Interracial fetishtism–not cute or sexy, a total turn off

I read one of Lena Matthews’ books and it toed the line of Black-white interracial fetishism and stepped over it once or twice even though I enjoyed the book overall (The Blacker the Berry).

After tentatively browsing her titles, I don’t think I’ll be reading anymore of her work. My threshold for this kind of thing is not that high.

Interracial romance is obviously a gimmick with this lady. The way white-Black interracial relationships are fetishized as better than Black/Black and special or preferable by some fellow writers and readers is not only disgusting, it is in and of itself racist. Interracial romance as a whole is usually chock full of colorblind racism, multiculturism, and generally no realistic approach to addressing actual no-questions-asked racism. Its more a compromise not to deal with reality and the pathological racism/anti-Blackness that whites exhibit towards Black women and their race.

Interracial romance usually isn’t a testament to love or anti-racism. Its a smear campaign geared at making everyone who isn’t on the ebony-ivory fetish train look as if they are all bigots of the same caliber to hide the insecurities of interracial fetishists who don’t want to be called out for being colorblind racists. It screams, Look, hey look, we’re not of the same race and we’re making gooey eyes and fucking! See, take that racists!

Its immature and unhelpful.

Interracial fetishists are racists of the worst and highest sort, and they try to use love and equality to obscure the truth of their natures.

Matthews has apparently done some work for Ellora’s Cave, which makes me cringe. I used to skulk around looking for stuff to read there and their interracial romance category is one of the reasons I no longer do so.

If you like to walk on the white side, good for you. But don’t expect some of us to be so easily fooled or swayed by thin plots, glossy settings, and pleas for us to suspend our disbelief. Write it well (and with a little more realism) or expect criticism from readers and writers like me.

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Eternal Seduction by Jennifer Turner: A sort of review

I got tired of it sitting in my queue so here it goes

I got this book free on my new Kindle Fire, which was given to me as a gift. I have no money and, most importantly, I have no money to waste on badly written books, so I’m all for the freebies for right now.

Let me tell ya, there was nothing about this story that made me think “eternal seduction”—I mean, looking at the plot itself and the characters.

  • The Cover—a sketch of my impression:

Pasty, thin white people with problems. A hint of goth, roses, and morbidity. Instant pop media vampire story, spun right off of Stephanie Meyer and probably that Twilight nonsense. A simple recipe. I am not impressed.

When is the romance industry going to stop with these stupid covers??? *pulling out my hair*

But there was almost a jewel under the cover. It turned out to be a few steps above that Twilight nonsense.

  • The Heroine

My attitude about the book began to change with finding out that the heroine’s name is Logan, which is typically used as a masculine name. Not bad, Jennifer Turner.

I read the second part of the dedication: “And to Logan and Kerestyan, who decided to break the mold and not be the classic hero and heroine…thank you!”

So, you think so, Jennifer Turner, whoever you are.

Logan Ellis is also homeless. An interesting attempt. (It didn’t stay interesting for long.) Logan Ellis, again, another interesting thing to note about the character’s journey.

  • Fatphobia/Fat Hatred

Nobody likes feeling like the main character would say or ugly, bigoted things about their body or eating habits if they were somehow to extract them from the book and meet them in real life.

 “…When the fat girl stuffing her face in the corner fully recognizes food gives her the comfort she can’t find in anyone else.”

It was supposed to be some kind of profound moment so I was caught off guard considering that Logan, the main character, is a skinny bitch character, a homeless starved heroine addict who chose to live on the streets. At first, I thought she was charming but as I continue reading, she’s just becoming abrasive. That comment didn’t help my perception of her. I definitely don’t appreciate her stereotype here at all and she pairs it up with example of sexism and promiscuous men, prefacing the comment with “The moment you realize all your worst fears are true”.

But that comment and how it’s set up within the context of the story really put me off. As if of course we’re all lonely misanthropic fat girls sitting in corners huddling our foods around us and shunning people.

I visited her website and was surprised to find that Jennifer Turner appears to be a plus-size woman, like myself. That’s if the photo under the author’s section is at all recent. Politically and intellectually, I don’t understand why she would choose to write a thin character who would make a comment that, to me, sounds fatphobic, out of the blue like that when the character is trying say something important.

Whatever, after the words were said, the whole book lost its shine for me and it went downhill from there in a combustion of disappoint and barely expressed ire. The suspension of disbelief was dismissed and the good faith in the character was totaled beyond all recognition.

  • The Love Interest of the Heroine

Kerestyan a pretty unusual name for me. I like it.

Kerestyan seemed pretty interesting up until the point that Logan made her fatphobic remark and I lost interest in the book. My favorite scene was the in the kitchen scene, unf.

  • Preternatural “Plastic Surgery”

So after about two decades or so of wrecking her body with heroine, you’re telling this bitch gets a pass once she receives the privilege of becoming a servio? Get. Out. Of. Town.

In the same vein as the fatphobic remark made by Logan, the heroine, it seems that eternal thinness is the beauty standard for vampires. Give me a break. This metaphysical/magical “plastic surgery” adds a whole layer to my understanding of the bigotry inherent in the body image message of this book.

  • Drug Trafficking in New York

So you’re telling me that after living for thousands of years, these vampires can’t figure out how to heavily mitigate drug trafficking in one primarily human city?

Sounds like the limitations of the human imaginations to me. That’s a fail, Jennifer Turner.

  • Homelessness

Only presumably liberal white artists would choose to portray a story in which the white main character actively chooses to be homeless and actively chooses to be on drugs.

I feel like this was a poor decision on the author’s part and was somewhat mocking of people who are born into poverty and homelessness.

  • All-Seeing Old Dude

Spare me. The all-seeing, all wise master vampires who reigns of from on high? Throne and all? The author could’ve missed me with this one. I was, overall, not impressed. The whole “very old vampire family presented as a gang/organization with selective recruiting” was another fail.

A Reminder of Why I’ve Mostly Given Up on the Mainstream Romance Industry

I finished reading two romance novels last night in ebook format and I was tired and sad to say that it’s work like this that makes me so eternally sick of the romance and erotic romance genre and publishing industry.

I read The Pleasures of Sin by Jessica Trapp and Rent-A-Studd by Lynn LaFleur. Eck, I gave in to Ellora’s Cave.

I fasted from Ellora’s Cave and broke myself of that filthy habit two years ago but I still long to read about intimacy, the best attempts I’ve ever read being constrained within the limitations of time pieces like those written by Robin Schone, the realism of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, and the urban snippets of intimacy in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series.

I feel somewhat ashamed to admit I’ve been reading this kinds of books again, mostly because of the way people look down on intimacy and erotic romance, and the ways in which women are socialized from the cradle to chase after romance and the love of a at all costs. But I like, enjoy, and relish in intimacy, depth, and intensity and plots that have these elements as an integral parts.

However, the romance, erotica, and erotic romance market, particularly the historical, urban, and paranormal romance is just full of shit.

Rent-A Studd was weak and shallow in several places, relying heavily on Fabio-esque era and woodsman/earthy male archetypes and uppermiddle class white fantasy and detachment but was much better in my opinion for several reasons than The Pleasures of Sin by Jessica Trapp, granted that they belong to two different genres of romance.

Both books were horrid in their own right, though the LaFleur was more digestable and even cute at times.

Maybe I’ll give both books separate reviews later, but for right now I need to get the poison of disappointment, disgust, and outrage out.

The Pleasures of Sin by Jessica Trapp was HORRIBLE. The heroine, a white European young woman named Brenna, over the course of the novel, is

  1. stripped of her only passion which is painting,
  2. betrayed by the family she tried to protect endlessy,
  3. her sisters are in constant danger of being raped by the men that her “husband” brought to their keep with him or by men they will be forced to marry,
  4. psychologically abused,
  5. kidnapped,
  6. she is married to a man who claps her in shackles, manacles, and a collar and makes her hobble in public in them,
  7. forced to marry a man in her sister’s stead,
  8. nearly has her head cut off by her unwanted husband,
  9. unwanted husband leaves her to stew in her own filth for a month while shackled up, taking the key to her bounds with him,
  10. publically whipped by the man she is forced to marry after being duped into attempting to kill him by her sisters and father,
  11. coerced into a sexual relationship with this man to save her messed up family.

This was worse than Angel in the Red Dress by Judith Ivory, which is what made me go cold turkey on romance in the first place.

As a Black woman, whose descendants were enslaved and suffered every manner of abuse and brutalization imaginable, there was little to nothing amusing to me about this woman’s situation, let alone romantic.

Why do so many heterosexual white female romance writers feel the need to write about this shit like its cute and indoctrinate and pacify women into a culture of socially-induced Stockholm Syndrome? I just don’t understand.

Is there any such thing as quality romance/romantica in the world??? Because most of it appears to be a bunch of shit.

If this is the future of romance and it related genres, I give up. I just give up.

evermore real,

Queens

Most Recent Bookstore Trip

Nowadays when I enter a bookstore, presumably Borders, I’m just terrified of what I might find there. That’s no way live, especially as a writer and otherwise artist, but nothing suits me anymore in a way that I find fulfilling. The book publishing industry has failed me, I feel. I fear being unfulfilled and that is why I hesitate to purchase books. Luckily, I escaped fairly unscathed during my most recent book trip.

During my most recent trip to the bookstore, a Borders in Downtown Decatur that was closing (lawd, help us all if Borders goes down even though they said they’re not. Borders is my preferred location for all things surrounding books, magazines, and Paperchase), I purchased several books and I’ll write my thoughts on some of them as I embarked on reading.

  • Vassalord, Volume 4 by Nanae Chrono

What I hate about a lot of the yaoi that I’ve read is the latent and overt misogyny that I’ve noticed is sometimes exhibited among men in the queer community. The presentation of Eva or Eve, better known as Rayfell, is particularly disturbing although I understand the biblical connections and implications. The story and the guys—Rayflo and Chris intrigue me and their story is very sweet when they’re attitudes towards women don’t smack of misogyny.

  • Never After by Laurell K. Hamilton, Yasmine Galenorn, Majorie M. Liu, Sharon Shinn

I don’t want to judge these writers solely by what I read in this book but here’s what I think: I actually had to go dig this book out of the box of stuff I’m giving away to the Salvation Army. I’m sick of this 1-2-3, A-B-C white-princess-heroine bullshit. It’s just not my cup of tea these days. I read Laurell K. Hamilton’s “Can He Bake a Cherry Pie?” contribution in the anthology and I liked what she was trying to do with the story and paused over her skill, but all-in-all I wasn’t in the mood for the heroines in the book, no matter how unconventionally contrived they were.

  • Finder: Finder in the Target, Volume 1 by Amano Yamane
  • The Book of Murray: The Life, Teachings, and Kvetching of the Lost Prophet by David M. Bader

Loved it! Laugh out loud hilarious for me. I love this biblical parody. I haven’t experienced anything this funny concerning the Bible
since, like History of the World (film).

  • She’s On Top: Erotic Stories of Female Dominance and Male Submission ed. Rachel Kramer Bussel

The story I enjoyed the most so far (admittedly I’m not done reading yet and have been skipping around) is Room 2201 by N.T. Morely. Something about that got me going, I’ll tell you. I’ll finish reading this and add more comments later. I guess I haven’t finished reading yet because I want the getting to stay good.

Reading on,

Ms. Queenly