Its code-speak for…and here’s where I flail. This is bias, not racism, but for God’s sake, I take my readers inside the heads of MEN on the regular. I gotta know more about what’s going on inside the head of a woman than I do about any man, right? And as women, we read male characters all the time. Dragon shifters, bear shifters, dragons…. and we accept that writers take us places we’d never otherwise go. Indeed, we demand it.
    So, the only conclusion is the ugly one. And the more I see this kind of thing, the more offensive I find it.
    The anonymity of the internet can’t be the excuse for all of the bad behavior. That bulletproof feeling of writing in the dark might tend to make people braver, but I believe those who know these folks ‘in real life’ would tell you they’re assholes face to face, too.

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    1. I don’t like to automatically pull the race card but I can’t explain it any other way as you said. The Internet brings the ass holes out in droves…it just gives them a platform and more access to spew their vitriol to more of the masses but you’re right, they are ass holes no matter the audience or medium. It’s disheartening that in almost 2016 for every step forward, it feels more like we take 2 steps backward.

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    1. There’s so much in the real world to be sad about. I’d hoped that my past time wasn’t littered with it too, alas there’s no escape from it. :((

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  2. As a reader and blogger, I’m tired too. I’m getting to the point if people want to point out characters color/race, then I’m going to call that mess out because it’s getting old and I’m just tired of the shenanigans.

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  3. It does get hard to stay positive and I do find myself deleting paragraphs where I have written deep replies because books are supposed to be the happy place right? ! The escape from a world filed with the bad, evil day jobs and just the mundane but I am finding hitting the delete is leaving to few voices holding it down so sometimes you just have to let stupid know they make no sense and support those who tell them. I didn’t see the tweet but glad you posted about it.

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