DISCLAIMER: I was reading this over at wikispaces and I had to there. I said I would never BUY another Laurell K. Hamilton book. I never said I wouldn’t glance through it if my mom brought it home from the library even after I told her I wasn’t reading the stuff anymore….
So we finally get a real Black female character, Laila Karlton, who isn’t some completely exotified kind of Black, like Vivian the lightskinneded and Irish. She is in fact a federal marshal (or is at the time she introduced) though she’s not real at all–as in 3-dimensional. I knew LKH couldn’t pull it off.
Laurell K. Hamilton, let me tell where you went wrong, AGAIN:
- Your description of Laila Karlton is so minimum it’s insulting. I see her muscles but I don’t see the rest of her.
- Why does she have to be 5-foot-whatever pounds of muscle? Thinking of how people stereotype Black women, like Michelle Obama, for example, as muscled he-women Amazons, I can say I don’t appreciate this description at all.
- We didn’t know she was Black (with a capital B, not a lowercase ‘b’, LKH) until she said it herself. Scared much because you knew you were doing a shit job with this character from the beginning, like with all your other Black characters?
- Why is it that the first thing Anita and Laila talk about is how petite, big-breasted, and big-assed Anita is because she’s part-Latina? As I’ve said before, Anita is for all intents and purposes white–stop hyper-emphasizing and hypersexualizing what you view as her “ethnic” features. Which are basically her hair, her ass, her “dark” eyes, and her breasts.
- Why is Laila presented as jealous of Anita’s petite white body?
- Furthermore, why is it we spend so much time talking about Anita’s shining, hardass reputation again? What’s with the flattery for both her track record and her body?
- I’m thinking of Laila’s father and brothers: Of course, there are big, strong Black men, but of all the body types you could write about, why are you choosing to write about the most stereotyped and racialized ones you can think of?
- Anita has to be the guru on hunting and executing and Laila gets to listen to her condescenion as the rookie-type? Great.
- Why do you have to continue to beat down every female character who comes along with Anita’s reputation, physical appearance, misogyny, and cred in the field?
- And Laila’s a racist because the guys in her family taught her to be like that?
- Laila is weepy in the hospital and needs peptalk from the white-skinned wise one who doesn’t even shift at the full moon though she possesses/is infected with mutiple strains of lycanthropy?
- Did I mention how fucked up it is that, once again, Black people like Laila can be made into werewolves, animals, but are never, like, swans or “good” vampires (with even unchalky skin, of course. Ashy skin does not look good living Black people, it doesn’t look good on any one actually)?
This is why I refuse to buy anymore of your books. Laurell K. Hamilton, you’ve lost me.