Author Topic: So...about the banned book thing  (Read 14329 times)  

Offline Jena H

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #175 on: August 10, 2017, 04:53:09 PM »
I don't know. My mom had stacks of Harlequin Romances from floor to ceiling and half of them were about pirates/sheiks/secret agents/princes (powerful, dangerous men) whisking a woman away from her life and ravishing her. These books have been around for as long as I can remember and make up a fair amount of the market.  The terminology has changed, but plots have remained pretty much the same except the millionaires have become billionaires. Maybe it's important to look at /why/ these kinds of stories sell so well. I mean if it's just horrible disgusting stuff that no one should think of, then why are so many women reading them? I mean they are basically stories where a guy sweeps in, solves all a woman's problems, overcomes her hangups and makes her happy forever. How anyone could think this could be misconstrued with actual rape is beyond me. It's nothing like it. And if we think that men will read these and be influenced by them, do we also think that they'll go around buying the women they rape houses and cars and trying to die for them because that's in these books too?

I think action/adventures where female characters serve as little more than a reward for completing the quest would have more influence on rape culture than dubcon does. (I don't mean all action/adventure does this, I'm just talking about the ones that do). When I see cases of date rape, it seems like the rapist didn't get that the woman was a feeling/thinking human being. But Romance, even dubcon, centers on the woman's thoughts and emotions, so much so that sometimes the men don't even get viewpoint chapters. And what I understand about the psychology of rapists leads me to believe they'd have zero interest in reading dubcon, it actually goes against what rapists find appealing about rape. You can see this in the contrast of rape porn, where often the woman is crying, tortured [redacted because I was going waaay too deep, lets just say it gets bad]. Rape victims are more likely to read dubcon than rapists, so I doubt it's having a serious impact on influencing rape culture.
It's okay. I've been called worse. And threats to blacklist me don't phase me because no one reads my books anyway.

I don't really have a dog in this fight, but something struck me regarding your example.  You briefly touch on this later in your post, but I'm pretty sure that these Harlequin romances didn't explicitly describe the "ravishing" of the women.  On one hand, that really doesn't matter: ravishment (or rape) is ravishment (or rape).  On the other hand, though, describing the violent act in lurid, explicit (and violent) detail makes it a whole different ball game.  IMHO.  YMMV.
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Offline usedtocare

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #176 on: August 10, 2017, 04:58:57 PM »
I do find it incredibly disingenuous for her to post on FB how this backlash has her in tears, but there's now a tab at the top of her website labeled BANNED and her addressing of the problem on her website and in replies to various Facebook posts involve a lot of Haha and LOL. And now this thing Rosalind's posted, about her "Too Soon?" post? It's just ridiculous. DOn't tell me you only intended it to ever be for its (normally) niche audience, and then milk the controversy and "bullying" for every penny you can get while literally laughing all the way to the bank.

And I too will defend to the death her right to write it, and to have it read, but it should NEVER have been in the Romance category on Amazon. The state of the Romance category on Amazon these days is ****ing APPALLING.

Wow. Unbelievable.
I keep starting to reply here & then I erase it.
The effort that appears to have been put into orchestrating this is unbelievable. I feel foolish for looking at it as anything but a publicity stunt at this point. 😡

Offline Crystal_

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #177 on: August 10, 2017, 05:06:16 PM »
I disagree. This book is correctly placed in dark romance and dark erotica. All these books are considered romances, erotic romances or erotica by their readers. They are not considered anything else, so they are right where they belong according to their authors and readers.

What? There's no dark romance category on Amazon.

Online kcmorgan

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #178 on: August 10, 2017, 05:07:32 PM »
I don't really have a dog in this fight, but something struck me regarding your example.  You briefly touch on this later in your post, but I'm pretty sure that these Harlequin romances didn't explicitly describe the "ravishing" of the women.  On one hand, that really doesn't matter: ravishment (or rape) is ravishment (or rape).  On the other hand, though, describing the violent act in lurid, explicit (and violent) detail makes it a whole different ball game.  IMHO.  YMMV.
Those old books definitely described these things in vivid detail. Sometimes flowery language was used that would make us giggle today, but it was definitely details. The scenes haven't changed much at all actually.

Which is why I want to ask about your next point, you say "violent", do you mean in a way that rape is violent by default or are you imagining the women in these stories are being physically harmed? Because most of the time they aren't. They are either blackmailed, or coerced, sometimes held down, but I can't think of examples where they are physically harmed by the MMCs. Usually these MMCs will kill anyone that attempts the harm the FMCs.

And we are almost always in the FMC's head during these scenes, and they are usually thinking about how good it feels. Even if the book we're discussing, we're in her head, and she's thinking about how he's doing this to establish his dominance, and she likes it, and it's not like /real/ rape. I actually LOLed when I read that because from that line alone the book sounded more like a parody of dark romances than an actual one.

Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #179 on: August 10, 2017, 05:54:56 PM »
People have pointed out that she was 16. And that yeah, it's statutory rape but it's consensual statutory rape. NO ONE has said that that makes the content completely okay, nor that they would condone it in the real world. They've just corrected misinformation. It's not the same as thinking fathers shagging their teenage daughters IRL is a-okay. It's really, really not.


OMG. There is no consent in this circumstance (if it were real life). More than one person has said they think this is romantic, that they think the author is awesome and Amazon is a big old meanie for blocking the book. Look at the authors FB, or site. It's all there. People here may be holding back, due to forum decorum, but it's a sad state when someone admits they think molesting and raping a child for sexual gratification is okay. My ignore list is going to be full before the end of this matter.

I'm with Usedtoposthere and ebbrown, there are some disgusting attitudes being shown, and that it's mostly from women is astounding. It would be one thing to commiserate because the book was blocked, but to praise the author for writing this stuff? For deliberately pushing the limits to deliberately get the book "banned"? I think some of you need to sit back and think this through. If you agree it's terribly sexy and romantic, keep it to yourself and run to the author's site and buy the book to support her.

There is an issue here which the defenders want to gloss over, when they bring up rape fantasies and the like:  these involve grown women, not children who are groomed by predators. That is called child porn, in case you don't get the difference. None of those Harlequin books were about children being raped. For God's sake. If you're (in general, no one in particular) turned on by dub con or non con, go for it. If you think it's okay between a grown man and a child, you need help. Seriously. Pull out the cattle prod if you please, mods, but that's the unvarnished truth. There is something sick in defending someone writing a romance about a man grooming and raping a child.
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Offline RedFoxUF

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #180 on: August 10, 2017, 06:03:08 PM »
I don't really have a dog in this fight, but something struck me regarding your example.  You briefly touch on this later in your post, but I'm pretty sure that these Harlequin romances didn't explicitly describe the "ravishing" of the women.  On one hand, that really doesn't matter: ravishment (or rape) is ravishment (or rape).  On the other hand, though, describing the violent act in lurid, explicit (and violent) detail makes it a whole different ball game.  IMHO.  YMMV.

Yeeeah I'm gonna guess you weren't reading those books. They were pretty raunchy. They still are. And they have all sorts of TOS violations in them that they can get away with.

Online kcmorgan

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #181 on: August 10, 2017, 06:08:40 PM »

OMG. There is no consent in this circumstance (if it were real life). More than one person has said they think this is romantic, that they think the author is awesome and Amazon is a big old meanie for blocking the book. Look at the authors FB, or site. It's all there. People here may be holding back, due to forum decorum, but it's a sad state when someone admits they think molesting and raping a child for sexual gratification is okay. My ignore list is going to be full before the end of this matter.

I'm with Usedtoposthere and ebbrown, there are some disgusting attitudes being shown, and that it's mostly from women is astounding. It would be one thing to commiserate because the book was blocked, but to praise the author for writing this stuff? For deliberately pushing the limits to deliberately get the book "banned"? I think some of you need to sit back and think this through. If you agree it's terribly sexy and romantic, keep it to yourself and run to the author's site and buy the book to support her.

There is an issue here which the defenders want to gloss over, when they bring up rape fantasies and the like:  these involve grown women, not children who are groomed by predators. That is called child porn, in case you don't get the difference. None of those Harlequin books were about children being raped. For God's sake. If you're (in general, no one in particular) turned on by dub con or non con, go for it. If you think it's okay between a grown man and a child, you need help. Seriously. Pull out the cattle prod if you please, mods, but that's the unvarnished truth. There is something sick in defending someone writing a romance about a man grooming and raping a child.
I'll admit, I haven't read the book, but from my understanding from summaries it contains pseudo-incest, noncon with bad guys, dubcon with the MMC who is a 40 year old man and she's a seventeen year old girl. If she was one year older would you be calling it "child porn"? I think it's disingenuous to suggest dubcon with a seventeen year old is the same as the rape of a prepubescent child. And I personally find that comparison harmful. I don't want people imagining consenting seventeen year olds when they hear the term "child molester" because at that point it loses all meaning.

Offline EC Sheedy

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #182 on: August 10, 2017, 06:10:12 PM »
I'd argue it is clearly a Romance. It might be an f-ed up Romance, but it's still a Romance. The genre is defined as stories about a developing relationship between two or more people with a HEA or HFN ending. All the obstacles they overcome are obstacles to them being together. Sure those obstacles are things like...her mother...and that might make some people nauseated, but it's still an obstacle to their developing relationship. It also has an HEA ending. And there is already a subcategory in Romance for the "deviants", it's called Dark Romance.

Color me stupid. I did not know Dark Romance was where a reader goes for rape fantasy, incest stories, or perhaps extreme kink. I've learned something. I guess I always thought Dark Romance encompassed horror elements, life-threatening events, suspense elements, or deeper angst (back story). Like I said, I've learned something. Thanks.

I must reexamine my concept of love and romance, which I always associate with old words like commitment to the other, sacrifice, honor, and fidelity. Gadzooks, I'm old.  :-[
 

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Offline Shelley K

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #183 on: August 10, 2017, 06:10:21 PM »
Quote
it's a sad state when someone admits they think molesting and raping a child for sexual gratification is okay.

Who said they think raping a child for sexual gratification is okay? Who? I'll bet you a million bazillion dollars not a single person has said that.

The rape of a child and things happening to a character that doesn't exist in a book are not the same thing.

You can think it's gross that some people write it or read about it, I might even agree with you, and you can express that--free speech applies to criticism of free speech. I am all for all of that. But for the love of god please stop projecting acceptance or desire for the real-life acts onto the people defending fiction.


« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 06:26:13 PM by Shelley K »

Online kcmorgan

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #184 on: August 10, 2017, 06:17:39 PM »
Color me stupid. I did not know Dark Romance was where a reader goes for rape fantasy, incest stories, or perhaps extreme kink. I've learned something. I guess I always thought Dark Romance encompassed horror elements, life-threatening events, suspense elements, or deeper angst (back story). Like I said, I've learned something. Thanks.

I must reexamine my concept of love and romance, which I always associate with old words like commitment to the other, sacrifice, honor, and fidelity. Gadzooks, I'm old.  :-[
You're not stupid. There is nothing wrong with not knowing the contents of books you've have no interest in reading. I couldn't tell you what's in most Westerns.

And while Romance has to be about a developing relationship, there is no requirement that it has to be a healthy one. For one, we'd never agree on what qualifies (though we are pretty much on the same page about what certainly doesn't). And also, I find the unhealthy ones to be more interesting.

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #185 on: August 10, 2017, 06:23:41 PM »

OMG. There is no consent in this circumstance (if it were real life). More than one person has said they think this is romantic, that they think the author is awesome and Amazon is a big old meanie for blocking the book. Look at the authors FB, or site. It's all there. People here may be holding back, due to forum decorum, but it's a sad state when someone admits they think molesting and raping a child for sexual gratification is okay. My ignore list is going to be full before the end of this matter.

I'm with Usedtoposthere and ebbrown, there are some disgusting attitudes being shown, and that it's mostly from women is astounding. It would be one thing to commiserate because the book was blocked, but to praise the author for writing this stuff? For deliberately pushing the limits to deliberately get the book "banned"? I think some of you need to sit back and think this through. If you agree it's terribly sexy and romantic, keep it to yourself and run to the author's site and buy the book to support her.

There is an issue here which the defenders want to gloss over, when they bring up rape fantasies and the like:  these involve grown women, not children who are groomed by predators. That is called child porn, in case you don't get the difference. None of those Harlequin books were about children being raped. For God's sake. If you're (in general, no one in particular) turned on by dub con or non con, go for it. If you think it's okay between a grown man and a child, you need help. Seriously. Pull out the cattle prod if you please, mods, but that's the unvarnished truth. There is something sick in defending someone writing a romance about a man grooming and raping a child.
Thank for for saying this. And I hope this stays up because it needed to be said. Again it seems. Holy moly I am hitting head on desk along with usedtoposthere. The length to go to defend this stuff is just, I don't have words. I can't even.

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Offline Jena H

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #186 on: August 10, 2017, 06:34:18 PM »
Yeeeah I'm gonna guess you weren't reading those books. They were pretty raunchy. They still are. And they have all sorts of TOS violations in them that they can get away with.

Might depend on how far back you're talking.  I doubt the 1960s Harlequins talked about the man's c*** and her "wet place."  But they published thousands of books over the decades, so I guess anything's possible.  I just know the romance and sexual tension was what all the readers loved.
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Offline RedFoxUF

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #187 on: August 10, 2017, 06:41:19 PM »
Might depend on how far back you're talking.  I doubt the 1960s Harlequins talked about the man's c*** and her "wet place."  But they published thousands of books over the decades, so I guess anything's possible.  I just know the romance and sexual tension was what all the readers loved.

Probably not useful to apply a 1960s filter to this b/c romance is not stuck in a time warp and there was a heck of a lot of offensive porn published in the 60s as well btw...that was how you got it before the internet. I've seen the books as I have a relative who sells vintage books and those are, apparently, collectible. Horrible misogynistic stuff, full of rape.

Look up some Beatrice Small. Romance has always been full of dark kinks. There's less hiding/sugarcoating now but all these elements have been present in romance for decades. At least now it's out in the open.

« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 06:48:59 PM by RedFoxUF »

Offline paranormal_kitty

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #188 on: August 10, 2017, 06:41:29 PM »
There is an issue here which the defenders want to gloss over, when they bring up rape fantasies and the like:  these involve grown women, not children who are groomed by predators. That is called child porn, in case you don't get the difference. None of those Harlequin books were about children being raped. For God's sake. If you're (in general, no one in particular) turned on by dub con or non con, go for it. If you think it's okay between a grown man and a child, you need help. Seriously. Pull out the cattle prod if you please, mods, but that's the unvarnished truth. There is something sick in defending someone writing a romance about a man grooming and raping a child.

Exactly. If what is being said about this book is true, the author could be/likely is in violation of laws and could face criminal charges for disseminating it. Free speech is not as "free" as some people think it is. The Supreme Court ruled that states can ban selling material that portrays children in sexual situations. Might want to check the Miller test as well. And that's in the US, land of free speech. Other countries I'd think would be more strict.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 06:48:30 PM by paranormal_kitty »

Offline K.B.

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #189 on: August 10, 2017, 06:43:11 PM »
I disagree. This book is correctly placed in dark romance and dark erotica. All these books are considered romances, erotic romances or erotica by their readers. They are not considered anything else, so they are right where they belong according to their authors and readers.

I don't know why I'm even getting involved here because emotions are high.

But... I think Nic brings up a valid point when it comes to categorization. Whether we like it or not, I think modern publishing including both authors and readers are changing the scope and definitions of romance. We've been conditioned to believe that romance is something, and there are rules to that something that seem to be becoming murky.

Now, as for this book. I have no interest in reading it. I personally think it's gross, and am rather infurtiated at the justification the author decided to use as if it lessens the degree of perverseness in any way. As an adopted child, the implication that adoptive parents are not really parents is enough to make my blood boil.

At the end of the day, this just is not something I have any interest in reading or really discussing. I think it's important though to not use one's opinions on this book to form a basis for who that person is. It's important to not write narratives about other people by filling in the blanks.

Just for clarity; I think it's gross. I think the entire marketing strategy centered on the idea that controversy would equal sales. I think it's tasteless to release this book with only a vague warning, practically begging for people to read it like some kind of macabre dare. Based on the title, cover, and blurb, I was actually looking forward to this book. Not now. Not ever. But can we please stop tearing each other apart over this?

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Offline Shelley K

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #190 on: August 10, 2017, 06:45:05 PM »
Quote
There is something sick in defending someone writing

See, the sentence ends there for me. I don't care what the writing is about. I don't care if I think it's the grossest and most disturbing thing imaginable, because it's not real, and art has to be protected. The stuff I like doesn't need first amendment protections, after all, only offensive speech does. I don't have to read it, nobody has to sell it, but the writer has the right to create it until the jackboots come out and laws are passed and enforced saying otherwise. That'll probably happen one day, and what can be written will get narrower and narrower over time. It's not about defending fictional rape. It's about defending fiction, period. I remain amazed that writers and readers who love words don't understand that.

If defending free speech makes me a sicko like so many people here in this thread have implied or stated, welp, think what you want, I'll hold my right to free speech against my bosom until that right's stripped away. Of course, it probably won't need to be stripped at all. People will hand that right over in exchange for never being offended or disgusted, and by the time people realize what's happened there'll be nothing left but the crying. 

Offline Crystal_

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #191 on: August 10, 2017, 07:15:47 PM »
See, the sentence ends there for me. I don't care what the writing is about. I don't care if I think it's the grossest and most disturbing thing imaginable, because it's not real, and art has to be protected. The stuff I like doesn't need first amendment protections, after all, only offensive speech does. I don't have to read it, nobody has to sell it, but the writer has the right to create it until the jackboots come out and laws are passed and enforced saying otherwise. That'll probably happen one day, and what can be written will get narrower and narrower over time. It's not about defending fictional rape. It's about defending fiction, period. I remain amazed that writers and readers who love words don't understand that.

If defending free speech makes me a sicko like so many people here in this thread have implied or stated, welp, think what you want, I'll hold my right to free speech against my bosom until that right's stripped away. Of course, it probably won't need to be stripped at all. People will hand that right over in exchange for never being offended or disgusted, and by the time people realize what's happened there'll be nothing left but the crying.

Nobody has suggested that any author should have their freedom of speech limited. Freedom of speech = you can write whatever you want (with some legal exceptions, libel, etc). Freedom of speech /= no one should criticize your writing or retailers need to sell your writing or no one can call you a sicko pervert for your writing.

I see this all the time in the geek community. Some company will change a story or character to make it less sexist or racist, sometimes because of outrage, sometimes because and people will be up in arms about censorship and freedom of speech. Just try criticizing all the sexual violence in GoT and see the comments you get. This is exactly the same thing, just in a different community.

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #192 on: August 10, 2017, 07:20:03 PM »
Exactly. If what is being said about this book is true, the author could be/likely is in violation of laws and could face criminal charges for disseminating it. Free speech is not as "free" as some people think it is. The Supreme Court ruled that states can ban selling material that portrays children in sexual situations. Might want to check the Miller test as well. And that's in the US, land of free speech. Other countries I'd think would be more strict.

I don't know about other nations, but here in the U.S., I think child pornography is pretty strictly defined as visual images, not written description ... right (source)? Whether there are state laws that apply, or some other possible illegality, I don't know.




Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #193 on: August 10, 2017, 07:21:43 PM »
See, the sentence ends there for me. I don't care what the writing is about. I don't care if I think it's the grossest and most disturbing thing imaginable, because it's not real, and art has to be protected. The stuff I like doesn't need first amendment protections, after all, only offensive speech does. I don't have to read it, nobody has to sell it, but the writer has the right to create it until the jackboots come out and laws are passed and enforced saying otherwise. That'll probably happen one day, and what can be written will get narrower and narrower over time. It's not about defending fictional rape. It's about defending fiction, period. I remain amazed that writers and readers who love words don't understand that.

If defending free speech makes me a sicko like so many people here in this thread have implied or stated, welp, think what you want, I'll hold my right to free speech against my bosom until that right's stripped away. Of course, it probably won't need to be stripped at all. People will hand that right over in exchange for never being offended or disgusted, and by the time people realize what's happened there'll be nothing left but the crying. 

You know, I want to defend people's rights to say and write what they want, but I think there have to be limits. When a story crosses the line into being harmful and exploitative and when we're talking about violent underage sex between a father figure and his daughter that's written for titillation I can't support that.  Argue that fiction and real life are two different things all you want but I'd argue that it's very rare to see something like this held up as an ideal, positive situation even in fiction and that doing so repeatedly would be harmful long-term to people's attitudes about these sorts of things. But that's just me. This is one of those areas where I'm not gonna convince the "anything should go" crowd and they're not going to convince me.


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Offline paranormal_kitty

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #194 on: August 10, 2017, 07:28:11 PM »
I don't know about other nations, but here in the U.S., I think child pornography is pretty strictly defined as visual images, not written description ... right (source)? Whether there are state laws that apply, or some other possible illegality, I don't know.

That's federal law only. The SCOTUS decision gives states leeway to make stricter laws about disseminating this stuff, and it's not limited to visual images as far as I can tell. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_v._Ferber Material depicting children in those situations can be written or visual. Someone mentioned it was in violation of an Ohio law. I don't know about others.

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #195 on: August 10, 2017, 07:28:53 PM »
I don't know about other nations, but here in the U.S., I think child pornography is pretty strictly defined as visual images, not written description ... right (source)? Whether there are state laws that apply, or some other possible illegality, I don't know.


It looks like Canada includes written material in its definition: http://www.efc.ca/pages/law/cc/cc.163.1.html


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Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #196 on: August 10, 2017, 07:40:46 PM »
I'll admit, I haven't read the book, but from my understanding from summaries it contains pseudo-incest, noncon with bad guys, dubcon with the MMC who is a 40 year old man and she's a seventeen year old girl. If she was one year older would you be calling it "child porn"? I think it's disingenuous to suggest dubcon with a seventeen year old is the same as the rape of a prepubescent child. And I personally find that comparison harmful. I don't want people imagining consenting seventeen year olds when they hear the term "child molester" because at that point it loses all meaning.
Sexual activity started before the girl was sixteen. And she was his daughter. Yes, when you have sex with your daughter at age sixteen or seventeen, you're a child molester. Because you've met the criteria for first-degree sexual abuse. It's not just her age. It's yours, and it's your relationship--and how you've groomed her to accept it.

This is coming very, very close to John Grisham's defense of his good friend who went to prison for possession of child pornography, because he "didn't hurt anyone" (never mind that child porn is available because there is a market for it--that you are literally paying for that child to be raped) and that the girls he was watching were teenagers, not little girls. So it's OK for 15 and 16 year olds to be raped for old white men's pleasure. Well, maybe not "OK," but not BAD like it was a toddler. Not so the guy should have to go to PRISON or anything.

Yes, I understand that in this case, we aren't talking about the actual bad things happening to the actual person. That isn't my point. My point is that what Grisham was saying (at length) was that, because these girls were 15 or 16, they were "close enough" that it "wasn't that bad." Is it WORSE when men rape toddlers or preteens? Creepier, anyway. But in life, and in this book, a father doesn't suddenly decide, "You know what, I'd like to bang my sixteen-year-old daughter." He's started a long time ago. That's grooming, and it's a crime, too.

See, I just don't see any shades of gray here. To me, this is all black and white. White and black. Perhaps I have Child Sex Spectrum Disorder, or perhaps somebody else does. Who knows. 
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 08:03:08 PM by Usedtoposthere »

Offline sela

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #197 on: August 10, 2017, 07:43:28 PM »
I, personally, find the content as described (I haven't read it nor do I have any interest in doing so) disgusting and vile. I've outlined my experiences with the issue of child sexual abuse. I think it's wrong and objectionable to romanticize it. Period.

I am not clear on whether the book in question violates any laws and so that is where I would draw my own red line.

If it is determined to be unlawful, then by all means, it deserves to be treated as such. My support of freedom of speech isn't absolute.

But if it doesn't violate any laws, then, it's really a matter of individual opinion.

If it's not unlawful, then it's our own freedom to read or not read the material. It's also within our rights to have an opinion on it. I support people's rights to have opinions yay or nay even if I disagree with one side.

I am personally fine with Amazon and other retailers refusing to sell it regardless of whether it violates any laws because that's their right.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 07:45:12 PM by sela »

Offline sela

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #198 on: August 10, 2017, 08:09:15 PM »

See, I just don't see any shades of gray here. To me, this is all black and white. White and black. Perhaps I have Child Sex Spectrum Disorder, or perhaps somebody else does. Who knows.

There are no shades of gray when it comes to what constitutes child sexual abuse. It's pretty clear in law.

Where the shades of gray come into play is whether the book in question violates laws and thus should be censored and whether those who write it and those who read it be censured. So it comes down to whether written depictions of child sexual abuse meant to be romantic fiction violate laws.

I honestly don't know. I know that in Canada, written child pornography can be deemed a violation of the Act prohibiting child pornography.

"(b) any written material or visual representation that advocates or counsels sexual activity with a person under the age of eighteen years that would be an offense under this Act."

Does the book in question "advocate or counsels sexual activity with a person under the age of eighteen years"? If so, it may be deemed in violation of the Act in Canada at least. I am unclear whether it would be deemed as such in the US.

I don't know. I haven't read it. Does it cross over into advocacy or is it merely a dark story? Or is it a cautionary tale? Would any of us want our daughters to have this experience? I think not.

If it does violate laws, then the legal system should deal with it. If not, then it comes down to our individual preferences and opinions. Like I say, I am unclear whether the written depiction of an act "counsels or advocates" the sexual abuse of children or rape.

What about Daenerys and Drogo? She was 13 when they were married and she most definitely didn't want to be married to him. She gave no consent but then, women didn't have the right to consent in the book. That was surely rape even if it was within the context of a legal marriage. She ends up falling in love with Drogo - a known rapist and murderer. Does that depiction condone child sexual abuse? Rape?

Should Game of Thrones be sold if that's the case?


Online Becca Mills

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #199 on: August 10, 2017, 08:13:35 PM »
I'm mystified by the level of anger I'm seeing directed at some posters in this thread. I've read the entire thread fairly carefully, and I don't see any sort of groundswell of support for this book or author. I see people

- correcting factual details about the book,
- underling the value of defending repugnant speech,
- questioning the likelihood that books like this one have significant negative real-world impact,
- defending women's right to consume whatever they want in the way of sexual fantasy,
- and in a few cases, saying that some condemnations of the book are too extreme, such as kcmorgan's assertion that suggesting "dubcon with a seventeen year old is the same as the rape of a prepubescent child" is "disingenuous."

Exactly one person on the thread, so far as I'm remembering, posted that she had read the book and thought it was okay. So, one tepid endorsement, out of dozens of posters.

So I'm not really seeing much "defense" of the book in question (beyond the author's right to write it, which we all agree on), much less praise of it or support for the author (we all also seem to agree that Amazon has every right to take the book off sale). Quite the contrary, just about everyone has said they haven't read the book and would never want to, find such material gross or distressing, and so forth. No one here has applied the word "awesome" to this book; no one has called it "sexy" or "romantic." No one here is a fan of this book or author, so far as I can tell. That may be going on elsewhere, but it's not going on here.

Being interested in discussing the larger philosophical/ethical/legal issues raised by this book does not mean one thinks the book is good or right. Correcting misinformation about the book is not an endorsement of the book. Thinking a particular condemnation is too extreme does not mean one thinks the book not worthy of condemnation in a larger sense or in other ways. Not being extremely angry about the book doesn't mean one thinks the book is okay. And so forth.

Let's please give one another the benefit of the doubt in conversations like this one.